JAAC is conduit for stealing LG funds – NULGE

The National President of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Akeem Olatunji, has reiterated the need for local government autonomy in the country.

Olatunji alleged that the Joint Account Allocation Committee (JAAC) had become a conduit pipe for stealing money meant for the third tier of government.


Speaking during a prayer session organised by the union at the Abuja Municipal Area Council, Olatunji said that the appointment of surrogates and political jobbers into leadership positions in the councils was not acceptable.

According to him, the root of the security and socioeconomic challenges facing the country was traceable to the mismanagement of the local government system by state governors.

He said: “We need a politically-free and financially independent local government administration. The local government has been raped over time; it has witnessed systematic destruction as a result of misrule and stealing of local government funds, thereby militating against progressive development at the grassroots level.

“No wonder as of today, we are bedevilled by insecurity and poverty. We are deprived and also encumbered by unemployment, homelessness just because we have a failing system in the local government. It is not the architect of the system.

“It was fostered on the local governments by state political actors led by the governors in this country. Money meant for growth and development, and dividends of democracy were diverted.

“They are doing that because of the lacuna in the 1999 constitution under section 162 that created Joint Account Allocation Committee that has turned to a conduit pipe through which money meant for development and growth are being siphoned.”

The NULGE leader said it was time to fix the local government administration in the country, noting that council elections should not be conducted by state electoral bodies.

He said that the polls conducted by the state agencies were not acceptable to Nigerians, describing the exercise as a charade.

“And we say it is time to fix Nigeria; it is time to fix the local government system. Once you fix the local government, you fix Nigeria. Over 80 percent of Nigerian problems are traceable to denial, administrative misrule, and stealing of local government funds.

“Once you are able to achieve local government autonomy, all these problems shall cease automatically. Let the Independent National Electoral Commission conduct local government elections. The charade being called local government elections across the state are not acceptable to Nigerians, they are not transparent, they are not democratic.

“The appointment, coronation, and promotion of surrogates and political jobbers to man the leadership position in local government is no longer acceptable. We want a transparent process,” he added.

The AMAC Chairman, Abdullahi Adamu, while endorsing the agitation for LG autonomy observed that “everything is not prayers; in fact, we pray too much in the country.”

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