…tasks Governors to conduct council elections
A non-profit making organisation, Grassroots Empowerment and Justice (GEJ) Initiative, yesterday, hailed President Muhammadu Buhari, over the new guidelines issued by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) towards local government autonomy.
The commendation was made by the National Coordinator, GEJ Initiative, Ebriku John Friday, describing it as the best way to free local government councils from the shackles of state governors and underdevelopment.
According to him GEJ Initiative will support the NFIU to ensure that the guidelines are adhered to strictly for the grassroots people to have a sense of belonging in the democratic process.
President Muhammadu Buhari in 2018 signed the NFIU bill into law, thus separating the agency from the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
He said: “We in Grassroots Empowerment and Justice, GEJ Initiative, received the news with gladness over the new guidelines by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit, NFIU, to give financial autonomy to local government councils on cash withdrawals from the local government funds, hence giving them powers to be autonomous in doing what is right for the grassroots people as part of good governance.
“This is why we commend and hail President Muhammadu Buhari over the signing of the NFIU bill into law enabling it to ensure that the local government councils are strengthened and start to play their strategic developmental roles in the democratic process in order for the grassroots people to directly enjoy democratic dividends.
“It is the best way to free local government councils from the shackles of state governors and underdevelopment.We see it as a right step in the right direction that would facilitate the expected development at the rural areas. With this measures put in place by the Buhari-led government there would be high level of financial sanity and rapid development at the grassroots.”
The Group also added that, “The move would curb corrupt practices at the local government councils with the new measures place a daily cash transaction limit of N500, 000 for each of the local government areas that would be registered and monitored by the NFIU through e-payment module and for proper accountability and transparency.”
Meanwhile, the group also called on State Governors to conduct council polls for democracy to thrive at the grassroots level, which makes the people exercise their voting rights according to the electoral act to elect their own representatives at the local government level in order to enjoy democratic dividends.
“We in GEJ Initiative who serves as the voice of the grassroots and also bridge between the people and those in government. We want all state governments to conduct local government elections without further delay.
“We would not allow the refusal of some state governors from conducting local government polls despite with available resources at their disposal. This continued delay in conducting elections at the local government areas would retard development.
“We say no to stooges appointed as caretaker chairmen of local governments anymore in this country. Governors who are yet to conduct local government elections should do it for the general good of the grassroots people”, he said.