Speaker Yakubu Dogara said on Wednesday that the joint allocation account of states and local governments is among the major evils hindering Nigeria’s progress.
During a brief interaction with reporters Wednesday afternoon, the Speaker said the parliament is ready for a showdown with state governments because lawmakers are determined to expunge the provisions from Nigeria’s statute books.
“As a matter of fact, joint account is one of the biggest evils because it gives the authority to local government ministries in the state,” Mr. Dogara said. “In most states, especially in the north where we don’t have oil and co, the ministry of local government in the state is regarded as the ministry of petroleum resources.”
The joint allocation account for states and local government areas is one of the controversial policies that advocates of constitutional amendment are seeking to do away with.
The practice allows state governments to receive monthly allocations from the federal government for onward disbursement to local governments.
Local government administrators have long complained that the practice was undemocratic and also prone to abuse by governors.
Mr. Dogara, who apparently shares the position of the critics, decried the manner in which governors abuse the policy.
“We all know when funds are allocated to the councils. Instead of getting to the councils, they are hijacked at that level and appropriated according to the whims of the powers that be,” the Speaker said.
A bill seeking to abolish the policy is already making progress in the House of Representatives.