The Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Zone-B, has advocated autonomy for the third tier of government in Nigeria in the on-going amendment of the 1999 Constitution.
According to a statement in Akure on Thursday by Dele Atunbi, the Vice-President of the zone, granting of autonomy to the local government was in the spirit of true federalism.
“Local government autonomy will bring about rapid transformation at the grassroots, unlike the present situation of stunted growth and inaction,” the statement said.
“Grassroots development will reduce tremendously rural urban drift and congestion in our city centres. Reduction in rural urban drift will equally reduce organised crimes in the country and ensure the success of the youth in agriculture programme of the Federal Government. This will in turn bring about food security as well as generate more activities at the grassroots.”
The union decried a situation whereby only two out of the three tiers of government enjoyed autonomy.
“This development is inequitable as what is good for the goose is equally good for the gander,” he said.
According to the statement, the current situation has given the second tier of government an undue advantage of meddling into the funds of the third tier without any meaningful development in the rural areas.
“The development has equally incapacitated the third tier from performing its constitutional duties to the people,” the union said. “We, therefore, call on patriots to step up advocacy on local government autonomy in the interest of the country.”