Nigeria’s lawmakers have been called upon to respect the demands of Nigerians on local government autonomy and desist from foisting their will on Nigerians.
This was part of the communique issued by a coalition of civil societies at the end of a workshop put together by Mrs. Ngozi Iwere’s Community Life Project (CLP) in Ekiti State.
“The National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly should respect the demands and aspirations of the majority of Nigerians for Local Government autonomy as expressed during the public hearings of the National Assembly”, the communique said.
Other recommendations include the call on state governments to stop interfering in local government administration and desist from using the Joint State-Local Government Account as a `stick’ for controlling the local governments in Nigeria, the need for greater collaboration between the local government and the communities so as to deliver the dividends of democracy to the grassroots.
The communiqué also called on citizens to demand transparency and accountability as well better services from their elected leaders at local levels and make make conscious effort to participate in budget preparation and execution to ensure that public funds are properly channeled to meet the real needs of the people.
The participants called on Nigerians to mobilize and sensitize people at the grassroots to create safe and independent spaces for engaging with government officials to ensure that the real needs of citizens are included in the budget and funded.