A former Commissioner for Works and Transportation in Ebonyi state, Dr. Paul Okorie has said that the recent guidelines by the federal government authorizing direct allocations to local government areas would promote probity.
Okorie, who stated this in an interview on Thursday in Abakaliki, said that the guidelines if implemented would also restore the glory of local government system and ensure it served the purpose for which it was created.
He added that the guidelines would check and control the excesses of some state governors who pilfer the allocations of local councils, adding that the order would not only ensure financial autonomy to the councils, but also ensure that local governments were accountable and financially disciplined in their spending.
The former commissioner commended President Muhammadu Buhari for taking the bold step and urged the Nigeria Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) to ensure proper and effective implementation of the guidelines.
“By this order, the president has once more demonstrated that he is totally committed to repositioning and strengthening the local government system to enable it perform its statutory functions.
“This is a wonderful development and it will help alleviate poverty in rural communities by fast – tracking socio-economic lives to pick up at the grassroots.
I commend Mr. President and urge that the guidelines be sustained while sanctions are meted out to any defaulting state government.
“Let them do their joint account committee meeting where the state and local governments meet to share allocations to respective local government areas and after, let the council chairmen be allowed to spend their funds according to areas of needs.
“This development will restore order and financial sanity to local government system and administration in Nigeria,” Okorie stated.
The former commissioner and chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) further observed that local government administration has been made an appendage of the state government.