By RAZAK OWOLABI
ABUJA- Prof. Oba Abdulraheem, the governorship candidate of New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP) in Kwara State, has described the Joint Account System (JAS) between states and local governments in the country as fraudulent.
Abdulraheem, a former Vice Chancellor of the University of Ilorin, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday, said that until 100 per cent autonomy is granted to local government administration in the country, development at the grassroots will remain a mirage.
“The first step in the theft of the people’s commonwealth begins with the Joint Account System while full visible autonomy of the local government is the first step towards dismantling this fraudulent arrangement that is being perpetuated relentlessly over the years.
“The state government should accept its supervisory role to the Local Government Areas.
“Each arm should be separately accountable for what it does. I think that is what the law of the land says,” the governorship candidate reiterated.
Abdulraheem alleged that there was rot in Kwara State and he was determined to stop it.
According to him, good people of conscience can not afford to close their eyes to rot in governance.
“We have systematic corruption going on here. Bad government is what is expensive, not good government. There is an urgent need for the true government of the people by the people and for the people,” Abdulraheem said.
He expressed his determination to block all existing loopholes in the administration of finance in the state and invest savings in sustainable development initiatives that will improve the GDP of the state.
Abdulraheem assured the youths of Kwara that one of his priorities, if voted into office, is private sector-friendly policies enabling an environment for corporates to set up in the state. If elected into office.
“I will also utilise my global network to attract global companies in ICT, the mining value chain and customer service that will create meaningful employment for the youths, women and professionals as major beneficiaries.
“Infrastructural development at the local government level is also a compulsory agenda if I am made the governor as with good governance, human capital development will be automatically arrested,” he asserted.
Abdulraheem promised that he would immediately put into effect modalities to ensure total autonomy for Kwara local governments if voted as the next governor.
NAN reports that the vexed issue of full autonomy for local government administration has been on the front burner of national discussion in the country for a long time, with concerned stakeholders accusing state governments of being the stumbling blocks.
Labour unions have been open in their condemnation of state governments on the issue with Tommy Etim, Deputy President of Trade Union Congress recently describing the development as saddening, and labelling governors as enemies of the country.
NAN also reports that the State and Local Government Joint Account system as a financial policy of the local government was introduced in Nigeria’s 1979 constitution following the nation-wide local government reforms of 1976.
The system was later abolished in 1989 during the regime of General Ibrahim Babangida because of its wrong implementation by state governments.
In 1999, following the restoration of civil rule, it was reintroduced into the constitution. (NAN)