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LG autonomy: Senate awaits Supreme Court’s verdict

Sen. Yemi Adaramodu, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, made the statement in an interview in Abuja on Monday.

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The Senate has decided to stay action on the issue of local government autonomy until the Supreme Court gives a ruling on the matter, after which it will re-examine existing laws before taking the next steps.

Sen. Yemi Adaramodu, the Chairman of the Senate Committee on Media and Public Affairs, made the statement in an interview in Abuja on Monday.

Adaramodu clarified that the Senate is currently limited in its ability to take a stance on the matter, pending a decision from the Supreme Court.

He acknowledged that local governments in Nigeria had enjoyed a significant level of autonomy in the past, but noted that a shift in perspective by those in power led to a change in this arrangement.

He noted that some people had raised concerns about the revenue allocation formula relative to equity, among other issues.

The Senate spokesman said: “We might not be able to say much about it (LG autonomy), but then we are talking about distributing funds to local governments.

“There are indices that inform the distribution of funds to local governments. Equality, land mass, and social indices. So, when we talk about one of seven of the schools in Akure, that’s social indices. That is where they indicate how many hospitals there are.

“How many dispensaries? How many primary schools? How many junior secondary schools? Then population. So they distribute based on that.

So, definitely, there’s a local government that has only one primary school, and there’s another one that has 37 primary schools that are not going to get the same thing because of that formula. So just for education.

“But for local government autonomy, we’ll not discuss further until the Supreme Court rules accordingly. When the Supreme Court rules, then the National Assembly will know where to take it from whatever the ruling is.”

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