Govs marginalising LGs in sharing of Paris Club Refund – Rep

March 21st, 2017 By Category Uncategorized
A member of the House of Rep­resentatives for Egor/Ikpoba Okha Con­stituency in Edo State, Hon Johnson Agbonay­inma, has accused state governors of sidelining local governments in the even distribution of the Paris Club Refund recently released by the Federal Government.
Agbonayinma told journalists at the week­end in Benin City, the state capital that the joint account by the State and LGs was a fraud and la­mented that some gov­ernors had refused to conduct an election to elect council chairmen to enhance development at the grassroots.
He said that some gov­ernors were on the verge of sacking Local Govern­ment chairmen through the court, but praised the directive of President Muhammadu Buhari that the governors must account for the first batch of the refund before they can benefit from the sec­ond tranche.
The lawmaker also lauded the probe of gov­ernors by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) over missing funds from the London and Paris Clubs’ refund, but ex­pressed dismay that the Association of Local Governments of Nige­ria (ALGON) which employed lawyers and fought for the money were yet to benefit from it.
Agbonayinma said: “This money belongs to Nigerians and it is unfor­tunate that the 774 Local Government Areas have not been carried along. The governors have de­cided to take local gov­ernments for a ride and I don’t see civil society groups talking about the issue. It is a constitutional right for the local gov­ernment to exist.
“It was ALGON that engaged lawyers to en­sure that this money was refunded to the Fed­eral Government. Haven done that, the right thing was to let those who made it possible for the money to be refunded to the Federal Govern­ment to benefit from it,” he said.
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