My Governor, my Governor Mallam Uba Sani

…Let The 23 Local Governments in Kaduna State Breathe

I want to start by appreciating my Governor for the great work he is doing through the rural transformation projects in the LGAs. No doubt, the local government, especially rural, is not only the closest to the people but holds great potential for inclusive growth and development.

Kaduna State has a population of over ten million spread across the 23 LGAs. Many of the poor and vulnerable in the State are residing in the rural LGAs. Therefore, any effort at addressing our development challenges will have to ensure the Local Government councils to a large extent have administrative and financial autonomy.

Despite initiating reforms, by the last administration, towards improving local governance, the local governments in the State can now hardly breathe, fiscally. It is common knowledge that the removal of subsidy has increased the statutory allocations to the LGAs. So also it has led to an increase in multidimensional poverty and unemployment. As well as, allegedly, said to have increased incessant deductions by the coordinating Ministry in the State.

It is worrisome that the purpose of the National Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) is being defeated. In hush voices, many of the Council Chairmen are now complaining as they get regular directives for deductions without due consultation and to the detriment of their constituents. It seems that they have now been turned into civil servants, meant to only obey without complaint.

This has further put the LGAs in a difficult situation. Already, revenues meant for the LGAs over the years are either not totally or adequately remitted to them. May I remind my Governor that we are already in a very difficult situation as a State, so the need for financial discipline cannot be overemphasized. Therefore, indiscriminate deductions if uncovered should be checked. Every kobo should be transparently utilized and accounted for.

Stakeholders are raising concerns that most of the governance reforms initiated by the last administration to ensure fiscal discipline, transparency, accountability and sustainability at the LGAs are being abandoned. This is the time for my Governor to redirect his full attention to the local government sector. As it will be key to the success of his rural transformation project which billions have been borrowed to execute and his re-election bid in 2027.

My Governor, let the local governments breathe!

Bako Abdul Usman (BK)