President Buhari says he would accent to a constitutional amendment that seeks to completely separate local governments from the control of states.
The President said the amendment would better the lot of Nigerians by ensuring that developmental strides gets to the grassroots.
Receiving the leadership of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON), President Buhari said a constitutional amendment was urgently required to clearly define the relationship among the three tiers of government.
He advised the group to hold consultations with their primary constituencies with a view of presenting a bill (to NASS) that will seek a constitutional amendment to free LGAs from state control.
The President described the frosty relationship between states and local government as “a very serious constitutional problem”.
“The quicker you do this the better, so that you can help your people much more.
“This will limit the damage they can do to you.
“The relationship between the three tiers of government is not a very nice one, especially that between the local governments and the states.
“The states feel like they own the local government, if they are of the same party. It is worse if they are not.
“This is a very serious constitutional problem.
“Unless there is absolute clarity and transparency, the relationship will continue to be exploited against the interest of the ordinary people of the country,” the President said.
The acting ALGON National President, Alhaji Ibrahim Karaye, presented a six-point demand to the President which included the repayment of a $3.2bn debt which the FG unilaterally withdrew from the Federation Account to fund the London Club debt and exit payments.
The President acknowledged the request by ALGON for the release of the money wrongfully deducted by the Federal Government for the final settlement of foreign debts in 2005.
However, President Buhari told the Association that his government will not be able to release its $3.2bn because of the current state of the economy.