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Monday, July 15, 2024

Supreme Court Grants Complete Financial Independence to All 774 Local Government Areas

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The top court in Nigeria has decided that all 774 local government areas (LGAs) should have their own money to spend. This decision was made on July 11, 2024.

A group of seven judges, led by Judge Garba Lawal, gave this decision after talking about it on June 13.

This all started because the Attorney General, Lateef Fagbemi, asked the court to give full money control to the LGAs without having state governors control it.

Fagbemi also wanted the court to stop giving money to temporary committees chosen by governors instead of elected leaders.

But the state governors didn’t agree. They said the court shouldn’t even be discussing this.

On July 11, the judges said that LGAs should handle their own money, calling them a separate part of the country.

Details of the Decision

Judge Emmanuel Agim said it was wrong for state governments to hold back money from local governments for so long.

He said LGAs should get their money directly and only elected LGA leaders should handle it, not temporary committees.

The court also said that money from the Federation Account should go straight to LGAs from now on, not through state governments.

Judge Agim said keeping the money locked away by state governors stops local governments from working properly.

He ordered everyone to follow this new rule right away and said state governments can’t touch LGA money anymore.

LGAs’ Independence Confirmed

Nigeria has 774 LGAs, but many times state governors don’t let them manage their money, making it hard for them to do their job.

Lately, many people, including President Bola Tinubu, have been asking for LGAs to control their money.

In May, the Federal Government, through Attorney-General Fagbemi, even took the state governors to court for misusing LGA funds.

Usually, Nigeria’s money is divided like this: 52.68% for the Federal Government, 26.72% for states, and 20.60% for local governments. This is done through something called the Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC).

Before, money for LGAs went into an account controlled by both state and local governments, but it rarely reached the LGAs properly.

With this new court decision, the money for LGAs will go directly to them, letting them operate independently.

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