A civil society organisation, Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR), has solicited greater collaboration with the Abia State Independent Electoral Commission (ASIEC), the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and Nigerian Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) to promote transparent and accountable administration at the council level.

The Programme Director of the organisation, Mr Chidi Igwe who made the call during an interactive session with the stakeholders in Umuahia, the Abia capital, said that the LG Advocacy is with support from National Endowment for Democracy (NED). Igwe said that adequate cooperation between the organisation and the stakeholders would help to ensure proper democratic governance at the third tier of government.
He expressed the need to prioritise the national discourse on local government autonomy because of the strategic role local governments were expected to play in the development of the grassroots. He said that local government financial autonomy would help to ensure that monthly Federal Allocations to councils would be properly deployed in meeting the basic needs of the people.

In his remark, Mr Chigozie Uzosike, the Mobilization/Communication Officer of CCIDESOR, described the provision of basic amenities at the grassroots as an effective strategy to address rural-urban migration. Uzosike said that transparency and accountability were essential in managing public funds. He said that effective management of local government finances would help to tackle the dearth of basic amenities in rural communities.
In their responses, the stakeholders described the campaign for transparency and accountability in the local government system as a welcome development. “It is not proper for the revenue meant for the local government to be given to the state government. This will stunt development at the grassroots. “When the local government has autonomy, the problem of non-payment of salaries and absence of basic amenities will be dealt with.

The Citizens Center for Integrated Development and Social Rights (CCIDESOR) has said that transparency and accountability is the only key that can develop the local governments

This was part of the position of CCIDESOR when they visited ministry of Local Government Service Commission, Chairman, Council of Traditional Rulers and Commissioner for Local Government. The advocacy was with support from National Endowment for Democracy (NED).  The Executive Director of CCIDESOR, Obidi Mgbemena described the provision of basic amenities at the grassroots as an effective strategy to address rural-urban migration. Obidi said that transparency and accountability were essential in managing public funds. He said that effective management of local government finances would help to tackle the dearth of basic amenities in rural communities.

‘There should be transparent, accountable and participatory/citizens inclusion in the local government governance. The local government should be allowed to manage their resources according to their prioritized needs. The communities’ input should be captured in the local government budgets and projects. The project should be built based on the community-ownership structure. The government should ensure the development of new policy that will spell out process of Citizens’ participation in the 2019/2020 budget process and future budget process in Southeast Nigeria’.‘The state should give the local government areas financial control over community related projects. Appropriate mechanism should be put in place to promote and enhance transparency and accountability at all levels of governance. Officials of the local government should be elected and not appointed in any manner at any point in time. The era of Joint Accounts Allocation Committee (JAAC) meeting should be returned for transparent and accountable local government governance. Democratically elected local government will see to the development of local governments’
In their responses, the stakeholders described the campaign for transparency and accountability in the local government system as a welcome development. “It is not proper for the revenue meant for the local government to be given to the state government. This will stunt development at the grassroots. “When the local government has autonomy, the problem of non-payment of salaries and absence of basic amenities will be dealt with. The stakeholders visited committed to engaging with those influencers to ensure that it is achieved, especially that the local government will only develop if they get their funds directly from the federal government without having to mainstream them through the state governments.