Atiku reacts to Supreme Court ruling on local government fiscal autonomy

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Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has commended the Supreme Court’s recent judgment affirming fiscal autonomy for local government councils in Nigeria, describing it as a significant victory for the nation’s development and democratic structure.

In a social media post on Thursday, Atiku celebrated the ruling as a positive step towards enhancing national development.

He criticized the previous federal decision to consolidate local council revenues into state government accounts, labelling it as politically motivated and a compromise that hindered local progress.

“The judgment of the Supreme Court earlier today affirming fiscal autonomy to local government councils in the country is a win for the people of Nigeria.

“The court’s ruling is a step in the right direction and a major corrective action in greasing the wheels of national development across the country,” Atiku stated.

Atiku emphasized that the Supreme Court’s decision aligns with the constitutional structure of the Nigerian government, which includes federal, state, and local tiers.

He argued that local governments should be focal points for development and that fiscal autonomy is crucial for their effective functioning.

“I align with the decision of the Supreme Court that the structure of the Nigerian government is portioned in three layers, and of these, the local governments should be centres of development,” Atiku added.

Furthermore, Atiku advocated for extending fiscal autonomy to local governments beyond revenues from the Federation Accounts to include Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from local government authorities.

“Many of our states, especially those in the ultra-urban areas with high-density economic activities, have become notorious in muscling local councils from generating revenue on items that border on motor parks, outdoor advertising, rents and many more,” he noted.

Atiku concluded by expressing his belief that the Supreme Court’s verdict reinforces its role as an arbitration court among different levels of government and underlines the importance of empowering local governments to fulfil their developmental responsibilities.

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