The NIGER State House of Assembly has directed the Governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, to with immediate effect, dissolve the local government councils, the house raising from its sitting on 13th of February 2018, considered a committee report by the house committees on local Government in respect of impeachment notice on the chairman Munya Local Government council by the the council legislators and an oversight of the 25 Local government councils of the state.
Reading from the report, the co-sponsor of the motion, Hon. AbdulMalik Mohammed Kabir, said “This assignment was given to the committee on the 5th February, 2018, and thereafter the committee met several times and parties were invited, the details of all the allegations were accordingly investigated”
From the the report the following issues were established, capital projects were awarded without approval of the legislative council, the chairman has been absent from office several times, mismanagement of public funds, diverted subsidized grains allocated to the local government meant for public use and that the legislative council sat between 2016/2017, 3 times only while 2017/2018 only once as against 90 times for each legislative year totaling 180 times in 2 years.
The committee then extended its oversight to the remaining 24 local government and Found out that, most local government chairmen incurred expenditures in the award of contracts without the approval of the legislative council which contravenes section 73, sub (1) of the local government law 2001.
It was also discovered that most of the local government chairmen do not reside in their areas of authority and do do not attend office regularly and thereby making them ineffective, the report adds.
The report also identified mismanagement of public funds, dereliction of duty on the part of the chairmen and failure of the legislative arm to discharge their duty efficiently giving room to the chairmen to run the local in a manner that do not bring development.
Another area of contravention is section 38 (1) which states that all legislative arm of local government must sit for not less that 90 days in a legislative year, the report says all the 25 Legislative councils of the state sat for less than than 90 days in each year of the two years since their inauguration.
Bosso legislative council sat 6 times, Shiroro 11 times, Tafa 29 times, Paikoro 15 times, all others where between 33 times and 4 times in two years, with Munya as the worst, with a mere 4 sittings in 2 years., it is on these grounds and many others that the house resolved that a motion by Honourable AbdulMalik Kabir representing Paikoro Local Government supported by 5 others was considered and approved
The motion reads “That Alhaji (Dr) Abubakar Sani Bello, The executive Governor of Niger state is directed to immediately dissolve all the 25 local government councils in Niger state including the the chairmen for failure to discharge their duties and function under the Niger state local government law 2001 in a manner conducive to the welfare and well being of the people of their area of authorities and for failure of the legislative councils to hold their meetings and sittings as required under section 38, subsection (1) of Niger state law 2001”
The house also directed that on dissolution all affairs of the local government council be handed over to the directors of personnel management (DPM) of the local government, and all necessary action be taken to return the local government to democratic rule.