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NLC wants full autonomy for LGs

04 February 2013, 11:09

Abuja -  The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on Sunday told the National Assembly to grant full autonomy to Local Government Councils in the new Constitution.

The appeal is contained in a statement signed by the NLC President, Mr Abdulwahed Omar.

Omar said it was pertinent for the lawmakers not to truncate the will of the people to provide full autonomy to the Local Government Councils.

He said the Local Government Council were closer to the people and ``it is only when they are fully independent that Nigerians can enjoy the benefits of democracy.

''Rather than continue to tie the Local Governments to the State Governments, the Constitution should ensure that funds meant for Local Governments go directly to them.

''All funds and other resources generated by the Local Governments should be managed by them and not the State Governments," Omar said.

He said that such step could deepen democracy in Nigeria and ensure a working federal system that would benefit the people.

The president said that people were united on the autonomy decision during the public sessions held in 2012 in all the 360 constituencies.

He said the public sessions were held by the House of Representatives in collaboration with labour and civil society groups in the country.

Omar said that Nigerians were also united that labour and industrial relations matters must remain in the exclusive list as it was in the 1999 Constitution.

The NLC chief said the decision must not be tampered with in the interest of industrial peace and the principles of tripartism.

According to Omar, tripartism promotes transparency, fairness and result-oriented collective bargaining.

He advised the National Assembly not to allow itself to be used to impose tenure elongation for any political office.
The unionist said that Nigerians had consistently opposed tenure elongation since it was introduced to public discourse and legislative attention.

"We remain opposed to it and will resist any attempt to smuggle it into the report because Nigerians have consistently been opposed to it," he said.

Omar said the attitude of subjugating the collective interests of Nigerians had not been helpful in the delivery of good governance.

He said that anyone advocating the sustenance of retrogressive and anti- people provisions in the Constitution was against development.

He called on the House to make its report public.

NAN

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