“There is need for better oversight of Local Government Finances by State House of Assemblies”-HDI

ConnectNigeria_SavingMoneyThe consequences of irregularities in the use of local government funds should be viewed beyond the total value of wastages but substantially in terms of the consequences of unchecked growing disregard for the rule of law and lack of interest in good governance. The financial losses in Local Government fund administration is substantive enough to conclude that local governments are not progressing not for paucity of funds but largely due to unchecked mismanagement of the fund disbursed to them and impunity.

The implications of the findings from the audit extract show a high level impunity and unfettered corruption which must be viewed in the light of the attending negative consequences of poor local government fiscal management vis-à-vis the essence of law and order. The brief concerns raised in the analysis call for conscious efforts to ensure compliance. The implication of not doing so will not only amount to waste of legitimation and manpower in the Lagos State House of Representative, but also will ventilate corruption and impunity at the grassroots and ultimately increase the existing level of poverty and other consequences of underdevelopment which are usually the heaviest at the grassroots.

On the other hand, while it may be too early to conclude on the effectiveness of the Fiscal Management Regulation Law 2011 using this report, this brief review is an eye opener to the appropriate agencies to take necessary actions. Particularly, the Lagos State Legislature need to engage the various executives and principal officers in their constituencies with the queries raised in this report and subsequent ones to come and sensitize them on the application of the relevant Laws; while the anti-corruption agencies should beam vigilance at the financial misconducts at the Local Government level with the same finesse given to other financial crimes. These gross anomalies must not be swept under the carpet. Nigerians need to know what has happened to the tax payers’ money in care of the Local Government officials.

Specifically, there is need for:

  1. Better oversight of Local Government finances and expenditure.
  2. Capacity building for Local Government staff on book keeping and accounting.
  3. Improved CSO/CBA/CBOs oversight on activities of Local Government.
  4. More proactive response by Lagos Legislative and Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.