Deputy Governor of Kaduna State, Dr Hadiza Balarabe, has reiterated the commitment of the state government towards the reform of the local government system.
Balarabe said this when she received participants of Senior Executive Course 44 of the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, in Plateau State, when they paid her a courtesy visit in Kaduna.
The team is in Kaduna on a study tour focused on strengthening local government system in Nigeria.
The deputy governor said that the state government had allowed the local councils to operate within the limits of their resources, without interference.
“Here in Kaduna State, we understood that local government system is very important and we have been working towards various reforms to make it stand strong.
“The state government has adopted a parliamentary system of government for the local governments.
“We have institutated citizens participation, especially in budgeting for the local government; we also have a staff restructuring order which cut across the 23 LGAs.
“We have joint account allocation meetings every month and I am proud to say that apart from statutory deductions, the state government does not take anything from the accounts of the local governments,” she said.
Balarabe urged the course participants to come up with recommendations to reinforce the local government system in the country.
Earlier, leader of the delegation, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, a NIPSS directing staff, said the study tour was for the course participants to learn from what the state is doing in the running of local government areas.
He said that the team will come up with recommendations for new policy direction on the local government system.
Olaopa said that the team will interact with critical stakeholders, including civil societies, community based structures, traditional rulers and some selected state governments, to generate critical data on the research.
According to him, the research will run for 10 months, and is being conducted by 90 participants who were divided into seven study groups .
According to him, the issue of local government is intergral part of the reforms of Nigeria’s defective federalism.
“Until the core issue of decentralization is achieved, it will be very hard for the required reforms to take governance to the people”, he said
He explained that the institute would come up with a new local government model that will work based on clear constitutional guidelines. (NAN)