President Buhari has advised local governments to produce a bill that would make them free from the control of states.
Speaking on Thursday when he hosted officials of the Association of Local Governments in Nigeria (ALGON) at the presidential villa in Abuja, Buhari said the freedom of local governments from the stranglehold of states would better the lot of Nigerians at the community level.
He described the frosty relationship between states and local government as “a very serious constitutional problem”, saying a constitutional amendment was urgently required to address the issue.
“The relationship between the three tiers of government is not a very nice one, especially that between the local governments and the states,”he said.
“The states feel like they own the local government, if they are of the same party. It is worse if they are not.
“This is a very serious constitutional problem and unless there is absolute clarity and transparency, the relationship will continue to be exploited against the interest of the ordinary people of the country.”
Buhari also acknowledged the request by ALGON for the release of $3.2 billion “wrongfully” deducted by the administration of former President Olusegun Obasanjo for the settlement of foreign debts in 2005.