By Harris Emmanuel
Chairman of Itu Local Government Area, Etetim Onuk, has described the much talked about Local Government guidelines issued by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) as the proverbial case of giving something with the right hand and collecting it with the other hand.
According to him, ” the offer of conditional financial independence is a veiled usurping of powers arrogated to the State Government by the Nigeria Constitution.”
Onuk spoke during an interview programme – Akwa Ibom Rising – on Inspiration FM, saying “though Financial Autonomy is desirable, the recent guidelines released by NFIU is questionable and contradicts the very basis of the word financial Autonomy, as well as every known statutes.”
Continuing he said: “the administrative powers over the third tier of governance, rests squarely on the State Government, through the House of Assembly.
“The offer by NFIU ought to be accorded corresponding freedom to appropriate without any kind of restrictions and without the necessary constitutional amendments, the process remains faulty.”
Asked if the allegation that Governor Udom Emmanuel tampers with Local Government funds was true, Oruk said it was false and described the Governor as one who does not interfere at all with funds meant for Local Government Areas.
He explained that since they currently operate a unified Local Government system in the state, the disbursement of Council funds; through the Joint Account system was transparently carried out.