The Chairman of the Nigerian Governors Forum, Alhaji Abdulazeez Yari, on Friday said no state governor has the constitutional right to touch local governments’ funds.
Yari, who is the Zamfara State governor, spoke with State House correspondents shortly after meeting behind closed-doors with President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The governor said Section 7 of the Constitution saddled the state Houses of Assembly with the responsibility of managing states’ finances.
He said to the best of his understanding as a governor, the purpose of joint accounts between states and local governments was not to hold on to funds meant for the councils.
He doubted if any state government was holding on to funds meant for councils, insisting that such situation is illegal.
The governor said, “I doubt if there is any state that is holding any local government funds.
“What used to happen in my own case (Zamfara State) is may be if we are having a development project, we vote together on percentage basis, maybe 60-40.
“This is the only thing that could make a state touch the monies of local governments, otherwise, all the monies go to the local government.
“So, no one as a governor has the right to touch local government money.
“Although there are speculations that some states are holding local government money, maybe because there are no election in those local governments, it is administrators, but constitutionally, it is the right of local government which must be exercised.”
Yari also disclosed that his state was making progress in terms of security.
He said security agents had recovered over 3,000 herds and 5,000 camels earlier stolen in the state.
He added that culprits have started laying down their arms.