There appears to be a brewing crisis between the Zamfara State government and the state’s chapter of Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, ALGON.
The bone of contention is the current policy of the federal government and the guidelines released by the National Financial Intelligence, NFI, and the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, as recently approved by the President.
The new policy prohibits banks from releasing local government funds from the joint account into any account other than remitting it directly into the local government account.
But at the monthly joint account meeting with the state government, members of ALGON walked out in protest against alleged unlawful attempt to shortchange the local governments of the monthly federation grants.
ALGON chairman of the association in Zamfara state, who doubles up as chairman Muradun local government area, Ahmad Abubakar, while speaking to newsmen on Tuesday said the policy stipulates that the state and local government joint account should be shared according to the accepted formula by which local government share should directly be remitted into local government accounts.
He added that when the local government chairmen were invited by the joint account committee for a meeting, ”we were shown a table indicating that after all deductions were paid, the amount due for each local government was only five million (N5m)”.
This, according to him, was a gross violation of the law on the new policy on joint account funds, querying that the huge balance of between N70-80m was still hanging in the joint account instead of releasing it to the rightful owners.
He said this unlawful action has compelled the local government chairmen to walk out of the meeting in protest against the violation of the approved federal policy of the joint account sharing formula.
The chairman threatened if the abnormality is not corrected,”the option is to go to court for interpretation”, alleging that this action was a deliberate plan to discredit the local council chairmen in the face of the rural communities by”creating false impression against us,” he said.