The National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to ignore the petition written by the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) to stop the implementation of guidelines set by the Nigerian Financial Intelligence Unit (NFIU) on local government funds.
Ibrahim Khaleel, national president of NULGE, communicated the union’s position in a petition written by the national executive council of the union.
It said the guidelines from NFIU was a bold move to end financial recklessness by governors “feasting on funds” for the 774 local government areas.
The NFIU had on May 6 announced new guidelines which would make the joint account system currently in use by state and local governments only exist for the receipt of allocations from the federation account but not for disbursement.
By that, governors could lose control of local government funds.
In reaction to the development, NGF wrote a petition to Buhari seeking to stop the guidelines from being implemented.
It claimed that the unit has no business meddling in how state governments disburse funds to their respective local governments.
But in its petition, NULGE said nothing in the guideline indicates that the agency was desirous of encroaching on the responsibilities of any of the two other tiers of government.
“Our considered opinion is that it is the governors who have been ganging up to prevent the wishes of the people of Nigeria to guarantee financial administrative autonomy for the third tier of government,” the petition read.
“We call on Your Excellency to ignore the petition of the governors who are behaving like wounded lions because they see the source of the funds which they have habitually misused and abused drying up.
“You standing firm with the downtrodden people in the grass roots, who have endured avariciousness of the governors over the years, will send the desired message to all that you will consolidate and win the battle against corruption.”
The NFIU had issued an earlier warning, asking the governors to steer clear of local government funds effective from June 1.