From Joseph Amedu, Lokoja
The Clerk, Kogi State House of Assembly, Alhaji Ibrahim Isa Amoka has warned the Clerks of local government councils against engaging in unconstitutional acts in the discharge of their duties.
Alhaji Amoka handed down the warning over the weekend at a workshop organised by the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs in collaboration with a consultancy firm, Equity Promotion Nigeria limited, to acquaint Local Council Clerks with legislative duties at the grassroots level.
In the lecture he delivered at the workshop, ” The role of the Clerk in a legislature “, Alhaji Amoka warned the LGC Clerks to be very careful with elected members in the Council to avoid being lured into acts that are detrimental to standing rules, local government laws and the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
He cautioned against succumbing to pressure from the politicians and Council leaders to circumvent laid down rules as such acts are not only illegal, unconstitutional,but capable of igniting social, economic and political crisis .
While reminding them to be career civil servants employed by the Ministry for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, the State Assembly Clerk urged them to wield enormous power of their office to take full control of their Legislative activities as enshrined in the laws.
Amoka also advised that as the Chief accounting officers of the legislative arm and signatories to all resolutions, motions , memos, transactions and communication with the Executives , the Clerks should not allow themselves to be manipulated into illegalities.
In another paper presented at the workshop by Barrister Bamidele Suru a former Commissioner in Kogi state, focussed on budgeting, the statement of revenue and expenditure.
Barrister Suru informed the participants of the significance of a realistic budget as well as the constitutional jurisdictions of the various tiers of government, federal, state and local governments.
He said revenues are categorized in accordance with the level of government and not every revenue is accrue able to the local government councils . The revenue for the state and Federal governments should not be included in the local government council budget.
According to the lecturer, on no account should the local governments execute projects belonging to the state or federal governments, unless on agreement with the relevant authority for a refund.
He however, commended Kogi state Governor Alhaji Yahaya Bello for his courage in endorsing the public procurement law, fiscal responsibility law and pension commission among other necessary laws.