Following the disclosure by the Chairman, Igbogbo/Bayeku Local Council Development Area of Ikorodu Division, Lagos State, Southwest, Nigeria, Builder Sesan Daini, that there has been a significant increase in monthly allocations from Federation Account to the Local Government Areas in the country, which has aided his administration in execution of some projects, residents of Ikorodu have charged the six Council Chairmen, on the need for good governance at the grassroots, especially in the areas of impactful projects and accountability.
Daini, who said that the increment was due to the subsidy removal by the administration of President Bola Tinuibu, also pledged more projects that would impact lives of the people at the grassroots, and cushion the effects of federal government policies on the people in his council.
The Council boss made the revelation earlier this month at the commissioning of a block of five classrooms at the Local Government Primary School, Oreta, Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA, built by his administration,
The revelation confirmed what many have been saying, and concerned residents have been reacting.
Comrade Olasoji Micheal, Chairman of the African Action Congress (AAC), Ikorodu Division, reacting, commended the Council boss for the revelation and what his administration has been able to achieve, but also charged him to do more.
“We salute your courage for telling the people of Igbobo, about the increment in the allocation coming from the federation to the council’s account. The people of Igbogbo recognize and appreciate your progressive stewardship towards your community. You have embarked on different projects which have brought some levels of relief to the people”, Comrade Olasoji said.
“To us, to whom much is given, much is expected. We believe you can do better in the areas of human development, especially youths empowerment, in order to reduce cultism. You can also do better in making sure all roads belonging to your constituency are put in good shape, involve in agriculture practice and training etc”, he added.
The opposition leader also charged other Council Chairmen to step up their performances in view of the increase in their allocations, and embark on developmental projects and policies.
“We want other local council executives to step up their games, by implementing good and progressive policies. They should embark on developmental projects that would improve the welfare of the people, especially roads”, he said.
“Majority of our roads are in poor conditions. Since there are some levels of increase to their allocations, they should build and repair our roads. They should stop waiting for a Senator or House of Rep member to come and be doing their primary assignment for them. We can’t continue like this.
“We can hardly point to any significant projects done by these Council executives. Ijede LCDA chairperson, we are yet to see dividend of democracy and good governance in your council, same thing to other Local councils”, Comrade Olasoji said.
He charged the Council bosses on the need to make local government administration achieve its intended purposes as the closest government to the people.
“Local councils or government, is the government that is very close to the people, but we are not seeing or feeling their positive impact. It is high time all the local councils step up their games in Ikorodu as a whole, by being sincere and deliver good governance to the people of Ikorodu. We can’t remain backward”, he said.
“The local council executives should be transparent enough to let the people know how much is coming into the purse of the council from the federation, monthly, how much is their IGR, and how much is their expenses”, he charged.
“Accountability matters most in any progressive settings. We can’t afford to be taking excuses any longer”, he said.
An Economist and public analyst, Mr Oke Olaoluwa Godwin, who said that the allocation to the council may have increased by 300%, said that the council bosses have no reason to give any excuse, rather, they should deliver good governance.
“Since the removal of fuel subsidy, federal allocations to states and local governments have increased. Speculations in some quarters is that the allocation has increased by about 300%”, he said.
“The excuse of non – performance due to paucity of fund is no more tenable. The chairmen of all the local governments should brace up and get down to work.
“Ikorodu division is the most underserved community in Lagos state. The chairman should live to expectations of the masses and deliver on the dividends of democracy”, Oke charged Council bosses in Ikorodu.
Mr Seun Elesho, the Convener of REAL Initiatives, the body organizing the Political Legislative Debate every General Election year, while acknowledging that some of the Council Chairmen have been embarking on projects in recent time, also charged residents on the need to engage their administrators more on accountability.
“The increment in the allocation to local government is a result of some of the financial and fiscal engineering that the President Bola Hammed Tinubu, has put in place, hitherto, most of the revenue of the federal government is locked up in subsidy payment and defending the forex. Now that the market is said to be controlling many things, the federal government now has more funds to share with the local governments, which must be judiciously utilised”, Elseho explained.
“You will notice that some of our local governments have now become more responsive to the people. You can see some of them like Igbogbo/Bayeku LCDA building classrooms and Ikorodu Central too is building classrooms amongst others.
“The people need to call the local governments out more for accountability, and I am sure that the Local Government Chairmen are up to the task. We must encourage open governance”, he charged.
Another public analyst, Tayo Odesanya, in his own response, said that it is quite difficult to assess the Council chairmen’s performances in the recent times, since their monthly revenues from the Federation Account and their IGR are unknown.
“I’m actually not of the stock that bases assessments on nothingness, neither am I easily swayed by press reports no matter how much anyone floods the newspaper pages”, Tayo said.
“I’m unaware of how much they now collect as accountability hasn’t been their culture, hence finding it difficult to assess or score any of them on this development”, he added.
Oluwadiasporas, a public analyst and social media commentator, said that the Council Chairmen have been unable to account for what they have been getting before the increment.
“In all sincerity sir, I’ve not been on ground in a while, so I cannot confirm what they have been doing with it. So, it’s either they are actually doing nothing or they have very bad PR team, but I suspect the former”, he said.
“The question we’ve always asked is what they have been able to do with the little they’ve been getting in the past to justify the fact that they could do more, if they get more.
“In my own honest opinion, they’ve all not performed excellently well like they should”, he added.