• EngoZ

Who is your Local Government Chairman?

Updated: Aug 15, 2018

Have you wondered why that big gutter you've been jumping over since you were born has never been attended to? Have you wondered why your streets and markets are always dirty? Have you wondered why the fire service is for decorative purposes only? Have you wondered why the issue of achieving security is still a mystery to us? Have you wondered why your local government area still wears the same deteriorating face since time immemorial with no sign of renovations or infrastructural development? Have you wondered why your local roads are elaborately and gallantly riddled with potholes that would put a crocodile to shame in swallowing prey, in this instance cars? Have you wondered why the simplest of things never get done in Nigeria?

Wonder no more because the forces that have blinded us to the reasons why, are on leave at the moment, soon to return if we still revert to our nonchalant positions.

Every election year we are besotted with aspiring politicians littering the streets with posters with enticing inscriptions like vote for Mr. Mmadu for LGA Chairman, vote for Mr. Lagbaja for Councillor Zone 2 Amuwo Odofin LGA. Currently, the Federal Government receives 52.68 per cent, States receive a share of 26.72 per cent and Local Government Areas receive 20.6 per cent. [1] Our favorite fixation would be to focus on the federal tier of  government (much rightly deserved, I have to add) for their inept and nonexistent effects on the lives of Nigerians despite such high revenue allocation, but we forget the state and local government, especially the local government which is the closest to the people. 

Let's educate ourselves a bit...

Nigeria has 774 local government areas (LGAs). Each local government area is administered by a Local Government Council. The Council comprises of a Chairman who is the Chief Executive of the LGA, and other elected members who are referred to as Councillors. The Chairman is normally elected, but can, under special circumstances, also be appointed. He/she supervises the activities of the local government and presides over all meetings of the Council. A Local Government Council is the pivot of socio-economic planning and development in its area of authority. Being also the tier of government closest to the people, it is considered a most important facilitator of economic and social development at the grassroots. [2]

Functions of the LGA

(a) Responsibility for basic environmental sanitation and other aspects of preventive health services; (b) Administration of maternity centres, dispensaries and leprosy clinics and Health Centres; (c) Construction and maintenance of roads and drains, excluding federal and state roads; (That dirty gutter you jump everyday to work, do you realize there's a body responsible to clean it up?) (d) Jurisdiction over local inland waterways not designated as international water ways; (e) Rural water supply and extension of urban water supply; (f) Construction, and maintenance of primary schools; (g) Agriculture and veterinary extension services; (h) Town Planning; (i) Care of markets, motor parks, and gardens; (j) Maintenance of law and order; and (k) Afforestation.

The Local Government should, in addition, provide:

i) Inspection of meat and abattoirs ii) Nursery, primary and adult-education iii) Information and public enlightenment iv) Scholarships and bursaries v) Public libraries and reading rooms vi) Agricultural and animal health extension services and veterinary clinics. vii) Fire services viii) Lighting and drainage ix) Support for arts and culture x) Control of pollution xi) Control of beggars and prostitution, xii) Homes for destitutes, the infirm and orphans xiii) Public utilities including road and water transport xiv) Public housing programmes xv) Regulation and control of buildings xvi) Town and country planning xvii) Operations of commercial undertakings xviii) Control of traffic and parking xix) Pipe sewerage systems Read more here So I ask, do you even know who your LGA chairman is? Do you know who your Councillors are? These are the people closest to you, they are the ones to address the simplistic issues that affect you the most, issues that define your existence as a human being. It's not cool any more to treat all things politics or politicians as sacred idols. 774 LGAs feeding fat off monthly or yearly allocations with no corresponding evidence where you live and nothing to show on your life is no joke. It is high time you got involved in your community and always have it at the back of your mind, the government is there to serve you. Sources: dailyindependentnig.comonlinenigeria.comafricaleadership.org

Photo Credits: blogs.punchng.comhttp://blogs.cfr.orgvoanews.comnytimes.com; guardian.ng

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