Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Saturday presided at the administering of oath of office on newly elected Chairmen of 20 Local Government Councils and 37 Local Council Development Areas in Lagos, urging all who desire good governance at the third tier to support clamour for a review of the current revenue allocation formula.
Governor Fashola who spoke at the Blueroof Hall, LTV 8 Complex, Agidingbi, Ikeja while addressing the gathering which included the national leader of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said the new formula should be in favour of increased revenue for the States and Local Governments.
He explained that a revenue allocation formula that gives 52 percent to the Federal Government which is further from the people and 26 percent and 20 percent to the States and Local Governments which are closer to the people will remain a huge hindrance to local development and the implementation of policies and programmes at the local level.
The Governor said the new Chairmen are taking office at a time when the world attention is focused on the attainment of certain targets within the time frame of 2000-2015, adding that the goals ordinarily should be minimum goals of any society, which are now referred to as Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
â€œThese goals which have been described as the worldâ€™s time bound and quantified targets for addressing extreme poverty in its many dimensions consists of eight goals namely-eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, achievement of universal primary education, promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women, reduction of child mortality, improvement of maternal health, combating HIV/AIDS, malaria and other diseases, ensuring environmental sustainability and development of a global partnership for development,â€ he explained.
The Governor charged that under the 4th Schedule of the 1999 Constitution, the responsibilities for primary health, sanitation and primary education, if successfully discharged will impact the delivery of other goals such as reduction of poverty, disease control and infant and maternal mortality.
He gave a commitment that in spite of the doomsday prophecies that abound from the West, Lagos will meet and exceed at least four of the goals and make significant progress with others.
â€œState Government acting alone cannot do this. A partnership with you is critical to the attainment of these laudable goals. To this end as your primary assignment, we will expect you to focus on the primary healthcare system, primary education, sanitation and empowerment of women. These would form the basis of the policy thrust of our Local Government administration.â€
The Governor emphasised that the State Government will not tolerate any act of indolence on the part of the Chairmen, adding that service to the people must be taken with all the seriousness it deserves.
Said he: â€œIn the discharge of your duties, while we encourage you to be firm, we equally expect you to show compassion by bringing human face to bear in your dealings with our people.”
He said by October 31, when the newly inaugurated Chairmen are expected to resume office, after the expiration of the tenure of three years of the immediate past Chairmen, it means the State has achieved a consistency in tenure and cycle of Local Government administration.
He said the credit for the achievement which is the first in the country in terms of Local Government elections must go to the staff of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) under the leadership of Hon Justice Fatai Adeyinka.
In his words: â€œThis has ensured that elections have been held promptly to coincide with the end of the tenure of incumbent Chairmen, Vice Chairmen and Councillors. It is my view that this consistency of tenure and timing of elections will have a long term impact on policy planning and implementation and ultimately manifest in improved service delivery as we progress.â€
Governor Fashola stated that another milestone of the election is its contested nature, recalling that three years ago a few parties instigated by ACNâ€™S defeated but quarrelsome opponents chose to boycott the elections after failing to use the judiciary and federal executive to stop the elections.
â€œThis time they have sensibly, in my view, decided to contest, and it is instructive to mention that they contested across 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas.â€
The Governor also commended them for their sense of participation because it is the essence of the participatory democracy that Nigeria preaches as it will enrich the system and promote a contest and intercourse of ideas.
He also congratulated the Action Congress of Nigeria and all the victorious elected officials for their overwhelming majority and victory, stating that it is the result of a vigorous and energetic campaign by the candidates and the party led by the national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
â€œFor me this contest across board signals the end of the dispute over the legality of the 57 Local Governments of Lagos State. What must therefore become uppermost in our minds today is to deliver the promise of good governance that inspired the restructuring of the Local Governments.â€
Governor Fashola reminded the Chairmen that the victories they recorded did not come by their personal capabilities alone but due to the trust of Lagosians in the Action Congress of Nigeria and their firm belief in the capacity to deliver on its electoral promises.
â€œThis is a trust you must ensure is kept on the front burner through diligence, hard work and service to our people. You asked for this job and we expect you to discharge the responsibilities diligently.
â€œIn the discharge of your duties, while we encourage you to be firm, we equally expect you to show compassion by bringing a human face to bear in your dealings with our people,â€ the Governor said.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Mr Ademorin Kuye urged the new Chairmen to be focused, determined and committed to service delivery as they would be required to toil day and night in the service of the 18.6 million Lagosians whose hopes and aspirations depend largely on them.
â€œYou have a commitment to diligently serve the people of Lagos State who through their overwhelming votes gave you the mandate to assume governance at your various Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas.
â€œWhile I congratulate the newly elected Chairmen and their deputies who are being sworn in to today, I urge you all to stand firmt in defence of our legitimate and collective aspirations in order to build a new Lagos and a truly fiscal federation where the welfare of the local populace would be adequately recognised and addressed, where conflicts arising from suppressed local aspiration could be truly attended to,â€ Mr Kuye stated.
Prominent among those who attended the colourful ceremony were the Deputy Governor, Princess Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, former Deputy Governor, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, members of the State Executive Council, the Deputy Speaker, State House of Assembly, Hon. Kolawole Taiwo, the Senators representing Lagos Central and East Senatorial Districts, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and Senator Gbenga Ashafa respectively, members of the House of Representatives representing the State, members of the State House of Assembly, the Oba of Lagos of Lagos, HRM Oba Rilwan Aremu Akiolu 1, and the State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Otunba Henry Ajomale.
The new Chairmen sworn in include Mr Shuaibu Fatai for Ifelodun, Mr Bamgbose Joseph for Badagry West, Mr Olufemi Durosinmi -Agboyi Ketu, Mr Olaleye Shamsudeen for Isolo, Hon. Akinyemi â€“Obe Adetutu for Coker-Aguda, Mr Abudu Amida for Olorunda, Mr Hakeem Gbamgbola-Itire-Ikate, Mr Oke Oloruntoba- Ifako Ijaiye, Mr Sofola Babatunde-Kosofe, Mr Basanya Adegbenga- Igbogbo/Baiyeku, Hon Oloro Julius â€“ Ojodu, Otunba Segun Agbaje -Epe, Mr Murisiq Durosinmi for Ojo, Adebayo Bello- Egbe-Idimu, Oyesanya Abdulfatai -Ikosi-Isheri, Mr Ibikunle Adebogun- Imota and Kamal Bayewu for Ajeromi Ifelodun.
Others are Ayodeji Joseph Apapa, Mrs Adesina Williams- Igando/ Ikotun, Owolabi Yisa for Eti- Osa East, Mr Sakiru Yusuf -Ayobo Ipaja, Mr Kamal Salau Bashua Lagos Island East, Mr Sheriff Anipole â€“Ikorodu,, Mr Ayodele Adebowale- Amuwo Odofin, Mr Olaitan Ogidan -Lekki, Mrs Olajumoke Jimbo- Ademehin Ikorodu West, Mr Adetola Ganiu Ikosi-Ejirin, Mr Babatunde Oke Onigbongbo, Mr Adepitan Babatunde- Mushin, Mr Wasiu Eshinlokun-Sanni- Lagos Island, Mr Adewale Rasak Adeniji- Ikoyi/ Obalende, Mrs Adeyeri Oseni Ramota Adebayo for Iba, Mr Jokomba Adeola Muhydeen- Ikorodu North, Mr Husitode Moses- Badagry, Hon Adekunle Sola -Alimosho, Prince Elegushi Olanrewaju- Eti Osa, Mr Omoyele Sulaimon -Bariga, Mr Hassan Adefarasin â€“Ijede, Mr Olabinjo Banjamin- Ojokoro and Mr Odunlami Adewale for Ikeja.Mr Sanusi Ibrahim -Oriade, Mr Adelaja Omolaja -Eredo, Mr Bago-Stowe Gbolahan- Shomolu, Mr Oladele Adekanye Mainland, Mr Semiu Olorunkemi Ibeju- Lekki, Mr Taofeek Adaranijo- Orile Agege, Mr Bamigbetan Kehinde -Ejigbo, Mr Adedayo Adesola- Apapa- Iganmu, Mr Mafe Abiodun â€“Mosan/ Okunola, , Mr Arogun Adeoye for Agbado- Okeodo, Hon Tajudeen Ajide- Surulere, Mr Yemi Alli- Odi-Olowo, Hon Olajide Jimoh for Yaba, Hon Bolaji Kayode for Oto Awori, Hon Bolaji Muse- Ariyoh for Oshodi Isolo and Mr Yomi Daramola for Iru/Victoria Island.