Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, has described chairmen of local governments in the state and the federation as not meeting the expectations of the people.
Ikuforiji stated this recently when top officials of the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) paid him a courtesy visit.
The Speaker, while pleading with the NULGE officials to support the council chairmen, told them that, “if the state is going to move forward, the component part, which is the local councils, must be working well.
“If there is anything to offer the people it is good governance at the local level.
“A large number of the House members are not satisfied with the performance of the councils in the state but we believe you can do better.
“So, NULGE can help to reduce and refocus the councils for better performance,” the Speaker urged.
Ikuforiji assured the NULGE of the solidarity of the Assembly in ensuring the success of the local government system, but said the authorities of local councils in the federation must be ready to do the right thing.
“The councils must perform excellently if we are serious about reducing the poverty level and raising the socio-economic status of our people,” he added.
He supported the autonomy being sought for the local government arm but said it should not be full autonomy as oversight functions on the chairmen is also important.
Head of the NULGE team, Comrade Lasisi Akinsanya, earlier solicited the support of the House towards granting autonomy to the local governments in the current constitution amendment, saying the campaign for the autonomy of the councils should be seen as an effort geared towards national development.
“It is a struggle and campaign to strengthen the local government system for optimal performance which, however, cannot erode the power of the House of Assembly to guide and monitor it through its constitutional functions
“What we have across the federation is a caricature of local government.
“It is, therefore, a serious issue that we have to pay attention to with all sense of patriotism if we are really committed to getting this country out of the woods,” he told the Speaker.