The Office of the Auditor-General for Local Government Areas in Lagos State has embarked on an inspection of capital projects in the 20 local government and 37 local council development areas in the state.
The tour, which was flagged off at the Yaba Local Council Development Area last week, was aimed at providing a reliable and functional basis for inter-local government comparison of performance and to enable the office to find out how judicious the local governments had use money allocated to them.
A statement made available by the Permanent Secretary/Auditor-General for Local Governments, Mr. M.M. Hassan, said that the exercise, which would be the third of its kind, is to assess specific projects undertaken and completed between July 2009 and June 2010.
According to him, the exercise will be supervised by qualified engineers from the stateâ€™s Ministry of Works, Lagos State Development and Property Corporation and Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Development Authority.
Hassan noted that the last exercise, which was carried out in August 2009, covered projects executed between July 2007 and June 2009.
Hassan said that Yaba LCDA was chosen for the flagoff because of the satisfaction of auditors following a diligent appraisal of the projects executed by the council.
Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye, said that his ministry would also closely monitor the councils to ensure that they live up to expectation.
The Chairman, Olajide Raheem Jimoh, said that the inspection would foster the existing control mechanism and assist the councils to uphold public trust and accountability in grassroots governance.
â€œGone were the days when local government officials formulated grandiose policies and executed white elephant projects without much checks and balances. The people of Lagos have woken up from their lethargy,â€ he said, adding that Lagos residents are demanding for transparency and accountability from state and council functionaries on the various radio and television programmes, while various professional bodies have also not relented in their scrutiny of council activities.”
The first project to be inspected in Yaba, was the road project executed by the council along Thorburn Street.
In another development, Jide Jimoh has identified poor health awareness of the people as the main cause of sickness and death.
He made this known at the kickoff of the First Yaba Healthcare Forum last Thursday.
According to him, any serious government will make the health of its people a top priority.
â€œWe have come to realise that no matter the health service programmes we organise or the intervention programmes we carry out, if the health practices of the people were bad, we cannot make much impact,â€ he stressed,â€ adding that to this end, experts were invited to enlighten the people on how to improve health standards and reduce frequent trips to the hospital.
Describing the forum as unique, Jimoh said â€œYaba LCDA is the first among the 59 local government and council development areas to take such initiative. So we look forward to developing a health data bank for the council within the next one year.â€
Consultant and publisher, Healthcare magazine, Dr. Bola Olaosebikan, said the forum is a direct Public Private Partnership (PPP) programme to enlighten the public. He added that it is an opportunity for medical experts to educate the public on disease prevention and new methods of promoting health.