Lagos Assembly approves budget for 20 LGs, 37 LCDAs

 Rotimi Olowo

Rotimi Olowo

The Lagos State House of Assembly has approved the 2016 Budget Estimates of the 20 local councils and 37 local council development reas (LCDAs) in the state.

The approval followed the presentation of the report of the Joint Committee on Y2016 Appropriation of the LGs and LCDAs in the state as presented on the floor of the House on yedterday by the Chairman of the House Committee on Budget and Economic Planning, Rotimi Olowo.

In the report, which was adopted as a resolution of the House, the sole administrators of the local councils were ordered to pay all outstanding debts in the councils.

The amount approved for each of the local governments ranges between one and two billion naira.councils and LCDAs should explore all revenue sources and block leakages in order to improve on their Internally Generated Revenue (IGRs). “The Committee on Local Government Administration and Community Affairs should monitor the payment of N8,575,000.00 being owed Mr. Adele Owolabi Elijah by the Apapa Local Council t.

“Provisions made for the payment of severance to past political office holders debts and outstanding liabilities of councils and LCDAs in the Y2016 Approved Budget should be adhered to, said the report.

“The leadership of the LGs/LCDAs are implored to reduce the number of non-pensionable staff in order to save monies for developmental projects.“The Commissioner for Finance and the State Accountant-General should esnure quarterly payment of the Land Use Charge and Wharf Landing fees to the councils and LCDAs in the state,” Olowo said in the report.

The local councils were also directed to seek approval of the House Committee on Local Government Administration and Community Affairs before obtaining bank loans.

In addition, the legislative arm of the councils were ordered to submit quarterly report of their activities to the House of Assembly in line with Section 35 (1) (8) of the Y2015 Guidelines on Administrative Procedure for Local Governments as amended.

FORMER President Olusegun Obasanjo has lamented what he called “injustice” being meted to the 774 local councils in the country by state governors.
Obasanjo, who spoke in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, regretted that the councils have been “encroached” upon by the state governments contrary to the vision of creating them as the third tier of government.

He spoke when he met with the national leadership of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), led by its National President, Ibraheem Khaleel, at his Hilltop residence.

According to him, it is saddening that all the councils had been neglected by the states, saying: “I wish I can help, but I am helpless.”His words, “I begin to wonder, if they (governors) can allow what they are doing to the local councils to be done to them. There is no exception to this bastardisation and encroachment on the councils by the states. Both (states and councils) are supposed to be tiers of government with each having its roles and functions, but that is not the case anymore.”

“As it is, I can only help you to shout and talk to the world. I do not have any executive power or legislative power. I am crippled. But we shall continue to talk until those who are reasonable among them change this attitude,” Obasanjo said.

The NULGE president said the union called on Obasanjo to appeal to him to rescue the local council system.Khaleel affirmed: “Only yesterday, Abia State governor said he cannot afford to raise N800 million to conduct council election. That is why we decided to come to appeal to you to use your experience to ensure that the local government system does not go into extinction.”



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