Of legislative practices in Lagos councils
Sir: Of course, Lagos is known and respected for scoring many firsts in policies, laws and ideas for the betterment of its citizens. In many instances, it has shown over time that having the right leadership at the helm of affairs is just what a society needs to become the envy of its neighbours.
Yes, in the last two and half years, the state has witnessed unprecedented progress. You want to know why? The arms of government constantly decided to look away from human sentiments and work strictly with the law. We are lucky that as usual, we have a governor who believes in the rule of law and is always careful to ensure it takes preeminence in his bid to make the state the real Centre of Excellence. The various laws implemented as well as the resolutions worked on by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode attest to this position. Who benefits from such visionary leadership and smooth process of governance? Of course the residents of the state.
This then brings upon us the importance of the local government system in Nigeria and particularly, Lagos. It further brings to mind the need to strengthen that part of government since, as it is supposed to be, it is the nearest to the people of a state.
There is usually this voter apathy each time the local government elections are held. The simple reason and, maybe justifiably so, is that the local government, overtime, became the farthest of the three tiers thus beating its supposed importance. The state is now even closer to the people than local government. There are complaints by the public that they even hardly know their chairmen, councillors, supervisors and secretaries to the local governments and other appointees of that tier of government. The claim is that they are only seen during electioneering.
It is not supposed so. As part of the need to further strengthen the grassroots government and ensure that appointees at that level are in tandem with the operations at the state level, the House came up with the decision to constantly have nominees screened just like in the case of the appointment of commissioners and other such officers at the state level. This decision is a part of the Local Government Administrative Guidelines of the state.
Will this action accelerate the progress of the state? The answer does not need further argument. It is a big YES.
Mufutau Egberongbe is the special adviser on Political and Legislative Matters to Speaker Mudashiru Obasa of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
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