FASHOLA FINGERS CONSTITUTIONAL FLAWS AS BANE OF LOCAL COUNCILS PERFORMANCE
The Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has blamed the country's constitutional flaws as the major clog in the wheel of the nation's rapid development. Fashola, who stated this while congratulating the newly elected Chairmen of the local government councils, noted that the constitutional imbalance in the country has further aggravated the challenge of inadequate revenue allocation said to have hampered the optimum performance by the local government councils.
His words, 'Given the flaws in the constitution, some of the ways by which the local governments can be invigorated to improve service delivery is to focus on the responsibilities given to them.
'I will choose two of the functions namely, primary healthcare and primary education which constitute the fulcrum of two critical services namely health and education. When you look at a local government that is saddled with salary obligations that is beyond what its capacity can deal with. Where is the money to give service?'
Fashola further argued that, 'If you have a local government structure and a Federal revenue allocation formula where the national government keeps 52 per cent of the revenue, the 36 states share 26 per cent and 774 local governments and more are left with 20 percent. Just think of it, now, which is the government that is closest and most impact to the people. But, sadly, it is the government that has the least revenue,' he added. The governor also reasoned that the present system is not sustainable, pointing out that the country is swimming against the tide.
'Every time there is a governmental failure, let us look at the risks impact. If you keep 52 percent, once there is a failure, there is a 52 per cent failure and so whether you now aggregate the states and local governments together, you can only get a 46 percent success at the very best. If this country's economy was working at 52 percent, we would not be agonizing the way we are,' he added.