WHY LAGOS LG CHAIRMEN CAN'T PERFORM -FASHOLA
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola yesterday, attributed the non-performance of local governments in the state to huge wage bills.
Fashola who disclosed this on the occasion of his administration's 1,800 days in office, marked at the state's auditorium, Ikeja, appealed to the striking medical doctors in the state's employ, to return to work for the sake of Lagosians, especially the sick ones whose lives are at risk owing to doctors' abandonment of their duty posts.
The governor, amid a barrage of criticisms trailing the non-performance of local government administration in the state and concerns by the former deputy governor of the state, Mrs. Sinatu Ojikutu to call the council bosses to order, said he would not interfere in local governments administration in the state. He added that the same way the Federal Government couldn't interfere in the administration of Lagos State he would not also interfere in the affairs of the councils.
According to him, despite that democracy is the best system of government, it does not guarantee good governance , pointing out that the criticisms bordering on poor performance and near absence of service delivery at the grassroots could be traced to a number of factors. He said instead of people engaging in armchair criticisms, they should engage the local government chairmen positively as they do with state government.
According to him, 'I accept that there is a lot that can be done but let us also understand the kind of constitution that we operate in the country. This is a kind of constitution in which we elect these local government chairmen. 'They were not appointed and therefore I can only relate with them on the basis of shared mission and persuasion in the same way an elected president cannot tell me how to run my state. So I do not see why an elected governor should go and tell an elected council chairman how to run his or her local government.
'But we can work together and we have been working together. There are challenges in the local governments given the enormity of the responsibility that they deal with. They employ large number of people which include primary school teachers and Primary Health Centre workers.'They barely have enough after paying the salary of their workers.
This is because the local governments have become the tier of government that we push our children to for employment after the completion of their education.
This is the reality. After the payment of salaries, there is not a lot left for them to deal with,' he explained.
Fashola said the state government has target within the next few months to collectively work together with the council bosses in the area of Primary Health Care, sanitation, waste management and primary education. The governor also hinted that there were plans in the short term to build Primary Health Centres (PHCs) in collaboration with the councils that would deliver 24-hour services to the residents of Lagos, saying ' Both governments are committed to this project.
'Both governments have also jointly committed themselves to a reliable primary education'.