Wednesday, June 26, 2013

LG STUDY NETWORK in collaboration with ' letters to the editors platform 'of media Houses [ Tribune , the nation, vanguard,daily independent etc] will be profiling the achievements of outstanding council chairmen of the 774 LG to the Press.

Our writeup could mould and sway public opinion in your favour and accord you the necessary recognition all over the country.
Your subscribing to the project will enable us to keep you on retainer-ship for continuous writeup for one year running.


         call/text 08126494245,08030485016

                                            Dan Amor,
                                            Editorial Board member
                                            Daily Independent  
Jeff Nkwocha
Executive Director

                                           Musa  Wada
                                        Media consultant, Abuja      

Isah’s performance in Ankpa LG of Kogi

Chance, they say, governs all things; necessity, which is far from having the same purity, comes only later.
The emergence of Honourable Isah Abdul as the Chairman, Ankpa Local Government Area of Kogi State is an interesting tale of destiny. Or how else would one view the story of a seasoned bureaucrat holding the reins in the stormy, intriguing yet strategically important entity in the polity of Kogi state?
That is so because Isahis a simple, unassuming and focused civil servant at the local government level, who attained the pinnacle of his career as Director of Local Government.
But as chance would have it,while a peaceful retirement beckoned, a transition saw him calling the shots in Ankpa council being the DLG.
This development set a mood of expectations,cynicism and of course skepticism across the council. Again that was so because it is a very difficult task to govern people as this is regarding the council, it becomes even more complicated.
Good a thing, MrIsahdid not disappoint in the expectations cast upon him; he has proved that cynics only know the price of everything and the value of nothing.
The skepticism that built up he also ensured only remained notional to those who so nursed it. He proved, once again,that with challenges comes a man true mettle.
Through experience and determination he brought Ankpa council to the dawn of a new era. Juggling pragmatism and nuance,he was able to calm nerves and restore peace and security in the area by bringing stability and balance into the political ruling class, traditional institution and government business.
In the course of time,he built for himself a reassuring solid track record of administrator par excellence. Little wonder then when in 2001-2002, Prince Abubakar Audu, a former governor of the state, appointed him the sole administrator for the council.
During this period too, he displayed increased obligation to duty and dedication to performance. He is committed to integrated health and education as well as environmental sanitation.
He is famous for the involvement of community members and other stakeholders in the playing of key roles for achievement of developmental objectives.
Needless to say, since becoming DLG, Isah Abdul face has become a recurring decimal on the threshold of governance in the council. Following the dissolution of councils in the state by Governor Idris Wada, he was appointed to the position of liaison officer 1, a position he continued to occupy until his election as the chairman of the council.
The ambition and strength to move the council ahead on a sustainable course of growth is a necessity to which he must rise in order to justify the people trust and meet their yearnings.

•Musa Wada, 08035937424, writes in from Abuja.
Wednesday, 19 June 2013

Hon Ibrahim’s strides in Kogi’s govt

Gone are the days when leaders thread with conscience and are mindful of accountable stewardship. Gone is the era when leadership commits to general will and ensures better living conditions for the masses simply because it is their rights to be so provided for.
In these times of self-serving leadership disposition, finding one man who holds himself conscientiously accountable to the people, while wielding the strength, mystery and glory of leadership is akin to discovering an oasis in a desert.
There is still such a man in Honourable Umar Ibrahim, the Chairman, Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State. Ibrahim is a true testament to the desirable quality of our humanity and a worthy example of leadership.
Famous for his self-effacing humility, Honourable Ibrahim is both a successful businessman and politician. His philanthropy and concern for the less privileged is legendary.
He once told a friend that he would rather the earth opens up and swallows him than he goes to see a people in unpleasant circumstances and unable he unable to help out.
He is given to self-denying sacrifice so much so that he gives much of what he has to those who need more. Honourable Ibrahim, for as long as anybody can remember, has continued to extend the sympathies of his heart in what seems like an avowed determination to see that life deals a fair share to all humanity and that those whose time it is to die would die happy knowing that the best of what life had in store for them.
He has demonstrated that the fullness our hearts more the size of our bank account is a true measure of our humanity.
It is not surprising then for all good deeds never go unrewarded, that Honourable Ibrahim was appointed as special Adviser to Governor Ibrahim Idris on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.
In this position, he is reputed to have deployed his amiable personality and diplomacy in bringing about needed transformation and probity in the affairs of the department.
He continued to endear himself to the people who in turn yearned to have him in loftier positions.
The people’s wish for their man was granted when following the dissolution of the local government councils in the state, he became the liaison officer 1 for Bassa council.
Within the few months that he served as liaison officer 1 for the council, he recorded remarkable achievements which included among others the building of a modern local government secretariat, a standard central mosque, completion of the new NYSC lodge, vigorous pursuit of the upgrading of electricity to the national grid,as well as repairs and extension of road networks in the council.
Today, Ibrahim sits as the Chairman of Bassa Local Government Area of Kogi State and the people are in an upbeat mood,filled with expectation dream and hopes of a rendition of his characteristic goodness.
The challenges before him are legion. From household poverty to educational backwardness and inadequacy of institutional and social infrastructure,Honourable Umar must live up to his midas touch reputation.

•Musa Wada (08035937424 writes from Abuja.

Published in Letters in Tribune Newspaper
Monday, 24 June 2013 00:00

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Local Government Autonomy is the answer.

Local Government Autonomy is the answer. The Senate and House of Representative have respectively set up committees to review the 1999 constitution and the senate President David Mark, in setting up the 47 member senate committee had posed a number of questions. He asked, “How effective are the Local Government? Should they be made to function independently to the States? Is the joint State/Local Government Account still necessary? The question of Local Government effectiveness and the State/Local Government joint account has being in the front burner for a long time and it was generally agreed that anything short of granting administrative and fiscal autonomy to LG councils will not be acceptable to Nigerians. To buttress this point, let us look at the contributions of some prominent Nigerians in the issue. In one of his lectures captioned, “the individual, the party and National Unity”, Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi wrote, ‘then we have the issue of whether we have a two-tier Government or three -tier Government. The constitution is very clear because it refers to the third-tier as a Government but all the State Governments are united as one in not regarding the Local Government as an autonomous tier of Government. When all the Governors speak with one voice for a change I get very worried. But it sounds schizophrenic to me for the State Governors to be consistent in loudly advocating that the powers and financial allocations to the centre should be reduced, that the Federal Government should get off their backs, and yet, at the same time, they are not prepared to sanction and recognize the autonomous status for the third-tier of Government. Again, on the question of whether the State/Local Government account still necessary, let’s hear out what the former ALGON National President, Felix Akhabue said, “A situation where allocation already made to the Local Government by the Federation Account Committee (FACC) is subjected to redistribution by the State Government is a clear breach of the constitution. The question is can the Federal Government police funds disbursed to the State Government from the Federation account? The answer is clear No, then where those the State derive the legal and moral backing to do the same to the local Government. Statutory allocations to each tier of Government should be sacrosanct. It is only by being so that you can hold that tier of Government responsible and accountable. Senator Ike Ekweremadu, towing the same line also wrote “In 2002, the State Government brought a suit against the Federal Government for deducting first line charges for joint venture investment in oil sector, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation priority projects and external dept service. While the supreme court judgment favoured the State Governments, it appears that most States are guilty of the same act as the Local Government in many instances have continued to suffer fiscal emasculation in the hands of State Governments. Finally, now that we have the opportunity to amend the constitution, let us determine once and for all the uniform policy of Local Government administration with regard to structure, tenure, administrative independence and fiscal autonomy. This is the only way we can guarantee even development to our communities and spread the dividends of democracy to the people. Jeff Nkwocha LG Study Network 08030485016

Friday, February 10, 2012

Prince Abass Aleshinloye and Development of Oluyole Local Government Area

Prince Ayodeji Abass Aleshinloye

Local government councils are the arm of Government closest to the grassroots and from which people and the communities expect the most dividends of democracy but this hardly come true because of lack of adequate funding,undue interference from state governments etc.

Regardless, some smart managers of these establishments have been able to use the limited resources at their disposal to make appreciable impact on local communities.

For instance, Oluyole Local Government Area of Oyo Sate has been reworked under the able leadership of Prince Abass Aleshinloye, the executive caretaker committee chairman. Prince Aleshinloye anchored his developmental stride on Road construction, health care delivery, education and workers welfare.

Indeed, a major milestone has been achieved in road rehabilitation, he has not only embarked on massive grading of all earth roads, he has flagged off the tarring of major road at Odo-Ona Elewe and Olomi side at Ile Sheu.

On healthcare delivery, Hon. Aleshinloye policy of partnering with Non Governmental Organization like the Lions Club is paying off as over 1150 free eye glasses has been distributed across the LG Area. 30 patients receive free surgery operations and there is a program of free medical check-up to the people. Education is not left out as free exercise books are procured and distributed to secondary and primary school pupils on regular basis.

In rallying support for his Government from corporate organizations, NGOs and other stakeholders in the council Area, Prince Aleshinloye said, “we believe that government cannot be running all alone and you cannot sit down and be waiting for the monthly allocation, we have to move so as to be able to do things for the benefit of our people''.

Jeff Nkwocha

LG Study Network

warri Delta State


Thursday, December 29, 2011

Hon.Nsirim and Obio/ Akpor LG re-election victory

Hon.Nsirim and Obio/ Akpor LG re-election victory

Written by Jeff Nkwocha Tuesday, 28 June 2011

There is a big lesson to be learnt from the outcome of the last LG elections in Rivers State, in which the incumbent chairman of Obio/Akpor LG , Prince Timothy Nsirim, JP and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) won overwhelmingly.

The lesson for politicians who hold public office is that the electorate do appreciate and indeed reward outstanding performance by holders of public office. In the case of Obio/Akpor LG, the people truly appreciated the monumental achievements recorded by Hon. Nsirim's administration during its first tenure.
This appreciation was expressed in the ballot box which gave him 118,026 votes to trounce his closet rival who got 1,349 votes.

But Prince Nsirim's success in the polls did not come overnight. It was a product of four years of hard work and transformational leadership offered by his administration in the Local Government council.On assumption of office in 2007, the LG Boss left no one in doubt about his mission to transform Obio/Akpor to a model council Area.

He has proved to his people the essence of developpmental governance at the grassroots. From the length and breadth of Obio/Akpor Local Government are torrents of excitement of Nsirim's laudable achievements and success story.

Prince Nsirim JP, has in the past four years taken the administrative political entity within his jurisdiction to higher pedestal and invariably raising the standard of living of the people in complementing the developmental initiatives of the Governor of Rivers State, Right Honourable Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi. Nsirim, within the period under review, implemented projects in various sectors and Wards in the local government.

On road projects Nsirim committed council funds to provide 16 link roads in various parts of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council. The link riads include: Chakara/Mission Road Choba, 1.2 km; New Jelusalem Road Eliozu, 1.2 km; Rumuesara Road Eneka, 1.1 km; Palace Street Woji, 400 meters; Thompson Ichegbo Street; Rukpakwadima; Rumuodomaya, 450 meters; Anaka Road Ogbogoro, 900 m; Odoluku Road Elelenwo, 1 km; Isaiah/Odolu Road Rumueme, 1.1 km; Okocha Street Rumuigbo, about 600m; Ihunwo Street Rumuepirikom; Canaan Avenue Rumueperikom, 480 m; Worlu Street Rumuigbo, 400m; Omarunma Road Rumuadolu, 1.1 km; Wobo Street Rumueme, 600m; Amadi Street Rumueme, 1.2 km; Oriebe Road Ozuoba, 1.2km; Okoa Street; Rumuigbo, 400m.
Other projects include Clearing and Dredging of Rumueme Section of Ntawogba Channel; Reconstruction of Parade Ground and Council Cenotaph; Face lift of Rumuokoro and Rumuokwuta Roundabout with National colours.

In fulfilment of his campaign promise to empower women, widows, youths and create employment, Nsirim embarked on market projects to boost commerce and encourage handicrafts. These include International Market with state of the art abattoir at Rukpukwu; 20 open stalls at Rumuagholu Market;
20 open stalls at Rumuoduwere Elelenwo; Lock-up shops at Rumueme; 20 open stalls at Eliozu Market; 20 open stalls at Rumueme Market; Lock-up shops Rumueme; 20 open stalls at Mgbuoba Market; 20 open stalls at Ozuoba Market; 20 open stalls at Rumuekini; 20 open stalls at Elelenwo; 20 open stalls at Rumuolumeni Market, Rumunduru Origwe; 20 open stalls at Rumuokwurusi; 20 open stalls at Rumuoliumeni; 20 open stalls at Rumuodomaya; 20 open stalls at Eriebe; 20 open stalls at Oginigba; 20 open stalls at Rumuomasi; 20 open stalls at Mgbuosini Ora, Azi Rumueme; 20 open stalls at Eliopranwo; 20 open stalls at Mile 4 Market, Rumueme; 20 open stalls at Obi Wali road, Rumuigbo; 20 open stalls at Rumuokwuta; 20 open stalls at Ahia Ezi, Rumuoji Eneka; 20 open stalls at Rumuepirikom Market, etc.
The chairman also constructed standard boreholes in several communities of the 17 wards of the local government area to provide portable water to the indigenes. Communities that benefitted from this scheme include: Rumuodara, drilling and installation, Ward 1; Oroigwe, reactivation/maintenance, Ward 1; Mgbuesilaru and Rumunduru, Ward 2; Rumuokwurusi and Atali, Ward 3; Rumuodomaya and Rumuobochi, Ward 4; Rumuodunwere and Rumueheleze, Ward 5; Oginigba and Rumuogba, Ward 6; Eliogbolo and Elieke, Ward 7; Ayolu nu Inyanwa and Rumuezeolu Community, Ward 8; Elioparanwo and Wike Road, Ward 9; Oro-Akor and Oro Azi, Ward 10; Rumukpakani and Rumuchiolu, Ward 11; Rumuomi and Rumuorosi, Ward 12; Olanada and Rumuoganuolu, Ward 13; Rumuehinwo and Rumapu, Ward 14; Rumuekini and Alakahia, Ward 15; Ozuoba and Rumuokwachi, Ward 16; Mgbuakara and Mgbuoshimini, Ward 17; Rukpokwu Water Scheme with generator; Council Secretariat Water Scheme and a lot of other water projects for various communities.

The take over of the payment of primary school teacher's salaries by the State Government generated respite for Nsirim. The council boss utilized the funds that would have been expended on salaries to provide succour for the less privileged and disabled students and scholars of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. Some of the beneficiaries include: Igwe George (Trainee Pilot), Professor J. O. Akaninwor (International Research), Adiele Favour. Others include Akandu Ikechi, Chimene Chinda, Emenike Eziwho, Amadi Collins, Igweh Bright, Kunge Ozioms, Job Peter O., Ndamati Bright, Omakalu Kamalu, Ozuru Philip, Weli Oluwene, Worlu O. charles, Worlu Amaewhule.

Nsirim also sponsored over 30 students to Law Schools in Abuja, Enugu, Lagos and Kano. The governor's policy thrust of overhauling, strengthening and delivering efficient and effective, affordable primary, secondary and tertiary health care services to the people, received a boost in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area. In his complementary responsibilities Nsirim spent public funds on the implementation of policies and programmes on Roll Black Malaria, HIV/AIDS, Tuberculosis, leprosy, as well as environmental health.

In the recent Health Care Delivery Survey by World Health Organization (WHO) in Rivers State, Obio/Akpor Local Government was declared the best among the 23 local governments.

On power generation,several communities in the 17 Wards, notably Eliowhani, Rumuekini, Rukpakolusi, Rumuchinda, etc, were provided transformers by the chairman to enhance electricity distribution. Skills acquisition facilities were provided at Rumuepirikom. These include: computers, printers, Office furniture, for business centers, as well as hair dressing equipments for saloon and sewing machines.

Despite land constraints, the incumbent Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council built an ultra modern fish farm at Rumuekini, to boost agricultural productivity.

Though not necessarily considering this as achievement but expected responsibilities, it is remarkable that the Chairman renovated six office blocks, provided utility vehicles and modern office furniture.

This compendium is widely believed to have situated Nsirim within the realm of superintending grassroots developmental governance that is in compliance with Millennium Development Goals and capable of generating potent stimulant for growth and sustainability of democracy in Nigeria.

Jeff Nkwocha
LG Study Network

Reform Local Government system now

Date Published: 06/16/11

Reform Local Government system now by Jeff Nkwocha

Dear Editor,

Federal government has initiated a number of reforms to position the financial Institutions, the police, electoral system and Nigeria stock exchange for service delivery.Nigerians were taken aback to learn that several attempts to reposition LG system since 1999 had failed.

In one of his lectures with the theme, Reposition local Government administration to meet the challenges of vision 20-20-20, senator Ike Ekweremadu said,"It also logically follows that without prejudice to problems requiring policy interventions and political will, the local Governments need constitution review interventions to reposition them for challenges of good governance, sustainable development and vision 20-20-20.

In the same vein, the sun newspaper in its recent editorial page had highlighed the plight and the way forward for the third tier of government and I quote, "Local government administration and control remains one knotty problem in the present democratic dispensation. Since the restoration of democracy in the country 12 years ago, the Federal Government has oftentimes been at loggerheads with the state governments, particularly over the composition of local governments and the control of their funds. The disagreement between the Federal and state governments has its roots in how the councils are managed, especially with regard to their expenditure.

The major bone of contention is whether the management of the councils should be the responsibility of the states. The other issue is that the local government system has been so greatly undermined to the extent that it cannot effectively play its role as agent of development at the grassroots, in spite of huge monthly allocations from the Federation Account. Some overbearing state governors who withhold huge chunks of council funds undermine the local government system in the Nigeria.

Within the last couple of years, several attempts made to resolve the issue stretched to the Supreme Court. On more than three occasions in the last 12 years, the apex court delivered landmark judgments on issues affecting management of local governments. One of these judgments was on the tenure of local council leadership. Another held that the Federal Government had no right to withhold council funds. The 1999 Constitution, as recently amended, has created more problems, as many issues remain unresolved.

Everything considered, the future of local governments appears bleak if genuine review of the system is not carried out urgently. The present arrangement is no longer consistent with emerging democratic realities. Any meaningful review must be such that should be based on the peculiar exigencies of the states. It is in the best interest of fiscal federalism to allow the states arrange how best to run the councils.

With 12 unbroken years of democratic practice, nothing less than a strong and reasonably independent local government system that will drive development at the grassroots will do. The time has come for the political leadership of the country to work out a roadmap for the management of the local governments in line with their constitutionally assigned duties. The new arrangement must determine, clearly, such issues as the mode of election, tenure of elected members as well as income generation, accountability and financial control. The current situation in which local governments exist at the mercy of state governments is no longer acceptable. We, therefore, call for a review or outright abolition of the states/local governments joint account to allow for more autonomy for the councils, albeit with in-built mechanism to check financial recklessness by council leaders.

Democracy achieves its purpose when the interests of the people are well served. That noble objective will continue to be undermined if the local government system as presently constituted is not comprehensively reviewed.

If we are to promote rapid development in this country,effective changes has to be effected in our councils areas.

Jeff Nkwocha

LG Study Network


Monday, December 26, 2011

State Governors and LG’s allocations

State Governors and LG’s allocations

The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) in its economic report for the third quarter of 2011 announced that the total receipts by the 774 LG councils from the Federation and VAT pool Accounts for the period of July, August and September was N493.77 billion. The question is does this money actually reach the local government councils. The answer is No. Media report indicated how allocations to LGAs’ were been high jacked by state governors, used for electioneering campaigns, shared among traditional rulers, political God-fathers, members of state assemblies or out rightly diverted to non-exiting projects.

The latest criminal fad now is state governors redistribute allocations to LG from the federation account and give less than N20 million to each council to pay salaries, and take care of their overhead costs.

In his memo to Nigerians, Hon. Felix Akhabue, National President of Association of local government of Nigeria ALGON, said, ‘A situation where allocations already made to the local governments by the Federation Allocation Account Committee (FAAC) are subjected to redistribution by the state government is a clear breach of the constitution. The question is can the federal government police funds disbursed to the state governments from federation account. The answer is a clear NO. Then where does the state derive the legal and moral backing to do the same to local governments. Statutory allocations to each tier of government should be sacrosanct; it is only by being so that you can hold that tier of government responsible and accountable’.

If we are to reposition our councils for effective services delivery to the people, eradicate poverty, provide infrastructure, the constitution should be amended to stop meddling with council finances by the states.

•Jeff Nkwocha
LG Study Network
Warri Delta state