Aregbesola in a state-wide broadcast this morning also announced the dissolution of all caretaker committee members with immediate effect.
BELOW IS THE FULL TEXT OF THE BROADCAST:
My good people of Osun,
I am very happy to announce to you certain changes we are making at the local government system, in answer to the legitimate demands you have placed before us.
The importance of the local government cannot be overstated. It is where the government is designed to be closest to the people. While you need to follow some protocols for reasons of security and tight schedule before having an audience with a minister, a state governor or the president, you can walk in on your local government chairman or other officials of council.
Also, because the geographical space of the local government makes it the smallest unit of administration, it is easier to get things done at this level.
The local government is also the ideal training ground for political leadership. A presidential candidate has to travel round the country’s 36 states and Abuja while a governorship aspirant must tour all the local governments in his state. However, a chairmanship candidate only needs to cover his local government and the councillor just his ward.
In a democratic society, a citizen should be able to contribute to the administration of his or her local government in a meaningful way more than is possible at higher levels. A voice can be easily heard and a little gesture can be easily felt at the local government, than at the state or national levels.
In the advanced western democracies, the local government controls the police and provides municipal services like housing and physical planning, environmental sanitation, water, markets, healthcare and education. Some of these services are already being provided by the councils. Though we are not fully there yet but we are on the path and if we keep at it, we will get there.
Our communities also recognise the importance of the local government in development. This is why their various traditional rulers, religious leaders, youth leaders, market leaders and women leaders never cease to ask us to expand the platform of the local government in order to enhance their participation.
We carefully considered their request and set in motion the process for acceding to their demands. On June 18, 2012 we inaugurated a committee headed by Prof Mojeed Alabi, a former speaker of the State House of Assembly, to look into the modalities for creating more councils in accordance with the wishes of the people. That committee received 71 memoranda requesting new councils. It wrapped up its assignment and submitted its report on October 26, 2012. In April 2013, we set up a review committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Moshood Adeoti, to look into the Alabi committee’s report. After this, we sent the request to the state House of Assembly in form of an executive bill. The House also looked into the bill, set up a committee on it and subsequently, a referendum was held on February 19, 2015 in which the people of the state overwhelmingly gave a yes vote on the bill. After this, the house passed a bill creating 31 new Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), three Area Councils and two Administrative Offices. I have since signed this bill into law. The requests for new councils have been granted; all constitutional requirements have been met and the prescribed procedure followed to the letter.
My good people, I am pleased to inform you therefore that in place of the old order of only 30 local governments and an Area Office, we now have additional 31 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), three Area Councils and two Administrative Offices in accordance with the requests which you democratically placed before us. The list of the new LCDAs, Area Councils and Administrative Offices, their territories and headquarters will be published soon and is also available at the State House of Assembly, Ministry of Local Governments, Chieftaincy, Water Resources, Rural and Community Affairs and Local Government Service Commission.
The management committees made up of the executive secretaries, deputy executive secretaries, scribes, members and special advisers have acted excellently, astutely managed scarce resources and faithfully served their communities. However, financial and other considerations have forced us to adopt a new parliamentary system which is compact, efficient and better, in the present circumstance. The management committees of the 30 Local Councils and Area Office are hereby dissolved and their Executive Secretaries, deputy executive secretaries, members, Special Advisers and other functionaries removed.
In the interim, the entire local government system will be managed by Council Managers for three months. These managers shall be appointed and deployed by Local Government Service Commission from among the substantive grade level 14 officers in the local governments. Grade level 15 officers and above at the local governments should consequently report to the Local Government Service Commission for further briefing.
|GOV. RAUF AREGBESOLA OF OSUN STATE|
Many would be wondering and asking: why create more councils at this special time of financial challenges? We have also given sufficient consideration to this. With this new parliamentary system, it will cost less to run the new councils and save a lot of money for the government than in the past.
The primary responsibilities of our new local government system are sanitation, market management and revenue mobilisation and generation. This is consistent with local government administration worldwide.
The beauty of this new system is its parliamentary nature, which requires the chairman and the vice chairman to be elected by the councillors from among their own ranks, thereby saving cost. We shall therefore be saving a huge cost with this new system.
In addition, the same number of staff will still run all the councils, as no new appointments will be made to existing ones. We shall make the most judicious use of our revenues in such a way that increasing the number of councils will least constitute any financial burden.
I will like to thank the executive secretaries of the 30 councils and area office that have just dropped the baton, for service well rendered to their communities, our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) and humanity at large. They have been part of our development efforts and I am proud of them all.
I will also like to thank the honourable members of the state House of Assembly, especially the Speaker, Rt. Honourable Najeemdeen Folasayo Salaam, for meticulously and favourably looking at our proposal for a more enhanced council system.
I will like to thank you all, especially at the grassroots. These are my people, the farmers, women and women groups, market women and men, civil servants, teachers, senior citizens, traders, artisans, workers, students, transporters, drivers, commercial motorcyclists, traditional rulers, community leaders and religious leaders; for your support at all times, for your faith in us and your unyielding desire for increased participation at the local government. We are a great people and we shall not cease to do great things.
Let me remind you once again of the need to support the government maximally by paying your taxes, levies and dues.
I thank you all for your kind attention.
Osun a dara!