BY FRANCIS OKOYE
Stake holders including the media, civil society, communities and the voice to the people (V2P) project in Anambra State has given reasons why the Anambra State Government should conduct credible LGA elections in the 21 LGA of the state in 2016.
According to them ‘local government can be defined as a political authority which is purposefully created by law or constitution for local communities by which they manage their local public affairs within the law / constitution. It is seen as the closest government to the people and sees to the welfare and interest of the local dwellers under the local government system’.
The stake holders reveal that the local government can help the state drive development in many areas like Agriculture, sensitization and mobilization, infrastructural development, health and finance.
Explaining further in the area of Agriculture, it is believed that 70% of Nigeria labour force is employed in agriculture and they live in the rural areas. In fact, the local government is a sound base through which State Government Plan for food sufficiency could be attained with the aid of state Agricultural Development Programme (ADP) and this would curtail unemployment and curtail rural-urban migration which leads to prostitution, armed robbery, kidnapping and other vices.
In the matter of sensitization and mobilization-The local government is the closest government to every citizen, and it avails the state government the opportunity to tap into ,for sensitizing and mobilizing the people.
As for infrastructure, it does not make sense that the state government will go to Ossamalla community to commission a bore hole water project or a small drainage project in Anaku community or 5 stand pole street light in Umuoji which primarily should be duty of LG chairman, ward councilors and Heads of LG Departments
Coming to Health, the stakeholders says that the Local Government is legally an institution responsible for Health Services and care for the citizens. The local government is in a position to know when any epidemic occurs in their areas, to stop the spread. This will only be realized when our local government system is democratic and have a functional health department.
The stakeholders also called for the abolishing of Joint Action Committee (JAC), which managing LGA funds, JAC according to them gives states ample opportunity to hijack such funds and that is why most LGA’s are not performing up to expectations. It commended states like Kaduna States, which has abolished JAC, making it possible for revenue from the revenue Account to go directly to each LGA in the state-a development which world empower LGA’s to carry out their duties and bring government and development nearer to the people.
BY FRANCIS OKOYE