Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, on Tuesday inaugurated newly elected chairmen and vice chairmen for the 16 local government councils in the state, with a charge that they must make themselves accessible to the people.
Fayemi who told the new council bosses to priorities the welfare of Ekiti people above their personal interest, stated that as the people’s representatives in government, the local government chairmen must make “far-reaching impact on the lives of a lot of people”.
The governor urged them to key into the 5 pillar agenda of his administration which are aimed at eradicating poverty from the State and deliver the dividends of democracy to the grassroots.
He advised them to familiarize themselves with the Local Government Administration Laws and Local Government Service Commission Laws of Ekiti State in order to guide them on the operational activities of the council.
“As the government at the grassroots, you have to ensure that people-oriented programmes and projects are made your priorities. Whilst you should key into the State priorities, I also expect you to develop your own with your budget estimates with the support of the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development. In this regard, I enjoin you all to align with the state government policies and programmes as boldly and expressly enunciated in our 5-point agenda of governance, agriculture and rural development, social investments, knowledge economy and, infrastructure and industrial development”.
“You were chosen by your people because they believe in you. You are now their representatives in the government and equally the ambassadors of the government in your respective constituencies and Local Government Areas. You are therefore enjoined to relate with your people and make yourselves accessible even more than before”, he said.
Governor Fayemi who reiterated the commitment of his government to rural development said the inauguration of the new council chairmen was very auspicious as the State government was poised on executing many rural development projects as captured in the 2020 budget.
While urging them to be conscious of the prevailing financial situation in the country, the governor counselled the local government chairmen to boost Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in order to augment their allocations.
“As the closest government to the grassroots, our people are expecting much from you and you should not fail or disappoint them. The era of relying solely on allocations for programmes and projects is gone. It is imperative, therefore, for you to devise sustainable ways of boosting the IGR of your respective local government areas. You can achieve this by blocking all leakages and enshrine accountability in your revenue generation drive”, he said.
Fayemi who charged the two new commissioners on creativity and innovation expressed optimism that the duo would make a huge impact in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Arts, Culture and Tourism which they are to man.
The two new Commissioners are Mr Ayoola Owolabi (Finance) and Prof. Razaq Ojo Bakare (Arts, Culture and Tourism).
While responding on behalf of the newly sworn in chairmen, the chairman of Ado Local Government, Hon (Mrs) Motunde Fajuyi, promised that the council bosses would key into the rural development programme of the government and make positive impact on the lives of the people.
Mrs Fajuyi said Fayemi’s decision to allow a local government election to hold was a demonstration that he was irrevocably committed to deepening democracy.
She said the administration’s decision to rehabilitate 1,000 rural roads across the 16 local government areas was a pointer to the fact the Fayemi administration is mindful of the challenges at the grassroots.