The Lagos State House of Assembly on Monday disagreed with some local government chairpersons over the latter’s claims of paucity of funds as a hindrance to the development of infrastructure in their Local Government Areas (LGAs).
The Chair, House Committee on Local Government and Community Affairs, Olayiwola Olawale, made his feelings known in Ikorodu during an oversight tour of the LGA and the Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the zone.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that other members of the house committee were Joseph Kehinde, Alimosho II, Rasheed Makinde, Ifako Ijaiye II, Nureni Akinsanya Mushin I, and Rauf Age-Sulaimon Amuwo Odofin II.
Mr Olawale disputed the claims of the council chairmen, arguing that there were enough funds flowing from the federal and state governments into local council coffers.
The lawmaker, representing Mushin Constituency II, noted that the issue was the lack of creative ways of generating funds to help the councils to develop their infrastructure.
Mr Olawale said the Ikorodu council and the LCDAs were surrounded by commercial ventures even though they were agrarian communities, adding that there was a need for them to be re-oriented and enlightened on how to generate funds.
“I don’t know what they mean by paucity of funds. You and I know that there is enough funds coming from the federal, as well as the state, into the local government administrations.
“What I discovered is that they are not putting genuine effort into the local administration of funds. They are not using their creative ways to generate funds.
“Agreed, it is an agrarian area but still surrounded by many commercial ventures that they can tap on.
“The leadership of the councils still needs to be re-orientated and enlightened on how to generate funds,” he said.
Corroborating, a member of the committee, Mr Kehinde said the claims of a paucity of funds was not tenable as the councils had not been able to measure up with the given allocation.
Mr Kehinde, representing Alimosho Constituency II, said he did not believe that Ikorodu Local Government Council did not have enough and questioned what they had been using their allocations for.
The lawmaker said most of them have yet to make severance payments to political office holders, as directed.
He said: “Before our visitation, I was one of those people that usually believed that Ikorodu did not have money.
“If they are saying they don’t have enough funds, are they judiciously spending the money they have collected,’’ he asked.
Earlier, some council chairpersons had lamented the paucity of funds as the reason undermining infrastructural development in their areas.
The Council Chair, Ikorodu West LCDA, Olajumoke Ademeyin-Jimbo, said efforts were being made to jerk up the revenue of the council in order to meet their infrastructural needs.
Mrs Ademeyin-Jimbo said the council needed money to rehabilitate the roads in its rural communities.
The Chair, Ikorodu Local Government, Wasiu Ayodeji, also acknowledged the challenge posed by the paucity of funds.
“The challenge is finance, especially with the splitting of Ikorodu Local Government into six.
“However, we are appealing to the state government and the assembly to come to our aid in terms of the development of infrastructure in the council areas,” he said.
Sesan Daini, chair, Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA, said that all the grey areas discovered by the house committee would be looked into, pointing out the councils would embark on more projects.
The Chair, Imota LCDA, Wasiu Agoro, said the council had improved on the provision of welfare for its staff and their internal revenue generation has also been enhanced.
Also, Adeola Banjo, the chair, Ikorodu North LCDA commended the committee for giving it a pass mark after inspecting some of the projects it carried out.
Mr Banjo promised to continue to do his best, adding that the commendation has encouraged him to do more.
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