Bauchi State governor, Mohammed Abdullahi Abubakar has identified local governments as the most effective arm of government that should be exploited in fighting poverty, wealth creation and in turning around the fortunes of the country, after the fall in global oil prices and activities of vandals in the Niger Delta region.
Governor Abubakar who was addressing the newly appointed local government care taker committee chairmen maintained that when local government councils optimally deal with core development issues like security, poverty alleviation, mass mobilization and social infrastructural development, states and federal governments will have less to do because “real African problems are rural based and require solutions at the rural local levels”.
The governor who stated this while having an interactive session with care taker committee chairmen of the 20 LGAs said radical measures must be put in place to proffer sustainable solutions to the myriads of problems in the country due to the difficulties being faced owing to paucity of resources in the nation. The governor regretted that past administrations in the country have turned local governments to mere offices where people “only visit at the end of the month to collect salaries.”
He charged the council care taker committee chairmen to be vanguards of progressive change which necessitates development to emanate from the rural areas especially “grassroots where the average voter is”, and cited agriculture as a veritable alternative to oil.
Governor Abubakar observed that power comes from God, but only uses others to give it to whom he pleases, and pointed out that all shades of opinion were reflected in the appointments of the care taker committee chairmen in order to give all stakeholders sense of belonging.
He therefore reminded the chairmen to ensure equity to all and charged them to improve the internally generated revenue of their council as government “will use the revenue they generate in paying their salaries” and therefore stressed that it is incumbent on them to block all leakages in their local governments.
Governor Abubakar revealed that the state government is making strategic adjustments on how to improve the internally generated revenue of the state without increasing tax, and directed all the council chairmen to reconstitute security committees and revitalize them in order to improve the peace and security being enjoyed in the state, which he said is the key to drawing the interest of prospective investors.
Speaking on behalf of the 20 council chairmen, the care taker
committee chairman of Bauchi local government council, Alhaji Adamu Abubakar Zannan Galambi stressed that local government councils in the state are now focusing attention on promoting good governance at the local government level and assured that they will help the governor to deliver on his electoral promises in line with the APC manifesto.
The chairman observed that with their appointment, people at the grassroots now have avenues to reach out to the government on how they want to be governed.