#Editorial

LCDAs: The Task Ahead

DEVELOPMENT is the quest of all nations. However, for developing countries like Nigeria, it has transcended beyond the pedestal of quest, and occupies the vital survival needs in contemporary times and international politics. However, the top-down development administration had not delivered the necessary impetus, acceptance and performance that would drive the nation and ensure the attainment of the sustainable development goals. China under Chairman Mao had understood that development must be driven from the grassroots, and the results are there to see today. In Nigeria, the local governments that should have ignited the development fire had been impeded by numerous challenges.

IN the first place, their constitutional roles have not captured the essence of development, and their performance had been hampered by the lack of autonomy, non-democratisation, bloated workforce, inadequacy, dislocation from the people and paucity of funds. Therefore, The Hope  finds it laudable that the Ondo State Government, beyond the fact that the “…establishment of these LCDAs marks the fulfillment of Governor Akeredolu’s campaign promises to meet the aspirations of the people for enhanced grassroots development”, and also “… underscores Governor Akeredolu’s unwavering commitment to improving public service delivery, as it aims at bringing governance closer to the people, ultimately resulting in more responsive and efficient services”, the creation of the LCDAs would tackle  some of the identified problems, strengthen the existing local governments, decongest the workload, bring government closer to the people, fast track development, increase the political participation of the grassroots in governance, and ensure that more people partake of the dividends of democracy.

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IN view of the identified purpose(s) of the LCDAs, The Hope  seeks to bring to the notice of the newly selected executives of the LCDAs that their appointment is not a call to ‘eat, drink and loot’.  Rather as pioneer Executives, they hold the responsibility of setting the focus, the goals, and targets of the LCDAs.

THE first hundred days in office must therefore remain dedicated to research. The Hope insists that the research must focus on their terms of reference, rules of engagement, powers, limits and interactions with traditional rulers and stakeholders in the various LCDAs. Furthermore, there is the need to visit all the nooks and crannies of the LCDAs to identify their needs, their areas of comparative advantage as well as the resources that can be derived from these areas for the purpose of national development.

THESE visitations and interactions would also promote intelligence gathering that would enhance the security of lives and property the state. For the political socialization and participation of the people in governance, town hall meetings as well as visitations are necessary for the LCDA Executives to begin their assignments productively.

IT takes competent staff and effective machinery to run any establishment for meaningful impact. In this light, we advocate that assets sharing committees should be inaugurated at the former Local Government Headquarters that would seek to give the new LCDAs staff and machines to start with pending their stability and independence.

Furthermore, the LCDAs should refrain from indiscriminate employment and use of funds that would lead to mismanagement and bloating of their meagre concurrent expenditure, thereby eroding the purpose of their creation.

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TO  this end, it is advisable that the State House of Assembly as well as the Ministry of local Government and Chieftaincy affairs through the Local Government Service Commission should organize trainings, seminars and symposia for the workers and the new Executives of the newly created LCDAs. It would also not be out of place to suggest that deliberate understudy of the Lagos LCDA system is essential. This is given the successes attained by LCDAs in Lagos over the years, and the economic gains which had accrued to the state through them. It is necessary to learn from the winning team, tap into their wealth of experience, take their modes of operation, and domesticate them, as much as possible.

QUICKLY reiterate that the failure of the State Government is a derivative of the inefficiency of the Local Government and now the LCDAs. Therefore, the task to place Ondo State on the global map of development, security and productivity lies on the shoulders of the newly appointed leaders of both the LCDAs and Local Governments. The tasks ahead therefore demand for brain and brawn, so arise and face the tasks and deliver successfully.

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