By Adekola Afolabi
The Ondo State House of Assembly has said it would continue to maintain robust and smooth relationship with all members of the State Executive Council to ensure all-round development of the state.
The Chairman, Ondo State House of Assembly Committee on Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Jamiu Maito who gave the assurance during the committee’s oversight visit to the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, also said what is paramount to the Assembly is the success of the present administration and the interest of the people of the state.
Maito charged the ministry to do more on monitoring the activities of local governments, especially in the area of projects execution, as a supervisory ministry, to further ensure that the people at the grass roots are not shortchanged but enjoy real dividends of democracy.
He specifically told the Commissioner in charge of the ministry, Deaconess Lola Fagbemi, that the committee was not happy with what it saw during its recent oversight visit and inspection of projects across the 18 council areas, noting that many projects inspected were poorly executed and substandard while several others were over priced.
He added that the House is ready to collaborate with the ministry to ensure tremendous development across the local government areas.
He also drew the attention of the Commissioner to the poor infrastructures at the Local Government Staff Training school, Itaogbolu and called for urgent attention to put necessary facilities in place for the convenience of the students and staff.
He equally used the occasion to commend the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, for regular payment of salary of local and state government workers since assumption of office, just as he lauded the Commissioner for not allowing chieftaincy matters lead to crisis under her watch.
Other committee members on the entourage are, Hon. (Barr) Olusegun Ajimotokin, Hon. Felemu Bankole, Hon. Kaseem Suleiman, Hon. (Engr) Musa Mukaila and the Secretary to the committee, Mr. Bola Ibuola.
In her remarks, the Commissioner for Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Deaconess Lola Fagbemi, appreciated the committee for the visit, saying it will further strengthen the relationship with the ministry and as well ensure that local governments perform their constitutional roles across the state.
She informed the committee that the present administration under the leadership of Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has successfully appointed and installed many traditional rulers including Alakpaka/Niyon of Kiribo in Ese-Odo Local Government Area, Asuada and Isuada in Owo Local Government Area and Kalasuwe of Apoi in Ese-Odo council area, while three others namely, Agadagba of Arogbo-Ijaw in Ese-Odo, Akogbe of Ajue in Odigbo council area and Oluoke of Okeigbo in Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area have been approved by the State Executive Council and their installations will be carried out in due course.
The Commissioner explained that the Ministry has held crisis management and peace meetings with several communities and groups on Chieftaincy matters in other to nip potential crisis in the bud.
She noted that government will continue to give the welfare of traditional rulers as well as the council pensioners necessary attention, while it also maintains peace and harmony in the local government areas.
Fagbemi also explained that the present administration, in 2017 dry season, graded 90km rural roads across the 18 council areas so that farm produce could easily be brought to the market, adding that as part of the infrastructural development policy of the government, Governor Akeredolu has approved the construction of 1km asphalt overlay road in each of the 18 councils and work will soon commence.