ENUGU, Nigeria (VOICE OF NAIJA)- Governor Chukwuma Soludo of Anambra State has inaugurated a nine-member Committee for the State-Local Government Joint Account.
Governor Soludo inaugurated the Committee shortly after the State Executive Council Meeting, at the Government House, Awka, the state capital.
Members of the Committee include the Commissioner for Local Government, Mr. Collins Nwabunwanne who will serve as the Committee Chairman; Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Ifeatu Onejeme as Vice Chairman and Dr. Leopold Arinze Nwankwo-Ikwueto, Secretary.
Other members include Barr. Ifeatu Obiokoye, member representing Central Senatorial Zone; Dr. Nnamdi Nwadiogbu, member representing North Senatorial Zone; Sir Van George Ezeogudi, member representing South Senatorial Zone; Dr. Chibuike Ofobuike, member and Transition Committee Chairman representing South Zone.
Others are Mrs. Amaka Obi, member and Transition Committee Chairman, representing Central Zone; Mr. Livinus Onyenwe, member and Transition Committee Chairman representing North Zone.
Speaking shortly after the inauguration, Soludo appreciated the committee members for accepting to serve and for coming to serve in some very difficult circumstances.
He said, “The resources aren’t there. But at the same time, you are being called upon to do some very special disruptive function. It is going to be alot of hard work. Why do I say that? Because you are being called upon to do very disruptive work at a time of major challenges in the Country. Major challenges in the finances of the state and local government and you’ve been called upon to find the solution”.
“We are going to be employing over four thousand teachers it’ll be charged to JAAC. Meanwhile, you have over fourteen billion naira debt in terms of arrears to gratuity and pensions. Part of it we have started to pay” and so on and so forth.
The Governor further explained that the local system is largely two fold including its financing and its administration.
“We are going to set up the local government administration. That’s definite. But the administration of the local government is a bit of challenge. The infrastructure in the various local governments including the ones that have been burnt down which need to be repaired as well as the workload. Even staff don’t go to work in the local governments. But we must eventually get the services down to the people,” the Governor said.
“For us we have a vision to have responsibility devolve to base and to have local government that is empowered from the base, to deliver development to the grassroot. And consequently, the finances that are very limited will have to be run in a different way. We have a peculiar local government system where the staff and other obligations of the local government are pulled together.
On local government autonomy, Professor Soludo said, “I hear people talk about autonomy. If you want to implement a strict autonomy, it’ll mean that each local government will employ and pay its staff. That’s what it’ll mean but this is not the case. That’s why you find someone in Idemili working in Ayamelum and someone from Ayamelum working in Nnewi South because they have a pool system”.
Earlier while presenting the Committee members for Inauguration, the Commissioner for Local Government Affairs, Mr. Collins Nwabunwanne described them as competent to deliver on the mandate.