Local Governments Can Help Reduce The Spread Of COVID-19 -Lagos Lawmaker, Olayiwola AbdulSobur

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Chairman of the Lagos State House Of Assembly Committee on Local Government Administration and Community Affairs, Hon. Olayiwola Olawale AbdulSobur believes that the councils can help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

AbdulSobur, representing Mushin Constituency 2 said further in this interview that there is need for cordial relationship between the chairmen and the councillors for the development of the councils.
He speaks on other issues of interest in the interview.

As the Chairman of the House Committee on Local Government Administration and Community Affairs, what is your advice to the LG Chairmen on how to curb the spread of COVID-19 in their areas?

I strongly believe that they have a lot to do. What we are witnessing now is community spread. I would advise them to take a cue of what the Lagos State Government is doing. They should admit that they are very close to the grassroots. I would advise them to complement the efforts of the state government by creating more awareness for our people. Not only that, they need to ensure that people comply with the directive of the state government on how to curb the spread of COVID-19. They should intensity their efforts to reduce the spread of the disease through awareness.

Would you say that the local government administrators should assist the state government in providing isolation centres to treat people infected with COVID-19?

Well, most of these isolation centres are in the local governments. I have been to some of them and I believe that the local governments are assisting the state government in this area.

What will be your charge to the local governments administrators on accountability?

We have an administrative law of local governments that was passed in 2015 that deal with things like this. It is not enough to have the law, enforcement really matters.
I want to appeal to them that as the third tier of government they have a lot of responsibilities. They should ensure that they take care of their people be spending their allocations judiciously.

Let’s talk about flooding, almost every part of the state is being flooded. What is your advice to the local governments chairmen in fighting flood in their areas?

We have done a lot to clear the drainages in the state. The major problem is noncompliance by our people. Our people still throw waste on drainages and this block the channels and this is very calamitous. If you go to a place like Alapere in Ketu, the people block the channel and water would always find its level. In a situation, where you are blocking the channels you can imagine what would happen.
I want to advise the local governments chairmen to be up and doing and they should ensure that people keep their environment clean. When your compound and environment are dirty you should know what would happen, when the wastes that are generated later are not properly disposed.

What are your roles as the Chairman of this committee?

My constitutional roles are clearly stated in the outline of our duties. It is to see to the general administration of local governments. It is my role to ensure that the annual budget estimates of local governments are properly implemented. The second one has to do with local governments administration generally. This is the totality of the local governments. Usually, there is a friction between the executive and the legislature at the local government level. It is our duty to ensure that there is total compliance to the laws that guide them. Also, we relate with the Local Government Service Commission as they regulate the activities of the local governments. We relate with the local governments chairmen and everything that has to do with local government affairs as well as their affairs.
We also have duties to perform on community affairs.

Which areas do you want the local governments to improve upon?

I will want the relationship between the local governments chairmen and the legislature to be cordial. What we noticed is that there is a lot of gulf or disparity between the chairmen of the councils and the legislators. What they have is a sort of master-servant relationship, which shouldn’t be because they were all elected at the same time. The legislators are not properly taken care of at the local government level.
Number two, the issue of infrastructure development in the local governments is appalling and it is very absurd. If you don’t give people roads, and health facilities, definitely this would lead to a bad image for the local governments.

Do you sanction erring local governments chairmen?

Yes, we do that regularly. You can see what happened to a local government chairman recently, when we suspended him. This can happen to any other local government chairman.

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