Babalola Warns Local Government Workers Against Indolency

Members of staff in all Local Government and Local Council Development Areas in the State of Osun have been seriously warned to desist from indolency and lacklustre attitude while carrying out their official assignments.

This admonition was given today by the Chairman, State of Osun Local Government Service Commission, Elder Peter Babalola at the flag-off of the Local Government staff head count which took off at Olorunda Local Government as well as Olorunda North and South Local Council Development Areas of the State respectively.

Elder Babalola who was represented by the Commissioner 1 of the Agency, Mr. Kehinde Olamolu stated that it is necessary and mandatory for Local Government staff to wake up to their responsibilities for effective performance as truancy, absenteeism, indolence and inefficiency will no longer be tolerated by the government.

Mr. Olamolu reiterated the fact that in as much as government pays the staff salaries regularly, it is expected that they should reciprocate the gesture by being diligent in their duties.

He said that the head count exercise would be a continuous one and would take place in all the Local Governments and the Local Council Development areas of the State to determine the number of staff in all the council areas.

On Osun’s Parliamentary System Of Local Government

By Misbau Alamu Lateef

This is an interim intervention and not a full legal analysis. However, the conclusion here is the summary of my full legal analysis of the issue under reference. Using the State of Osun as our reference point, I seek to address here the issue of whether or not a parliamentary system of government is a democracy and constitutional at the local governments (LGs) levels in Nigeria.

Now, the most relevant provisions of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution (as amended in 2011) on the system of local government administration in Nigeria are sections 7 & 8. However, section 7 is particularly the most relevant provision to the issue under reference. Section 8 generally makes provisions for creation of additional States and LGs and is therefore not so relevant to the issue under reference here. Essentially, section 7(1) provides that “the system of local government by democratically elected local government councils is under this constitution guaranteed; and accordingly, the Government of every State shall, subject to section 8 of this Constitution, ensure their existence under a Law which provides for the establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.”

From the provision of section 7(1) quoted above, certain things are crystal clear. One, that only DEMOCRATIC SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT is allowed or constitutional at the LGs in Nigeria. In other words, no other non-elective system of government – such as caretakers or whatever, is allowed or constitutional. Two, that subject to the provision of section 8, only the Law of a State may provide for the “establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils.”

From the above explanations, three questions are at least imperative to understand the constitutional nature of the forthcoming parliamentary local government elections at the State of Osun’s LGs. One, is a parliamentary system of government a DEMOCRACY or a “democratically elected” system of government as guaranteed under section 7(1) above? Two, is there a Law of the State of Osun on the “establishment, structure, composition, finance and functions of such councils” as parliamentary system in the State of Osun’s LGs? Three, is there any privision of the Nigerian 1999 Constitution which mandates States to adopt presidential system of government in the local government elections in their States? I shall now proceed to answer the questions seriatim.

On the first question, it is elementary that parliamentary system of government is a democracy. As a matter of fact, it is the system of government being practiced in the United Kingdom, Nigeria’s former colonial master, and several other democracies till date. Indeed, Nigeria actually practised parliamentary system of government before independence; under the 1960 Independence Constitution; as well as under the 1963 Republican Constitution. It was the 1979 Military-supervised Constitution that eventually introduced the present American Presidential system of government into Nigeria, with a super-President with powers of life and death as we see today. To the extent of the foregoing, we can therefore conclude that parliamentary system of government is a democracy as guaranteed under section 7 referenced above.

On the second question, it is a matter of fact that the State of Osun’s House of Assemby in 2016 amended relevant provisions of the State’s Local Government (Creation and Administration) Law 2015 to prescribe parliamentary democracy at the LGs in the State. The Governor subsequently assented to the law and it has since be gazzetted. As i type this, i am not aware of any invalidation of that law by any court of competent jurusdiction in Nigeria. Thus, the law remains a valid law of the State pursuant to the above section 7 & 8 of the Nigerian Constitution. To that extent too, we can safely conclude that there is a Law of the State of Osun backing a parliamentary system of government at the LGs.

On the third and last question, it is true that only the presidential system of government is allowed or constitutional for Federal and State governments elections in Nigeria. This is clearly provided for under section 5 which vests executive powers in the President and the State Governors respectively; and also section 4 which vests legislative powers in the National Assembly and the State Houses of Assembly respectively. However, there is no any such express or implied provision in respect of the local governments in Nigeria. Indeed, section 8 which qualifies or regulates the extent of State Laws for LGs under section 7 did not also make any express or implied provisions regarding “establishment” and “structure” of government at the LGs levels in Nigeria.

In conclusion, the recent or ongoing outcry about the impending parliamentary elections at the State of Osun’s LGs is distracting, unnecessary, baseless and unwarranted. In other words, it is within the constitutional powers of the State of Osun to enact a State Law on the “establishment” and “structure” of government at the LGs in the State. Parliamentary system is a democracy and there is no breach of the 1999 Constitution of Nigeria in the adoption of parliamentary system by any State of Nigeria in their LGs elections.

Note: I do not consider it necessary to dwell on the merits or demerits of a parliamentary system of government here. That’s a discussion for another day.

Autonomy: Teachers Reject Giving Primary Education Control To LGs

The Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Osun State wing has appealed to the state House of Assembly to place teachers’ salaries and emoluments in the first line charge from the federal allocation in the proposed local government autonomy.

The union members who besieged the Assembly complex, on Tuesday in their hundreds carried placard with different inscriptions demanding for special funding for primary education.

Speaking, the chairman of the union, Comrade Wakeel Amuda said, the step became imperative to save primary education from collapse, saying, primary education funding had suffered setback when it was under the management of local government.

Amuda noted that the union was not against the proposed local government autonomy but hinted that teachers were being owed salaries for months in some states in 1994 when local government had absolute control on primary school funding.

The union chairman who maintained that primary education was key to national growth posited that primary school teachers should be paid through the Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) from first line charge from the federation Account.

He urged the lawmakers to use their positions of privilege to legislate on the matter to position primary education for advancement and effective management and called for handover of payment of salaries of primary school teachers to state government as a way of pulling the dwindling primary school system out of wood.

According to him, “Local government lack experience and political will to fund and manage primary education; any attempt to handover primary education to local government amount to consigning primary education to the abyss of total collapse.

He charged the lawmakers to facilitate enactment of appropriate laws and make adequate budgetary allocations to the education sector to enable effective management of primary education in the country.

In his remark, the deputy speaker of the Assembly, Hnourable Akintunde Adegboye assured the teachers that the parliament would look into their demands, saying teachers are key to education development in the country.

Receiving a document containing the positions of the union from the union chairman, he said the house would pay attention to every detail of the documents with a view to coming to acceptable submission.

He pointed out that the ongoing debate on local government autonomy was key, hence the need for stakeholders in policy making to be holistic in their approach to the issue.

The deputy speaker who described education as agent of socialization said, government must give priority to functional education in the interest of prosperity.

Babalola Charges Local Govt. Workers On Punctuality

Local Government employees in the State of Osun been admonished to be loyal to the present administration by performing their duties with all sense of seriousness and total Commitment.

The Chairman, Local Government service commission, Elder Peter Babalola stated this while addressing the staff during an impromptu visit to Irewole North East, Ayedaade main council and Ife North councils in the morning today.

Elder Babalola expressed displeasure at the low turnout of workers in the 3 Local Government Areas visited, saying the Commission will no longer condone any act of indiscipline such as late coming and absenteeism.

According to him, erring officers in the Local government Councils will henceforth be sanctioned in line with the rules and regulations.

The Local Government service Commission’s boss emphasised that, the unexpected visit to Local Government Councils will be routine.

Edo Shares N2.15bn To Local Government Areas

The Edo Joint Account and Allocation Committee (JAAC) distributed N2.15 billion among the 18 local government councils the state in August.

Mr Crusoe Osagie, the Special Adviser on Media and Communication Strategy to Gov. Godwin Obaseki, said this in a statement .

According to Osagie, the Head of Owan East Local Government Administration, Mr Akeena Ade-Akhani, presented the figure after the JAAC meeting presided over by the governor.

He said that N1.44 billion was allocated to mandatory expenditures which include N1.09 billion for teachers’ salary while N705. 6 million distributable sum was left for the 18 local councils.

Osagie added that N212. 8 million was used for the payment of local government pensioners.

He further said that the meeting reviewed the use of electronic system for revenue collection in the state, saying this had recorded appreciable success.

The governor’s aide quoted Ade -Akhani as saying that the state government does not deduct money from local government allocations.

Lagos LG Polls: APC Harvests Mass Defection Of PDP, LP, AD Members

Barely four days to the local council elections in Lagos State, many members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Labour Party (LP) and Alliance for Democracy have defected to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

The thousands of electorates from other parties who decamped to APC pledged to mobilize for the victory of APC and support the APC Candidate in Agbado Oke Odo L.C.D.A , Augustine Adeoye Arogun that received them to the party on behalf of the chairman of the party Otunba Henry Ajomale

To consolidate its winning edge over other parties in the polls, groups under the aegis of De-Fash Movement (DFM), Awori Vanguard (AV), Lagosians Future Group (LFG), Asiwaju National Forum (ANF) among others have intensified house to house campaign all over state to support the APC Candidates.

The groups have placed the mobilizing team to move around the nook and cranny of the state to soliciting for support of the electorates for APC candidates.

Commenting on the mass defection of members to APC , the group leader Mr. Seyi Bamigbade who led a grassroots campaign to solicit support for the party’s candidates across the state during the House to House flagged off at their secretariat in Lagos said the confusion and crisis rocking other parties made the members to join their party.

“I a party like PDP , a faction of the party have gone to join Labour Party before the Supreme Court ruling. Their members are confused, so they have no option than to decamp to APC,” he said.

Bamigbade who hailed Governor Ambode for his efforts in making life easy for the residents of the state, added that PDP will not win any of the councils because of the excellent performance of the governor.

“We have worked hard and will clear the polls, APC has the support of the people. Through this we would be able to harness the development we are witnessing in Lagos at the grassroots level, through the synchronized effort of the Governor.

“The election of APC into the local governments will also ensure the success of Ambode in his relentless effort to building and developing Lagos.

Osun Set To Harmonize Local Government Levies, Charges and Rates

Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, the governor of the State of Osun, today received the report of the committee set up in September 2016 to draft the bill for the Harmonization of Local Government Levies, Charges and Rates. The committee worked in partnership with Growth and Employment in States (GEMS3). In his statement, the Tax Advisor of GEMS3, Mr. Dawuud Musa gave a brief introduction, saying that GEMS3 is a UK DfID project targeted at improving the business environment for States. He said the project has been working in 15 States of the Federation.

He further explained that GEMS3 works with private and public sector stakeholders at National, State and Local Government levels to build and deliver a systematic framework that enhances the ease for doing business in Nigeria, leading to improvements in economic opportunities for the poor, especially women.

The chairman of the committee, Prince Taiwo Agunlejika presented the final draft of the bill to Mr Governor.

In his response, after welcoming all the attendees, Mr. Governor thanked GEMS3 and the committee for the efforts put into the process of drafting of the bill, stating that he and his team would go through the bill, and then forward it to the State House of Assembly for debate and passage into law. He admonished all that were present to see the great opportunities that lie in the payment of dues to government, and comply.

In attendance were the Deputy Governor of the State of Osun, Otunba Grace Titilayo Laoye-Tomori, the Secretary to the State Government, Alh. Moshood Olalekan Adeoti, the Chief of staff to the governor, Alh. Adegboyega Oyetola, the Head of Service, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, various stakeholders from the private sector, Market leaders, Permanent Secretaries of Ministries and members of the press.

LGSC Chairman Charges Local Government Workers

The Chairman, Osun Local Govt Service Commission, Elder Peter Babalola has commended local government workers in the state for their commitment, understanding and perseverance in the passing year.
Elder Peter Babalola stated this today in Osogbo during the end of the year prayers organised by local government employees.
Elder Babalola noted that the people of the state need to be more prayerful for divine intervention in the face of the current economic situation of the country to improve in the coming year.
He emphasized that local government staff should remain steadfast and continue to support the government under the leadership of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
While wishing them a blissful Christmas and new year ahead, he also enjoined them to rededicate themselves by putting in their best in service and thereby justify the confidence reposed in them by government.

Perm. Sec. Local Government Charges Council Managers To Be Agents Of Development

The Permanent Secretary Ministry of Local government, Chieftaincy, Water Resources, Rural and Community Affairs, Mr Muftau Oluwadare has charged Council Managers in the state to be agents of change in their duty posts.
The Permanent Secretary gave this charge to day while holding a crucial meeting with the newly appointed Council Managers at the Ministry of Local government conference room.He then called on them to justify the confidence reposed in them by the government. He stated that the Council Managers should join hands with the revenue generation drive of the government to bail out the Councils from the financial doldrums occasioned by the dwindling revenue from the Federation Account.

Mr Oluwadare advised the Council Managers to discharge their duties with ultimate sense of responsibility and humility.

Also speaking, the Auditor General for Local Governments, Mr Emmanuel Kolapo said Council Managers are Managers managing the public resources and the owners deserve explanations on how the money is utilized.

He advised them to revolutionize the revenue generation in the Local governments saying new ideas need to be introduced into the revenue generation drive.

He called on them to embrace e-transfer adding that information needs to be disseminated easily and cheaply.

The Council Manager of Irewole Local Government, Mr Samson Odewale appreciated the Permanent Secretary and the Auditor General for Local government for the information given to them.