The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has urged newly elected Chairmen and Vice Chairmen of the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas to be ambassadors of an all-inclusive government being championed and demonstrated at the State level.
He said that the newly elected political heads in all the 57 Local Councils in Lagos must identify with the culture of good governance already exemplified by his administration where adequate attention is being paid to the needs of people at the grassroots.
Ambode gave the charge on Monday at A Two-Day induction programme for the newly elected Chairmen, Vice Chairmen, Heads of Administration and Heads of Finance and Accounts departments of the 57 council areas.
The Governor, represented by the Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Mr. Muslim Folami at the event, noted that the local government level is not only the closest government to the people but possesses the capacity to be more impactful in fulfilling the wishes and aspirations of the people at the grassroots.
He disclosed that one of the present administration’s policy thrusts for Local Government administration is to create a new service orientation hinged on collaboration and cooperation of the political office holders and career officers, including Heads of Administration, Finance & Accounts, such that the overall objective of delivering good governance to the people at the grassroots would not be hampered.
“I charge you all to make yourselves available to your people in all the council areas and always remember the State Government’s policy thrust of giving governance back to the people at the grassroots. The imperative of local councils being the third tier of government confers on you the greater responsibility of good governance”, Ambode stated.
The Governor underscored the need to continuously build the capacity of political office holders and equip public managers with required skills to cope with the imperatives of modern governance predicated on transparency, accountability, and probity in public offices in line with the demands of contemporary public management.
On his part, the Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, Alhaji Babatunde Rotinwa advised the administrators to follow the structure of governance already established by the Akinwunmi Ambode-led administration, stressing that the existing structure has been designed to impact the lives of residents of the State in a seamless manner.
He called on the Chairmen and the Vice Chairmen to be more concerned about attaining dignity in the service of the public rather than running after self-prestige that comes with the chairmanship positions.
“Make the services that impact the lives of the people your priority. Go round your areas, speak, relate with the people and strategize on achieving solutions on identified issues that will relieve livelihood.” the Chairman stated.
He urged the Chairmen to imbibe the spirit of forgiveness, noting that their virtue of holding the office should not be a platform to punish and frustrate the political opposition.
The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Mr. Fola Padonu said that the training programme has been tailored to acquaint the council leaders with the required skill, knowledge and attitudinal disposition to address the challenges confronting Local Government Administration at this critical period of our national development.
He urged the participants to draw knowledge from the highly experienced and well-grounded facilitators for the training sessions, adding that the programme would also be characterized by sharing new perspectives and ideas on the new model of public administration in the State.