37 LCDA ARIAS

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu

PUBLISHER’S NOTE

37 LCDA ARIAS

JUSTIFICATIONS AND PERFORMANCE:  Thirteen Year Review

Lagos State was created on May 27, 1967 according to the State Creation and Transitional Provisions Decree No. 14 of 1967, which restructured Nigeria into a Federation of 12 states. Lagos state was created with 20 local government areas earmarked and operational till 2003 when the government of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu created 37 additional Local Council Development Areas. Fully endorsed by the Lagos State Assembly, it was unacceptable to the PDP-led majority in the National Assembly for ratification irrespective of the rightness of the attendant procedural modalities.

For the avoidance of doubt, the Supreme Court did not say the creation of 37 additional councils in Lagos was unconstitutional and illegal, it merely said the creation was incomplete because the National Assembly is yet to carry out its own part.

The dogged posture of Governor Asiwaju Tinubu rankled President Olusegun Obasanjo who showed his displeasure and disapproval by withholding the Lagos State’s subvention till the end of his second term. President Yar’Adua reverted the order of Obasanjo regarding remittance of the subvention but followed up with request for Governor Fashola to revert to the original 20 local government areas which was refused on account of belief in the logic of their creation.

Asiwaju Tinubu’s vivid vision for broadening of grassroots government to deliver the dividends of democracy across the state was not scuttled by financial resource squeeze by OBJ. The determination and zeal of Asiwaju Tinubu to make a success of the 37 LCDAs was underscored by improved internally generated resources to fund purposeful development.

Let it be acknowledged that the financial austerity experienced by Lagos State sequel to the seizure of the monthly federal allocation (on account of creation of the LCDA)  was a blessing in disguise because it compelled the government then  to  cultivate fiscal discipline which is now the style of governance  by successive governments of the state. As things stand now, Lagos State is the ever buoyant state in Nigeria.

Since creation, the 20 LGAs and 37LCDAs have served as conduit for uniform resource allocation state-wide. Government that is close to the people is clearly more effective to spread amenities and infrastructure equitably across board .The Local Council Development Areas have become the minimum unit for resource allocation instead of the hitherto large Local Government Area.

This has translated to more schools, more primary health care centres, more road networks, improved environmental sanitation and security because resource-spread must be fairly done with all communities in mind. The velocity of developmental strides amongst the LCDAs has been impressive because peer review has triggered developmental competition at the local level in the interest of the mass of the population.

Aside from amenities and facilities, the LCDAs have catalyzed economic activities of our people and have also increased their political awareness to demand for their rights and to take advantage of opportunities and privileges. Increased civic consciousness amongst the people facilitates government’s responsiveness to sustainable development. This has been a noticeable fact throughout the state.

In fairness to the founding father of the LCDAs – Asiwaju Tinubu – 13 years after their creation, one can objectively claim they have aptly served as the effective vehicle for grassroots to experience   meaningful development in a timely manner. The recent 114 roads is a testimony of evenly spread.

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A press statement by the Embassy on Friday, said: “During the visit, Townsend met with the Nigerian President’s Chief of Staff, Ibrahim Gambari, and National Security Adviser, Babagan Monguno, to discuss regional security issues and to express the command’s gratitude for the assistance provided during a hostage rescue operation last year.

“When we asked for their help, the Nigerian government answered the call. Our hostage recovery mission in October would have been impossible without their support.

“They quickly provided assistance that helped the U.S. military to save an American life. That is a strong example of our partnership with Nigeria.”

Townsend also met with senior military officials, including the Minister of Defence, Bashir Salihi Magash, and the Chief of Defence Staff, General Leo Irabor, to talk about on-going cooperation in the region and greater maritime security and threat mitigation.

Nigeria is a key partner in countering violent extremist organizations throughout the Lake Chad Basin.

Townsend said furthermore: “The bilateral relationship between Nigeria and the U.S. is built on several pillars including security cooperation.

“U.S. Africa Command will do our part to advance the security cooperation pillar, so that Nigerians can enjoy the more secure future they all deserve.”

As close partners, the U.S. and Nigeria have worked at ensuring the collaborative relationship continues to grow to include a commitment to interoperability. Nigeria purchased 12 A-29 Super Tucano light attack aircraft, which will be delivered later this year.

“Nigeria’s purchase of A-29 Super Tucano aircraft is another example of their commitment to interoperability and security in the region,” he added. “Our economic relationship with Nigeria is already strong, and we look forward to the continued strengthening of security relationships. Nigeria’s leaders understand the importance of a collaborative approach to ensuring stability in West Africa and partnering on areas of mutual interest.”

The Commander also met with the U.S. Ambassador to Nigeria, Mary Beth Leonard.

Leonard said: “General Townsend’s visit to Nigeria demonstrates the strategic importance the United States places on our bilateral relationship with Nigeria.

“Our security cooperation partnership with Nigeria’s military will strengthen the country’s capabilities to secure land and sea borders, enhance overall security, and combat terrorism in the North East.”

As part of the visit, Townsend participated in a wreath-laying ceremony at the Nigeria Military National Cemetery to honour those who have given their lives in the service of their nation.

During the visit, the delegation expressed their condolences for the seven service men killed in the crash of a Nigerian Air Force aircraft in Abuja.