'New Law To Strenghten Lagos Councils'


As the bill for the regulation of activities of local council bosses scales the second reading at the Lagos State House of Assembly, members said it will strengthen administration at the grassroots and boost service delivery.

The lawmakers described the bill as timely since the existing law guiding local government administration in the state was becoming obsolete.

While some of the lawmakers supported tenure elongation for the council chairmen, others opposed it on the grounds that it would generate controversies.

Chairman, House Committee on Local Government Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs, Moshood Oshun, who spoke in favour of the bill as members read it for the second time, said the bill, if passed into law, will reposition the administrative system of the local government system in the state.

Oshun reminded his colleagues that the current Local Government Law was created by the military government and had become outdated since it could no longer meet the challenges facing the tier of government.

He further explained that appointment of the Secretary to the Local Government (SLG) which was the responsibility of the state governor had created acrimony within the system.

According to him, some of these SLGs are not loyal to their council chairmen and this is giving the committee a lot of challenge.

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Oshun submitted further that the proposed tenure elongation for the council chairmen was a good idea since it will give enough opportunities to the House of Assembly to assess the councils’ performance.

In their submissions, Lola Akande, Mudashiru Obasa, Rotimi Olowo, Sanai Agunbiade and Mufutau Egberongbe all supported the bill, saying it would reposition the system and provide for rapid development of the state.

They agreed that the bill would be an effective check against the recklessness of some councillors who are always bent on impeaching chairmen of councils as there is a provision for fair hearing before any impeachment can take place.

They further agreed that their action was in line with the constitution of the country and therefore advised that all grey areas, including welfare of staff and pension in the bill could be amended in the course of further deliberations.

The bill has now been submitted to the Committee on Local Government Administration and Chieftaincy Affairs with the House asking that a report on it be submitted in three weeks.

—Eromosele Ebhomele