29th October, 2014
Many of the chairmen in the 20 local governments and the 37 local council development areas vacated their offices yesterday in compliance with the state government’s directive asking them to hand over to council managers in their respective councils.
When P.M. NEWS visited the secretariat of some the councils yesterday, workers were seen assisting the chairmen to remove their belongings from their offices.
It was also observed that some of the council chairmen engaged in different activities including donation of items to staff to show appreciation to those who assisted them while in office.
At the Yaba LCDA, the outgoing chairman, Jide Jimoh, on Monday distributed various materials to over 1,000 beneficiaries including schools. He moved out of his office as instructed yesterday. He also spent the entire day commissioning projects in the LCDA.
Mr. Jimoh said he did not incur debt for the council, adding that the council remained one of those in the state with a clean financial slate with regards to debts.
He disclosed further that he left a good amount of money in the coffers for his successor to run the government.
A review of the 2012 Auditor-General’s report on council expenditure had alleged that the council was indebted to the tune of N51 million.
But Mr. Jimoh, who rounded off his tenure with the commissioning of a major health centre in Abule-Oja as well as a motor park in the LCDA, told journalists at the event that the council did not owe any bank or individual.
“Yaba remains the only local government that has nothing to do with debts. I have never believed in it. Even from the meager amount the council makes, I am leaving something handsome for those coming to take over. I do not owe any individual or bank, no overdraft, no loan.
“In all the banks we have account with, there are no loans or overdraft. We don’t have a car loan with anybody. All my assets and liabilities are there in my handing over note, which I am going to read publicly. It is not that Yaba is rich, but we are very prudent. I am a manager of men and resources and I operate with prudence,” he said.
He said the piece of land on which the health centre was built was taken over by the government for public use following the squabbles between the University of Lagos and the land-owning family of Abule-Oja.
It was also learnt that the Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government Area, Adekanye Oladele, organised an empowerment programme before leaving office.
When P.M.NEWS contacted the Chairman of Ojokoro LCDA, Benjamin Olabinjo, one of his aides said he left office since yesterday.