Today’s event is another step by our administration to give governance back to the people of this State by making the Local Governments and Local Councils a vibrant, responsive and viable part of the Lagos State Government.
You will recollect that the Lagos State House of Assembly recently passed a resolution that the previous local government committee’s be dissolved and Sole Administrators appointed in their place. In line with this, we have today sworn in Sole Administrators to manage the affairs of our Local Governments and Councils.
The hallmark of any good Government is to provide basic services to the communities at the grassroots. This is the only way the real dividends of good governance can spread downwards and touch the hearts and minds of its people.
Our State is growing so fast that the concept of the rural area will not be applicable to any part of Lagos very soon. Our government is working hard to meet the yearnings of our people who live in what I term semi-urban areas by providing them with services like water, good roads, street lights, efficient refuse collection, cleaning of drainage and roads, primary healthcare, recreational parks and sports facilities to make those areas liveable and economically viable. We are dedicated to this and will deliver on our promise of a Government of inclusion where no one is left behind.
This government is committed to Local Government reforms and in August last year during our meeting with Community Development Associations, we promised to embark on reforms with the aim of making the 57 Local Government and Development Areas more responsive to the needs of the people. In furtherance of this, early this year we assented to Three Bills on Local Government reform and elections passed by the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The message behind these new laws is that our administration is set to restore standards, create opportunities, instill pride, honour, service, accountability and responsiveness to the Local Government system in Lagos State. It will no longer be business as usual. Rather it will be a tough journey requiring character, leadership, commitment and resilience of those at the helm of affairs to actualize our dreams.
Your appointment today as Sole Administrators should therefore be seen as a call to service of our people. You are relay runners on a journey of reform that will ultimately culminate in the election of accountable people that will carry on the baton of good governance for our people. For the duration of your race, I urge you to run the race efficiently with diligence so you do not betray the trust that has been placed in you.
Your job is to go to the Local Governments you have been posted and make a difference to the lives of the people. You must touch lives and be prepared to have your lives also touched by our people. You must interact with the people, share their joys and pain, and reside among them. It is only through this symbiotic relationship that we can truly say we have begun to understand and serve our people.
Let me seize this opportunity to warn that we will not hesitate to remove and replace any Administrator who fails to serve the people diligently or abuses his/her office. A strict monitoring, control and feedback process will be put in place to ensure that there are no excesses or excuses. Strict accountability must be your watchword. Lagosians will be watching you and we will be watching you too.
The Secretary to the State Government will announce the postings shortly.
On a final note I congratulate you on your appointments and wish you success in carrying out your assignments.