It is ob­vi­ous that there are high ex­pec­ta­tions from those who voted for us into of­fice. Hav­ing cam­paigned vig­or­ously and win­ning the elec­tion, now it is time to set­tle down to the busi­ness of the day

Daily Trust - - ASO CHRONICLE -

You have just as­sumed of­fice as the chair­man of Kuje Area Coun­cil. Bear­ing the high ex­pec­ta­tions of the peo­ple that voted you into of­fice, what is your ad­min­is­tra­tion’s area of pri­or­ity?

It is ob­vi­ous that there are high ex­pec­ta­tions from those who voted us into of­fice. Hav­ing cam­paigned vig­or­ously and won the elec­tion, now it is time to set­tle down to the busi­ness of the day. What­ever pol­icy we are go­ing to pur­sue will be in line with the APC man­i­festo which is skill ac­qui­si­tion, youth/ women em­pow­er­ment, agri­cul­ture, ed­u­ca­tion, in­clud­ing dis­burse­ment of schol­ar­ships to our in­di­gent stu­dents in var­i­ous ter­tiary in­sti­tu­tions across the coun­try. But the main pri­or­ity of my ad­min­is­tra­tion, as soon as the coun­cil’s monthly al­lo­ca­tion starts im­prov­ing, is ru­ral in­fra­struc­ture, be­cause most of the vil­lages in Kuje Area Coun­cil are fac­ing chal­lenges of ab­sence of vi­able ameni­ties.

Lack of ac­cess to pipe borne water, health cen­tres and good road net­works are among the press­ing needs of the ru­ral peo­ple. I can re­call my ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing my elec­tion­eer­ing cam­paign to ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties how I and my sup­port­ers had to park our ve­hi­cles to cross some streams and trek to some vil­lages, due to lack of good roads, ab­sence of bridges and cul­verts across some of the streams.

So it was hec­tic dur­ing my cam­paign and I had promised them that if they gave me the con­cen­trate on that.

We also in­tend to re­ha­bil­i­tate some of the Lo­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Au­thor­ity (LEA) pri­mary schools, which are in a state of dis­re­pair across ru­ral com­mu­ni­ties. We will equip them with in­struc­tional ma­te­ri­als to make the schools more con­ducive for both teach­ers and pupils. A sit­u­a­tion where pupils sit on the bare floor un­der leak­ing class­rooms is quite wor­ri­some.

What in­formed your de­ci­sion to em­bark on screen­ing of coun­cil staff and tra­di­tional rulers, are you sus­pect­ing whether there are ghost work­ers?

You see, when we as­sumed half of the coun­cil’s staff. So the mess I came and met on ground prompted me to em­bark on staff screen­ing and the tra­di­tional rulers who are on the coun­cil’s pay­roll.

There­fore, the on­go­ing screen­ing ex­er­cise will no doubt go a long way in en­sur­ing that ev­ery staff’s salary and other en­ti­tle­ments will be paid as at when due.

And com­ing to that of the LEA, ob­vi­ously, there are a lot of shoddy deals that we sus­pect. The mem­bers of the com­mit­tee who are screen­ing the staff of the area coun­cil are those who will han­dle that of the LEA as soon as they fin­ish screen­ing the coun­cil staff and tra­di­tional rulers.

So I can’t say any­thing now, un­til af­ter they fin­ish their work and sub­mit their re­port to me, but mind you, I re­peat any­body that is found want­ing shall def­i­nitely face the wrath of the law. And I want to fur­ther sound a note of warn­ing to those who are not gen­uine staff of the LEA and they have been col­lect­ing money to qui­etly dis­en­gage them­selves and re­turn the money they have col­lected in their own in­ter­est, be­fore we will use them as scape goats.

I will also like to re­mind you that the coun­cil has also set-up a 12-man rev­enue com­mit­tee in or­der to as­cer­tain where and how we can gen­er­ate rev­enue for the coun­cil. There were a lot of leak­ages un­der the past ad­min­is­tra­tion where 85 per­cent of rev­enue re­al­ized was not re­mit­ted into the coun­cil’s cof­fers. You can imag­ine some peo­ple will just share this money and later take a to­ken into the coun­cil ac­count, which is too bad. Thank God the tran­si­tion com­mit­tees are also in­ves­ti­gat­ing how the rev­enue within the past three years were ex­pended.

You vowed dur­ing the in­au­gu­ra­tion of the staff screen­ing com­mit­tee that any staff found to have en­gaged in any form of cor­rup­tion will not be spared. What mea­sures do you in­tend to take against such staff?

Like I have al­ways said, the APC-led gov­ern­ment of Pres­i­dent Muham­madu Buhari has zero tol­er­ance for cor­rup­tion and my ad­min­is­tra­tion will build on that. Kuje Area Coun­cil to­day is be­ing run by the APC, not that we are go­ing to witch-hunt any­body, no, but the step be­ing taken by my ad­min­is­tra­tion is for the best in­ter­est of the good peo­ple of the coun­cil.

So I can’t say for now if any­body that is later found want­ing may be sanc­tioned or not, be­cause the com­mit­tee is still do­ing its work. It is af­ter they fin­ish and sub­mit ev­ery­thing to me that I will now sit down with mem­bers of the leg­is­la­ture to know the next line of ac­tion.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria

© PressReader. All rights reserved.