Chief of Staff to the Oyo State Governor, Dr Gbade Ojo, has averred that the recent approval of the creation of 35 local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state would neither increase the cost of local government administration nor hamper the conduct of local government election.
Ojo, who argued that the creation of LCDAs was not an expansion of geographical size of the state, said the newly created LCDAs would generate revenue to survive, coupled with the Federal Government allocation to local governments.
“We are not expanding the geographical size of the state. We are just increasing the number of local council areas so as to bring government closer to the people. So, it is still the same territory that is being managed. They are created out of the existing local governments.
“It does not mean that number of workers will increase automatically. No doubt they may have to recruit, but the local governments have their own allocation different from the state governments’.
“Administratively, government has the right to decide how best to manage the system and the creation of LCDAs is not an abnormality. It is an experience that has worked in some other states. And the state government is following the extant law to the letter by mandating the state’s Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice to initiate an executive bill to the House of Assembly whereby the 2002 gazette would be amended,” Ojo said.
He also described as erroneous the notion that the creation of LCDAs was aimed at hampering the conduct of local government election, noting that the Oyo State Independent Electoral Commission (OYSIEC) would advise the state government on whether it was prepared to conduct election into both the existing local government areas and LCDAs.
Ojo maintained that the aim of creating LCDAs was to ensure more inclusive grassroots development.
“LCDAs creation has nothing to do with OYSIEC’s preparation for local government election. In Ogun State, elections would hold into both the LCDAs and local government areas. The OYSIEC has to take its time to prepare to do a good job.
“Moreover, the local government is a tier with its own allocation from the Federal Government in which the state government also contributes a certain percentage of its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR),” Ojo said.