A community leader in Erunmu, Egbeda Local Government Area of Oyo State, Chief Simeon Funmilayo Adeweso, has decried the slow pace of development at the grass roots, just as he advised the state government against the planned creation of additional 35 local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state.
Chief Adeweso gave the advice in Erunmu, at the weekend, while speaking with newsmen on the recent announcement by the state government on its intention to create additional 35 LCDAs in the state.
According to him, “creation of additional 35 LCDAs is unconstitutional. The mushroom councils will be phased out as soon as local governments get autonomy. They are not the solution to underdevelopment at the grass roots, especially when one considers the fact that existing local governments in the state are not viable enough to stand on their own. Creation of LCDAs and the attendant duplicity of political offices will further eat into the meagre federal allocation being received by the existing local government areas.”
Rather than creating LCDAs, Chief Adeweso suggested that the existing local government areas be broken down into administrative units for efficiency, productivity and rapid development as it operates in advanced countries.
He said: ‘It was the same developmental drive that informed the decision of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo to decentralise the Western Region by creating divisional offices to oversee the affairs of the various parts of the old Western Region when he was the Premier of the region,” he said.
While emphasizing the importance of local government areas to the socio-economic and political development of any country, Adeweso called for shared responsibilities among the three tiers of government.
“The federal, states and local governments must make their presence felt at the grass roots in relation to education, healthcare, welfare scheme for the elderly as well as other social amenities,” he said.