As part of an innovation in the local government administration and in a bid to ensure an effective development of the rural communities, the 27 local governments councils can now execute capital projects within their domains while the contractors who are to handle such projects are to be approved by the people themselves without undue influence or interference from the state government or political appointees, a prelude to local government full autonomy.
Speaking to journalists in Owerri, the Special Adviser (SA) to the Governor on Local Government Matters and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon.Eze Chukwudi Mayor, disclosed that the local governments among other programmes have been directed to key into the state’s Treasury Single Account (TSA) while the management committees of the local government areas are now to build befitting secretariat at the council headquarters at a cost of more than N80 million with the exception of Orlu, Nwangele and Owerri West LGAs that have existing befitting secretariats. The trio are expected to use their outstanding shares of N80 million each for other viable projects.
The Special Adviser disclosed that the fund to be used in the execution of these projects will be drawn from the local governments statutory allocations and that Governor Emeka Ihedioha has particular interest in the prudent use of the money to render service to the people.
He revealed that there are about 54 projects mapped out for execution in the local governments. “We don’t intend to rest on our oars on the “Rebuild Imo Agenda.Ours is to monitor these projects for which about 12 vehicles have already been procured”, he asserted.
He said that the essence of regular monitoring is to ensure that jobs are done properly according to specifications and not shoddy jobs since it is no longer business as usual where contractors collect money and elope after paying 15% kick-backs to the Governor. This will no longer obtain as every contractor will be made to account for every kobo paid for the jobs. “Already, the people know the contractors”, he stated.
According to Mayor Eze, the local government is indispensable to the “Rebuild Imo administration”. “The Governor is particular about the development they can attract to the rural areas”.
In an answer to the status of the markets in some local government areas by the last administration, Mayor Eze reiterated that markets and market development will now rest on the Local government as provided by the constitution.