The Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi has inaugurated a 13-member committee to critically examine and recommend to the government the viability and economic sustainability of the planned creation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) from the existing 16 Local Government Areas (LGAs) in State.
The Governor had hinted at the plan to create new LCDAs while delivering his State of the State address at the State Assembly last month.
Speaking during the inauguration ceremony at the State Executive Council Chamber, Governor’s office in Ado Ekiti on Monday, Dr Fayemi said the move was in a bid to bring government nearer to the people and to stimulate rapid development in the rural areas in line with his administration’s five-pillar development agenda.
He noted that agitations for the creation of new LCDAs continued to top the list of demands in the various consultative meetings held with stakeholders across communities in the State since the inception of his administration.
The Governor added that the creation of the LCDAs was in demonstration of his administration’s commitment to justice, fair-play, and response to the yearnings of the people for the increase and adequate representation at all levels of governance.
He said: “You may recall that exactly one month today while delivering the ‘State of the State’ address in commemoration of the Second Anniversary of my administration, I mentioned that after extensive consultations, my administration has decided to revisit the creation of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) from the existing Local Government Areas (LGAs) in Ekiti State.
“Ekiti State has a long history of well-articulated demands for the creation of LCDAs. You may recall that in 2014, a Committee on the Creation of Local Council Development Areas, chaired by Honourable Justice Akinjide Ajakaiye was inaugurated to look into the viability and desirability of the agitation for the creation of additional Local Council Development Areas.
“The Committee adopted a consultative and inclusive approach to its mandate and presented to the government a report that led to the creation of additional 19 Local Council Development Areas from the existing 16 Local Government Areas in the State.
“Regrettably, the successor government placed politics above the far-reaching interest of Ekiti people. The process was abandoned just like it did to many of the developmental policies, programme, and projects of my first term.
“I must emphasize that the creation of the LCDAs is in response to the agitation of our people for enhanced representation at all levels of government. For added emphasis, all through the electioneering process that produced the current administration in Ekiti State, and at various consultative meetings facilitated by the government since the inception of this administration, the request for the creation of additional LCDAs continues to top the list of the demands of our people.
“As a responsible and responsive government, it is our duty to make decisions that will be of ultimate benefit to the people who elected us to pilot the affairs of the State. I am, satisfied that the creation of LCDAs in Ekiti State will further deepen the existing relationship between government and our people as well as enhance our commitment to the rapid development of all our communities in line with this administration’s 5-pillar developmental agenda.”
Fayemi charged members of the committee approach their assignment with courage, impartiality, and equanimity and counsel the Government on necessary administrative arrangements as well as proposals for an equitable revenue allocation to ensure the sustainability of the LCDAs.
Other members of the committee include Dr Femi Akinola, Mr Victor Akinola, Mrs Sade Daramola, Mr Joseph Olaito, Mrs Emily Fagesi, M. Remi Obaparusi, Representative Ministry of Justice, Representative of Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Representative of Ministry of Finance and Economic Development, Representative of Traditional Rulers and Representative of Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Ekiti State. The Committee which had three months to deliver on its mandate is expected to review the Local Government Development Council Law, Ekiti State 2014, and make recommendations on its relevance in view of current legal developments in Ekiti State.
In his response, the Chairman of the Committee, Mr Oluwole commended the State Government for finding members of the committee worthy of the assignment, promising that the committee would display fear of God’s honesty, fairness, justice, and transparency in carrying out its mandate.