Osun State, one of the states worst hit by current cash crunch and economic downturn in Nigeria has announced creation of 31 more local councils.
In a state broadcast, the state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said so much thought had been put into the decision to create three more local councils, two administrative offices and 31 Local Council Development Areas.
The development followed the passage of an executive bill requesting for additional local councils, passed by the state House of Assembly.
The state is currently facing multiple labour crisis due to inability to pay its workers, including medical doctors. Last year, the state governor declared that no bank was ready to lend to the state, necessitating a federal bailout.
But Governor Aregbesola assured the state would make judicious use of its revenues in a way that increasing the number of councils will least constitute any financial burden.
The governor said the state would be saving huge cost with the new councils, adding that no new appointment would be made as the same number of staff will still run all the councils.
Aregbesola also announced the dissolution of the management committees of the existing 30 Local Councils and Area Office and other officials of the councils.
He added that the responsibilities of the new councils include bringing development to the people, managing the markets, generating more revenue, amongst others.
The governor stated that the entire local government system would be managed by Council Managers for three months. The managers are to be appointed and deployed by Local Government Service Commission from among the substantive grade level 14 officers in the local governments.
“Many would be wondering and asking: why create more councils at this special time of financial challenges? We have also given sufficient consideration to this. With this new parliamentary system, it will cost less to run the new councils and save a lot of money for the government than in the past.
“The primary responsibilities of our new local government system are sanitation, market management and revenue mobilisation and generation. This is consistent with local government administration worldwide.
“The beauty of this new system is its parliamentary nature, which requires the chairman and the vice chairman to be elected by the councillors from among their own ranks, thereby saving cost,” the governor explained.