Launching Of The Local Economic Empowerment & Development Strategy Framework

Jun 17, 2008 - It is the strong determination of our Administration to bequeath to the people of Lagos State clean, livable, prosperous and secure communities where public infrastructures work and social services are efficient. A necessary condition for the realization of this objective is effective, functional, purposeful and transparent governance at the Local Government level. This is why I am delighted to be among you today to perform the official launching of the State Local Economic Empowerment Development Strategy framework (LASEED). This is aimed at creating an accountable and more productive third-tier government that will reduce wastage and improve service delivery at the grassroot.

My recent tour of the Local Government Areas of the state revealed the tremendous amount of work that needs to be done to improve the quality of life at the grassroots. The level of environmental decay, social disorder and infrastructural disrepair we saw reinforces the urgent need to elevate the quality and capacity of governance at the Local Government level.

To achieve this objective, the Ministry of Local Government & Chieftaincy Affairs in partnership with the State and Local Government Programme (SLGP) is now taking the bold step to reform the entire Local Government Management Policy. Our framework for this comprehensive reform program is anchored on the Local Government Economic Empowerment & Development Strategy (LALEEDS).

The underlying reform objective is to create an accountable, more productive and proactive third tier of government that enjoys the confidence of the people. Essential ingredients of the reform process will, therefore, focus on blocking leakages and eliminating unnecessary bureaucracy by re-building and improving the Management Capacity, Financial Management System and Budget/Procurement System at this level.

Let me commend all those involved with this effort to re-invent our local government administration as arrow heads of implementing our Ten-Point Agenda and the Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LASEEDS) at the grassroots. A lot of hard work has unquestionably gone into this project that was commissioned by the State and Local Government Programme (SLGP), which also gave technical support to Apapa/Iganmu and Ikoyi Obalende Local Council Development Areas for the pilot test of this frame work document. We must also express our appreciation to the UK Department for International Development (DFID), which financed the project that has ultimately resulted in the establishment of the LEEDS Secretariat in the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs.

I must quickly add at this point that classification of Lagos State by the United Nations Habitat as the fastest growing city in the world is a clarion call on us all to put on our thinking caps. It is a responsibility that calls for proactive and visionary governance at all levels in the state. In this regard, only a vibrant local government administration anchored on a qualitative developmental programme at the grassroots, and driven by the collaborative efforts of the Private Sector and Civil Societies can assist in combating the challenges of the emerging Mega City of Lagos.

Just 3 months ago, a 3-day Workshop for facilitators and members of the LEEDS Technical Team for the purpose of re-engineering and re-structuring the State LEEDS was sponsored by the State and Local Government Programme (SLGP). This deliberate effort to further prepare the team for additional responsibilities beyond the Council level, illustrates our commitment to continually improving the quality of public administration in Lagos State.

Our administration however is resolved to sustain and deepen the public sector reform agenda commenced by our immediate predecessors in office. In particular we will accelerate the tempo of radical reform at the local government level so that our 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas can serve as effective vehicles of delivering a Brighter Rewarding future to our people.

In order to achieve planned, systematic and productive governance at the grassroots, this framework will now provide the policy conception and implementation road map at this level. It will be the platform for re-inventing local government administration to more effectively complement the State government’s development initiatives. This is in addition to enhancing their capacity to respond to the realities of the serious infrastructural and environmental crises at the grassroots.

I am confident that improved quality of governance at the local level will in turn impact positively on our capacity to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and appreciably alleviate poverty among our people. This is because the grassroots communities are where the people live; that is where the battle against poverty will be fought and won.

Finally, I urge all stakeholders to buy into this project as a necessity for fulfilling our obligation of bequeathing to the present and future generations a better Lagos State than we inherited.

Once again, I congratulate the Ministry of Local Government of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and her Strategic Partners, the State and Local Government Programme (SLGP) of the UK Department of International Development (DFID) for producing this illuminating Strategic Planning Framework.

On this note, I now launch this framework for Local Economic Empowerment & Development Strategy to the glory of God and for the progress, prosperity and security of Lagos State.

Eko o ni baje.


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