Fashola Charges National Assembly To Support Increased Revenue Allocation To LGs, States
Jun 24, 2008 - Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Tuesday said as the Revenue Allocation Formular comes up for debate, now is the time for all members of the National Assembly as elected representatives of the people to vote for a revenue allocation system that would enable States and Local Councils to fulfill their constitutional and statutory roles.
Fashola who spoke on the open grounds of the new Lagos House in Ikeja while commissioning 57 new ultra modern ambulances for all the local governments and council development areas in the state added that local governments and states need money to deliver their constitutional and statutory responsibilities to people on issues of primary health care like reduction of infant mortality , improvement of maternal healthcare , combating diseases like malaria and HIV//AIDS which are critical elements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Governor Fashola reiterated that most importantly, local governments being the closest to the people remain the most critical arm of government through which the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) can be achieved in the state.
However, he said, for now local government and states do not have funds to perform the essential constitutional and statutory responsibility to the people.
Governor Fashola identified issues like education of our youths, payments of teachers salary, payment of health officials at the local government level as some of those areas that would be endangered by a revenue allocation that could result in reduction of revenue to local governments.
Said he: “This is the time to show that democracy is a government for the people and not against the people.The need for probity and judicious use of funds is not met by taking away those funds. Our responsibility as leaders is to ensure that persons who are put in charge of resources for the people account for such resources”.
The Governor asserted that the initiative of the Executive Secretaries in the State in procuring the ambulances will significantly increase the confidence of public health system to respond to emergencies and also offer efficient medical services to the people especially at the grassroots.
Governor Fashola added that it will further increase the confidence of the people in the government as a caring one that will spare no effort in protecting their best interest, adding that the provision of the ambulances is a practical demonstration of how all levels of government in a federation must work in concert to continuously improve the quality of life of the people.
He warned the drivers and handlers of the ambulances to ensure that they are used only for the designated purposes of taking care of the ill and the sick.
The Lagos State Governor reiterated that Primary Health Care Centre have a critical role to play in the bid to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) in health and reducing poverty by half by Y2015.
Governor Fashola added that this reality has spurred the state government to build on the foundation laid by the preceding administration and ensure a strengthening of internal financial autonomy and capacity of the state to meet its responsibilities.
While commending the step taken by the council chairmen to address shortage of ambulances and complement the fleet of ambulances in the fleet of the state government, he added that it would go a long way in enhancing healthcare delivery at the grassroots by facilitating referrals from PHCs.
The Lagos State Governor added that apart from taking care of emergencies, the ambulances would also be of immense service in transporting patients to secondary institutions such as the General Hospitals within the precincts of the Local Governments and environs.
He commended the quality and standard of the ambulances and the careful preparation made to ensure that they serve the people maximally as they are fitted with GIS monitor and other security devices that would monitor their movement and location at all times.
He restated that for his administration, healthcare provision remains a fundamental human right of everyone irrespective of their social status.
Earlier in his address of welcome, Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Matters, Prince Rotimi Agunsoye asserted that the ambulance launch signifies the continuation of collaborative efforts of the State Government and the Local Governments to develop the dream Lagos State of all.
He added that the achievements of the state Government in the last one year has challenged the Local Governments Councils and Development Areas to put in more efforts to deliver the dividends of democracy to the electorates and be a part of the imminent success story of Lagos.
In his remark, the Chairman of Ojodu Local Council Development Area, Mr James Faleke who spoke on behalf of all the 57 Chairmen said the ambulances would serve as part of Local Governments network for emergency preparedness and response and would also strengthen the two-way referral system from PHCs to secondary level and vice versa.