Vice President Arc Mohammed Namadi Sambo, says the President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan administration places premium on the development of the grassroots, as it is key to the realisation of the Transformation Agenda.
The Vice President stated this on Wednesday at the Opening Ceremony of the 2-day Leadership Seminar on Local Governments, with the theme “Promoting Executive and Legislative Cooperation” holding at the Peace Park, Abuja.
Arc Sambo, who was represented at the event by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Mallam Umar Sani, stressed that due to the importance the President Jonathan Administration had attached to the acceleration and development of the people at the grassroots, it had come up with various intervention policies and programmes that would impact positively on their fortunes.
He said “Although the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is explicit on the powers and responsibilities of each tier of government, nonetheless, the Federal Government has offered various supports in critical areas through interventions especially in basic education.”
Speaking, he enumerated some of these measures to include the Agricultural Transformation Agenda, which had repositioned agriculture as a lucrative business, and availed farmers’ easy access to cheap funds and farm inputs, such as fertilizer, through the E-wallet system of distribution. Other invention programmes include, access to basic education, through the Textbooks initiative; the Almajiri programme; the Girl-Child Education; as well as the Out-of School Boy Child Education programme.
Arc Sambo, while commending the organisers of the event also emphasised the significance of Local Government Administration to the delivery of basic services and the overall development of the society, saying “It is instructive to note that its democratic nature is guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.”
“It is indeed gladdening to note that the Leadership Conference Limited is organizing such an important seminar that will sensitize and enlighten both the leaders and the people on the roles and responsibilities of local government administration so as to engender a sense of accountability and transparency in governance,” he also added.
Earlier the Group Managing Director of Leadership Group, Mr. Azubuike Ishiekwene, said that the critical role the local government plays in grassroots development and also to deepen the capacity of officials at that level of government, as well as the need to deepen the conversation with the local governments in the light of the ongoing national dialogue and constitutional amendments, informed the convening of the conference.
Highlights of the event was paper presentation by Professor A. A. Anyebe of the Faculty of Administration, ABU, Zaria, titled Operation of the Presidential System at the Local Government Level: The Executive and Legislative in Perspective.
Present at the event were Mr. A. E. Olanrewaju, Acting Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Local Government, Oyo State, Dr. James Nda Jacob of the Department of Political Science, University of Abuja and also Dr. Duro Oniemola, Community Development Consultant, Egbeda-Egga, Ijumu LGA of Kogi State.