By Sunday Oguntuyi, Osogbo
Dr. ‘Lere Oyewumi, the Deputy Minority Leader of the Senate says state assemblies should do their part for the local government autonomy to come to stay in the country just as according to him, the National Assembly has done its part.
Oyewumi who identified local government autonomy as the main panacea for the grassroots revitalisation and exploration of treasure troves in the councils, noted that it’s only when it is given full autonomy that the dividends of democracy can easily thrive at the grassroots.
Oyewumi who was once a local government chairman recalled how he was able to identify the plights of his people through meetings.
He said there is nothing wrong with the state and local government partnering in the implementation of the projects that can bring development to the people at the grassroots level.
The lawmaker representing Osun West Senatorial District spoke with journalists at the weekend.
He said: “The problem we are having about autonomy is not at the National Assembly both the Senate and House of Representatives unanimously passed Local Government autonomy, as well as judicial autonomy.
“National Assembly had done its part by granting council areas autonomy to manage its affairs, searchlight should be on the states to ensure total compliance with the law.”
Speaking on the determination of the 10th National Assembly to make things work for the people of the country, Oyewumi revealed plans by the National Assembly to probe abandoned Federal Government projects across the country.
According to him, there were over 10,000 projects being financed by the Federal Government that have been abandoned in all parts of the country.
He also said the lawmakers would use the period of their recess to gather information about the projects and report back to the Senate their findings, adding that anyone found responsible for the delay in completing the projects would not go free.
He said, “All over the country, the Senate discovered that there are more than 10,000 abandoned projects. These are projects that have passed through budget approval and were assumed to have been completed on government papers. But when you got to the site, nothing was being done. I was at Osun State University, Ikire campus. I also visited the Federal College of Education, Iwo.
“At Ikire here, there was a contract awarded in 2010 but uncompleted till now, a lecture theatre. If you get to TETfund now, to them, Osun State University, Ikire campus is supposed to have about five lecture theatres but there is only one functioning there. So, we resolved at the Senate that within these four years, we don’t want to see such abandoned projects again.
“They asked all senators to go back home and find out all the abandoned projects in our districts and collate them. When we return to the Senate, we will find out why the projects were abandoned. Who is at fault? Is it the ministry? Is it the contractor? Is it that they have taken the money and refused to do the job? Nigerians will hear from us very soon.
“Somebody must be responsible and such a person will not go free. These are parts of the corrections the 10th Senate wants to make.”