‘Nulge President Urges Fellow Comrades To Be Loyal And Dedicated To Their Duties’
Comrade Lasisi Ayinde Akinsanya may not be the Governor of Lagos State but he is the President of National Union of Local Government Employees NULGE, Lagos Chapter. His good work to public service ushered him to his second tenure as a good advocate to the needs and productivity of his comrades. In this interview with Chinyere Okoroafor and Abel Lazarus, he commented on the merits of additional 37 LCDAs, among other issues;
Is there any different between the performance of local government employees of military regime and democracy now?
There is no much difference from the performance of the local government employees during the military regime and now because we perform the same duty. The only difference I can say is that Governor Emeritus Bola Ahmed Tinubu created 37 LCDA’s, out of the existing 20 Local Government Areas in Lagos State, which really expanded the scope of operations of the Local Government workers. Another difference is the fact that democracy is the government of the people where there is a dialogue between the elected and the electorate unlike the dictatorship system of administration that crowns the military period. I remember when we fought for our minimum wage during the regime of Bubur Marwa who was then the Military head of State in Lagos State, he sacked Akele who was then the chairman of Joint Negotiation council, leading the union team that was negotiating the increment of minimum wage salary for workers in Lagos State, but when the democratic Governor Ahmed Tinubu came, he brought him back.
What do you think would be the advantages of financial autonomy for local government?
Oh! A lot of advantages, we are talking about finance and without finance no Local Government Chairman will be able to construct village streets and amenities surrounding its area, so when allocations are been received directly from the Federal Allocation Commission, it gives the Local Government the energy and financial muscle to perform more and to distribute dividends of democracy, which is the door step of the electorate more than what it used to be then. Financial autonomy will forward strengthen the Local Government.
The only difference I can say is that Governor Emeritus Bola Ahmed Tinubu created 37 LCDA’s, out of the existing 20 Local Government Areas in Lagos State, which really expanded the scope of operations of the Local Government workers
What is your appraisal of local government performance in Lagos as been the third tier government?
Local Government in Lagos State has been trying their best in p but as you can agree with me that any government policy, be it federal or the state is been implemented at the local government level. It is at the local government that all policies such as polio and malaria vaccine are been executed. If this no local government, then there is no nation. It is the bedrock of development of any state or nation throughout the world. So local government in the rear of government has been an essential tier of government.
What effort is NULGE putting in developing its employees?
From time to time we organise training for our grass root members on our own. Just last month we organised stakeholders retreat in Badagry, where chairmen of local government areas, council managers, human resource officers and council treasuries gathered to discuss on how we can co-exist peacefully, how we can improve the welfare of the workers because as a union we don’t have the power to do much but we can only request from the management on behalf of our workers, that this and this is what our members need. The retreat was to create a mutual understanding, a brainstorming ideas among the stakeholders on what to do for our members. And at the end we all agreed on certain things.
Is there a cordial relationship between the NULGE and the LCDA’S management?
Of cause, as you can see, Lagos State is very peaceful; if the local Government Areas are not peaceful then it means that Lagos State is not peaceful. Ever since we resumed office as leaders of the union we have been able to orient our members that dialogue, lobbying, round table discussion is the order of the day and that table banging and closure of gate is out dated and is no more the tools for getting our goals and welfare of our members. And it has been working fine for all of us and that is why we have relative peace in Local Government and that is also why the relationship between the NULGE and the local government management in Lagos is very cordial and that accounts to the relative peace we are enjoying in Lagos State.
What could be seen as the benefit of the creation of the additional LCDAS?
I give kudos to Governor Emeritus his Excellence Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his vision in creating the 37 LCDA’s. The creation of these LCDA’s means that the number of council managers that was 20 was now increased to 57, that is an additional 37 council managers and by this innovation it simply means that government has been brought closer to the people and this will in turn bring about development.
What message do you want to pass across to your members?
I want to appreciate all members for been there for us, for their support and encouragement all this while. And I want to advise them to remain loyal and dedicated to duties. Shy away from lateness and absconding from duties. The revenue collectors as well should be dedicated to their duties and bring in more revenue to the local government as we the leaders will continue to press the management for more tools and working materials for them to perform their duties better.