The Deputy Speaker, Plateau House of Assembly, Mr Yusuf Gagdi, has decried what he called “lack of activity” in the state’s 17 local government areas.
This, he said, had worsened the plight of people in the rural areas.
“The House of Assembly makes laws for the local governments and approves funds for their activities, but we have not seen any improvement in the areas,” he told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Jos on Wednesday.
He said that the situation was telling on the welfare of the rural poor because the local government councils were statutorily expected to provide most of the basic needs of the poor.
“It is the business of the local governments to promote hygiene and primary health care; they are also supposed to provide markets, feeder roads and culverts.
“But if you get to any local government now, you are going to find that even common medicine in the rural clinics must have been supplied by the state government.
“You will also find that potholes are being fixed by the state, which also provide refuse bins.
“ So, you keep wondering what the local governments are doing as the tier that is supposed to be the closest to the grassroots,” he said.
He said that the House had resolved to send its committee to all local governments to verify what was going on.
Gagdi wondered why the management committee chairmen of the local governments had not been able to deliver and vowed to tackle those found wanting.
NAN reports that three months into his administration, Gov. Simon Lalong had dissolved the elected council executives and appointed management committees to steer their affairs.
Gagdi, in his assessment, alleged that none had executed any meaningful projects and programmes that would impact on the people at the grassroots.
According to him, between 80 and 90 per cent of on-going projects at the local government tier were being carried out by the state government.
He said that many local governments secretariats were eyesores, having been taken over by weeds, while structures and vehicles were dilapidated.
The deputy speaker wondered what the management committees were doing with the “ huge monies , especially the Value Added Tax (VAT) released to them over time.’’
“The VAT monies should particularly be accounted for because it is solely for development,” he said.