The FCT Minister, Malam Muhammad Musa Bello has canvassed for good working relations between Council Chairmen and Councillors of the FCT Area Councils.
The Minister gave this counsel when the Speakers’ Forum of the FCT Area Council legislative houses paid him a courtesy call on Tuesday, 22 August 2017.
Malam Bello also charged the leadership of the Area Councils to embrace prudent management of resources as a means to achieving the needed development in the Area Councils.
He said, “it is very important for you to give maximum support and cooperation to your Chairmen because, as a popular Nigerian proverb says, one hand cannot clap. So, no matter what people tell you, know that one hand cannot clap. If you want progress, you have to cooperate very closely with your Chairmen. Support them, discuss with them, cooperate with them and, by the grace of God, you will find out everything will go smoothly.”
“Secondly, as an administration, I will like to appeal to you that, as legislative council, you are now operating at a time that we are in a recession. But like we told you here, one kobo of Area Council money, I told them don’t touch. Everything goes to the Area Councils. When I read in the papers, I see that it doesn’t happen like that in so many parts of the country.”
He urged the Councillors to support the Chairmen in various areas of development especially on environmental sanitation. The Minister noted that the absence of resources has meant that the FCT Administration is spending millions to support activities that ordinarily are outside its field of responsibility because the FCT believes that “the Area Council citizens are our citizens.”
He charged the Councillors saying “environmental sanitation is not something that you need to even spend much money in. As leaders of your wards, just like the way all of you are skilled mobilizers in your localities and that is why you have been elected, now mobilize people to clean their environment. Every councillor is representing a ward or some wards. So arrange to say, ‘okay today is Saturday, I’m going to be in so and so ward’ to mobilize them to clean their environment. ”
Furthermore the Minister urged the visiting councillors to take more than a cursory interest in the education of their constituents saying. “as councillors, go to the primary schools to make sure the teachers are there, even if it is under a tree that they are reading, make sure they are teaching them something. Of course, there are many good dedicated teachers but you have to check and see it. “
“The same with health centres. If it is a nurse or midwife posted to the primary healthcare centre, make sure that the woman or the man is always there. If there is problems, some of these the Chairman cannot do. But you can donate something, even if it is one gallon. This is the way you can bring change to your localities.”
In keeping with the need for transparency, the Minister reiterated his directive that all allocations to the Area Councils be published in the Administration’s Newspaper, “Abuja Digest.”
In his remarks at the occasion, the Acting Secretary, Area Council Services Secretariat, Arc. Joshua Kaura noted that FCT Administration has been diligent to ensure that Area Councils are working. The Administration, he said, has continued with the policy of releasing 100 percent of all Area Council allocations as well as ensuring that the 10 percent of the FCT Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) that goes to the Area Councils are shared during JAAC meeting at the same time Area Councils get their monthly statutory allocation.
Arc. Joshua Kaura urged the Councillors to work with the Chairmen to harness the various sources of IGR in their Area Councils to ensure availability of funds for development purposes.
Earlier in his address to the FCT Minister, Hon. Daniel Shanyibwa Michael, the Leader of the Speakers’ Forum, said they visited the FCT Minister to convey their appreciation to him for the able way he was been piloting the affairs of FCT as both a father and a leader. He also conveyed the felicitations of the Councillors on the safe return of Mr. President, Muhammadu Buhari to the country, after his medical leave in London.
Hon. Michael appealed for the support of the Administration in the effort to shore up the finances of the Area Councils and for enhanced welfare of the grassroots populace. They also appealed to the FCT Minister to help the Councillors secure land for their own houses.
Chief Press Secretary
To The FCT Minister