By Joy Odor
Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has harped on the need for a cordial relationship between chairmen of local governments and their councillors.
Engineer Sule laid the charge while flagging off the maiden three-day capacity building workshop for local government legislative councils, which held in Lafia, on Tuesday.
Commenting on the already existing harmonious working relationship between his administration and the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, the governor urged the councillors to maintain similar relationship with their executive chairmen.
“It’s important for you to understand that the local government Chairman is the executive, while you are the legislature. It’s very important for you to work together,” he stated.
According to the governor, the issue of the control of local government finances, has led some people to call for the abolishing of the third-tier of governance, since people at the grassroots are not benefitting, with local government funds frittered.
He disclosed that barely one month with the coming of his administration, precisely on June 1, 2019, autonomy was granted to local governments in the country, with Nasarawa State in the forefront to fully implemnent the law.
“And from the day that I came, up till this moment, I have never touched one naira belonging to the local government,” he said.
Engineer Sule emphasized that he never for once, interfered in the monthly JAC meetings of the councils, not because he was neglecting them but because he intended to grant them full autonomy, in order for them to make the intended impact.
While making reference to the mutual relationship between the executive, legislature and judiciary at the state level, the governor appreciated the full support given to his administration by the state House of Assembly.
He added that, being the other arm of government, the legislature while undertaking its oversight functions, may likely see things the executive may have not paid attention to, with the executive willing to implement resolutions from the assembly.
“I strongly believe it’s for the assembly to identify some of these areas that we have not been able pay attention to,” the governor said.
Speaking on the capacity building workshop, Engineer Sule commended the Speaker of the Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, for initiating the session.
This is just as he commended consultants handing the training, Multiventures Resources Limited, for assembling indigenous resource persons with practical experience, that will impact hands-on training to the participants.
” This is actually a workshop which means before you leave here, you must all learn how to play the roles you were elected to do,” he told the participants.
He however asked the councillors to apply the knowledge they will gain from the training, in order for people to benefit from it.
In a keynote address, speaker, Nasarawa State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ibrahim Balarabe Abdullahi, described the workshop as historic, being the first of its kind to be organised in the state.
RT. Hon Abdullahi noted that, the local government system, being the nearest to the people at the grassroots, is expected to augment efforts of both the state and federal governments.
He described the workshop as crucial, since delivering service at the council, remains a collective responsibility of the two arms of government.
The speaker urged participants to take the workshop seriously, since whatever they may learn, will remain their life-long asset.
On his part, chief consultant, Multiventures Resources Limited, Hon. Abdulhamid Kwarra, said his firm deliberately a team of professionals and practitioners to impact their practical experience on the participants.
He disclosed that, for two decades, MRL, have been the resource persons and trainers for the state House of Assembly, with this now being extended to the local government.
Hon. Kwarra pointed out that the idea of the workshop is to impact knowledge practically for the participants to do exactly what is expected of a legislator at the local government level.
Earlier in a welcome address, executive chairman of Lafia Local Government Area, Hon. Aminu Muazu Maifata, appreciated Engineer Sule for approving the training workshop, being the first of its kind since the creation of the state.
Papers to be presented during the workshop include legislative practice and procedure, by Hon. Ego Maikeffi, clerk of the state assembly, procedure for making bye-law, by Barrister Obiri, director, legal services, Nasarawa State House of Assembly and control of public funds and appropriation, to be delivered by Hon. Daniel Oga Ogazi, deputy minority leader.
Others are, issues in promoting cordial relationship between legislature and executive arms of government, by Hon. Agede Auta and parliamentary ethics and code conduct for elected councillors.