The New Sheriff in Obingwa: Hon. Ibe Nwoke and the Task Before Him
The baton of leadership of local government administration in Abia State changed hands on Tuesday, 22nd of December 2020 with the swearing-in of newly elected council chairmen by the state Governor, Dr. Okezie Ikpeazu.
The inauguration ceremony was a funfare of some sort as family, friends and well wishers of the new council bosses rolled drums to celebrate.
With their swearing-in begins real governance. The Chief law Officer of Obingwa Hon. Ibe Nwoke recognises the fact that huge responsibility has been placed on his shoulders to provide the much needed good governance at the grassroots level. The council Boss must hurry to the drawing board to map out strategies to turn around fortunes of Obingwa local governments. The time is now to settle down to business of good governance.
Hon. Nwoke assuming office at a time when funding is a huge challenge, no thanks to the dwindling federal allocation. The local governments are neck deep debts of salary arrears of workers and pensions of retirees. Hence, the new local government administration must find a sustainable solution to salary crisis. He is coming on board at a time the people expect much from him and he cannot afford to disappoint those who elected him into office. The people have, by their votes, discharged their responsibility, therefore it is now the turn of the chairman to fulfil his part of the social contract made with the people of his council.
One major area he must focus on is revenue generation. Hon. Nwoke must identify and exploit latent potentials of Obingwa local council for economic gains. He should synergise with all relevant stakeholders to raise Internally Generated Revenue to meet his statutory responsibilities. This is the only way your administrations can survive and meet the people’s expectations. Despite the prevailing economic challenges being experienced in the country, the executive chairman should endeavour to propel sustainable development in all possible ways. Financial prudence should be ensured in office and transparency in resource management is pertinent while financial leakages must be identified and blocked.
In addition, there are business opportunities in rural communities, but they lack requisite infrastructure to lure entrepreneurs and investors. Most rural communities are battling infrastructural development deficit, it is one of the challenges that the new sheriff is expected to tackle. For any community to attract new investment and foster economic growth and development it should have basic social infrastructure. However, effective leadership and conducive environment are also required to push economic growth development. Thus, the need for attention to be paid to all sectors of the economy at the grassroots.
For good governance, the dividends of democracy must be fairly distributed to all people without prejudice to political affiliation, gender, religious belief or ethnic background. The traditional and religious institutions, associations and youths must be involved in governance, as the tasks ahead of the chairman is daunting, which requires all hands to be on deck.
It behooves the chairman to justify the confidence reposed in him by living up to expectation.
On the other part, the state government must support the new eychief executives of the local government towards fast tracking development at the grassroots.
Stanley Nwaokonko (Evergreen)