Edo State Government will, in 2013, hold a town hall meeting on how to get the Local Government Administrations in the state to deliver more dividends of democracy to the people.
Also, a security summit to look into the how to tackle the security
challenges in the state will hold in the New Year.
Besides, construction of the Central Hospital Benin, which suffered a little setback in the outgoing year will be completed and equipped with modern facilities.
Governor Adams Oshiomhole made this known during a meeting with traditional rulers across the three senatorial districts of the state, at the weekend.
According to him, “We need your support to revisit the local governments to make them work for the people. We have to bring a change to the local government administration to bring government closer to the people. In a democracy, the only thing that is constant is change, we cannot continue like this at the local government; we cannot have local governments that are there to pay salaries alone,” he noted.
The governor who expressed dismay over the activities of the local governments said among other reforms to be done is the trimming down of wasteful expenditure which will be diverted for capital projects such as the building of markets in the respective local governments
“I will seek your support to restore sanity in our public life. We have to carry out major reforms across the state and we will need to be more firm,” he stressed.
On the proposed security summit which will involve all stakeholders in the state, the Governor said with the contributions made by the state government, security challenges in the state should have been reduced to the minimal level.
According to him, “In Edo State we have given out over one hundred and ten vehicles for patrol but when I go out I don’t see them. I have asked the Acting Commissioner of Police to make the vehicles available for a physical audit. We cannot accept a situation where the vehicles provided for security in the state are diverted for private use or even taken outside the state for other purposes.
We have to revisit the issue of the vigilante groups carrying weapons to complement the security agencies in our communities.
We will need to go beyond throwing money at the security agencies and find out how they have managed the ones we have given to them”, he added.
The Governor urged the royal fathers to appeal to the Federal Government to adequately fund the security agencies which is a matter in the exclusive legislative list.
He said there will also be reforms in the education sector to enforce discipline.
On agriculture, the Governor said: “In the first term of the administration, we focused on infrastructure, which we are going to sustain. We are now going to focus on Agriculture and the emphasis this time is to attract businesses into the state. We will sustain the current projects and accelerate the pace of work to the extent our resources permit.
“We are expecting more investment in the state, that is why we have to manage our land judiciously and make the land accessible to genuine investors. We will need your support to also clean up the land administration system,” the Governor disclosed, noting that Government has found that a large portion of the state land reserves are in the hands of individuals who do not properly utilise the land, rather they rent out the land and make profits on it, warning that all such lands will be reverted to Government if not properly utilised.
Comrade Oshiomhole maintained that he will do everything to sustain the trust which the traditional rulers and the people of the state have reposed in him by sustaining the welfare and infrastructural agenda across the state.