Focus on LG development for sustainable national growth – Adeshina

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Director-General of UK-based Diaspora Grassroots for Better Governance in Nigeria, Mr Ade Adeshina

By Mariam Akande

The Federal Government has been urged to shift significant attention to empowering the local government system and operations, to ensure sustainable national development goals.

The Director-General of the UK-based Diaspora Grassroots for Better Governance in Nigeria, Mr Ade Adeshina, made the call on Sunday in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

He said the primary purpose of the government, after ensuring the safety of life and property, was to guarantee improved conditions of the citizens wherever they live in the country.

According to him, many Local Government Areas (LGAs) have not witnessed the dividends of democracy.

He noted that rural communities had suffered the most due to poor governance.

“Simple road networks cannot be built to required standards.

“Local government council officials lack required scrutiny and, are in most cases, incapable of managing public pulse.

“Given Nigeria’s abundant natural and human resources, the current state of development is a source of concern.

“We must heed the words of former Premier of the defunct Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who said that Nigeria should not be a poor nation given its vast resources,” Adeshina said.

Adeshina added that the removal of fuel subsidies and the resulting high inflation rate had exacerbated the challenges faced by ordinary Nigerians.

Similarly, he noted that the exchange rate of one dollar for N1,040 in the parallel market, as at Oct. 12, had also compounded the issue.

To address these challenges and set Nigeria on a path to sustainable growth, Adeshina said the federal government must focus on infrastructure development across the 774 LGAs.

He added that the President Bola Tinubu-led administration must reform the civil service to make every officer accountable for his actions and omissions.

“The transition from a production-oriented economy, as our founders envisioned, to a consumption-based economy in the 1970s has hindered our progress.

“We must return to a production-oriented path, growing and producing what we need locally and embracing our homegrown products.

“This approach will reduce the demand for foreign currencies and make our Naira attractive to foreign investors,” he said.

According to him, central to this transformation is the need for robust infrastructure development.

He called for a standardised road and rail network to open up rural communities for business to enable economic inclusion.

“The deplorable state of infrastructure across the 774 LGAs has hindered progress and economic growth.

“Basic road infrastructure and modern transport systems are essential to alleviate the challenges faced by our densely populated cities and to attract investment to rural areas,” he said.

Adeshina, who is also the Director General of Bola Tinubu Support Organisation, UK branch (BTSO-UK), noted that with improved infrastructure, agricultural products would no longer go to waste due to bad roads.

According to him, this will attract firms to set up production facilities, boost the economy, and provide employment opportunities.

The D-G said the focus on LGAs was pivotal as it was at the grassroots level that the country could begin the restoration of its glory.

“We must empower and hold local governments accountable for creating an enabling environment for investors and fostering development.

“The restructuring of the civil service at all level of governance is equally vital,” he said.

Adeshina explained that civil servants played a pivotal role in policy implementation, and their efficiency was paramount to achieving the goals of the Tinubu’s administration.

“Restoring Nigeria’s glory and rescuing its citizens from hopelessness requires practical steps. It demands more than empty promises.

“It necessitates the eradication of corruption, a commitment to grassroots governance, investment in infrastructure, and civil service reform.

“Nigerians deserve a better future, and it is our collective responsibility to build the Nigeria of our dreams,”Adeshina said.

He called on the Tinubu-led administration to focus on substantial infrastructure development, stressing that it was time for action.

Source: News Agency of Nigeria