By Nosa Obaze,
Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, has sworn-in the newly elected local council chairmen for the 18 local government areas of the state, charging them on prudent management of resources saved up in their treasuries.
Speaking at the swearing-in ceremony held at the Government House, in Benin City, Edo State capital, on Monday, Obaseki charged the new heads of the councils to be accountable, responsive and responsible in administering the affairs of their councils.
He said, “My administration has kept aside N2 billion saved from the Paris Club refunds in the councils’ treasury for the new executives to commence activities.
According to him, “You are not coming to meet an empty treasury. I have saved your Paris refund in excess of N2billion and some of you have savings in excess of N2billion.
“So, you will be coming into office with some reserves and savings, but you have to focus on enduring projects.”
He said the era, in which council bosses left offices with debts for their successors would not be accepted, noting that his administration has spent the last 17 months offsetting debts incurred by former local government executives.
The governor described the peaceful conduct of the electoral process as historical, noting, “The increasing acceptability of the laudable programmes of the All Progressives Congress (APC) enabled you to secure victory at the polls. We do not expect less from you.
“Your elections were free and fair, so you must go and serve the people who voted you into office. You have no Godfather to settle. Your sole responsibility must be the welfare of the people in your council,” the governor charged the newly elected executives.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, who witnessed the swearing-in ceremony, commended Governor Obaseki for saving up funds for the chairmen to kick-start their activities. He described the act as benevolent and urged the council bosses to utilize the fund for the benefit of the masses.
In his vote of thanks on behalf of other chairpersons, Mr Jenkins Osunde, Oredo Local Council chairman, thanked people of the state for finding them worthy to pilot their affairs.
He assured that they would live up to the confidence reposed in them and build on the foundation already laid by the Godwin Obaseki-led administration.