The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki on Wednesday commended outgoing local government area chairmen for their outstanding performance during their period in office.
Obaseki gave the commendation at a valedictory session in honour of the 18 outgoing LGA Chairmen in the state.
The governor noted, “I know all the challenges that you were faced with, but you stood firm and continued in a dogged manner.
“I know the security challenges you faced, but in all, you did well. As a government, we truly appreciate you and also thank you for all the good works that you have done.
“Your people elected you as chairmen to work with me and just looking back over the last three years, there is nothing to regret about working with you. That we are back in office today is largely due to the efforts of each and every one of you.”
Obaseki continued: “If you didn’t do well, if you didn’t follow the policies that we laid down, if you didn’t support our course, our people will not have believed in us. You were our generals on the field.
“Whatever we have achieved as a government can be attributed to your performance. There were challenges, particularly financial challenges.
“I knew what we went through trying to build up your revenue base; I knew the disappointment that you faced as a result of COVID-19, witnessing that revenue base go away.
“Local government administration in Nigeria can never be the same again, post Covid-19. You are perhaps the last set of chairmen that will run the local government the way it used to be; it’s not going to be business as usual.”
Reassuring of more policies and programmes to improve the livelihoods of Edo people, the governor stated: “Right now, we are undertaking a major transformation of the civil service; the local government administration has to be transformed. We are working hard to make sure we have a strong internet in all the local governments for ease of communication.
“Your payrolls must all be automated; we are going to screen all your staff. We are going to find out who is working or not; it’s going to be very tough. As outgoing chairmen, we will come to you for help. Please make yourselves available.”
The governor assured that the era in which local governments cannot pay workers’ salaries were over, noting that his administration will leave a legacy 30-year-development plan for future chairmen.
Earlier, the outgoing Chairman of the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON) in Edo, Mr. Jerkins Osunde, on behalf of other outgoing LGA chairmen, thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve with his government.