Edo begins audit of councils, probes N10 billion debt
Obaseki plans new airport in Edo North
Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, yesterday, disclosed that his administration has commenced investigation of an alleged N10bn debt burden incurred by the immediate past local government administration in the state. He said his administration was committed to fixing the structural problems in the local government system to bring development closer to the people.
Obaseki said this during a meeting with leaders of Edo Central Senatorial District at Irrua, headquarters of Esan Central Council of the state.
“I am doing an audit of all the local governments. In addition to all the receipts, they incurred debt of over N10 billion and so, I want to find out what happened.
“We are operating a system that is not working anymore and we all must agree to change it, because we are all involved. We can only deliver quality services to our people only if we agree moving forward.
“We must clean up the local government system, knowing that elections will soon take us back to the people, who will ask us about our electoral promises. The clean up is necessary to enable us to deliver services to our people,” he said.
Obseki, who hinted at backing local government autonomy, noted: “I have realised that there are structural problems in the local government. We don’t take money or touch the local government’s money. We are transparent and open, as we don’t interfere in local governments’ finances.
The governor further charged local governments not to rely on monthly federal allocation but to be innovative and come up with better means of improving their revenue.
A leader of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Igueben Council, Chief Felix Omi Imoisili, said: “We will collaborate with you in the reforms at the local government level. We will support your administration to succeed in this direction.”
MEANWHILE, Obaseki also revealed that he was discussing with investors, development partners and other stakeholders on the possibility of building an airport in Edo North Senatorial District to open up the area and boost economic activities in the state.
Obaseki, who disclosed this during a meeting with PDP members at the wards and councils of the district, said the government was working to improve the state’s transportation network.
“There are some key projects we want to implement in Edo North. Some major investors who desire to come to the state are talking to us now. We have huge opportunities in agriculture, mining and transportation.
“One of the major things that I want to do is to build an airport. Access is key, and if people can fly in directly, it will improve our economy,” he stated.
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