The wards as centers of development
By Ezekiel Nya-Etok
Social Governance Ideology (SGI) rests on Seven Pillars (Fundamentals).
While ‘Fundamental 1’ states that “Social Governance is a Bottom-To-Top approach to governance and development with the primary objective of bringing the citizens out of poverty”,
‘Fundamental 6’ states that “Social Governance manifests in massive investments in the rural areas for their Development and Transformation”
To actualize the above, I have articulated the concept of the WARDS as Centers of Development.
In this concept, several challenges of our governance approach and structures are to be addressed.
To give life to Social Governance Ideology, the last Fundamental, (Fundamental 7), states that “Social Governance is therefore the effective actualization of the core mandate of our constitution which states that The Security and Welfare of the people shall be the primary purpose of Government “ (Chapter 2, Section 14, Sub-section 2b)
The The Wards As Centers Of Development, operates as follows:
1. Set up ward governments as the fourth tier of government.
2. Use this arm of government to address several of our governance structural defects by keeping it lean, functional, and cost effective.
3. In so doing, ask each ward to elect women and men of proven integrity and capacity to man the affairs of the ward government. Priority will be given to retired Perm Secs, Directors, Principals, and the likes a heads who will operate strictly on voluntary basis, meeting one Saturday fortnightly, while at least 80% of the governing Council must be youth of not more than 40 years of age (out of which at least 50% should be below 30 years of age), with a minimum of 40% of all members being FEMALE.
4. Their prime responsibility will be to articulate the NEEDS of the ward, and the execution strategy from the monthly allocations that will be made available by the state government based on the global template that is set up by the state for their operation.
5. On the above, specific allocation is made available DIRECTLY to the Wards from the state government based on established revenue sharing formula. Special allocation will be made for OIL BEARING AREAS (this is caller Justice.
We can’t demand from FGN and not do same in the state. I’ve preached this since 2007).
On account of the forgoing, the following will be achieved
A. There will be relative even development of ALL areas of the state, -as opposed to the present situation where some parts of our rural areas have not felt the presence of government in decades.
B. We would have demonstrated PRACTICALLY, the futility of WASTING our development funds in often ineffective leadership structures in our democracy (I am sure that we all know where I am coming from -do we really need full time legislature an all tiers of government, if at any?!!!)
C. Projects will be solutions to REAL NEEDS as such need are articulated by the locals, and not Uyo deciding what we need in Nsiak Town!
D. There will be accountability as the projects will be executed by the locals, and not by ‘imported’ contractors that often do shoddy jobs and take off.
E. There will be massive employment generation and grassroots empowerment as developments are carried out (as in Akwa Ibom State), not just at the one state capital, and 31 LGAs, but in 329 (now about 368) Wards AT THE SAME TIME every month !!!!
F. With the above, there will definitely be a reversed URBAN-RURAL migration!
G. Please kindly add your advantages!
Lagos State in 2004 had a favorable Supreme Court judgement as regards the creation of additional LGAs except that such LGAs will not enjoy statutory allocations from the Federal Government.
Arc Nya-Etok Ezekiel,
Visioner: Social Governance Ideology.
(Recently joined African Democratic Congress ADC, who have adopted Social Governance Ideology for the party at the national level, and made me a BoT member to drive the ideology in the party).