Sycophancy and LGA governance, By Ejikeme Alozie-Nwagboso
How many of us know what our LGAs are actually doing? Many times, we mainly see exaggerated stories and pictures from the leaders’ hype teams. The very basic things are very much hyped.
The obsequious flattery of people around the LGA leadership is not helping local governance. The consequence of sycophantic democracy is bad governance. Period.
This is where focus on financial management comes in. I am a financial accountant, and I understand the importance of figures and data integrity.
We need to start holding our LGAs accountable. This is a very important responsibility to undertake. We have to know how the LGAs are planning, mobilizing, and effectively spending their resources. This is where I am an advocate of democracy at the LGA levels and not caretaker appointments.
Our LGAs should start producing and releasing audited financial statements. Their financial operations need to be improved. Let them start presenting budgets and providing tools for measuring their progress. We need to see effective structural and organizational controls at the LGAs.
We can not be overly critical of the federal and state governments while ignoring the local governments. The LGAs are very important.
It is important to understand the financial knowledge and tools available to the leadership at the local level. We need to start focusing on financial sustainability. The uncovering of financial waste, abuse, and fraud must be paramount.
Understanding the fiscal stress of the LGAs will help the people, state, and federal government to understand where the inbalance is coming from and provide measurable assistance as needed.
We can have the LGAs designated into fiscal stress categories: (a) significant fiscal stress, (b) moderate fiscal stress, (c) susceptible to fiscal stress, (d) fiscally healthy.
That said, we all know that charity begins at home. I, therefore, call on the LGA heads in Ukwa West and East to start driving this initiative immediately. The state governor, Dr. Alex Otti should ensure such an initiative is implemented as well. For now, the LGA Heads are his appointees, so he has a role to play here.
We need structural, financial, and organizational control consultants at the LGA levels. Find them, get them, and hire them to streamline governance and ensure judicious use of our collective resources.
By Ejikeme Alozie-Nwagboso (MBA), a financial accountant from Ukwa West LGA in Abia state, Nigeria.