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‘Lagos Govt Takes 80% Of Council Funds’ – Ogunlewe

First Bank Nigeria

A former Minister of Works, Chief Adeseye Ogunlewe, says 80 per cent of funds meant for the local government in the state have been withdrawn by the Lagos State Government.

The former minister also attributed the increase in crime rate in Lagos to poor funding of the local governments in the state.

Ogunlewe, who spoke in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, said many of the dropouts committing crimes on the road could have been accommodated by the policies of the local governments.

He, therefore, asked Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to release more funds to the councils to implement social welfare policies.

While lamenting the incessant traffic robbery in the state, Ogunlewe said many public schools in the state were in poor conditions.

He said the number of dropouts in Lagos schools was over 50 per cent.

He said, “Our local government in the state has lost relevance due to poor financing. The councils have been incapacitated. Governor Ambode must consider the future and do something about the rise in the wave of crime. We must be concerned about our youths who are dropping out of school. About 80 per cent of the funds meant to be disbursed to the local governments are being taken over by the state government. The Lagos State Government is   not releasing funds to the local governments to do their jobs.

“Before now, you cannot imagine any local government in Lagos that gets below N300m per month from the Federation Account. These days, the funds do not go to the local governments. This is the closest government to the people. People are saying that Lagos State revenue is increasing but the revenue of the local governments is diminishing.”

The PDP chieftain also called for the rehabilitation of public primary schools in the state.

He said since Ambode has a good understanding of the local government system, he should not starve the local governments of funds like his predecessors.

He added, “The increase in the wave of crime is saddening and rather unfortunate. The number of dropouts in Lagos is over 50 per cent. If you go to any primary school that is owned by the government, the government is not taking care of those primary schools. Everybody now sends their children to private primary school.

“But the majority of the residents cannot afford the cost of sending their children to private schools. Even in our secondary schools, we have 50 per cent failure. These dropouts are the ones causing mayhem on our roads. These are the things Ambode must correct now. It is a structural problem that he must quickly address.”

Source: Punch

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