From Steve Oko, Umuahia
The Councillor representing Asaga Ward in the Ohafia Legislative Council, Hon. Kalu Mba Nwoke, has emphasized that the much-expected grassroots development in rural communities would remain elusive until Local Governments are granted full financial autonomy.
Nwoke, who stated this in a chat with newsmen in Umuahia said the current practice where States and Councils operate joint account stifles developments at the grassroots as funds available to the third tier of government are hardly sufficient for their yawning needs.
He noted that Councillors would hardly make any sufficient impact on their constituents due to meagre resources at their disposals, except few who could make extra sacrifices outside their earnings.
The counsellor who revealed that he had sponsored some key projects in the community worth over N6 million from his personal savings, identified some of the projects as procurement of Free Farm Shuttle, which takes the villagers to the farm on Eke market days to help them evacuate farm produce, free distribution of potable water to villagers ( using tankers) , and construction of Asaga culvet.
Others include renovation of five village relaxation joints ( ogwe) for the elderly , parching of potholes at Ugwumba bridge , among others.
His words: “I just want to use it as a platform to serve my people. I was not attracted by money. I use my personal savings from my private business to sponsor projects for my people.
“That is why I strongly support financial autonomy for LGAs so Councils can have enough funds to embark on developmental projects for the people at the grass root. When development is brought closer to the rural people there will be less pressure on the cities, and we shall all be better for it”.