Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, has forwarded a bill to the state House of Assembly for the creation of 19 Local Council Development Areas in the state.
The governor also forwarded a bill to the lawmakers that would ensure the financial autonomy and independence of the judiciary.
In a statement on Tuesday, the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Olawale Fapohunda said the bill titled, ‘Creation of Local Government Bill, 2021,’ was forwarded to the legislature for consideration and possible passage towards adding to the existing 16 council areas in the state.
He explained that the council areas would operate and be called Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) tentatively “until such a time as the National Assembly shall pass an act recognising them under section 8(5) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended).”
Fapohunda listed the new 19 LCDAs as Ado Central LCDA; Ado North LCDA; Ado West LCDA; Ajoni LCDA; Araromi LCDA; Ekameta LCDA; Ekiti South East LCDA; Ero LCDA; Gbonyin LCDA; Ifedara LCDA and Ifeloju LCDA.
Others include Ifesowopo LCDA; Igbara-Odo/Ogotun LCDA; Ikere West LCDA; Ikole West LCDA; Irede LCDA; Irewolede LCDA; Isokan LCDA and Okemesi/Ido-Ile LCDA.
The commission revealed that the creation of the council areas followed series of engagement and consultations with communities across the 16 local government areas by a committee constituted in Fayemi in November 2020.
“The Committee consulted extensively over a five-month period and submitted a comprehensive report that took into consideration several issues including population of each of the proposed LCDA, availability of personnel, physical structure of proposed headquarters and broad economic viability of the proposed LCDAS.
“In addition, there were several inter-ministerial meetings within the framework of a white paper committee that met to review the report and made recommendations on institutional arrangements for the effective functioning of the proposed LCDAs, especially in view of the economic situation facing the country of which Ekiti State is no exception.
“The State Executive Council further deliberated extensively on the proposals and resolved that the creation of the new LCDAs is in response to the agitations of the communities affected and that continuing the efficient management of state resources by the Fayemi administration will ensure that the LCDAs are appropriately funded. By the provisions of the bill, the governor shall have the power to appoint persons to administer the affairs of the LCDAs until such a time when a democratically elected authority is put in place,” the commissioner said.
Fapohunda added that as a way of ensuring the autonomy and independence of the judiciary by the governor, a bill that would guarantee the management of funds by the state’s judiciary has been sent to the House of Assembly.
According to him , the bill titled ‘The Ekiti State Judiciary (Funds Management) Bill, 2021,’ would give the judiciary power to manage its both capital and recurrent expenditure in line with the provisions of the 1999 constitution (as amended).
“In broad terms, the purpose of this bill is to grant Ekiti State Judiciary the power to manage its capital and recurrent expenditure in accordance with the provision of Sections 6(5)(a)-(I), 81(3), 121(3) and Item 21(e) of the Third Schedule of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) and other relevant laws.
“The Bill further affirms the severally stated commitment of the Fayemi administration to an independent judiciary that is professional, effective, and responsive to the needs of all users including where appropriate, the provision of informal dispute resolution mechanisms,” the commissioner said.