Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, has advised Nigerians to pay more attention to the outcome of governorship and local government elections than presidential polls.
The minister was speaking at The Platform, an annual conference organised by Covenant Christian Centre in Lagos, on Thursday.
The virtual event hosted by Poju Oyemade, its convener, was to commemorate the nation’s 60th independence anniversary.
Topping Twitter trends in Nigeria as of 11:00 am was the hashtag #Nigeria60AndUseless as Nigerians expressed disappointment over the country’s state, 60 years after independence.
Several users faulted the government at the centre over poor leadership.
However, Fashola said Nigerians are disappointed in the federal government and should rather pay more attention to the government at the local and state levels rather than the federal level.
The minister explained that the governments at both levels are directly responsible for providing basic education, primary healthcare, water supply, among other necessities of Nigerians.
“Government is not magic and we continue to project hope. But some Nigerians must realize that what we expect of the Nigerian federal government perhaps lies more with the state governors and the local government,” he said.
“Some of the most basic things are with them. So looking for it from the federal government perhaps is why we seem to have been disappointed because we are looking for the result in the wrong place. Waste management, water supply, primary healthcare, basic education, those are all things with the local and state government.”
“Federal government does not own a primary healthcare centre. In Nigeria, the federal government has roughly about 107 secondary schools. I will urge people to go and read the constitution. The powers the president has are about 25, many of them are circumscribed by the national assembly and judiciary.
“The government that can transform us and give us the things we want most quickly are the governments closest to us – state and local government. Security is a shared responsibility. Going forward in choosing leaders, we must make sure that we pay even greater attention to who is governor, who is a local government chairman than we pay to who is president.”
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