Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State said the desire to make local government system responsive to service delivery accounted for the delay in conducting council polls in the state.
Ugwuanyi disclosed this on Monday in Enugu during the 2017 Democracy Day celebration at the Michael Okpara Square.
He said that the local government system had noticeable lapses which needed to be addressed, adding that he set out to address such challenges on assumption of office.
The governor said that stakeholders in the state met on Nov. 28, 2015 to assess the problems of local government administration in the state.
“To make the local government system more effective, we set up the Local Government Audit and other Reforms Committee to look into the problems of local government administration and management.
“This effort to reposition the system accounted for the delay in conducting council elections,” he said.
Ugwuanyi said that the committee headed by the Speaker of the state’s House of Assembly, Chief Edward Obosi, made useful findings and recommendations.
“For instance, the panel uncovered the existence of over 3,000 ghost workers across the 17 local government areas and this was a major drain to the resources of local councils in the state.
“We have substantially implemented the recommendations of the committee and also addressed the issue of salaries arrears in the system.
“We have also reconstituted the Enugu State Independent Electoral Commission (ENSIEC) and today I can confidently say local councils in the state are ready to fly,” he said.
Ugwuanyi said that his administration would soon approach the state assembly for the appropriation of funds for the conduct of council elections later in the year.
“I want to promise you that it is going to be the most transparent local council election in recent history,” he said.
The governor said that the state had become one united family after the two years of his administration.
“Our state has been variously described as the citadel of peace and harmony, for irrespective of divergent political aspirations and persuasions, in brotherhood we stand,” he said.