****By TheNewspad Editor**** ***Past governments in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State did join so many Nigerians to lament the death of a trader who was crushed by a hit-and-run vehicle at Udo market located within the Council years ago. The sad incident happened years ago; but like the typical Nigerian factor,
****By TheNewspad Editor****
***Past governments in Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State did join so many Nigerians to lament the death of a trader who was crushed by a hit-and-run vehicle at Udo market located within the Council years ago.
The sad incident happened years ago; but like the typical Nigerian factor, recommendations were made and as usual kept it in the library shelf where it gathered dust without any implementation.
Consequently on the seeming inaction of of Ovia South West Local Government authority, the Council bathed in negative publicity arising from the indignant fury of the relatives of the deceased attracted headlines which were widely echoed in the Nigerian Media that wasted no time to upbraid the authorities concerned for not seeing into the affairs since the Udo market was under the direct purview of the Council.
Ovia South West was created in 1954 when Nigeria was under the British Crown and the market which is the subject of the story has always been a melting pot like many similar markets. It contributes a lot of revenues towards the Local Government purse.
As a consequence of the nodal market, predictably, the population of Udo rural dwellers has increased. Over time, the scramble for limited space in the market area, created the push effect towards the shoulders of the road from the shops towards the main road, and this has persisted.
Rather than join in lamenting the crisis of space for the traders and the harrowing experience of pedestrians and commuters who also use the road, the Chairman of Ovia South West Local Government Area, Comrade Destiny Enabulele, stepped into the situation and the rhythm of things is changing for good.
The government plans to relocate the traders upon the completion of a model market in the locality which will address overcrowding and the possibility of a “hit-and-run” along the road where the market is situated.
“We want to relocated the market and two others thereby taking the traders off the edge of the road, Comrade Destiny Enabulele said.
Recall that Udo market was named in honour of Udo Community which was the ancestral home of the famous “Arhuan Nokemezi”, the Great (the Duke of Udo) in the great Benin Kingdom. He was described as a giant who uprooted a palm tree to sweep.
According to Oral evidence, Aruan Aruan who was the first born had settled in a kingdom called Udo which he intended to make the Capital of Benin, but was confronted by war with his brother Prince Esigie and Queen Idia after the death of his father.
Speaking further, the Council boss revealed that the monthly internally revenue, IGR which hovered around N1 million and N2 million in addition to the N10 million which was reserved for the Council by the State government, was a far cry to alter the sorry state of infrastructure and high expectations from the constituents.
He said the pragmatic approach adopted by a team of dedicated staff in the Council, has brought succour to the Council’s revenue.
Enabulele explained that after plugging leakage and auditing of the Council and a Staff audit, the fortunes of the Council’s monthly IGR, now hovers between N5m and N6m, which is still far below the targeted benchmark of N10m monthly IGR.
According to him, “we intend to improve on that Our target is to ensure that we raise the IGR that would be enough to pay workers salaries while we channel statutory allocations to Capital development that would have direct impact on the people and make them to own the projects and create legacies after my tenure in office”.
The Council Chairman hinted that the ongoing partnership with financial institutions and Heads of Security Agencies to set up Commercial banks in the area to among others meet the banking needs of the people, have reached advanced stage.
In order to address security problems in the Council area, his administration has created a functional Central vigilante group to complement the existing conventional security in the Council.
“We have also restored public confidence in area of security through the Central vigilante group. We pay them (vigilante) monthly stipends. Since then, we have had relative peace”, he said.
He also said the government will soon carryout enumeration exercise for motorcycle riders operating in the locality and allocate to them special codes as part of measures to stem criminal activities in the Council unlike in past administration which was plagued with the crisis of identity in search of an idea.
The numerous social interventions schemes in the area of Business, Security, Healthcare, Basic Education and provision of basic infrastructure are happening in Ovia South West Local Government Area at a time when some other Council heads in the State seem bereft of ideas while many others are grappling with huge debts of Council workers salaries, thereby retarding development and with a flurry of excuses.
Worthy of note in the excellent work, Comrade Destiny, the Council Chairman is doing, is the recent recognition of Ovia South West Local Government Area of Edo State by the Hospital Management Board as the most responsible Council operating optimally functional Primary Health Centres within its jurisdiction in the State.