As Nigeria continues to strategize and work out modalities to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus, the Local Governments have been described as the critical tier of government, that can implement the social interventions for the mass population of the country.
Described as the government at the grassroot level, Mr. John Wesey a strategic management consultant has called for a strengthening of the LGA system.
According to him the COVID-19 pandemic is the time when the Local Governments should be visible, promoting mass orientation of the public on the dangers of the virus, and steps that should be taken to avoid it.
According to him, Local Governments can take their own initiatives and show up in the fight against the COVID-19 virus.
He emphasized the need for qualitative leadership and effective governance at the LGA level which should be supported by the Federal and State tiers of the government.
Mr Wesey called for a mindset change on the part of the State Governors, in the area of allowing the LGA systems to work effectively across the states and serve the people at the grassroots.
He said, the Primary health centres at the local governments should be equipped to enhance the testing, screening and detection of COVID-19 virus and also enjoined that the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) explore ways of working towards expanding their capacity, by engaging Ad hoc Staff across local governments.
Giving additional insight the strategic management consultant made a case for more coordinated approaches to battling the COVID-19 virus through the Association of Local Governments Of Nigeria (ALGON).
In his view the Local Governments must play a key role in providing the right education, the right behaviour, the right action for society to be safe, during the current virus outbreak.
He also called on the members of the National and State legislatures to join in supporting their respective local governments in the period of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially as it relates to provision of relief materials and other interventions to protect vulnerable households.