By Robert Mbeyi
Generally tagged the grass root government because of its closeness to the rural populace, the third tier government or local government is soon to lose its rural flavour in Imo state following the coming into being of community Government council or fourth tier government.
The super structure is being imposed by the radical administration of Owelle Rochas Okorocha, the chief advocate of the new system. Like every other government programme, the innovative idea is to fast track development efforts in rural communities which wear the gory image of a bottomless pit.
Part of the argument justifying its inception is to ensure that funds earmarked for its transformation are judiciously used for the purpose.
All along, local governments have become the epicenter of development efforts from both within and outside the country. The scope and frequency are so baffling that one may be pardoned for assuming that local government areas are indeed getting over developed in view of the many actors on the ground.
These grass root governments are the focus of the third tier government and the other two tier, the federal and state governments. Other actors neck deep in developing rural areas are: Oil prospecting and Drilling Companies, NNDC, ISOPADEC, business tycoons, youth associations, town unions, women organizations, age grades and legislators at both the federal and state levels.
Others include, World Bank, African Development Bank, UNICEF, Commercial banks, foreign government and common wealth of Nations among others.
With these in mind, government is justified to feel that not much is being achieved at the grass root government in view of the resources at its disposal. But all the same, care must be exercised to ensure that the areas of jurisdiction do not clash.
In other words, where do the functions of the local government areas end and those of the fourth tier government begin?
However, for the fourth government to function effectively, an acceptable revenue sharing formula between the two bodies must be evolved. This has to be done since the fourth tier government is not of Federal butImoStatecreation to ensure rapid development of rural communities.
As partially hinted, the conceived rapid transformation of rural communities entails the provision of essential infrastructural facilities in these areas to make life more tolerable and halt or reverse rural – urban drift.
This seems a better policy thrust than everybody flocking into the urban centers for good or question able intentions.
Some migrants into the cities have no legitimate means of livelihood and with time take to armed robbery, kidnapping and car snatching.
But for the new idea to work, the administration should ensure that nothing is left to chance and avoid sentiments in sorting out the tangled web of governance at the grass root level.