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Oshimili South Local Government Chairman, Pastor Chuks Obusom, a Barrister-at-Law is not very pleased with the problem of waste management in the Asaba metropolis, a situation that is fast defacing the Delta state capital city and almost turning it into a dingy environment.
The council chairman expressed his disapproval and disenchantment with the situation when he hosted members of the Indigenous Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) who paid him a courtesy call.
In answer to a reporters’ question, Obusom said: “I am not pleased with the sanitation situation in Asaba. I feel bitter about the waste management situation of Asaba.”
He recalled how in a bid to tackle the problem an inter ministerial committee involving the local government office of the Secretary to State Government (SSG) and the Waste Management Board, in which the committee among other things screened all the PSPs during which it was discovered that they did not have the facilities to do the job.
The frustration of the council chairman is that the Delta State Waste Management Board insists that it is their sole responsibility to handle waste management.
But for the problem of waste management, Obusom told the journalists that although he would not be the one to assess the performance of his administration, but observed that upon assuming office, he and his team had set goals.
He said: “We have a reformed way of identifying Oshimili South indigenes. In time past people from across the Niger (from the Eastern states) flaunt identification materials claiming to be indigenes of the local government. Now, I personally sign identification letters. By this we have been able to check those non indigenes masquerading as Oshimili South indigenes.”
Also, Obusome noted that his administration carried out a reform of revenue generation in the council. “We had to enact our revenue bye-law that outlawed physical cash collection. Any cash collection is illegal. Cash collection has to be channeled to the banks directly,” he pointed out.
He continued: “Before we came on board there were no revenue courts. We built a twin hall revenue court, we furnished and equipped. I have checked and have not found from the 774 local governments in Nigeria any revenue court like we have here.
“Also by law, two percent of our allocation is set aside for operation of our poultry farms. We look up to providing our people with products from our farms in December. We have partaking in the grading of the earth roads. We got farm seedlings for our farmers, and we also constructed the Ogbeogonogo mini-shops. We converted the primary school to mini-shops and relocated the school,” Obusom observed.
Asked why the council management allowed the indiscriminate siting of filling stations even in residential areas in Asaba, Pastor Obusom he exonerated the council saying that the Oshimili South Local Government is not in charge of giving approval for the siting of filling stations.
He also described as untrue, allegations that some serving council chairmen including himself have signed a written document with Governor Okowa to be imposed and returned for a second tenure.
Obusom said: “It is a lie. That is not true to the best of my knowledge. There is no agreement signed with any local government chairman for purposes of imposition. The Governor has said it time and time again that people should go and work in the areas where they seek elective offices and test their popularity. As for being imposed because a document was signed with the governor is a lie.”
Earlier, ICC chairman, Comrade Bartholomew Ozah told the Council Chairman that the journalists who represent the various organs of the local and grassroots media including the online news outfits commended him for his leadership ingenuity that the chairman brought to bear in the administration of Oshimili South Local Government, pointing out hoever that there is always enough room for improvement.