OVERSIGHT: LOCAL LEGISLATIVE COUNCILS
Hon. Ayotunde Adenuga, Deputy Leader Ikeja Legislative Council. An advocates of the Not Too Young To Run campaign. In this interview alluded to the need for local government autonomy and other salient grassroots issues.
Ayonuga started his early school life at AT-BET International School, Festac town in the early 90’s, proceeded to Lagos state Model College, Ojo and finally graduated from Covenant University, Ota, Ogun state. He has his Master’s in Business Administration. He has bagged several notable recognition awards for service to humanity and exemplary leadership.
He served in the Lagos State Ministry of Special duties between 2010-2012 as Personal Assistant to the SSA to the Governor.
In 2012 he left the public sector for the private sector where he Served as Executive Assistant to the Managing Director Rite foods limited until 2015 where more responsibility was added to his office and was made the Head of Marketing.
Enjoy excerpt from the interview;
Lagos Panorama: Kindly introduce yourself to our readers with a special mention of both your academic and career antecedence?
Hon Ayotunde Adenuga: My name is Honourable Adenuga Ayotunde, I am a graduate of Economics and presently I am the Deputy Leader of Ikeja Legislative Council. I used to work with Rite Foods Limited, Adebola House as the head of marketing before I joined politics in 2017.
How would you describe your experience in the Ikeja Legislative Council since 2017?
Between then and now, what has changed in the process of lawmaking and what are the visible legislative landmarks you can point to?
Basically; when I talk to my friends about my experience in the local government I tell them that I derived an acronym for my experience in the local government so far and I call it ‘CID’, it’s challenging, interesting, and it is demanding. Challenging in the sense that a lot of things are not as actually how they ought to be. It comes with a lot of challenges when it’s not done the way it’s done in the private sector. I am coming from a place where you’re judged based on results and performance but you find out that in the local government or to say politics, it is not necessarily done that way. There are at times when favoritism and some other things come to play. So it’s one of the reasons why I said it’s challenging but I still find it very interesting. One of the things I always told people before I joined the Ikeja legislative arm was that all I needed was the office to be able to advance in a lot of areas. I said with the office, some doors will open and then you can always partner with some people and organisations. Okay, this is what I want to do. That part has been very interesting. If you know me very well, you’d know I am not someone that sits in the office. I always believe there are opportunities here and there and we can always move out to harness those opportunities and get things done. And demanding, when I say demanding, it’s majorly on time and finances, It’s very demanding.
As the Deputy Leader and Chairman, Committee on Education what do you think are the factors that have helped you deliver on the job since 2017 and what are the challenges encountered?
Some of the challenges I encountered was that… I think one of the major challenges would definitely be funds and this is not farfetched. You know, if there was an allocation to your office as a councilor, you’d say these are the things I want to do in my community. We feel the pulse of the people more, we are closer to the grassroots, we see them and they see us. We know what they want so if there were funds that can meet immediate demands… There are projects you can table before the local government that might be a priority to you and not a priority to the Local Government Chairman, so what happen to that area? You find out that things are slow but if there were enough funds for me as a councilor, I would easily say I am channeling the funds to this because this is what I know my people want at the moment. By and large, I believe that with more funding, with more allocation, we should be able to perform better that what we are presently doing.
What’s your take on the autonomy of Local Government administration?
The issue of autonomy I believe is long overdue, like I told you, I said we are closer to the grassroots among the three tiers of government. I believe if the local government was autonomous there would be more development across the country. I believe a lot of selfish interests are being put in place because we’ve been on the issue of local government autonomy for a very long time. In fact, I want to believe that in the amendment of the 1999 constitution, a lot of issues were discussed on the autonomy of the local government. I believe from that time till now, a lot of things ought to have been done on the issue of autonomy, It’s long overdue.
In 2003, former Governor, now the National Leader of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu administration followed all required processes in the creation of more local governments for sustainable development at the grassroots but till date the 37 LCDAs haven’t been enlisted among the Local Government Councils for them to enjoy federal allocation as do the 774 local councils. Don’t you think Councilors at the local legislative councils should liaise with the Lagos State House of Assembly to also liaise with the Federal legislature to ensure that the 37 LCDAs are enlisted now that APC is the ruling party?
Ordinarily, on that area, I would have easily said I want to pass on that question but I would just say a little. I believe if it’s a priority to the house of assembly they should have gone ahead to push it further but there is little or nothing the councilors can do. I won’t say much on that.
This being 2018 year-end, what are the positive signposts of your legislative contributions to your constituents and what are your planned contributions to them?
Before the end of the year I intend to come up with physical projects in the ward, which by the time I am ready I think in another two to three weeks we should be talking of commissioning one or two projects in the ward, I am presently working on it. These are resources coming from personal pockets just to ensure things are done. I am a person who believes in productivity and I believe you can’t be in a particular place and complain that the particular system didn’t work and you getting into that place and there no changes. So that is one of the reasons I channeled a lot of resources towards these projects.
In the legislative arm there are bylaws we have been trying to work on although they are still in the process, Before the end of 2018 coming to manifestation, I am not sure but in the first quarter of next year definitely, we are working on some bylaws and they will be publicized.
Can you give us an insight for the privilege of this interview?
Yes we are working on a number of bylaws, one of them as to do with street naming and then we’re working on the Education Trust Fund which particularly has a lot do with my office. That’s one of the bylaws we are working on for first quarter of next year (In-sha-Allah) it will come to manifestation.
I am sure you’ve done one or two programme(s) since you resumed office. Please can you throw-light on the programme?
Yes, I had a health-outreach sometime in August before I traveled. I had a health outreach in the four zones, I have four zones in my ward namely Onilekere, Onipetesi, Strasberg and Farm Quarters. I had the health-outreach with free distribution of drugs. And in December last year, I had a Christmas party for the kids and distribution of gift items and these things don’t come cheap but we want to thank God for He is a faithful God. A lot of people would ask where are the resources coming from owing to the fact they know you’re not well equipped financially enough.
Finally what is your advice for aspiring youths for political position or even hoping to setup their own private business considering the state of the economy today?
One of the things I would say is something very paramount to me is that ‘Stop Talking and Start Doing’. I was coming from the sector where I can give you the information for free, I was well paid so it wasn’t about finances but I realized a lot of things were lacking in our immediate community and I felt how do I contribute my own quota so I had to sacrifice my job to join politics. I thought of joining politics but I never thought of occupying a political position, all I wanted to do was to play it from the background but by and large, I joined politics, I made up my mind. So my word for the youths; a lot of people come to me and say I am interested in politics and I say it goes beyond just being interested take the bold step and join politics. Stop wanting to become a member, become a member. I think that is just the beginning. Immediately you’re able to say this is what I want to contribute and this how to contribute it, I think you’re definitely on the right track.
Honorable Adenuga, it’s nice talking to you (Handshake).
Thank you very much sir!
FACING FACTS WITH TAYO ADERINOLA