The Local Government is the closest tier of government to the people, it is seen or regarded as the govt of the grassroots level where political office holders are built for national politics. The function of each tier of government as spelt out in the constitution has both concurrent and exclusive function while health falls under the current function.
Certain health challenges are categorised under the Tertiary section which means the health challenges are to be handled by the the federal in which coronavirus falls under the Tertiary health. In as much as this health challenge is the responsibility of the federal government there is certain role the state and the local government can play in other to reduce the effect of the virus or help present and reduce the number of people that could work too infected.
We will be looking strictly on local government as it is the government of the people or the tier of government created purposely to drive the interest of the local people. Some of those functions are;
Sensitisation program: the local government is within the people, and the administration or the day to day running of the affair are in the hands of the indigene of that particular local government. It is there for the responsibility of the the local government to carry out sensitisation to education and orient the people about the virus and how devastating it is. We know Nigerian and their non attitude to adhering or believing in a particular issues due to the attitude of our political office holders. The local government can hold sensitisation program use the native language of the people so that they could understand the virus and how to prevent and adhere to the health protocol.
*Provision of disinfectant materials to various homes: The local government can embark on distributing disinfectant materials to vulnerable homes or IDp camp with their locality and also raise the awareness about the virus.
*Disinfecting public places such as schools, park, market and worship centers: The local government council can also embark on disinfecting public places to ensure the safety of it inhabitants.
*Ensuring that the local populace adhere strictly to covid19 protocol: They make sure that every individual going out to the market or anywhere are on nose mask and with hand sanitizers this could be achieved with use of local vigilante to enforce these law as well as ensure social distancing in public places and avoid public gathering.
*Engaging various union bodies within the LAG: The local authorities should engage the union bodies, this will go a long away to mitigate the effect of the virus as each of this union bodies can also educate their members and when we all need to join hand together to make a free society.
*Distribution of relief materials: Nigeria is known to be one of the country where the chunk of it inhabitants are living in the rural area and this population are poor and vulnerable, it is therefore pertinent that the local authorities to engage in the distribution of relief materials it vulnerable homes to help reduce hunger and malnutrition in the local government.
*Provision of microfinance Loan Or free interest Loan for SME: This is in the aspect of the economy, the local government can make this loans available to small enterprises who are willing and ready to take the loan so to avoid total fold of businesses. According to research, thousands of SME’s will fold up due to the adverse effects of the pandemic and this will not only affect the economy it will also affect the people who are living their daily bread from these businesses, which will increase the number of people living below the poverty line.
Despite the enormous responsibility allocated to the local government by virtue of the constitution, the local government should still remain active in carrying out these functions, majority of the local government has not in anyway done anything to cushion the effect of covid19 on the inhabitants of it’s territory even when fully known that the chunk of the population are living in the rural area are needy and vulnerable.
CREDITS: Mallam Sani Anuhi