Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue on Tuesday swore in chairmen and members of local government caretaker committees with a call on them to live in their domains.
Ortom told the new local government helmsmen that living within their domains would enable them know more about the area and people they were expected to lead.
He said: “When you live with the people, you will know their challenges and work out solutions to them.
“You have to relate closely with the people of your respective areas to identify their challenges, instead of relocating to Makurdi, the state capital,”
Ortom explained that the appointment of the caretaker chairmen was to fill the vacuum created by the expiration of the tenure of the elected council chairmen, stressing that merit was the yardstick used in choosing them.
The governor admonished the chairmen to make the payment of salaries a priority, adding that they should also execute projects in accordance with the needs of their communities while exploring avenues to guarantee peace and security.
Ortom emphasised the importance of transparency and prudence in the management of resources accruing to councils but reaffirmed his support for autonomy for the local governments.
He also suggested strict adherence to constitutional procedures in the implementation of the new guidelines on financial autonomy for local governments.
The governor stated that the appointment of eight women and many youths as caretaker committee chairmen was to ensure gender sensitivity and to encourage the youths to prepare themselves for greater responsibilities.
Responding, the caretaker committee chairman of Guma Local Government, Anthony Shawon, thanked the governor for the opportunity to serve and promised to live up to expectations.