….As Agency Advocates Contribution of 2% LG Allocation To Community Projects
From Ogundele Olanrewaju
The Oyo State, through the State’s Community and Social Development Agency (OYSCDA) has collaborated with the Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), to implement community projects in order to stem the rate of rural-urban migration in the State.
Since its inception, Oyo CSDA has implemented 801 projects through Community Projects (CPs) and 63 under the Group Development Projects (GDPs) in project areas covering health, education, water and sanitation and nutrition.
The projects have also been used as palliatives to relieve the residents in the various communities of the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic through food distribution, health materials distribution, provision of medical facilities as well as orientation programmes to fight the menace of the pandemic.
The Board Chairman, Oyo State Community and Social Development Agency (OyoCSDA), Hon. Babatunde Eesuola highlighted these in his keynote address on Thursday at a One-Day Workshop for Local Government Chairmen and Heads of Local Government Administration (HLGAs) at the Ibadan Business School, Bodija.
The topic of the workshop ‘Roles of LGAs in NG-CARES (Covid-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus Programme for Result in Oyo State’, had in attendance, invited local government Chairmen and administrative heads of the local government areas and the Local Community Development Areas (LCDAs).
Hon. Eesuola hinted that the support of various governments at all levels like World Bank, federal government, State government and the local government that CSDA enjoyed has ensured a positive change in the rural areas, which has made possible the return of youths to their communities from the cities where they have gone to seek greener pastures.
“We are enjoying the support of the World Bank, the Federal Government of Nigeria and Oyo State, now the local government, through ALGON has just pledged their own support for us to have necessary funds to finance series of micro projects we are developing in our community, using the platform of NG-CARES.
“As you know, CSDA is one of the agencies that really touch the grassroot, most especially the rural communities in the hinterland and the effect of that is that we are bringing people that have left for the cities back to their rural settlements, to enhance and develop local jobs in the areas of farming and other skill-based employments.
“This will make attention shift away from negative activities that have taken our youths into criminal activities in the cities, the various community development projects embarked upon by our agency have seen to the return of these youths back to their rural communities.”
In his goodwill message, the Chairman Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), Oyo State Chapter, Hon. Oyedele Sanda said the Chairmen and their LCDA political heads would give their support to the efforts of CSDA, as their activities have engendered the growth of the rural areas and returned social life back to the hinterland.
Sanda who was represented by the State ALGON Vice Chairman, Engr. Sarafadeen Omirinde pointed out that the collaboration of the agency with ALGON would speed up development and reverse the rural-urban migration to urban-rural migration.
The General Manager, OYCSDA, Mr Salau Jelili in his address, disclosed that the State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has mandated the agency to formulate policies and utilize strategies for effective implementation of programmes geared towards poverty reduction and community development in the State.
He added that the governor has also approved additional funding for the State NG-CARES programmes, which he said is an emergency operation designed to support State’s budgeted programmes of expenditure and intervention, targeting existing and emerging vulnerable and poor households affected by Covid-19 pandemic.
“This is where OYCSDA is expected to provide basic service infrastructural micro-projects on education, health, water and nutrition, based on community-driven-development approach.”
The local government Chairmen were enjoined at the event to put in their monthly development plans, a portion of their monthly allocations of at least two percent (2%) into the programme called OYO-CARES, to entrench community development projects and ensure maintenance of the projects.