By Modupe Salabiu
Globally, Community Development Associations are indeed Veritable tools for nation building. They serve as partners in progress in achieving geometric development both at the rural and urban areas of the nation. It is evident that no government can provide for all the needs of the people and this prompted Community Development Associations (CDAs) to take it upon themselves in providing their felt needs, particularly towards ensuring that Building our future together Agenda” of the Present Administration is achieved.
According to Akinsorotan, A.O. (July, 2007 Journal of Central European Agriculture), Said the Present economic reality in the country has made people find a lasting solution to the social and economic challenges confronting their communities through Community Development Associations CDAs. Parts of social value of CDAs are said to include empowering individuals and groups of people with the skills they need to effect change in their community.
Community Development approaches are recognised internationally as most of their methods have been acknowledged to be key in social, economic, cultural, environmental and political development by the UN, WHO, OECD, World Bank, Council of Europe and EU. Recently the World Bank approved 26 micro projects for immediate implementation in thirteen communities, six local government areas of the state which are nearly completed.
The CDAs exist under different names and with varying sizes that are scattered all over the country. The CDAs Develop their rules and regulations, plan and execute their programmes such as holding meetings to discuss projects, identifying their various needs, particularly promoting project activities through direct supply of labour and contribution of money.
CDAs are characterised with social action, where they execute plans with maximum reliance upon community resources and supplement these resources when necessary with services and materials from the government. However, CDAs approach to self-help involves the fullest participation of all members. Participation refers to construction and maintenance of the project in reference; they include health facilities, market stalls, roads, schools, post office etc, among others.
Basically, CDAs should work closely with the Community Development officials in their community and channel their problems and requests via both the local and state governments. The two tiers of government are relevant in promoting CDAs self-help projects, that are basically grassroots based they should identify these CDAs, streamline their activities and ensure their supervision, coordination, motivation, monitoring and evaluate their projects through appropriate government personnel.
Without gain saying CDAs are regarded as non-government organizations that have been beneficial to both the government and the community in supplementing government efforts in Socio-Economic Development across the Rural Areas. In the decision making process. The community development associations have been able to make life more comfortable for themselves.
In order to achieve more developmental projects in communities across the state, the Prince Dapo Abiodun administration has committed the sum of N85.5Million to the year 2020 disbursement of Grants In Aids and Subventions to 400 CDAs, 300 Area Community Development Committees ACDC, 20 Zonal Community Development Committee CDC, 3 Senatorial Community Development Committees and the Apex body, Ogun State Community Development Council on self – help developmental projects in the state.
In the last few years, almost N10 billion had been committed to the provisions of facilities such as Schools, Roads, Hospitals, Transformer, Boreholes and a lot more by almost 9,000 Community Development Associations in the nooks and crannies of Ogun State. The Present administration is not resting on its oars at making lives more comfortable for its Citizens.
The Commissioner, Ministry of Community Development and Cooperatives, Hon. Ganiyu Hamzat affirmed that the gesture of the governor was aimed at supporting communities in the state. He described it as a clear indication that the governor is community friendly. As a matter of fact, the present administration recognises and appreciates the tremendous contributions of Community Development Associations towards developing the state, this led to the presentation of the sum of One Hundred thousand naira (N100, 000) and (N200, 000) Two Hundred Thousand Naira Cheques which were released to selected Communities due to limited resources to 9, 000 registered communities in the state, promising to release more grants for year 2021.
The Chief of Staff, Alhaji Shuaib Salisu also gave out some cheques to beneficiaries on behalf of the governor, describing CDAs as core grassroots, and of great importance to the state. Although he charged Community leaders to maintain peaceful co-existence among various tribes so as to gain more from the dividend of democracy. It is believed that unity is strength and development can only come when there is peace and Unity.
One of the beneficiaries, the Chairman Makogi Community Development Committee, Mr. Rotimi Afolabi, revealed that his community had been peaceful and had embarked on several self-help project, such as the provision of a Police Station recently built by the community to boost security of lives and property and an environmental truck was also purchased by the Area Community Development Committee to keep the communities free from dirt and flood during rainy season.
Many of the residents of the community appreciated the government for its commitment at recognizing the efforts put in place by CDAs, the exco therefore assured that the cheque received would be used judiciously to better the lives of his community members.
Another beneficiary, Ifo Zonal Community Development Area Chairman, Prince Amos Oladele gave kudos to the state government for making the community one of the beneficiaries with assurance to use the money to complete ongoing projects in their community. Findings showed that there is still more to be done, particularly in the area improvising on the road infrastructure among other core social amenities in the Ifo Local Government Area.
…Salabiu, Press Officer, Ministry of Community Development & Cooperatives, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta, Ogun State.