A total 82 communities in Ekiti State on Thursday, got cheques totaling N300million (Three Hundred Million Naira) to undertake various community projects under the Self-Help Programe of the State Government.
Presenting the cheques to the various benefiting communities in Oye- Ekiti, the State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi said the gesture is in fulfillment of the resolutions reached with community leaders in the state during the stakeholders’ meetings held last year. He added that the self-help project is in line with the government’s commitment to doing development with the people.
Representatives of the benefitting communities as well as their traditional rulers were in joyful mood as they filed out to receive their checks. Many of the towns unions defied the early morning rainfall, came out in full traditional regalia and masquerades which turned the entire ceremony into a carnival.
Governor Fayemi who personally presented the cheques, assisted by the national Chairman of the ACN, Chief Bisi Akande and a former Governor of the state, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, said the communities had at the meetings submitted their priority self-help projects for grants assistance and are getting the N300 million grant for the completion of various ongoing, abandoned and uncompleted self-help projects as well as provision of boreholes, access culverts among others in the benefiting communities.
He assured that every community in the state, no matter the population, will benefit from the grants- in-aid programme of the administration before the end of the year. He said the Ministry of Rural development and Community Empowerment was specifically created to focus on development in the rural areas.
Fayemi said: “As part of the efforts of the present administration to bring development to the rural communities where over 75 per cent of the populace reside, the Ministry of Rural Development and Community Empowerment was created in January, 2013.
“Unlike the previous administration, all the stakeholders in the state were fully involved in the preparation of the year 2013 budget, and we have adopted the zero budgeting method as is currently being practised all over the world.
“The opinions of all the various strata/segments of the people in the state were sought before the 2013 budget was prepared using a dynamic bottom-up approach,” he said.
The Governor asserted that aside the grants being handed out to the 82 communities, the state government is undertaking several other rural development and community empowerment projects to the tune of N3.2billion spanning rural access roads to farm settlements, another round of 5km roads in each of the 16 local governments, ultra-modern markets, provision of hand dug wells and solar operated boreholes as well as construction of bridges and culverts.
Fayemi added that the government is revitalizing cooperative development by entering into partnership with the Bank of Agriculture with a view to using the cooperative federalism model as an alternative vehicle for reaching grassroots communities and local socio-economic activities.
To this end, the State government will shore up the Cooperative societies with Three Hundred Million while the Bank of Agriculture would provide another Three Hundred million.
On the Self-Help projects, the Governor appeal to all stakeholders in the various communities especially the traditional rulers to keenly supervise, monitor and evaluate the projects in their various communities and report as appropriate to the relevant Government Officials who are expected to supervise and monitor the projects on regular basis.
He urged them to see the projects as their own projects; saying that this concept of communal ownership is a fulfilment of his promise to do government “with the people and not for them”.
The representative of Osi Ekiti, one of the benefiting communities, Mr Peter Agbelusi, lauded the Dr. Fayemi administration for embarking on the self-help programme which he said has not only given communities the sense of participation in government but also facilitated the execution of their priority projects “without going around to beg for assistance”.
Agbelusi who described the gesture as unprecedented assured that his community would make judicious use of the grant on the renovation and completion of the town hall.
Benefiting communities got grants between Two Million Naira (N2M) and Seven Million, Five hundred Thousand (N7.5M), depending on their proposed project.
The programe which was dubbed “Ajose Eyiyato” was attended by the Deputy Governor of the State, Professor Modupe Adelabu, Wife of the Governor, Erelu Bisi Fayemi; Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Dr Adewale Omirin; former Governor of the State, Otunba Niyi Adebayo; former Governor of Osun State and national chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Chief Bisi Akande; Deputy Speakers of Houses of Assemblies in the South West, members of the Ekiti State House of Assembly, members of Ekiti State Executive Council and Traditional Rulers, chairmen of local government councils.
Last modified: July 4, 2013