Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Thursday doled out N500million as grant to 275 Community Development Associations (CDAs) to enable them complete their ongoing self help projects.
Governor Ambode, who presented the grant to the CDAs at De Blue Roof, LTV, Agidingbi, said it was not in doubt that the various self help projects, ranging from community halls, street light, transformers, police post, drainage and health centres by these communities were complementing the efforts of the State and Local Government to engender growth and development.
He said his administration was totally committed to supporting CDAs in the initiation and implementation of community based development projects, adding that apart from being in line with his administration’s policy of inclusive governance, such approach would guarantee ownership of such projects by the communities.
“These projects have contributed immensely to make our communities to be more liveable for residents. I must commend all of you for the various projects you have initiated and funded from your voluntary levies and donations by members.
“I thank all of you for appreciating the fact that voluntary community effort is required to facilitate growth and development,” Governor Ambode said.
He said the decision to aid the CDAs with grant was based on the report gathered from monitoring of some of the ongoing community projects, which showed that some of the projects were on the verge of being abandoned due to paucity of funds, noting that the gesture was therefore compelling.
“Today’s occasion is historic; we are presenting financial support of N500million Grant to 275 Community Development Associations to enable them complete their various self-help projects which had been executed to an appreciable level. Let me emphasise that this will be a continuous exercise. Other deserving Community Development Associations will also be considered in the next phase of this presentation,” the Governor said.
Alluding to the fact that the gesture was the first of its kind in the State, Governor Ambode said that beyond the 275 projects being supported, all the divisions of the State have been covered.
“The message remains the same. We are committed to good governance and inclusive leadership. We know your efforts remain selfless to all your communities. We are partners in governance and we will always support you.
“I congratulate the leadership and members of the CDAs that are benefitting from this support initiative. It is my expectation that all the self-help projects covered by this grant will be completed as soon as possible for the usage and benefit of residents,” he said.
The Governor also charged residents in the communities to take ownership of the projects and protect them against vandalisation and all acts that would result in the reduction of the life span of the facilities.
Earlier, State Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Alhaji Tunde Balogun, in his remarks, described the gesture by Governor as unprecedented in the history of Nigeria, urging community leaders and residents to make judicious use of the projects as well as prudent spending of the grants.
“What is happening today is the presentation of grants to 275 CDAs across the State. It is very awesome and unprecedented. This is the first time I’ve ever heard of such. It is unprecedented in the history of Nigeria. Please take ownership of the projects and ensure durability in your locality. This government had been constructing roads, bridges, and different projects across the states. We thank God for using Governor Ambode to change the face of Lagos for good”.
On his part, Commissioner Local Government and Community Affairs, Hon Muslim Folami, said the all inclusive governance mantra of the Governor Ambode administration had seen the increase of CDAs in the State from 2012 in 2015 to 3935 in the last three years.
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Communities and Communications, Hon. Akeem Sulaimon, reiterated the present administration’s commitment to articulate the concept of inclusive governance, whereby all government policies, projects and programmes would be driven by the needs of various communities.
In his goodwill message, Patron General of CDAs in the State and APC Chieftain, Cardinal James Odumbaku urged the CDAs to reciprocate the gesture by the Governor at the 2019 elections in the State.
Some of the communities that benefitted from the grant include Olera CDA, Ojokoro; Anifowoshe CDA, Ikeja; Onibaba CDA, Ajeromi Ifelodun; Ogoitan Phase I CDA, Epe; Ifelodun Surulere CDA, Olorunda; Ofiran Phase 1 CDA, Ibeju Lekki; Equitable Estate CDA, Igbogbo Baiyeku; Anuoluwapo CDA, Ojota, among others.