The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) has disbursed the sum of N197,531,799.95 for infrastructure development at the community levels in the FCT under the Community and Social Development Programmes (CSDP).
The FCT Permanent Secretary, Sir Christian Chinyeaka Ohaa, presented the cheques to the representatives of 23 communities in the six Area Councils of the FCT in Abuja, Nigeria.
The Permanent Secretary said the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP) has been of great importance in the development of rural communities in the Territory.
Sir Ohaa commended the efforts of the Community and Social Development Project workers representing their communities for working hard to ensure that their people have access to basic social infrastructure through community driven development programmes.
He further urged them to ensure that the funds are judiciously utilized for the set purpose.
He said the issuance of the cheques will enable the FCT Administration assess the performance of the community driven development projects, the challenges they encounter and the way forward to successful implementation of the various community development and poverty elimination projects within the FCT.
The Permanent Secretary also gave assurances that the FCT Administration will continue to partner with various international and community agencies as well as other groups, towards the achievement of its vision of ensuring an acceptable standard of living for FCT people.
Giving further insights into the Community and Social Development Programme in the FCT, the Director, Economic Planning, Research and Statistics of the FCTA, Mr Lawal Muhammed, said that the CSDP is an intervention that effectively targets social and environmental infrastructure at the community level.
He said the project works through a counterpart funding format whereby the communities would raise 10 percent of the total cost of their selected micro-projects (in cash and in kind), while the FCT CSDP matches that with 90 percent grant.
The Director further explained that the idea is to encourage community ownership through community-driven development approach by empowering them systematically to take charge of their lives instead of relying on government for all their needs.
He added that the various communities have been trained on project implementation (monitoring and supervision), book keeping, community procurement, conflict management and environmental issues, among others, to ensure the success of the programme.
Also, the General Manager, FCT CSDP, Dr Shaibu Adamu, while explaining the various components of the Micro Projects under the FCT said the projects cut across all the rural communities and they include health, electricity, water, roads as well natural infrastructure projects.
He said water-related projects is top of the approved micro projects with about 124 projects, including 52 boreholes, while 22 health centres have also been approved in addition to the opening of 23 community roads.
He said presently there are nineteen ongoing micro projects, with 65 projects completed while work is yet to commence on 40 others.
The General Manager expressed optimism that the ongoing projects would have attained 85 percent completion by the end of July.
A breakdown of the sum total of N197.5 million presented to the communities under the CSDP, shows that each of the various communities numbering 23 got between N5.3 million and N8.9 respectively, depending on the nature of their projects.
Some of the projects include the purchase of speed boats, mechanized boreholes, rural electrification, community roads, blocks of classrooms, health centres, and skills acquisition centres, among others.
The projects were selected by the rural communities under the supervision and approval of the Area Council authorities.
Some of the beneficiaries of the project who spoke during the event said the projects would be of immense benefit to their various communities.
To Mr Joe Tashlam, a physically challenged young man, who complained of discrimination against disabled people said they will use the money to complete a borehole as well as a skill acquisition centre in Koroko, Kwali Area Council.
“Sometimes when we go to where we can get water, we face discrimination. They see us as nothing. Just to get the water, they will push us away. Sometimes, they can beat us there.
“Sometimes, when we touch the water, they will throw it away as if we are not human beings. But CSDP has helped to empower us so that we can have our own borehole.
“At the same time, we will have our own skill acquisition centre through this money,” Tashlam said.
Martha Kabani, a widow, also disclosed that they have been able construct a skill acquisition centre for the training of the numerous widows within their community:
“We have many widows in our community and because of this programme, we have been able to build a skill acquisition centre.
“Now, we have a processing engine, we can also prepare liquid soap, many women have handwork now.”
Amaka E. Nliam