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In a quest to conscientiously bridge the elongated gap between rural and urban settlements, Ondo State Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, has taken steps to entrench development in the rural areas and uplift standard of living of the rural dwellers.
The Governor was able achieve the unprecedented infrastructural developments through the Ondo State Community and Social Development Agency (ODCSDA) and the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing project (RAAMP), which are World Bank-assisted Agencies under the Directorate of Rural and Community Development in the state.
Unveiling the infrastructural feats to newsmen in Akure , the special adviser to the Governor on rural and community development, Hon. Babatunde Kolawole disclosed that, many residents of the rural settlements have neglected their parochial environs for urban areas.
According to Kolawole, the migration of residents of rural areas for greener pasture have congested the urban settlements, adding that the congestion are doing more harm than good.
The federal lawmaker added that part of the philosophical mantra of Akeredolu was to eradicate penury in rural settlements, noting that communities Contribute 10% project cost for a community development plan (CDP) or 5% of Group Development Plan (GDP).
He also noted that, since the inception of the Akeredolu-led administration, 68 communities and 17 vulnerable groups have been empowered through his office to execute their prioritized socially inclusive project.
“As a Community Driven Development, communities contribute 10 per cent project cost for a Community Development Plan (CDP) or 5 per cent for Group Development Plan (GDP). This contribution is either in kind or cash while the Ondo State Community and Social Development Agency (ODCSDA) assist with the remaining 90 or 95 per cent.
“Since 2017 when the present administration came on board the Agency has intervened in 68 Communities and 17 Vulnerable Groups have also been empowered to execute their prioritized socially inclusive projects to complement efforts at implementing the JMPPR priority policies and programs of this government.
“A total sum of about #800 million has been expended on 170 Micro-Projects spread across the state by the Agency since 2017.
“Under 2019 fiscal year, the Directorate obtained Mr. Governor’s approval to commence the execution of two (2) rural community projects in each of the three (3) Senatorial Districts of the State. These projects are to attend to some basic infrastructural deficiencies at the rural levels.”
The governor’s Aide also said many major moribund roads, linking communities have been rejuvenated, stressing that the kind gestures have brought solace to agricultural activities, as many communities in the affected areas have benefitted from these projects.
Few out of the quantum leaps in the rural areas through rural and community development are: Constitution of the State Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) through competitive selection; Completion of Rural Access Road Prioritization Study; Completion of Agro-Logistic Prioritization Study.
Completion and disclosure of Resettlement Policy Framework; Completion and disclosure of Environmental and Social Management Framework.
SPIU participation on World Bank Technical Mission at different times; Payment of N500 Million into the Project Account as Counterpart and Project Preparation Funds by the State Government.
Completion of the Construction of 5.35km Molenge-Igboroko-Ute/Owo Road; Soil Stabilization of 2km along Molenge- Igboroko-Ute/Owo Road.
Completed the evaluation of submitted Expression of Interest for Preliminary Design of 500KM rural roads; Advertisement and evaluation of Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA) and Resettlement Action Plan (RAP) is ongoing.
Design of 62.5KM of selected rural roads across the three (3) senatorial district in the state.
Kolawole, however, charged the residents of the state to support the state government.