Kebbi Community leaders
The Kebbi State Community and Social Development Project (KBCSDP) has reportedly spent N688 million on 287 micro projects across 105 communities in the state.
Its General Manager, Usman Abubakar, stated this at a recent two-day training workshop for 21 newly elected Chairmen of Local Government Councils in Kebbi state held at Sokoto the state capital.
According to him, the agency's intervention in the last four years had profound impact on the benefiting communities. He maintained that apart from giving them resources and building their capacities in project management, it had contributed immensely in improving their standards of living.
Abubakar explained that the workshop was aimed at training the newly-elected Kebbi state council chairmen to ensure that they buy into the idea of identifying and funding projects through community driven development.
"The significance of this training is hinged on the recognition of the local government authorities as the first tier of government, whose primary target is to see to the improvement of living standards of people at the grass roots," he stated.
He stated that the objective of Community and Social Development Project was aimed at empowering the poor communities to plan, monitor and maintain sustainable micro projects.
He pointed out that since the inception of the project four years ago, over 126,000 people, of which 58 per cent were women, have now increased access to social services.
Abubakar emphasised that about 70,000 people have access to safe water, thereby reducing the incidence of water-borne diseases by 97 per cent.
He said over 26,000 pupils had been enrolled in the Community and Social Development Project assisted primary schools with distance covered to schools reduced from 6km to an average of 1km.
The General Manager stressed the need for support of the local government councils, not only in the area of mobilisation but in the provision of staff, financial and logistic support to communities.
“We believe that with the full involvement of local government councils, the sustainability of community-driven development, which is a veritable means of poverty reduction will be assured,” he added.
In a remark, the Kebbi state Commissioner of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Alhaji Rabiu Koko, described the training as appropriate, as council chairmen had just taken over the administration of their local government areas.
He urged the council chairmen to ensure that their local communities were effectively mobilised to ensure the implementation of the projects.