To promote development in rural communities and enlighten people on their rights and privileges, the International Press Centre (IPC) has again launched a community book on Ifako-Ijaiye, a sub area of Ogba in Lagos with the support of the UKaid and ActionAid.
The community book, tagged ‘Community Development Charter’, which consists of needs to help rural dwellers achieve their development desire, focused on Unity City, Ifako Titun and Coker Akosota area, all in Ifako Ijaiye. This was disclosed at the launching programme in Ogba titled ‘Strengthening Citizens Engagement in Electoral Process’ (SCEEP) in Lagos.
The communities had been facing challenges of bad roads, poor equipment for health-centre, provision of secondary schools, and borehole, among others over the years with no solution yet to the problems.
The book’s objective is to showcase information on Unity City, Ifako Titun and Coker Akosota communities, contributing to the reduction of poverty and risks and bringing the experience, knowledge and aspirations of communities in one document for easy reading and public attention that will lead to the development of the community.
Speaking at the event, the Director of IPC, Mr. Lanre Arogundade said the book authors are mostly concerned about the development of rural community areas where they have no idea of pushing their needs towards the government.
Due to this, he said they chose some communities in six Local Government areas in Lagos State which are Shomolu, Surulere, Mainland, Ikorodu, Ifako-Ijaiye and Amuwo Odofin so as to assist them to enable the government provide their essential needs.
Arogundade appealed to media organisations to do more effective reporting on rural areas as this would help government to pay adequate attention to the areas and provide them with necessary needs because that is the essence of their votes during an election.
Representative of Ifako Ijaiye Local Government Council, Amba Ndamusa Noel, Head of Agriculture Department in the Council, said community development is pursued gradually and advised the community dwellers that where they may be lacking, they should write to the top government through the council.
He stressed that Agriculture is not meant only for the Community Development Association (CDA) but to all the communities in the areas.
He commended the IPC for what they are doing because they are going deep into the development affairs of the concerned communities which others in the same field had failed to do previously.
Chairman, National Union of Teachers (NUT), Ajeromi/Ifelodun Local Government, Mr. Segun Ajayi (Daggar Tolar) said communities now have a lot to do, saying there is need for community organisations such as the CDA to seek assistance either from the government, organisations or individuals.
He advised the communities to make use of the Community Development Charter’s book during campaign or elections so as to hold candidates to account and unfulfilled promises.
During an interactive session, the communities lamented that they are only remembered by their representatives during election periods where the latter ask for their votes, but after that they will fail to fulfill all the promises made concerning welfare and other social amenities.
The communities also appealed to the government to remember the rural areas in terms of their development needs because they are totally left out of the agenda.