The International Press Centre (IPC) has advocated for training skills on the ongoing community development coordinated by the Centre in six Local Government Council Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos to impact a good understanding and knowledge in the people of the communities on how to make requests from government concerning the challenges facing them.
The areas which include Ikorodu, Lagos Mainland, Shomolu, Surulere, Ifako-Ijaiye and Amuwo-Odofin participated in the exercise to develop their communities by printing their needs in a book titled Community Development Charter (CDC).
Speaking at the training programme, the National Coordinator, Democracy Vanguard, Mr. Adeola Soetan said the reason for the training skill is to enlighten member of communities on how to get things done to achieve community development objectives and not just sit expecting the government to perform.
He stressed that in pursuing aspiration for communities’ development, members of the community must be united by their craft no matter which group they belong to, because it is their responsibility as, according to him, the primary duty of the government is security and welfare of the citizenry.
He explained that although members of the communities are the ones who elected government into power, their aims should be to fulfill all promises made during election but in the other way round community members should be eager to demand for their needs in a suitable manner before the government as they may not be aware of all their needs.
Soetan said while communities are aspiring for development, they need to know the specific relevant agents of government in charge to build relationship, mutual confidence, and write to them concerning their needs and ensure they collect an acknowledged copy for reference.
He further advised that community members should elect monitoring teams among themselves for projects approved in their area to keep contractors, supervising agencies and government on their toes, saying that the members can do a letter of appreciation to acknowledge and encourage the various stakeholders to do more.
He advised the community dwellers not to not any challenges facing them during the term of advocacy as this is a non-economic and non-profitable activity.
The Centre with its supporters, ActionAid Nigeria and UKAID/DfID, explained that the Charter book is an entry point to any government official to complain about issues and they should be rest assured that the agencies and government will always come to their aid anytime they are in need of assistance.
The IPC had earlier also launched a manual on development in Makoko, a Lagos suburb, to help sensitise the dwellers on their rights as citizens and to know how to hold government officials and other elected representatives accountable for any short-falls in delivery of the dividends of democracy. The launch was organised by the Executive Director of the Centre, Mr. Lanre Arogundade, at a well-attended event in Lagos.