Obaseki’s Ward Devt. Committees: Expert lauds initiative, endorses bottom-up approach to development  


The Governor Godwin Obaseki-led administration’s creation of ward development committees in identifying and providing tailored solutions to peculiar problems in rural communities in Edo State has been lauded as novel and a participatory approach to governance that will engender robust grassroots-driven development.

The submission was made by a development expert in a chat with journalists in Benin, the Edo State capital.

According to the expert, the development model will ensure that projects and development efforts by government “do not fly over the heads of the people, but align with their peculiar needs.”

The development expert, who has done extensive work on development trends in Sub-Saharan Africa, Wilfred Aisosa, described the government’s Ward Development Committee as a bottom-to-top approach to governance, aimed at spreading developmental projects and improving the wellbeing of the people.

He noted that governor Obaseki’s governance style would deepen people-centered development.

“This is a new paradigm in governance, which I recommend for governments across all levels to adopt. Just like what we have seen Governor Obaseki doing, where instead of government imposing projects on people, the people are given the latitude through their representatives in the Ward Development Committees, to submit a list of felt needs.”

He continued, “The only reason why development has remained elusive in most developing countries especially in Africa for decades, is simply because the people are not allowed to make input into projects executed for them.

“So, what you end up doing is having projects here and there, which are not in line with the needs of the people.”

Aisosa added that the approach adopted by the Edo State Government will take governance directly to people at the grassroots, “where the people themselves will decide on the projects they think will benefit them the most.