Ambode revs up CDAs as fourth tier of govt

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode

Chairman, Abule-Oki Central CDA and chairman of the Joint CDA Project Committee, Mr. Rasak Jinadu, said the project was borne out of the determination to open up the area. “We have been seeking financial supports to open up this important link road for many years now. We have suffered a lot. We have raised money among ourselves to do a temporary bridge to link this road with Aboru.

“Now, we have received additional financial assistance from our members to construct a permanent box culvert here so that all kinds of vehicles, including trucks can pass. This is a self-help service at the community level.”

According to him, the community is still seeking government’s intervention to construct Kokumo Road to open up the area for meaningful development. He said such construction on completion would reduce the volume of traffic created by those coming from Ipaja-Ayobo, Igando, Ikotun and going to Iyana –Ipaja and Oshodi. They would not need to go to as far as Killington Bus Stop on Lagos-Abeokuta before diverting to their original route.

Mr. Saubana Bada, the secretary, Alagutan CDA and secretary of the Joint CDA Project Committee said: “This project on completion is meant to link this area to many communities to boost its socio-economic values. This link bridge will be an access to about 20 communities in this environment. We had in the past through communal efforts used bamboo trees to link it; later changed it to wood and now box culvert for all range of vehicles to be able to pass. The project’s duration is three weeks and the contractor handling it had assured the community that he would deliver on time.”

Another CDA in Lagos Island in December got the governor’s commendation for their contribution in stopping avoidable loss of lives of school children and pregnant women in the area. The commendation was given at the 2017 Community Day celebration organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Affairs.

It was discovered that residents of the area were losing school children to boat capsizes and the CDA put an end to that problem by building a school for their children. They were also losing pregnant women on the road because the hospitals are too far. The CDA built a health centre to solve that problem. They also built a police post for the protection of lives and property.

The residents of Maidan Orile and Agiliti communities in the Mile 12 area of Ikosi-Isheri local council development area, are still waiting on the state government to put them out of their misery. The residents have lamented the overflow of Ogun River that has led to the disruption of their lives and loss of property.

Many residents have been rendered homeless and some others have abandoned the area for fear of their lives. The only bridge linking Mile 12 and Maidan Orile, which was constructed and maintained by the community of six CDAs, is now under threat of collapse due to the impact of heavy floodwater on the bridge. The people have now appealed to the state government to come to their rescue by constructing a bridge to link the community with Oniyanrin/Maidan road in Mile 12 area and also build a drainage to properly channel floodwater in the area.

The gains of these interventions in the state has been linked to the inter-relationships between the local governments and the CDAs. According to the Special Adviser to the Governor on Communities and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan, government alone cannot drive development in communities.

“The governor is proud to work with the CDAs as critical stakeholders in governance in the best spirit of democracy, because we recognize that the power of the people comes from the grassroots. Ambode’s administration has always run an all-inclusive government, where all residents, irrespective of their party affiliation, could feel a sense of belonging. We salute the leadership of these communities for rising up to the challenge and teaching us the values of independence and responsibility,” he said.

Explaining how the pact had worked, Bamigbetan said: “First, we began to have monthly interactive sessions, where we bring ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) to come and explain what they intend to do and seek the backing of the CDAs. Before MDAs could embark on anything, they usually come to this forum and test their ideas and they get instant feedbacks, which usually prove advantageous.

“For example, at our maiden sitting in Epe, a woman was able to let us know that if a big tree fell on the road or a major event happened between Epe and Ajah, there would have been no other road to pass. She gave a graphic description between Epe and Ajah, village to village. So, the community forum has greatly enriched the work of public workers at Alausa or elsewhere. For instance, when the Ministry of Housing was looking for places to build houses, it came to this forum and people told them where they could get land for such purpose.

“We also organised leadership programmes for CDAs and CDCs because we realised that it is through CDAs that we can easily do relationship management. How do you bring people to attend your CDAs if they don’t have any stake in it? They would not come. Through the trainings, we have exposed them to how they can make the CDAs relevant to everybody in the community. We have also tried to bring in the private sector, especially companies in the neighbourhood to add value to what our communities are doing.

“We have also started using the CDAs not just for policy formulation, but for execution. For example, when we were going to do the 114 roads, we met with all the CDAs and gave them a template on how to monitor the projects. There were communities where landlords had to sacrifice their fences so that the road dimension can be achieved and we were able to do all these things and be able to put the 114 roads in place without any major clashes because wherever the contractors had issues, we came in to speak to the CDAs and the CDAs understood.”

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Akinwunmi AmbodeCDA
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