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As part of efforts aimed at transforming and developing the rural areas in Ondo State, the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN on Wednesday presented cheques of N516million to second batch of the 37 communities and 13 vulnerable groups earmarked to benefit from such gesture

The step is to ensure rapid development at the grassroots and to enable the beneficiaries to kick-start their self-help and empowerment projects, under the Community and Social Development Project Additional Financing (CSDPAF).

It will be recalled that Akeredolu’s administration presented cheques totalingN167million to the first set of 19 communities for similar purpose inyear 2017.

Speaking at the event held at the International Centre for Culture and Events (The Dome) in Akure, the Governor said it was in line with the unwavering determination of his administration to run an inclusive government, which according to him, involves every citizen and residents of the state.

The Governor who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Hon. Agboola Ajayi, lauded the state Community and Social Development Agency, saying its has lived up to expectation in ensuring that the people utilise their innate intelligence and indigenous capacity to drive development in the state most especially in the rural areas.

His words, “We appreciate the fact that the Community and Social Development Project utilises the bottom-up community Driven Development approach in its project implementation strategy, involving the projects’ end users, particularly in its identification through the participatory Rural Appraisal, a platform for grassroots policy dialogue, implementation and taking ownership of the projects.

“Our administration will not relent in bridging the wide socio-ecomomic gap between the hinterlands and urban centres as real development can only be actualised and accentuated through the active symbiosis between the two, an understanding predicated on collaboration and coexistence designed for amity and progress

“Let me commend the Special Adviser and the Ondo State Community and Social Development Agency (ODCSDA) for facilitating and impacting upon the lives of inhabitants of 142 communities across the three senatorial districts of the state with 361 projects to date”.

In his welcome address, the Special Adviser on Rural and Community Development to the Governor, Rt.Hon. Victor Olabimtan, said ODCSDA was one of the 27 states including FCT participating in CSDP fully certified by the World Bank to operate in the CSDP Additional Financing phase.

Olabimtan noted that the World Bank-assited programme was to improve access to services of human development, while the project developmental objective was to support empowerment of communities and local government authorities for increased access by the poor to improved social and natural resources infrastructure services in a sustainable manner.

He, however, stressed that CSDP has contributed significantly in achieving the target set by this administration regarding her JMPPR priority policies.

Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Chief Ola Adeseye and Mr. Peter Dabo commended the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his creativity and innovation introduced into governance in the state especially the grassroots.

They urged the Governor to continue with the development plans for the state.

The duo therefore promised to use the funds judiciously.

In his remarks, the General Manager of the Agency, Mr. Bosun Ogundipe, said the agency has put in place monitoring mechanism, which will be difficult for any community or groups to embezzle the funds or divert it.

He added that money will be released in stages as the projects progresses to check mate diversion.

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By Roving

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