The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), has disbursed N197,531,799.95 for infrastructure development at the community levels in the FCT, under the Community and Social Development Programmes (CSDP).
The FCTA Permanent Secretary, Mr Chinyeaka Ohaa, made this known while presenting cheques to the representatives of 23 beneficiary communities in the six Area Councils, on Thursday in Abuja.
Ohaa said the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP) had been of great importance in the development of rural communities in the territory.
He commended the efforts of the CSDP workers representing their various communities, for working hard to ensure that their people have access to basic social infrastructure through community-driven development programmes.
He, therefore, urged them to ensure that the funds are judiciously utilised for the set purpose.
He said the issuance of the cheques would enable the FCTA to assess the performance of the community-driven development projects, the challenges they encounter and the way forward in the successful implementation of the various community development and poverty elimination projects within the FCT.
The permanent secretary gave assurance that the FCT Administration would continue to partner with various International and Community Agencies as well as other groups, towards the achievement of its vision of ensuring an acceptable standard of living for FCT people.
Malam Lawal Muhammed, Director, Economic Planning, Research and Statistics, FCTA, said that the CSDP was an intervention that effectively targets social and environmental infrastructure at the community level.
He said the project works through a counterpart funding format whereby the communities would raise 10 per cent of the total cost of their selected micro-projects (in cash and in kind), while the FCT CSDP provides 90 per cent grant.
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The director further explained that the idea was to encourage community ownership through community-driven development approach by empowering them systematically to take charge of their lives instead of relying on government for all their needs.
He added that the various communities have been trained on project implementation (monitoring and supervision), book keeping, community procurement, conflict management and environmental issues among others to ensure the success of the programme.
Dr Shuaibu Adamu, the General Manager, FCT CSDP, said the projects cut across all the rural communities and they include health, electricity, water, roads and infrastructure projects.
He said water-related projects was top of the approved micro projects with about 124 projects, including 52 boreholes, while 22 health centres had also been approved in addition to the opening of 23 community roads.
He said there are currently 19 ongoing micro projects, with 65 projects completed, while work is yet to begin on 40 others.
The general manager expressed optimism that the ongoing projects would have attained 85 per cent completion by the end of July.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Mr Joe Tashlam, a physically challenged young man complained of discrimination against disabled people.
He said that they would use the money to complete a borehole as well as a skills acquisition centre in Koroko, Kwali Area Council.
“Sometimes, when we go to where we can get water, we face discrimination.
“ They see us as nothing. Just to get the water, they will push us away.
“ But CSDP has helped to empower us so that we can have our own borehole. At the same time, we will have our own skills acquisition centre with this money,” Tashlam said.
Mrs Martha Kabani, a widow also disclosed that they have been able to establish a skills acquisition centre for the training of the numerous widows within their community.
“We have many widows in our community and because of this programme, we have been able to build a skills acquisition centre.
“Now, we have a processing engine, we can also prepare liquid soap, many women have been training and hard working now,” she said,
A breakdown of N197.5 million presented to the communities under the CSDP, shows that each of the 23 communities got between N5.3 million and N8.9 million, depending on the nature of their projects.
Some of the projects include the purchase of speed boats, mechanised boreholes, rural electrification, community roads, blocks of classrooms, health centres and skills acquisition centres, among others.
The projects were selected by the rural communities under the supervision and approval of the Area Council authorities. (NAN)