The Speaker, Benue state House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Titus Uba has appreciated the Community and Social Development Agency, CSDA, for implementing numerous projects in various communities across the state.
Rt Hon Uba who disclosed this over the weekend while interacting with the Head, Monitoring and Information Management, Federal Projects Support Unit of CSDA in Nigeria, Mr Adeniyi Oduneye at his Makurdi residence said, the Agency has completed over forty rural projects and many others are being executed in Vandeikya Local Government Area of Benue state where he hails from.
The speaker who expressed joy over the development explained that the communities were required to pay little counterpart funds for the projects to be implemented for them.
He further stated that the CSDA projects is all inclusive as it allows the communities to choose what they want and they participate in its implementation and even the maintenance. This makes them to value the projects as their own because of their involvement according to the Speaker.
“Governor Ortom has provided an enabling environment for CDSP to operate in Benue because we are not buoyant as a state. So, if the CSDP brings funds and is looking for rural areas to develop, Governor Ortom has opened his hands to accept them to come into the state by providing those small small funds that they require to take off in the rural areas. If there is a follow up programme, we will do our best to make sure that they come back to our state”, the Speaker said.
He assured that if there is need to back up the project with Legislation, they will not hesitate to do that just as they did when CSDP came. So whatever form or name in which the project comes they will give it a legislative backing to be able to thrive because it is very beneficial to them.
Hon. Uba also made it known that the Benue state government was partnering with the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) and the Federal Rural Development Department to open up rural roads in the state.
Speaking shortly after the speaker’s address, the head of Federal Project Support of the CSDA, Mr Oduneye told newsmen that they were not on a monitoring exercise but a documentary assignment. He said the CSDA project has been on ground since 2009 and it has made great impact in Nigeria. He disclosed that as at the time under review, they had intervened in over 500 Local Government Areas and 4,300 communities in the country. He also said that although the project will come to an end on the 30th of September, 2020, an abridged programme known as “Cares” will come up to cushion the effect of Covid-19 pandemic and the structures of CSDP will be used to implement it. He added that the project will also have food safety components and the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises components to make it an all encompassing economic terminus intervention. He stressed that the states will have $20,000 USD which will be given to them by the Central Bank of Nigeria based on their performance in terms of physical projects on ground because according to him, “it is not business as usual”.
Mr Oduneye okayed the level of projects he saw in Benue state and rated it as being commensurate with the amount of money given to the state by the Federal Government.