CSDP Holds Quarterly Review Meeting In Osun

By Israel Afolabi

In its bid to review the success recorded in the last decade across the country, the Community and Social Development Programme (CSDP) in Nigeria held its 2018 first quarter review meeting in the state of Osun.

The CSDP held the review meeting at the Royal Park Hotel Iloko-Ijesa on Tuesday where thirty-two states across Nigeria converge to discuss the future and progress of the programme.

In his goodwill message, the Governor, State of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who was represented by the Special Adviser on Rural and Community Development, Mr Babatunde Ibirogba commended the Task Team Leader of CSDP Nigeria and his  team members for considering the state desirable to host the meeting.

Ogbeni Aregbesola equally appreciated CSDP for having generously devoted their time to ensure development across the nooks and crannies of the state.

He revealed that the CSDP projects across the state focuse on poverty reduction among the rural and local dwellers especially women and children.

According to him, “This event brings us together today and makes me happy in a special way since it bothers on the project that is very dear personally to my heart because it focuses on poverty reduction.

“I want to commend the efforts of the World Bank and other development partners in the state that support government in our struggles to eradicate poverty” he added.

He made it known that since inception of his administration, Osun has played significant roles in supporting the course of community and social development projects and this is evident in the timely payment of government counterpart contribution annually.

He revealed that the state of Osun has made tremendous contributions towards the sustainability of the State Agency for Community and Social Development Project for years.

He said “I’m pleased to inform you that the activities of this agency are being felt in all the nooks and crannies of the state. In our own part, we will continue to invest in natural and social-economic infrastructure to achieve the project objectives”.

Osun CSDP: Transforming The Rural Areas

In an attempt to revolutionise the development at the rural areas, the Agency for Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) was set up in some states of the federation. The State of Osun is one of the 27 states in Nigeria that currently participate in the World Bank assisted Community and Social Development Project. The Osun CSDP was set up in 2009 during the administration of Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola.

The administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has since inception upped the ante of support for the CSDP, by paying the counterpart fund of the state as and when due, with a view to ensuring development at the rural areas in line with the six-point integral action plan of the administration. Even in the midst of lean resources, records have shown that the government never reneged on payment.

The project which has the backing of the Federal government is established to assist development in the rural areas as it affects infrastructure like provision of transformer to aid the supply of electricity, road rehabilitation to ease movement of people and goods, provision of potable water and the construction of civic centres among others.

The beauty of the project is that projects that would be executed in any community are undertaken by the people who voluntarily and willingly choose among their pressing needs the one they need most. Whatever project the community overwhelmingly chooses would be the one, they will ask the CSDP to fund. They choose from at least three needs.

The idea behind the CSDP is community participation, as such community which desires the project will pay 10 per cent counterpart fund, while the state government through the CSDP pays the remaining 90 per cent for the cost of the project. The revenue from the government is subsequently sourced from the World Bank and is paid in stages within a certain period of time.

According to an official of the community, the various stages to be followed, include a formal application by a community in which officials from the CSDP would subsequently visit the community to assess whether the demand is real and just or a strategy by some few people to dupe the government and the community.

If the agency is satisfied, the community would have to forward them another letter inviting them for the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) where majority of the residents are expected to be in attendance. At the PRA, election is conducted to choose members of the Community Project Monitoring Committee (CPMC) made up of eight people headed by a Chairman.

It is the apex body, under which there are three other sub-committees – the Procurement, Operation and Maintenance, and the Monitoring and Evaluation.

The CPMC is the body that ensures that the aim of the community is achieved by ensuring that money released is appropriately used for the purpose it is meant. The procurement committee is responsible for the purchase of any material or equipment needed to accomplish the task. The committee responsible for the operation and maintenance of the project is the Operation and Maintenance sub-committee, while the Monitoring and Evaluation committee is to ensure that the project is constantly being monitored and evaluated.

After all these committees might have been put its place, the Field Appraisal takes place where officials of the agency and other professionals from the relevant State ministries visit the community to appraise steps taken.

If satisfied with the steps taken so far, a one-day seminar is conducted where different officials of the agency sensitise and educate community leaders on how best to go about the project. The seminar which takes a whole day is a prelude to the presentation of cheque to the community.

At the seminar, the leaders of the community are warned against the abandonment of the chosen project, as the fund that would be made available would be enough to carry out the project. This is so because the agency would have done its research to ascertain the value of the project before directing the community to embark on it.

Elementary book-keeping and accounts are taught at the seminar which comes in handy to help streamline the spending habit of the community on the project. Women are encouraged to actively participate in the activities of the CSDP while in most cases they are elected treasurers.

Community leaders are encouraged to meet regularly to ensure that decisions are based on consensus and not at the whim and caprices of the chairman. They are however, warned that if they run foul of the regulations of the agency, the law will take its due course.

The total amount to be given is usually divided into three tranches. The first tranche is presented in the community usually by the General Manager, Mrs. Funmi Abokede. The subsequent tranches are released based on the judicious use of the first one and this takes place in their corporate head office at old Governor’s office, Osogbo.

Communities that benefit from such developmental projects are advised to make good use of it, because not every community that applies scale through. The inherent benefit is that such communities that benefit can also enjoy the bounty if the first money is properly utilized.

The local government council area which covers the community is involved because there are certain documents that have to be approved by it.

An account specially opened by the community is also demanded to which the agency’s cheque is paid. The account warehouses the community’s 10 per cent counterpart funding. Cash are not withdrawn anyhow except for purposes specifically meant for.

Commending the Abokede-led agency, the Chairman, Oloruntobi Community Ota-Efun Area, Osogbo, Murtala Agboola, while receiving a cheque of N5 million from the agency for the procurement of transformer last week said the agency has been very active in transforming the rural areas in Osun with the assistance of the state government.

He urged that the tempo should be sustained for more communities across the state to feel the impact of the government.

Osun Empowers 252 Communities Through CSDP

No fewer than 252 communities in Osun state have benefited from the state government micro projects through its Agency for Community and Social Development Project, CSDP in the last seven years.

This is in a bid to improve access of the poor to social and natural resources management as well as infrastructural services for human development in a sustainable manner.

The General manager Osun CSDP, Mrs Funmi Abokede who stated this in Osogbo, also disclosed that 311 micro projects have so far been completed across all the local government areas of the state.

Her words: “311 gender sensitive and socially inclusive multi sectoral Micro Projects (MPs) have been completed and are functional in 252 communities. Emphasis is on results-based outcome performance. With the completion of these functional Micro-Projects, we have been able to synchronize with the good intentions and objectives of our state government through its six Point Integral Action Plan.”

“There is high acceptability of Community Driven Development (CDD) in the state, hence the demand for project intervention by communities across the LGAs of the state. These 252 communities were empowered to plan, part-finance, implement, monitor and maintain sustainable and socially inclusive multi-sectoral micro-projects.”

While explaining that the CSDP is co-funded by the World Bank and the state government, Abokede stressed that Osun government has contributed a total of N650m between 2009 and 2015 as its counterpart funding.