BE RESERVOIRS OF INFORMATION, AN ENCYCLOPEDIA OF YOUR COMMUNITY -- ONUGBOLU
By Angela Olimma
.Awka, Nov. 10, 2017 -- Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to Gov. Willie Obiano on Social Re-orientation, Dr Mitchelle Onugbolu has urged President-Generals (PGs) in Anambra to be reservoirs of information and encyclopaedias of information on their communities.
She made the charge at a one-day workshop on, ``Ownership and sustainability of Community Projects in Anambra State’’, held at J-Jumac Hotels, Awka on Nov. 9.
The workshop was organised by the social re-orientation unit in collaboration with the Ministry of Economic Planning Budget and Development Partners and supported by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
``The workshop is aimed at awakening consciousness of PGs of communities in the state on need to value developmental projects sited within their communities so as to sustain them.’’
In a remark, the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Economic Planning Budget and Development Partners, Mr Emeka Ohuoha extended the warm wishes of Gov. Obiano and the commissioner.
He urged the PGs to ensure that projects sited in their communities were working for their good and for posterity.
Ohuoha also called on them to endeavour to send in their Community Charter of Demands (CCD) between March/April every year to enable the ministry to capture their demands in the budget.
The CCD is part of the initiative of Gov. Obiano’s administration on needs of members of communities and how they could assess their needs.
The permsec said the most critical was for them to agree on what mattered most in their working together with government and Development Partners to change their communities for the better.
Mr Ohuoha also reminded the PGs of how hard Gov. Obiano had been working to ensure the development of all communities in the state through the N20 and N40million ``Community Choose Your Projects Initiative’’.
He, then, called on them to support the governor's re-election on Nov. 18 to ensure continuity.
Mr Mike Opia, a stakeholder, in his presentation called on the PGs to be committed to the ``choose your projects programme’’, which he described as one of the strategies to ensure effective ownership and sustainability of community projects.
Mr Opia, then, called on them to be committed to projects in their communities and ensure active participation from conception to finish.
Mr Ernest from Justice Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Church in his presentation on ``Community Development Projects,’’ advised the PGs to ensure that everyone in their community was carried along to achieve the community desired goals.
Mr Ernest identified some of the challenges in community development as wrong entry strategy, which involved government, development partners and other relevant bodies realising the best way to enter a community as a wrong entry might affect ownership and wrong interests.
Another challenge identified was that of stakeholders’ identification which involved having clear knowledge of the real stakeholders in communities.
He urged the UNDP and government to consult communities before doing anything for them, while communities on the other hand should be committed to owning these projects to ensure sustainability.
The National President of Anambra State Association of Town Unions (ASATU), Chief Alex Onukwe applauded the governor for his passion and resolve toward community development in the state.
He added that they on their part would work efficiently to ensure ownership and sustainability of these developments, so that more could come.
In a vote of thanks, Dr Onugbolu reminded the PGs that UNDP had been interested in community development and that was why they were supporting the Workshop.
She urged them to build on best practices and be ICT compliant so as to move their communities forward.
Ongbolu, then, advised them to uphold the delegation of duties when they could carry it out themselves and be persistent and persuasive in their pursuit for progress in their communities.
Workshop featured group work sessions by the PGs, where they attested to the good work that the governor was doing in their communities, especially through, N20/N40 Million Community Choose Your Project Initiative. ##