To drive development at the grassroots level, the Ekiti State Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, yesterday distributed a total of N497 million to 70 communities to complete various ongoing projects in their domains and to initiate new ones.
Speaking while distributing cheque to the representatives of the communities in the 16 local government areas and 19 Local Council Development Areas, the governor said the gesture was in fulfillment of his promise not to leave abandoned projects at the end of his tenure in October 2022.
Fayemi, represented by his Deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, in Ado Ekiti, urged the benefiting communities to make the best use of the grants-in-aid to complete the projects for the benefit of the people.
The community projects the state government is supporting with cash backing include palaces, palace halls and fencing, town halls, civic centres, drainages, market stall, boreholes among others.
He recalled that the projects, which were initiated by the communities but financed with funds from the World Bank-assisted Ekiti State Community and Social Development Agency (EKSCDA) were abandoned by the last administration, saying his administration was determined to complete them to aid community development.
He said the involvement of the people in development efforts stemmed from the fact that community development has over the years remained the major bedrock upon which a solid grassroots foundation for a self-reliant and self-sustaining development process can be built.
Fayemi said his administration defied the economic challenges confronting the state to ensure that the financial support to the communities see the light of the day and that his government was determined not to cut off the feedback channel, as he was not elected to complain but for service delivery.
“Ekiti State relies majorly on the monthly federal allocation and our Internally Generated Revenue which has not met our target as expected.
“We have, therefore, decoded to release these grants-in-aid assistance fund for completion of the projects in batches. Let me assure you that the interval for the release shall not take long period and it shall be a continuous process until all projects are completed.
“I congratulate members of the various community development associations/town unions who are beneficiaries of this N497,000,000 grants-in-aid assistance.
“Your scope of activities should not be limited to the promotion of communal self-help activities alone, but more importantly taking security, growth and development to every nook and cranny of Ekiti State,” he said.
Speaking earlier, Special Adviser on Community and Rural Development, Chief Folorunso Olabode, explained that assisting communities to execute projects started during the first tenure of Fayemi, which he continued barely a year in office in 2019 when cheque was first distributed to communities after returning to office.