June 18, 2012 – The Lagos State Government has warned officials of Community Development Councils, CDCs, and Community Development Associations, CDAs, to shun all forms of corruption, just as it inaugurated new 24-member Community Development Advisory Council, CDAC, for grassroots development.
Inaugurating the new CDAC at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Lagos Government Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria, last week, the Commissioner for Rural Development, Cornelius Ojelabi, urged the executive members of the body to be committed to the task of developing all the local government areas and local council development areas through effective monitoring of all the CDCs under their domains.
“You must make the provision of the constitution setting up the Council your watchword. You are to plan, co-ordinate and execute community development projects in the state and ensure compliance with government policies and programmes.
“You are also to monitor and report or discipline where necessary any mismanagement of finance of CDC/CDA and ensure that their funds are invested in viable projects,” he said.
The commissioner lamented that “it has been observed that a lot of CDAs do not have proper records of their accounts, some don’t even have a bank account at all while it is the chairman and his caucus that spend the money without proper recourse to the entire association.
“This, your council must try to put an end to, with proper monitoring of CDAs/CDCs’ activities. Just as your predecessors have done, you must ensure total cooperation of your members in monitoring, managing and maintaining government property/projects in their domain.”
Ojelabi charged the new executive to educate their people on the need to cooperate with contractors handling government projects in their areas, saying that extorting money from them could stop development from coming to such communities.
According to him, the efforts of the state government to provide socio-economic facilities for Lagosians in all the 57 LGA/LCDAs in the state to further improve the living standard of the citizenry cannot be over-emphasised.
“However, with the limited funds at the disposal of the government, we cannot do it alone, so I want to implore you to continue to promote self-help projects in the communities and where necessary complement government efforts in the completion and maintenance of government projects so that the funds to be used in the maintenance by the government can be channel towards other development projects.
“You should encourage your CDAs to invest their resources in profit making ventures that will yield interest for them to complement government efforts in the maintenance of their facilities. CDAs should be able to do minor repairs on some of the facilities provided for them instead of waiting endlessly for government for such petty things,” he stated.