The Osun Community and Social Development Agency (Osun CSDA) has raised a crop of eminent persons drawn from various communities across the state as champions who would propel development in their localities.
The champions including traditional rulers, prominent businessmen, philanthropists and reputable retired civil servants were cleverly selected based on their track records, integrity, experience and past contributions to their respective communities.
These community development champions and social investment partners were nominated by their respective Local Government Areas (LGA) Local Council Development Areas (LCDA), Administrative Offices (AO) and Area Councils (AC) across the state.
The General Manager of Osun CSDA, Mrs Abokede Aderonke Funmi while addressing the community development champions said the initiative was aimed at fostering partnership building between the community and government at local and state levels.
Abokede said “I want to appreciate and congratulate you, our community development champions, for accepting your nominations as a call to serve.”
She explained that the community development champions were selected from their localities as a way of laying the grounds for ownership and sustainability of community development projects.
“By this nomination, trust is placed on you, our community development champions. It is expected that this will be reciprocated by you through your support to your communities. We urge you to imbibe Community Driven Development (CDD) bottom up approach in which the communities would provide invaluable insight to how their communities could be improved”.
Abokede said it was expected that the community development champions would work creatively towards changing the society and supporting communities to undertake community based interventions that will promote social change.
She enumerated the goals of the World Bank assisted Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) and highlighted the areas of support and contributions required from the community development champions.
She noted that the champions would assist in mitigating the risk to the projects when the foreign assistance ceased. “You will become a strong support structure for the development of your communities”, Abokede told the community development champions.
Abokede listed the roles and responsibilities of the community development champions to include becoming change agents, advocates, facilitators and mobilizers of people at grassroots and to be actors in development process so as to ensure sustainability of development projects in the communities.
“Community Development Champions idea will break barriers, bring people together and give a sense of partnership to achieve together which will benefit all”, Abokede said.
Speaking with newsmen, Oba Dokun Thompson, the Oloni of Eti-Oni who is one of the community development champions expressed delight over the initiative as he observed that if well managed, it would enhance the attainment of Sustainable Development Goals set by the United Nations to be achieved by 2030.
Also, a retired officer of the Nigeria Army, Major General Abass Adekanye who was also selected as a community development champion said development projects in local community would be maintained and sustained when the people in the community see themselves as the owner.
A business mogul in the state and Chief Executive Officer of Laddans Furniture, Alhaji Remi Marindoti who was selected from Egbedore Local Council Development Authority, Ido-Osun also lauded the initiative of CSDP and charged all the champions to step up their contributions to community development.
Oba Bankole Adewale Ojutalayo, the Laroka of Wanikin-Ife emerged as the Chairman of the Osun Community Development Champions while Alhaji Abdul-Akeem Adetunji Mosebolatan emerged as Secretary with Mrs Basirat Adeleke Adeyinka as treasurer. The leadership held its first meeting immediately and outlined the roadmap for the task ahead.
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