Cross River Budgets N1b for Community Development Projects in 2014

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by crossriverwatch admin

Mr Victor Ovat, General Manager, Cross River State Community and Social Development Agency (CRSCSDA)
Mr Victor Ovat, General Manager, Cross River State Community and Social Development Agency (CRSCSDA)

The Cross River State Government will be spending N1. 015 billion to implement the community and social development projects in 2014, according to the General Manager of Cross River State Community and Social Development Agency (CRSCSDA), Mr Victor Ovat.

The projects in a partnership between the World Bank, Federal Government and state governments, were designed to support empowerment of rural communities to develop, implement and monitor micro social infrastructure projects including natural resource management interventions in their communities.

Ovat who spoke during a training capacity workshop for beneficiaries of the project in the state in Calabar at the weekend said the projects which were to wound up this year by the World Bank had been extended to 2014 and the state government would continue supporting them even if the World Bank eventually pulls out.

“The governor has pledged that with or without World bank funding, the project would continue. The Cross River government has voted N1. 015billion for CSDP so that with this we can sustain the tempo of activities already started by the project. Beyond that the World Bank has given an extension for the project by one year. We are expecting more money from the world bank to support what we are doing,” he said.

He lamented the poor culture of sustainability of projects in the country, saying, “We discover that we do not have a culture in Nigeria and Africa to look at projects post completion. We look at projects only from the points of conception. So once a project has been completed in terms of construction, we forget it. Nobody does anything about it. The effect is that over time, we keep losing what we have done and keep looking for money to do new things and that is not a good way of going about life.

“The developed world does not continuously replace but they always add to what they have because they have developed a culture wherein they try to manage to sustain what they have such that they resources they have would be used to maintain and create additional infrastructure. But we have a culture of abandoning and doing new ones whether or not we have the resources.

“So coming from this background we want to drive this process that would bring about a change where people would now see or look beyond the completion stage of projects to after completion. To do this we know we need to engage the different stakeholders, create awareness and build their capacity. We want communities to set committees that would manage their projects after completion, so that even after 10 to 20 years the people would still be benefitting from it.”

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