As part of efforts to scale up the provision of infrastructural facilities and encourage grassroots participation in governance, the Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has inaugurated ward-based development committees in Uhunmwode Local Government Area of the state.
At the event in Ehor, headquarters of Uhunmwode Local Government Area, Obaseki said members of the committees in the 10 wards in the council area, were selected to represent different interest groups.
Members of each ward committee include two women, two youth, a traditional ruler, one retired or serving teacher and nurse, one member of the governing All Progressives Congress (APC), a member of an opposition party and a religious leader.
According to the governor, the ward-based development committee would be run as pilot in Uhunmwode and Orhionmwon local government areas because they both rank the lowest in the poverty scale of the state.
He explained that the committees were constituted to encourage grassroots participation in the development of the state, noting that the initiative was informed by the level of infrastructural decay in the area.
Obaseki said the terms of reference for the committees include: to assist the state government in identifying priority needs of the people at the ward level and enumerate such needs for the state government to take attention, noting that funds to implement developmental projects across the state have been captured in the budget.
Members of the ward-based development committee, according to the governor, are expected to report cases of vandalism of public infrastructure; give feedback on the efficiency of government institutions, officials and contractors handling state government projects in their area.
“The committee in each ward will support the security architecture in the ward and carry out public enlightenment and educate members of the public on the developmental projects being carried out by the state government,” he said.
He added that the committees will submit a monthly report through the office of the Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Matters, while quarterly meetings would be held to assess progress of work in the various wards.
The Enogie of Obadan, His Royal Highness, Joseph Airehenbuwa, lauded the governor’s ward-based governance initiative and said that the committees would fast-track socio-economic growth and development of the area.
“We are impressed with the initiative especially as members of the opposition parties are also represented. We will ensure we work with the mandate given to us by the governor, to bring development closer to our people,” the Enogie said.
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