BENIN CITY – As part of efforts to ensure the sustainability of government projects designed to help in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in rural areas, the Edo State Government has tasked local council chairmen to take ownership of projects and programmes executed in their area of jurisdiction.
Secretary to the State Government, Osarodion Ogie Esq. gave the charge at a one-day Interactive Engagement Session with local council chairmen on community ownership and local implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) projects in the state.
The session which was held at Government House in Benin City, was organised by the Edo State Office of the SDGs.
Ogie noted that the Obaseki-led administration is strengthening the synergy between the state government and the local councils for optimal performance, adding that while the state government is implementing projects across the state, chairmen of local councils need to take ownership of such projects.
“We spend so much money to execute projects and people should appreciate and own these projects,” he stressed.
Edo Focal Person of SDGs, Mrs Ifueko Alufohai, said the essence of the interactive session with the council chairmen was to improve synergy for better management of SDGs’ projects.
She said the office of the SDGs needed to collaborate better with the chairmen in order to actualise the 17 SDGs in the state, noting, “The focus of SDGs is community ownership. We implement programmes and projects at the grassroots and local government chairmen need to be carried along to ensure the sustainability of the projects.”
Also, Commissioner for Finance, Hon. Joseph Eboigbe, said the SDGs have a set of frameworks that would assist chairmen of local councils to plan and deliver development to people at the grassroots.
Eboigbe added that a common practice in the country has been to focus attention on the Conditional Grant Scheme of the SDGs instead of using the SDGs Framework for economic planning, noting, “Council bosses should use the principles of SDGs to enhance their abilities to plan their budgets and overall development of their councils.”
Chairman, Edo State Chapter of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, (ALGON) Hon. Jenkins Osunde, said the interactive session was timely, beneficial and brought to the fore the need for councils’ involvement in the execution of SDGs’ projects.