By Chinyere Amalu
THE need to put the Community at the centre of national development has been identified as one of the most effective ways of promoting sustainable development and quality health, Minister of Health Prof Babatunde Oshotimehin has disclosed.
Osotimehin who was represented by Director of Public Health, Dr. Jonathan Jiya, speaking in Abuja during the 2nd National Conference on Community Development in Nigeria, said since every Nigerian belonged to a community, focusing on community in developing any national issues will yield benefits to all Nigerians.
Jiya who spoke on the Role of the Community in National Development, said: â€œIt is the most effective way of facilitating efficient service delivery to the people that need them the most.Â The community is also the conduit through which the people, especially the poor are most likely to participate in the national development.â€
In his own contribution, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Aliyu Idi Hong, said the community has greater role to play in improving the Nigerian health indices.
The Minister who spoke while receiving a delegation from Hong community in Adamawa State charged community leadersÂ to support government efforts in provision of health care services to the people.
â€œThe community should not to allow government structures to collapse as government intervention may delay. Primary health centres are built in the rural areas and belong to the grass roots so they should contribute for its sustainability.â€
The Ford Foundation attributed economic meltdown that is currently threatening national development in the country and collapse of various government projects to corruption and bad governance.
The Foundationâ€™s Representative in West Africa, Dr. Adhiambo Odaga called for domestication of anti-corruption crusade at the community level, saying it will take a lead in promoting corruption free country.
â€œCorruption is hindrance to national development. The resources meant for sustainable development are siphoned by an individual, and this makes developmental process in the country especially at the community level difficult.Â The financial meltdown we are experiencing today is as a result of corruption and bad governance.â€
She said community leaders have major role to play in community development, adding that unless they make their impact felt and be recognised, there would be no sustainable development at that level.