By Abu Micheal
Recently relief came the way of the people of Okura in Dekina and those of Ankpa Local Government Areas when Governor Idris Wada moved his rural transformation train to flag off construction of roads in Ankpa and Dekina Local Government Area after several years of neglect.
It is important to state that providing succor to people living in the rural areas has been the focus of the Capt Idris Wada administration.
Over the years, rural development and poverty reduction efforts in Kogi State have been characterized by many flaws.
Most of the programmes were designed and administered using national outlook which usually makes rural development programmes not to meet desired objectives of improving lives.
But one cardinal strategy which seem to be yielding the desired result for the Wada administration is the concept of integrated rural development.
This policy aims at bringing development and government closer to the people through the provision of basic social amenities and also, making life worth living for rural dwellers.
Within the last eighteen months of the present administration in Kogi State, aside the sustained investment in the Health, Education, Agriculture and Social Infrastructure sectors, the emphasis on rural transformation has remained a high point of the Wada administration.
The recent flag off of the State Government multi million naira roads and other infrastructural development programmes in the Eastern Senatorial District of the State, just as it has been done in other districts, has no doubt brought more relief to people living in rural communities that government is mindful of their plight and that development is being brought to their doors’ step.
In line with his transformation agenda, basic amenities geared towards improving the quality of lives of its rural populace as well as boost their economy, has remained Capt. Wada’s topmost priority.
The flag-off of the construction of Okura Township road as commendable as it is,is geared towards giving the ancient town a befitting look, check the ravaging effect of erosion and provide the community with a more decent and motor able road.
Similarly, the Otukpo junction Ojoku – Alobe – Okaba road which has long been abandoned for more than two decades shows the sensitive nature of the present administration in remembering the plight of neglected communities.
It is important to state that the road construction just recently flagged off, is aside the 36 road projects inherited by the present administration that have either been completed or are still undergoing construction. The administration has also initiated other new road projects across the state with a promise to inaugurate more for construction depending on available resources.
Furthermore, as part of its rural transformation agenda, the administration has completed 27 rural electrification schemes in rural communities with two others at advanced stages of completion.
Similarly, several transformers to boost electrification in communities across the state have been installed. Several communities in the state have also been connected to the national grid.
In addition, Kogi State Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Agency, has drilled numerous boreholes at over a hundred communities in over 13 local government areas of the State.
The establishment of new and upgrading of existing cottage hospitals to general hospitals has also remained cardinal in the rural transformation agenda.
It is a known fact that most rural communities are ravaged by erosion. The directive of the state governor for the commissioner of works to avert the gully erosion at Oluboojo area of Ankpa, and his visit to another erosion site at Anyigba, shows the concern of the present administration to tackling erosion menace in the state head long. It is on record that several erosion prone communities have been salvaged from being completely wiped off since the coming on board of this administration.
While the present administration may not have met by reason of dwindling financial resources accruing to the State all the challenges in transforming rural communities, It has however shown bold steps that development and provision of rural infrastructures is no longer the exclusive preserve of people living in urban centres alone as was the case in the past. Today,more attention seems to have been shifted to people living in the grassroots.