By Gabriel Ewepu – Abuja
The Federal Government Tuesday, disclosed 11 million Nigerians benefited from $415 million World Bank-supported Community and Social Development Project, CSDP, programme.
The disclosure was made by the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Umar Farouq, in an opening address during the close out ceremony of the CSDP programme.
According to Farouq, 11 million direct beneficiaries with an estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries across 29 States and the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, were reached between 2009 and 2021 when the CSDP programme was being implemented.
She also described the project as highly successful and highlighted sectors the project focused on including health, education, transportation, electrification, community housing, and others.
She said: “The Project became effective in 2009, has had two additional financing, all totaling USD415 million. In its over 11 years of existence, the CSDP has evolved into one of the strong pillars for the implementation of the Social Protection Programmes of the Federal Government under the supervision of my Ministry through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO).
“The CSDP operates with the core principle of Community Driven Development (CDD) Approach. This is a development paradigm that focuses on the needs of the poor and vulnerable and empowering them with development resources to address their peculiar needs.
“Using this unique approach, the CSDP has implemented micro projects in poor communities across the 543 Local Government Areas of 29 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This represents about 70 per cent of the total number of Local Governments in Nigeria. The poor communities are identified specifically through the use of Poverty Maps agreed to by each participating State and FCT.
“The Project has made substantial impact on improving access of the poor and vulnerable to social and natural resources infrastructure across the benefiting communities. The total number of beneficiaries of CSDP stands at 11 million direct beneficiaries across the 29 states, with estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries.
“Specifically, the CSDP has achieved the following: Successful completion of 16,166 micro-projects in 5,664 communities and 934 vulnerable groups. These micro-projects cut across eight sectors of intervention namely education, health, water, transportation, electrification, socio-economic, environment and community housing; 5,764 classrooms, 1,323 health centres and 4,442 water micro projects were constructed and or rehabilitated.
“The above results demonstrates that community driven development approach adopted as the implementation strategy in the CSDP is not only reliable but produces results and should be sustained by the participating states and beyond.
“The number of expressions of interest from poor communities and vulnerable groups is unprecedented. This points to the fact that devolving implementation power to the communities has intrinsic propensity to accelerate poverty reduction and recovery of the economy from crises. CSDP projects across the country have records of very good maintenance and sustainability.
“What we are therefore celebrating today is the eminent closure of the CSDP with clear records of impacting the poor and vulnerable communities and groups across the country.”
The World Bank Country Director, Shubam Chaudhuri, pointed out that the project was a World Bank supported initiative that has grown to the point of passing laws in all the participating state to institutionalize the Community and Social Development agency.
According to Chaudhuri, “This really is our aspiration in the World Bank to help Nigeria build durable, sustainable physically and institutionally programmes and platforms that are critical to realizing President Muhammadu Buhari ambition and aspiration of lifting 100million Nigerians out of poverty.
He also added that programmes like the CSDP are critical as it directly connects with the well-being of the grassroots people who at their level feel impact of governance and are carried along in the process as they are moved out of poverty into economic prosperity that galvanizes the rural economy.
Governor of Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, in a keynote address acknowledged that CSDP was a huge success and has proven the age long truism that development can only be achieved through the people.
Fayemi who also is the Chairman of Nigerian Governors Forum, NGF, disclosed that under his administration the community driven approach of project execution has been found reliable and sustainable, because projects implemented through this model are executed at the appropriate timing of them and been carried out by community members makes it cheap compared to contracting out such to outsiders.