Communities in Central Nigeria now decide priority projects for government.
In Plateau State’s Barkin Ladi Local Government Area, communities are issued project priority forms to guide government’s decisions.
The idea is to ensure communities get exactly the projects that solve their needs, Chairman of the LGA, Mr. Ezekiel Mandyau told journalists, Tuesday.
“No more will government execute projects for political relevance, but human impact,” he said.
The forms are a followup to a tour of communities by the newly appointed Official where he held meetings with people groups to identify their needs.
“We identified unemployment, peace, security and infrastructural development as needs that cut across the different Districts of the locality but we want to attend them according to their importance to each community,” Mandyau said.
Findings from the survey, the Council boss said will be verified along with selected stakeholders before project execution starts.
“When we are able to sit with the various stakeholders again, we will integrate all of these positions and see what we will be able to achieve,” he said.
This is the first time communities are getting such liberty, said a national official of the ruling All Progressives Congress, Mr. Jok Alamba when the Chairman visited Gashish District.
“It is changing the way government is run,” opined an ex State Commissioner, Bulus Bot in Heipang.
“This is a sure sign of democratic maturity,” an ex Speaker of the Plateau State House of Assembly, Mr. Isa Song corroborated in Foron District.
Same were the submissions of other stakeholders in Ropp and Fan Districts.
But does the LG Chair have the legal and institutional backing to execute capital projects being a part-time administrator?
Mandyau said, “We have had no inhibition so far. One week after taking over, we instituted an audit committee and no one raised a brow. Rather, it was applauded and encouraged. So from all indications, the State Governor is interested in good governance.”