- HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Poverty in Nigeria has assumed a frightening dimension. While the problem is a global phenomenon, its prevalence and pervasiveness in resource rich Nigeria is contradictory to the concept of development. The country is abundantly rich in human as well as natural resources yet the people are poor.
Finding an urgent solution to the problem of poverty however, has been a major concern of governments in Nigeria. This is revealed in the number of programmes set up in the last three decades. The frequent changes in policies and programmes are a clear admission of discontinuity and the failure of previous programmes.
Given the enormity of the poverty situation in Nigeria especially, it is obvious that government alone cannot cope. While agonizing on what could be done, the Development Policy Centre (DPC) Ibadan under the Chairmanship of Professor Akin MabogunjeCFR came up with a strategy of City Consultation for mobilizing entire communities for programmes of poverty reduction and Ijebu-Ode was chosen as a pilot case.
- Preliminary Surveys
The City Consultation process was preceded by a socio-economic study of Ijebu-Ode commissioned by the DPC in 1998. This study highlighted the basic problems of poverty in Ijebu-Ode which included the following:
(i) Health facilities are run down and ill-equipped.
(ii) Just over 28% of households directly rely on wells/boreholes, 45% buy water from private tankers and water hawkers. The remaining 14% depend on brooks and streams.
(iii) Electricity supply is as bad as in most other cities in the country.
(iv) While the city is served by a reasonably satisfactory network of roads, their conditions are deplorable.
(v) Waste management and waste disposal facilities are inadequate and refuse dumping in city centres has been on the increase. More than 72% of the residents of Ijebu-Ode have no access to waste disposal facilities.
(vi) The major markets in the city are in a deplorable state, lacking water, toilets, waste disposal facilities, parking spaces and good access roads.
(vii) Educational institutions are in a poor state and lack facilities for proper training; The existing Technical School, Trade Centres and Vocational Training centers are run down and lack facilities
What We Can Do
of the Board
Since the Ijebu-Ode City Consultation, a series of activities aimed at concretizing the decisions reached by the stakeholders at the consultation have taken place.
Those activities include:
Inauguration of a 16-man Follow-up Committee to distill the papers presented at the City Consultation and the decisions of the stakeholders thereon into an Action Plan.
The Follow-up Committee prepared and finalized Action Plan. The Grand Patron, Oba SikiruAdetona, CFR. J. P Ogbagba II inaugurated a 30 member Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction on 29th July 1999. At the same event, the Development Policy Centre (DPC) Ibadan made a cash presentation of N500,000 ($3,334) as seed money for the organization of the Board. A complete computer unit was also presented to the Board. The Chairman of the Centre, Prof Akin Mabogunje, CFR also donated the project co-ordinator (Research Assistant) Marcus A Adeniyi of the city consultation to the Board.
The City Consultation led to the establishment of a broad, community-based 30-member, Ijebu –Ode Development Board on Poverty Reduction which was later changed (coverage areas and the fact that Awujale is the Parmount Ruler Of Ijebuland) to Ijebu Development Initiative on Poverty Reduction (IDIPR) and the launching of theACTION PLAN ON POVERTY REDUCTION which the Board is now scrupulously implementing.
It is worthy of note that ours is a peculiar type of Board. It was built around the entire community. The two major players in the governance of the city, namely the Local Government Council and the Traditional Authority, personified in HisMajesty the Awujale of Ijebuland are the major stakeholders. To these two are added other groups of stakeholders representing diverse interests in the city.
The Board is therefore composed of:
16 members who originally drew up the ACTION PLAN following the City Consultation.
- 4 members representing the Traditional Ruler, His Royal Majesty the Awujale of Ijebuland.
- 2 members (Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Ijebu-Ode Local Government).
- 2 members (President and Immediate Past President of the Ijebu-Ode Development Association (IDA), an Association consisting of various social groups and societies in Ijebu-Ode.
- 2 members (Leaders of Market Women/Men).
- 1 member representing the Cooperatives
- 1 member representing the Artisans.
- 1 member representing the Ijebu Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture
- 1 member representing the Ijebu Chapter of the National Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI).
Series of mini-consultations were held with various groups of identified stakeholders Including the State and Local Government Council, the Traditional Authority, Council of Quarter Heads, Age Grades, Ijebu–Ode Development Association, Ijebu-Ode Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, Co-operative Societies, Trade Associations, Artisans, etc. The goals of the mini-consultations were two folds;
- To dialogue with the stakeholders on the objectives, scope and modalities of the City Consultation process and to emphasize that the stakeholders themselves, not the government, own the process.
To brief the stakeholders on the roles expected of them before, during and after the city consultation.
Between the 22nd to 24th March, 1999, a City Consultation on poverty reduction in Ijebu-Ode was held under the aegis of His Royal Majesty, Oba (Dr.) S. K. Adetona, CFR, LLD, JP, Ogbagba II, Awujale of Ijebuland at the AafinAwujale, Ijebu-Ode. It was sponsored by the Development Policy Centre (DPC) Ibadan under the Chairmanship of Professor Akin Mabogunje, CON, NNOM, CFR and the African Centre for Development and Strategic Studies (ACDESS) Ijebu-Ode under Professor Adebayo Adedeji, CFR, the Executive Director. The City Consultation was financially supported in full by the UNDP/UNCHS/World Bank – sponsored Urban Management Programme (Regional Office for Africa) Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire.
About 400 participants attended the City Consultation representing various categories of stakeholders: the three tiers of government, multilateral and donor agencies, NGOs, CBOs, the private sector, women organization, Artisans, Cooperatives, Market Men/Women, Community Leaders, Community Development Association, Age Grades, Youths, Students, Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Agriculture, Transporters, Civil Servants, the Media, Academia, and Traditional Authorities. There were also in attendance representatives of the National-Planning Commission, Federal and State Ministers and Multinational Agencies including the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Urban Management Programme (UMP). Distinguished personalities like the then Military Administrator of the State, Navy Captain KayodeOlofinmoyin and his team of Commissioners; Royal Fathers in Ijebu led by His Royal Majesty, Awujale of Ijebuland, Ijebu-Ode Local Government Chairman and his Deputy; Mrs. Sarwar Sultana, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Nigeria, Ms. Mou Charles Harris, Regional Adviser, Urban Management Programme, Regional Office for Africa, UMP-ROA, Abidjan, Cote D’Ivoire attended the Consultation.