IDRIS AHMED, LOKOJA.
Kogi state government created the Ministry of Rural Development for effective and aggressive development of rural communities.
The new ministry is a merger of the former Kogi State Directorate of Rural Development (DRD) and the Rural Development department of the former Ministry of Water Resources and Rural Development.
With the Government’s desire and commitment to emancipate the rural dwellers, the new Ministry was tasked to enhance the good quality of life of rural populace and it’s development, with a community driven strategy adopted.
As part of the strategies, communities were identified and profiled on their needs and made their requests to the Governor or to the ministry for infrastructural developments.
Some of the major responsibilities of the Ministry includes provision of regular information to assist rural farmers and to mobilize them for massive agricultural production.
The Ministry was also charged to sensitize the farmers on the formation of cooperatives to support and improve the effectiveness of their operations.
Imputes and technical assistance,were provided, while advice, extension and counseling services were conducted to assist communities undertake community development programmes.
The Rural Development ministry also promote economic development by facilitating and supporting rural individuals, communities and businesses to obtain facilities, through banks.
Community Development Officers were deployed to the traditional districts to guide the people on Credit unions and give community and technical assistance needed to address their diverse and unique needs within the state.
The ministry in collaboration and in some cases in partnership with government ministries, departments, agencies provides essential public utilities and services.
Services like water, sewer systems such as water and sewer systems, housing, health clinics and electricity that will improve the economy, welfare, infrastructure and quality of life in rural areas, are being provided by the needs and demands of Communities.
Some of the efforts of the Ministry include; Electrification of Opetu, and Adoza Irevere communities in the Adavi local government area
Electrification project at Kusa, Tazenyi, Onzo, Robomi and Omoko communities in Kogi local government area.
Reconstruction of High Tension trunk lines from Kabba junction to Irepeni 1 and 2 in Adavi local government area.
The Ministry also facilitated the electrification and installation of a transformer at the premises of the Kogi state Hajj Commission in Lokoja, Lokoja Local Government Area.
The Ministry drilled one motorized borehole each at Eye and Okofi communities in Kogi local government area.
Other major projects being undertaken in partnership with other government agencies include the gigantic light-up Kogi East, an ambitious project, if completed would supply electricity to all towns, villages and Communities in the Eastern Senatorial district of the State.
Provide technical assistance, advice, extension and counselling services to assist communities to undertake community empowerment programmes.
Several communities have benefited from the services of the Ministry, as it has been helping Local Government Areas and their rural dwellers to create self-sustaining long-term community and economic development in rural areas through the visioning and strategic planning.
The Ministry of Rural Development also promotes partnerships at the community and local government levels to assist communities in advancing their strategic economic development plans.