To reposition the 32 Rural Development Authorities (RDAs) for effective service delivery, the Bayelsa State Government says it is considering using them as channels of rural project execution.
The Deputy Governor, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, stated this when executives of the G-32 Principal Officers’ Forum, paid him a courtesy visit on Friday, at the Government House, Yenagoa.
Ewhrudjakpo, expressed concerns over the decline of financial support to the RDAs, which began as far back as 2017, in the wake of Nigeria’s economic.
The deputy governor, however, noted that government was not unmindful of the current state of the RDAs and therefore decided to review their funding and operations to make them functional platforms for grassroots development.
To this end, he promised to send a proposal to Gov. Douye Diri, for the approval of a monthly project fund for each of the RDAs, to enable them carry out rural development projects on community by community basis within their areas.
On the request by the principal officers for an upward review of their monthly impress, employment of security guards and procurement of office furniture, the deputy governor promised that government would look into the issues immediately.
Ewhrudjakpo’s words: “We are very much conversant with the challenges of the RDAs. As far as I am concerned, the RDAs are struggling to breathe for survival.
“The competition for resources sometimes makes it difficult to meet demands.
“I am very sure the decline in support for the RDAs has been very much exacerbated by the recession that was witnessed between 2015 and 2018, and up to 2019, which we are trying to recover fully from now.
“This has affected the funding and running of the RDAs.
“We believe that the RDAs are machinery or channels we can use for executing rural development projects in our localities.
“If the RDAs are empowered to carry out an infrastructure project in a different community each month, we would achieve much with them.
“Your government will look into this and do something about it because it will help in spreading projects to all of our communities.”
Speaking earlier, Chairman of the G-32 Principal Officers’ Forum, Mr Enai Gbologbegha, said the RDAs were currently bedeviled by a lot of operational challenges, ranging from lack of conducive work environment, inadequate running cost to acute shortage of security guards.
While thanking the Bayelsa Government for approving the conduct and release of the 2022 senior staff promotions by the Local Government Service Commission, Gbologbegha appealed to government for an upward review of the monthly overhead.