Some Ekiti State lawmakers and commissioners have lauded the UNDP’s conflict resolution workshop, adding that it would make development benefits less rancorous among citizens in the state.
They stated this in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Friday at the end of the four-day training.
NAN reports that the training was organised by UNDP on implementation of the ‘Conflict Sensitive Approach to Development Programme, Budget Formulation, Monitoring and Reporting’.
The Deputy Speaker Ekiti State House of Assembly, Hon Hakeem Jamiyu, said most projects done across the country often bring conflict though it was meant to benefit people.
“But if it is not properly sought out it can result in unintended consequences.
“The workshop has enlightened us a lot and it has enriched our knowledge.
“There are so many things that we have to do differently in our constituencies,” he said.
According to him, the theme of the seminar which is ‘Sensitivity about projects in national development’ is very apt.
“It has taught us so many things that we have taken for granted in our projects. So many projects are well intentioned but it turned out to have unintended negative consequences.
`Because so many things were taken for granted that we assumed that we have done but we didn’t do well and we have so many examples here.
“It also taught us about budgeting and how to build peace and avoid conflict. Conflict in itself is not bad as it can bring up new ideas,” he said.
Also, Hon. Olubunmi Adelugba, the Chief Whip of Ekiti State House of Assembly and Chairman Finance and Appropriations Committee, said that the pattern of leadership in Ekiti State was towards development.
She said this was because the leadership of the state always aim for the development of the state.
“The training shows that there are some things in Ekiti State that we have imbibed that make us to be glad, that we are in the right direction.
“But at the same time I believe that learning and more learning increase your knowledge and I believe that there are so many things we have been able to take away from this training to entrench democracy and also be able to do our work more,” Adelugba said.
Speaking, Mr. Michael Omolayo, Director planning research and statistics Ekiti State who represented Ekiti Commissioner for Education, said the system would help Ekiti State system to perform better than it is currently.
He said the training had helped to build the capacity of the state to be able to mitigate conflict which had been affecting project delivery.
“Most of the time we have development plans, interventions and projects that could have an impact positively on the lives of the people.
“These are well conceived at times but the process of doing that has not been bringing the expected outcomes because of some conflicts that are militating against them.
“And this type of seminar has helped us to identify what has gone wrong over the time.
“We should be able to have proper engagements with stakeholders, identify them and have good communication so that people will be able to know the benefits of the project.
“And, have sustainable development plans when these are in place there would be complete ownership by all stakeholders,” he said.
“Prof. Adio Folayan, Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Ekiti, said that the impact of the training would create more collaboration and cooperation among state actors and the citizens.
“We were trained on how to see development through cooperation with people, collaboration with people and by consulting with people and that is the bottom-top approach to development.
“We have to ensure that the information gained here is disseminated not only to the state but to the grassroots. “
Also, the facilitator at the training and founder, Africa Centre for Corporate Responsibility, Mr. Austin Onuoha, said involving recipients of development projects right from the planning would be more rewarding.
“Development is not an innocent phenomenon. So when you want to do development people are not just passive recipients of development they have a choice to accept or not to accept so we must be very careful with that.
“Also, there is a need to have some kind of template or objective criteria for sharing development when it comes to projects nation-wide.
“We can’t continue to do development in an arbitrary or ad hoc manner.
“We must also try as much as possible to ensure that when we do development we factor in sustainability.
“That means, how you ensure that this project keeps delivering benefits to the people over a period of time,” Onuoha said.
He said there should be no excuse for lack of money in ensuring development across the board.
“Your problem is as big as your money. We must learn to manage the resources as well as the expectations that the benefits of the project will deliver.
“We must not over sell development benefits because every development has adverse effects and we must also make people understand that.
“Nigeria must as a nation learn to have effective grievance mechanisms in place both inside development projects and outside,” he said.
This, he said, reduced conflicts and insecurity being experienced in the country adding that this will reduce the amount of money spent on security.
He said such funds spent on security can be spread to other sectors of the economy once the country has an effective grievance mechanism in place.
The Team Lead, Governance, Peace and Security Unit, UNDP Nigeria, Mr. Mathew Alao, said security was the bane of Nigeria development but not Nigeria alone as insecurity was global.
“One of the fundamental causes of insecurity around the world is the issue of the teeming youths that are unemployed and they vent their anger against the system one way or the other and the bad people also take advantage of this.
“In Nigeria it has been going on, in the North East in one of the research on how assessment conducted among the emergent state on violence extremism, what they point out as the major cause of extremism is human rights violations.
“This is at the centre. People who felt aggrieved that there was injustice against them and there is no credible platform for them to complain and get justice.
“So they say let’s begin to fight against the system,” Alao said. (NAN)