From Laide Raheem, Abeokuta
Community Development Associations (CDAs) across the country have, in many ways, contributed to the development of various communities. Apart from embarking on self-help projects capable of boosting physical development, CDAs also play critical roles in the security of communities.
Little wonder, state governments see CDAs as partners in progress in ensuring their policies, programmes and ideas get to all the nooks and crannies of their dormains.
And as a result of the dwindling economic situation in the country, some CDAs have developed templates to boost the financial capacity of their members via economic empowerment.
Such is the Communities Welfare Association (CWA), Obada town, in Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, which has been putting smiles on the faces of its members and residents.
Apart from giving cash grants to members, CWA has also helped various communities with electricity transformers, meters and concrete poles, with a view to making life better for them.
At the recent empowerment scheme, held in Obada, at least 50 members were given N50,000 each to help their trades and petty businesses.
At the event, which was graced by representative of the Alake, paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Aremu Gbadebo, High Chief Fatai Bodunrin, Olu of Obada, Oba Olufemi Solaja, Olu of Awowo, Oba Abdul-Gafar Tijani, former member of the Ogun State House of Assembly, Israel Jolaosho, and a host of other community leaders, two persons were equally empowered with cars to give fillip to their means of livelihood.
Speaking at the event, the president of CWA, Olusegun Kolawole, explained that the empowerment programme was designed to reward members of the association for their dedication and hard work in their various communities.
He said: “We are empowering two of our members with Nissan Micra cars, cash gifts to boost their business, while 50 others will also benefit from an interest-free loan of N50,000 each.
“We are not just doing it, we have done similar things not long ago when we empowered people with cars and money as parts of efforts to empower them. We have carefully selected hardworking members and it is a continuous empowerment.
“I will advise the beneficiaries to continue to be truthful as we know them to be and also have it at the back of their minds that, if one association can do this kind of help for them, they should emulate by doing such to others.
“In the past, we have assisted some CDAs such as Lala, Kere, Eleyele and many more to get transformers and meters from IBEDC.
“We also gave some CDAs in Irewolede and Orilepenifa concrete poles to make life better for them. They are to return the money at their convenient time without any interest.”
Also speaking, Oba Tijani commended CWA for bringing succour to the people. He noted that the gestures, if sustained, would go a long way in ameliorating poverty in the communities. The monarch pledged to contribute to the purse of the association, to further its welfare cause.
Also, the Olu of Obada, Oba Solaja, thanked the association for adding values to the life of the people. He advised the beneficiaries not to see the empowerment as just a largesse, but an elixir to inject life into their economic endeavours.
On his part, former state lawmaker, Jolaoso, expressed delight at what he described as community economic empowerment of the people. He noted that government alone could not do all, urging similar associations to emulate CWA and lift people out of poverty.
A beneficiary, Mrs. Omonitan Adekola, said the scheme would help in boosting her ice block business. She lauded the association and promised not to misuse the opportunity given her by using the cash empowerment judiciously.
For Adekunle Muyiwa, recipient of a car, thanked the facilitators of the programme for reviving his transport business. He, however, called on government to give backing to CWA in order to do more for the downtrodden.