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…My Thoughts and Perspectives

By Hon. Prince (Amb.) Michael Ogungbemi (FCPA)
Executive Chairman
Ajoni LCDA.
(Ekiti Focal Person)


Let me salute His Excellency, the Governor of Ekiti State and our very own ‘tiwa n tiwa’ Governor, Mr. Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji who have created a serene atmosphere for this just concluded local government election process and the subsequent swearing in of the Council helmsmen. It is an indication that the Governor is really an “HOMEBOY” as proclaimed during his campaign. Your strong belief in grassroots administration is defined today.

The collaboration of grassroots administrators can’t be overemphasized and we must recognize this tier of government and its impact on the overall performance of the state government. In the spirit of teamwork of His Excellency, he had allowed for a free and fair election so as to kick the ground running at the grassroots. We salute your efforts in this regard sir.


To all the returning and the new Chairmen, many eyes are on us to perform and maintain the same standard as the state government does, there is a major task ahead of us to study the body language, understand the policy of the government, understand the visions of the leadership of His Excellency, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji at the state and his style of leadership to ensure the grassroots is in tandem with the policy of the state government and as well enjoy the dividends of democracy at all strata of the government.

For the people of Ekiti State, the impact of local government on the overall performance of the state government is significant to them and they cannot overlook our role and the direct impact of our roles and duties on the great people of EKITI state at the grassroots.

As a reminder, here are some ways in which local government can influence the performance of the state. government:

  1. Service Delivery: Local governments are responsible for providing essential services such as education, healthcare, infrastructure development, and public safety at the grassroots level. The quality and efficiency of service delivery at the local level can have a direct impact on the overall performance of the state government. Effective local governance ensures that these services are accessible, responsive to local needs, and efficiently managed, contributing to the overall development and well-being of the state.
  2. Policy Implementation: State governments formulate policies and programs but the local governments should be more responsible for the implementation. Local government officials and administrators play a crucial role in translating state-level policies into actionable plans at the local level. Effective coordination, communication, and collaboration between state and local governments are essential for successful policy implementation. The effectiveness of local government in executing state policies directly affects the overall performance and impact of those policies.
  3. Financial Management: Local governments have their sources of revenue, budget, and financial management systems. The fiscal discipline and efficiency of local governments in managing their finances can impact the overall financial health of the state government. Local governments that effectively collect revenue, spend judiciously, and practice sound financial management contribute to the stability and strength of the state government’s finances.
  4. Citizen Engagement and Participation: Local governments are closer to the people and provide a platform for citizen engagement and participation in governance. When local governments actively involve citizens in decision-making, policy formulation, and implementation processes, it strengthens democratic governance at the grassroots level. Increased citizen participation leads to more accountable and responsive governance, enhancing the overall performance of the state government.
  5. Economic Development: Local governments play a significant role in promoting economic development within their jurisdictions. They are responsible for attracting investment, fostering local business growth, and creating employment opportunities. The economic performance of local governments directly affects the overall economic growth and prosperity of the state. Effective local governance policies that promote a conducive business environment and prioritize sustainable development contribute to the overall economic performance of the state government.

The failure of any of the 16 local governments and 22 Local Council Development Area in the state can jeopardize the overall performance level of the BAO’s administration. Therefore, there is a need for all to do their best to complement the activities of the government. The focus should be on the people and the EKITI State.

Beyond the performance level of the council Chairmen vis-a-vis keying to the programmes and policies of Mr. Governor, His Excellency, Biodun Abayomi Oyebanji, I’ll be speaking to you about the immense value of partnering with International Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs). As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, forging collaborations with NGOs has emerged as a critical strategy for achieving global goals and addressing societal challenges.

It is no longer a news that the world economy is experiencing a downturn and unfortunately, no country is left out, even the so-called developed countries are having there fair share in this decline, no thanks to Covid-19 and of course the ongoing Russia-Ukraine civil war which is taking its toll on the world economy.

Nigeria is not exempted from this, infact, ours is so peculiar in that there is over-reliance on crude-oil and it is no longer news that the market for crude-oil have dropped drastically, so the likelihood of a reduction in allocation to federating states is envisaged and state governors and governments have to be proactive in looking inwardly as to how to navigate around this for the betterment of its citizenry.
The Federal Government is doing all it could to change this narrative owing to the recent savings accrued from the removal of fuel subsidy.

In this regard, the role of NGOs are inevitably needed and it is an option to be considered which the government can explore through collaborations and partnerships, and this of course does not in any way downplay the aspect of the states working to boost its IGR.

NGOs are in there numbers and into many endeavours of life, this affords the state to identify what it want and identify specific NGO working in that area. Funding of projects like this may be absolutely dependent on the NGO or through counterpart funding, depending on what the NGO is offering.

First and foremost, partnering with international NGOs provides us with a unique opportunity to extend our reach and maximize our impact. These organizations possess wealth of knowledge, expertise, and experience in areas such as humanitarian aid, development work, human rights, environmental conservation, healthcare, and education. By joining forces, not only can we pool our resources but also tap into their extensive networks, access local communities, and customize our interventions to deliver sustainable solutions.

Furthermore, collaborating with international NGOs allows us to leverage diverse perspectives and benefit from cross-cultural exchange. NGOs often operate on the ground, working directly with local communities and understanding their unique context, challenges, and aspirations. By engaging with these organizations, we gain valuable insights, cultural sensitivity, and a deeper understanding of the issues at hand. This holistic approach fosters inclusive decision-making processes, encourages innovation, and ensures that our initiatives are contextualized, relevant, and respectful of local customs and values.

Partnership with international NGOs also grants us increased credibility and legitimacy in our endeavors. NGOs are widely recognized for their impartiality, dedication to public service, and commitment to the betterment of society. By aligning ourselves with these reputable organizations, we enhance our own credibility and gain the trust of various stakeholders, including governments, communities, and donors. This trust and credibility are crucial for the success of our projects and the long-term sustainability of our efforts.

Moreover, partnering with international NGOs offers a platform for knowledge exchange, capacity building, and mutual learning. These organizations often possess extensive research capabilities, best practices, and lessons learned from their fieldwork. By collaborating with them, we can access this invaluable knowledge, adopt evidence-based approaches, and enhance our own organizational capacities. This exchange of expertise and resources promotes continuous improvement, fosters innovation, and enables us to tackle complex challenges more effectively.

The essence of such partnerships lies in the collaborative efforts between governments and NGOs to address key developmental challenges.
Here are some of the benefits and impacts of partnering with international NGOs in promoting development:

  1. Access to Expertise and Resources:
    International NGOs often possess specialized knowledge, technical expertise, and extensive experience in various areas such as health, education, humanitarian aid, environmental conservation, and more. Partnering with these organizations allows a state to tap into this expertise and access additional resources, including funding, technology, and best practices.

2. Enhanced Capacity Building:
Collaboration with international NGOs can facilitate the development of local institutions and systems by providing training, mentorship, and knowledge transfer. This can strengthen the capacity of governments to effectively plan, implement, and evaluate development programs, improving their overall governance and service delivery mechanisms.

3. Mobilization of Local Communities:
NGOs often work closely with local communities and grassroots organizations. Through partnerships, states can leverage the NGOs’ ability to mobilize communities, raise awareness, and engage citizens actively in the development process. This participatory approach fosters ownership, inclusivity, and sustainability in development initiatives.

4. Complementary Approaches:
Governments and international NGOs often bring different perspectives, approaches, and resources to the table. By collaborating, they can combine their strengths and expertise, leading to more comprehensive and holistic development strategies. This synergy allows for the identification of gaps, innovative solutions, and the leveraging of diverse networks for impactful outcomes.

5. Advocacy and Influence: International NGOs are generally involved in advocacy and policy dialogue on a global scale. By partnering with such organizations, states can benefit from their ability to raise awareness, influence policy agendas, and advocate for issues that align with national development priorities at regional and international forums. This can lead to increased visibility, support, and resources for development initiatives.

6. Crisis Response and Humanitarian Aid: International NGOs excel in providing rapid response and humanitarian aid during emergencies and crisis situations. Partnering with them ensures access to critical support, relief supplies, and expertise during times of disaster, armed conflict, or other emergencies. This can significantly enhance a state’s ability to mitigate the impact of crises and rebuild affected communities.

7. Enhanced Collaboration and Networking: Partnerships with international NGOs foster collaboration and networking opportunities with other states, organizations, and stakeholders. This enables the exchange of knowledge, experiences, and successful models of development interventions across borders, contributing to global learning and cooperation.

8. Multidimensional Approach:
International NGOs usually adopt a multidimensional approach to development, incorporating economic, social, and environmental aspects. They work closely with local communities, governments, and other stakeholders to ensure comprehensive and sustainable solutions. Collaborating with these organizations enables a holistic perspective, fostering comprehensive and long-lasting development outcomes.

9. Access to Funding:
Many international NGOs have access to funding from various sources, such as governmental agencies, philanthropic foundations, and private donors. Partnering with these organizations opens avenues for accessing financial resources that can support development initiatives. This financial support can be critical in implementing projects, conducting research, capacity-building, and providing essential services.

10. Knowledge Exchange and Capacity Building: Collaborating with international NGOs facilitates invaluable knowledge exchange between partners. These organizations bring global best practices, lessons learned, technical skills, and innovation to local contexts. This knowledge sharing enhances local capacity and improves the effectiveness of development interventions by integrating international expertise with local insights.

11. Scalability and Replicability:
Successful development projects initiated by international NGOs often possess potential for scalability and replicability. By partnering with these organizations, local organizations can learn from effective models, adapt them to their contexts, and scale up impact. This knowledge transfer enables the replication of successful initiatives, amplifying their benefits across different locations and communities.
Few examples of these NGOs are:

~Bountiful Children Foundation, (BCF), USA
The mission of BCF is to provide nutritional supplementation to malnourished children and pregnant/nursing mothers as well as to teach health and cognitive development skills to families in the areas they serve. Bountiful Children’s Foundation, BCF is a global nutritional organization. This organization screens children within 1000 days of life and provides free rich macronutrient food supplement intervention supply for those malnourished children. An effort put in place to reduce child’s morbidity and mortality rate.

Thousands of Ekiti Children will massively benefit from the scheme if keyed into. Over 400 children had benefited from their goodwill at Ajoni LCDA in the first scheme of their programme. The second scheme is scheduled to commence in February, 2024.
Family Search International
An American based NGO which fund the African oral histories and Genealogical Project across Africa regions. Over 2,000 Ekiti youths, job seekers and part time employment can be generated to leap up the rural economies. Regular and constant remuneration will be paid according to the spate of work done.

Trainings will be provided to willing young school leavers, even the unemployed graduate with Android phones could earn as much as N80,000 on monthly basis.
With a culture that values extended family and oral tradition, it’s not surprising that oral tradition in Africa is used to pass family history from generation to generation.

Tribes often have a “storyteller” responsible for memorizing genealogies and other important information.
However, oral family histories may be lost due to war, death, migration, and other factors.

That’s why FamilySearch is helping to preserve many of these oral histories. According to program manager, over 970,000 interviews have been conducted in over 700 languages as of July 2022. In addition, over 4,600,000 photos have been taken to enrich these oral histories.

It is estimated that over one third of peope on earth do not have written records, many of these people are in Africa. This presentation dscusses recent work by FamilySearch to collect and preserve genealogical informaton from the oral traditions of ethnic groups in Africa.

FamilySearch has intervewed over 16,000 people worldwide, and the participants have shared ther history and up to 15 generations of genealogy. This has resulted in over 7 mllion genealogical records preserved and pubished for use.
Intervewers have been recruited, and then trained to identfy and interview ethnic groups in Africa which have deep oral genealogy. A number of challenges have had to be overcome in capturing and processing this information. This oral history and oral genealogy wil be the primary, perhaps only, source of information about ancestors for the future generations of their people.

Have you ever played a game of memory? In this game, you have several cards lying face down, that you turn over trying to identify the matching pictures. This can pose a real challenge for your short term memory as you sift and sort the many combinations that exist wth the cards that you are playing with. Now think about remembering the details of connected lives of hundreds or maybe even thousands of people that lived before you were even born.

This memorization has been the life work of people for centuries in many cultures from across the world. FamilySearch is working to collect and preserve this hstory before those that have the memory of their ancestors are gone.

In Afrca, millions of people are migrating from the rural villages into aready overcrowded cities in search of opportunities and wage employment, often spltting up families and fracturing village communities. This migration is also changing the culture and traditions of the people. As the younger generations leave the villages, there is no one to pass the history of the people left in their community.

In genealogy circles we hear about an African proverb that states that, “Every time an old person dies, it is as if library burns down”. This setting emphasizes the role oral tradition and oral history plays in African culture. There are cutures where stories of men have been told for ages and passed down from generation to generation; which if written down could fill books.

~The LDS Charity
This is also an America based humanitarian organization to help develop and increased mostly rural communities infrastructures. The LDS Charities has visited Ajoni LCDA to conduct assessment, so they can rehabilitate and equiped Itapaji Community Health & Maternity Centre to provide access to good and affordable medical care to Ajoni people.

LDS CHARITIES is a charity organization aimed at relieving the suffering of families of all nationalities and religions and offer hope with the potential for a better life for millions of people around the world.

Part of what LDS Charity focus on are:

Emergency Response
LDS Charity strive to provide immediate assistance following disasters. They provide food and other relief supplies as needed. In 2009 we provided millions of dollars in relief aid.

Clean Water
Access to clean water improves health and family hygiene. They assist communities to establish wells and other drinking water systems to provide access to clean water. They also helps communities establish local water committees and provide hygiene training. The community donates labor and materials. Over 6.4 million people now have access to clean water because of this program.

Neonatal Resuscitation Training
This training saves the lives of newborns who struggle to breathe at birth. LDS Charity provides skill training and resuscitation equipment to doctors, nurses, and midwives. Since 2002, over 168,000 health care workers have been trained in these life-saving techniques.

Vision Care
By improving the quality of eye care treatment delivered by local health care organizations, blindness and visual impairment may be avoided. LDS Charity provides training, equipment, and supplies to assist local eye care professionals and programs. Since 2003, 506,000 people have benefitted from the vision care projects throughout the world.

Mobility Assistance
Provides mobility devices including wheelchairs for rough terrain, hospital wheelchairs, crutches, walkers, and canes to physically disabled persons. Since 2002, over 350,000 people have received a wheelchair or other mobility assistance device.

Food Production
Raises the quality of life for urban and rural families through improved food production and nutrition. Since 2002, over 31,000 people have benefitted from this program.

Through ministries of health and the World Health Organization, LDS Charity volunteers have provided life-saving immunizations to thousands of people. They have also participated in 51 nationwide immunization campaigns in 35 countries since 2003.
This is another area the state government can harness.

~Build A School Initiatives in Africa (BASIA/CoAfrica)
Childers all across Africa strive to acquire the most basic needs, education. The youth of each co.munity is what defines the country’s future and thus, educating these Children excels beyond being a mere right.
It lays a solid foundation for the stability of that country.

Providing education toothed IA also a progress in bettering the overall economy. We often feel to realize the impact one simple gestures can create. By understanding the urgency of the present situations, donating and helping improve the present. You will be Paving a way towards the collateral good of the country.

BASIA/CoAfrica, keep Childers in school by

  1. Providing Safe learning Classrooms, through a safe learning Classrooms programme, BASIA Build, Rehabilitate and restore abandoned school buildings.
  2. Providing Technology in School- without the proper tools for learning, students face overwhelming odds. They provide access to teachingsaides to teachers and student learning. ie. Classrooms teaching & School supplies programme to enhance learning.
  3. Provide Teacher Empowerment-Education is the best opportunity for children to help break the cycle of poverty. Teachers are at the forefront of that goal.
  4. Provide In- school food security programme, the goal is to eliminate hunger from the Classrooms. Lack of food in the child’s home is one reason why children are drafted into child’s labor.
    BASIA has the capacity to build public schools and other basic educational facilities across African states. Example here is the partnership deal of BASIA and the management of Ajoni LCDA to build 2 standardized blocks of 8 classrooms in Ayebide Ekiti and Esun Ekiti. If the state government can partner with BASIA, several public schools across Ekiti communities will massively benefit in having modern and suitable classrooms to accommodate several school age children.

~Interwave Solutions International, (ISI) USA.
This is another International non-profit making organization in the United States of America dealing in training of small and medium businesses in the best practices, record keeping and providing accessibilities to issuing of grants to the beneficiaries, either those in existing business and those willing to start up new business ventures.

The Ministry of Commerce, Industry and Trade under the leadership of the Honourable Commissioner, Mrs. Tayo Adeola is already doing a great job partnering with Interweave and the scope of this partnership can even be more expanded to accommodate more business oriented people.
Partnering with international NGOs can amplify a state’s development efforts by harnessing additional expertise, resources, and networks.

This collaboration promotes sustainable and inclusive development, strengthens governance systems, and fosters positive impacts on the well-being of communities and societies.

Lastly, partnering with international NGOs allows us to tap into diversified funding opportunities. NGOs often have well-established networks of donors, philanthropic foundations, and international financing mechanisms.

Through collaboration, we can tap into these funding streams, diversify our financial base, and secure the necessary resources to further our objectives. The potential for joint fundraising campaigns, grant applications, and shared funding mechanisms significantly strengthens our financial stability and sustainability.

Local government has a substantial impact on the overall performance of the state government. It affects service delivery, policy implementation, financial management, citizen engagement, and economic development and fosters effective collaboration and support to ensure good governance and achieve desired outcomes at both the state and local levels. Partnering with international NGOs presents us with immense benefits and opportunities. Through these collaborations, we can extend our impact, leverage expertise, gain credibility, promote cross-cultural understanding, foster knowledge exchange, and access diversified funding sources.
Let us seize this moment to forge strong and meaningful partnerships with international NGOs, enabling us to create a better, more sustainable future for all.
While congratulating ourselves on our we’ll deserved victory, I wish us a successful tenure in office but we need to remember, our scorecard begins from the first day in office.

Thank you

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