Community Involvement Key To Community Development -Hon Joseph Akinlaja



The two term former Member House of Representatives in Ondo East and West Federal Constituency Hon Joseph Akinlaja was the keynote speaker at the ongoing Ondo Development and Economic Summit, 2022 edition holding at Oba Adesanoye Civic Center, Ondo.

At the lecture, Hon Akinlaja did justice to the topic by highlighting it’s importance to define some concepts especially the meaning of community and development.

He stated that Community is derived from the word commune which means to talk together, usually intensely and intimately.

Therefore community is a group of people living in the same place or having a peculiar characteristic in common. 

He also opined that development is derived from the word develop, which means to grow or become more matured, advanced or elaborate, it is like dough that develops to become a big bread when baked, on this note, development is the process of developing or being developed. 

Take Ondo Kingdom as an example of a community to be developed. Ondo kingdom is in Ondo Central senatorial district of Ondo State South West, Nigeria.

By the year 2021, Ondo Kingdom population was put at about 445,000 inhabitants and geographical area is 4,060 km2. The Kingdom is inhabited by highly educated people with integrity, hard working, peasant farmers, philanthropists, well cultured people and those with interest in community development. 

To further develop Ondo Kingdom economically, there is the need for the establishment of small, medium enterprises and big industries. This is doable taking into consideration the characteristic of the inhabitants of the Kingdom as stated above.
To establish industry, the following are necessary – Labour, Land, Capital and Entrepreneur. 

LABOUR – with a population of almost 500,000 people there is abundant skilled and unskilled labour that can work in the SME and the industries to be established in the community, labour is also relatively  cheap due to the fact that accommodation and transpotaation are cheaper in the area. This should be an encouragement for the establishment of industry in the community.

LAND – This is also available and cheap for acquisition and for potential investors in Ondo Kingdom in comparison with places like Lagos, Abuja e.t.c. so Ondo Kingdom will be fertile ground for cottage and large industries.

The issue of land grabbing that has been ravaging the community had gone to extinction as the Ondo people have fought them to a stand still, Ondo youths should be appreciated on this landmark success.

CAPITAL AND ENTREPRENEUR – at this stage I commend the organizers of this event for bringing together entrepreneurs with capital to this magnificent edifice of human creation, the Civic Centre. Inanjo ogiri osa as being fondly called in the sociopolitical arena mentioned that the soul purpose of our being here is to explore possibilities of developing this community by establishing industries, the achievement of this purpose would resolve non – developmental issues like Joblessness, hunger, crime, cultism, thuggery, youth restlessness, and beggarliness. 

Community development can never be a one man show, therefore it requires the collective efforts of individuals and group within the community.   

In Ondo Kingdom development was scarce until recently, kudos must be given to the Osemawe-in-Council for establishing the Ondo development committee (ODC) that has achieved so many developmental projects in the Kingdom. Also, many individuals and personalities in the Kingdom, whether in government or private practice have contributed immensely to the development of the community and they are still willing to assist in further developments.

The former Member House of Representatives for Ondo East and West Federal Constituency reiterated the contributions of the Ondo sons and daughters in the diaspora of recent to Ondo development as immeasurable, invaluable, commendable and appreciable as some have shown interest to be part of the trending success story of community involvement in community development of Ondo kingdom.

In conclusion, Hon Akinlaja urges that the resolution from this gathering will produce the establishment of industries in the community, that will employ our teaming Youths, who have graduated from tertiary institutions in their thousands and also local technicians. 

Among the dignitaries at the occasion include, Governor of Ondo state represented by the deputy His Excellency Lucky Ayedatiwa, who earlier appreciated Hon Joseph Akinlaja as a community leader who places a premium on community development above political influence, in attendance too was the Imperial Majesty Oba Victor Ademefun Kiladejo Jilo III and the High Chiefs, also, Hon Abiola Makinde, Hon Lola Fagbemi, Hon Wale Akinlosotu among others. The programme will come to a close on Friday 2nd of September 2022.

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