DESOPADEC holds Roundtable dialogue in 3 Warri LGAs, proposes 40% Community involvement in projects execution
The Board of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC in a round table dialogue with Stakeholders in Warri South, Warri North, and Warri South-West Local Government Areas has projected 40% community involvement of projects execution for checks and balances of Contractors so as to eradicate projects abandonment.
The Board revealed that the nonchalant attitude of indigenes of Itsekiri Communities and that of contractors, who received payment from the Commission without executing the jobs, are factors responsible for the abandonment of DESOPADEC projects in Itsekiri Communities.
Speaking at the well attended meeting held recently in the three Warri Local Government Areas, Executive Director, Planning, Research and Statistics in DESOPADEC, Hon. Nicholas Efele, said that, on a random assessment of Itsekiri communities, they saw how some of the contractors engaged by the Commission get enough payment, but do not complete their jobs, saying that some Itsekiri communities do not have anything to create jobs for themselves.
“We discovered that there are lots of rural to urban migration of our people. We need to look for ways to encourage urban to rural migration as we will embark subsequently on advocacy programs,” he stated.
Hon. Efele, averred that the Hon. John Nani led Board of DESOPADEC, resolved to put measures in place that would put an end to abandonment of projects in Itsekiri communities.
“Each project in our areas (Itsekiri communities) will be supervised by the host community, if the project fails, it is because that community allowed it to fail.
“We will reduce communication gap between the community people and Board members through the use of technology.
“Checks and balances, will be put in place to ensure that no contractor will collect money without executing the job.
“Every contractor must show capacity that they can do the job, before it will be awarded to them.
“We are going to create a system, where jobs given to any contractor, will be seen by stakeholders in the community and allow the community to report directly to the board members”, he opined.
The ED, Planning, Research and Statistics, added that DESOPADEC in consultation with community stakeholders, will create agricultural economic hubs in the rural communities, for the production of palm oil and rice in commercial quantity.
He opined: “If we do not develop our communities with the opportunity given to us through DESOPADEC, we may regret it, because we cannot guarantee the uncertainties surrounding crude oil as a natural resource in our area.”
Speaking earlier, the Commissioner representing Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality in the Board of DESOPADEC, Hon. Sunny Ofe, assured that the Commission, was committed to engaging the communities, through economic and infrastructural development.
Hon. Ofe, said the Commission will dedicate 40 percent of its budget estimate for Itsekiri Nation, for completion of ongoing projects and 60 percent for execution of new projects.
He enjoined youths in Itsekiri communities, to stop the collection of development levies “deve” so as not to discourage contractors from executing projects in their communities.
The Olu of Warri, Ogiame Atuwatse III (CFR) represented by Chief Billy Besigiwa, Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area, Dr. Michael Tidi, who was represented by Secretary to Warri South Local Government, Mr. Joseph Oribioye as well as Chairmen and Secretaries of various Itsekiri communities, were among stakeholders present at the meeting.
High point of the meeting was the questions and answers session where Stakeholders and community representatives were given the opportunity to asked questions bordering on projects abandonment, execution and way forward.