. By Betty Idialu, Warri.Yahoo/Inbox
WARRI – The Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has commended the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture for partnering with the Delta State Government to develop the communities. The state Governor, made this commendation during the two-day commissioning of 54 projects by the Itsekiri Regional Development Committee (IRDC).
The IRDC is one of the community-based organizations established and funded by the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture, under the Global Memorandum of Understanding, (GMoU) with the Delta State Government, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Itsekiri Communities around CNL operations.
Gov. Ifeayi Okowa who was represented by Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr. Freeman Fregene, enjoined other multi National oil companies to continually invest in the communities where they do business while also praising the IRDC for flawlessly executing the projects and keeping the peace in the Communities. He further admonished the benefitting IRDC Communities to make good use of the projects and provide the necessary environment for International Oil Companies, (IOCs) to operate.
Similarly, Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs congratulated the IRDC for taking the steps to commission the projects. According to him, “CNL takes its role as a corporate citizen in Nigeria seriously and continues to demonstrate its commitment to responsible corporate citizenship through social investment programmes that promote health, education and economic development in communities around our operational areas and beyond.”
Esimaje, who was represented by Sam Daibo and Tony Emegere in their separate remarks during the 2-day events, attributed the successes being recorded by the GMoU community development programme to the participatory -partnership model being used.
“The successes we have recorded generally through the GMoU reinforce CNL’s belief that the community-driven participatory model can stimulate quicker community development than processes and systems designed without effective participation of the communities and other relevant stakeholders,” he said.
Chairman of IRDC, Amb. Austine Oniyesan, noted that the projects, which were conceived and designed in 2014-2015 to help address the housing challenges in the area, comprised of 52 two-bedroom detached bungalows spread across the communities, as well as an Agric Farm Project at Tisun Community and Town Hall at Ajudaibo. He thanked the NNPC / Chevron JV for solely providing funds for the projects and disclosed that the next project circle of IRDC will commence very soon after necessary needs assessment in the Itsekiri communities.
Amb. Austine Oniyesan further noted that the IRDC has been providing scholarship to students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions, providing job opportunities to large number of persons and creating wealth through skill acquisition programmes as well as other forms of capacity building initiatives.
Various community leaders, including the Olare-Aja ( Oldest Man) of Tebu Community, Pa. Jackson Edemayibo Tuoyo, thanked IRDC and the NNPC / Chevron JV for the projects, assuring that Itsekiri host communities will continually provide the enabling environment for genuine investors. Some of the IRDC Communities where the housing projects were commissioned are Aja-Amita, Gbokoda, Ajudaibo, Madangho, Ijaghala,Ogidigben and Ode-Ugborodo.
The well attended events attracted several Government and Community leaders. Some of the attendees included: Architect Oyelade Oyeleke, Representing Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Mr. Mattu Oritsejuremisan of NDDC; Omadoye Godwin, DESOPADEC; Taiye Tuoyo Chairman Warri South-West Local Government and others.