Gov Okowa Commissioning Projects

The  Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADEC, has vowed to do things differently in the establishment of projects in the oil-producing area of Delta state.

It’s Managing Director Chief Askia Ogieh has said the commission decided to embark on town hall meetings with oil-producing ethnic groups in the state in a bid to ensure that the people own projects established in their domain.

Mr. Ogieh made the disclosure, Wednesday at Effurun, during a town hall meeting organized by representatives of the Ijaw ethnic nationality. According to the DESOPADEC boss, the essence of the town hall meetings was to impact a change in the way and manner projects are being executed under the commission.

He said: “We have decided to have a change in the way and manner things are being done in the commission particularly in the area of project execution. “We discovered before now that projects were cited based on our (commission) own wisdom and not of immediate importance to the people.

“We want to bridge that gap and that is why we are here to hear from the people and know what they want. “I choose to personally be present in the meetings to hear from the people and to get their inputs on the budget which will be drawn based on the 27 percent accrued to the Ijaw ethnic nation.”

DESOPADEC Ijaw ethnic group representatives and organizers of the program, Dr. Paul Benenimibo, and Shedrack Agidiga, Commissioner and Executive Director, Strategy, Research and Planning informed their people that a new order has been envisioned by them. They promised to change the narrative so that development will be achieved.

On their parts, monarchs from the Ijaw nation charged the board members not to disappoint the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa on his mandate in repositioning the commission.

Speaking on behalf of the monarchs, the Pere of Ogulagha kingdom, HRM Joseph Timiyan, said: “This is a new dawn, we have not experienced it before now. I know this is a corrective measure being carried out by the governor, and I want to say that the board members should not disappoint him.

“We are always talking of projects, but projects alone cannot give the people in the oil-bearing communities smile or happiness. “But when we talk of projects, we must also talk of employment and empowerment which include giving funds to the people to embark on little businesses.”