By GLADYS JOHNSON
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa ,The Delta State Governor has commended the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture for partnering with the Delta State Government to develop the communities. The state Governor, made this commendation on March 28- March 29, 2019 respectively 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.
Dr Okowa who was represented by Mr. Freeman Fregene, the Delta State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, 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 benefiting IRDC Communities to make good use of the projects and provide the necessary environment for International Oil Companies, (IOCs) to operate.
In a similar vein, 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 programs that promotes health, education and economic development in the communities around our operational areas and beyond.”
Esimaje, who was represented by Sam Daibo and Tony Emegere on March 28, and March 29, 2019 respectively, attributed the successes being recorded by the GMoU community development program 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.
Amb. Austine Oniyesan, Chairman of IRDC, 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 assessment in the Itsekiri communities.
Amb 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 programs 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.