Okowa urges DESOPADEC to allow communities chose their projects


Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged the newly constituted board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) to allow communities decide projects of their choices.

The governor gave the charge while inaugurating the Chairman and members of the DESOPADEC Board in Asaba on Friday.

He said that their appointments were well-deserved as the newly constituted board had Olorogun Nani as Chairman and Chief Festus Ochonogor as Managing Director.

It also has Mr Efele Nicholas, Mr Favour Izoukumor, Chief Taleb Tebite and Mr Oghenekome Okpobor were named as Executive Directors.

The Board members included Chief Julius Egbedi, Mr Sylvester Ovbije, Mr Goru Oghenekaro, Mr Azuka Enebeli, Dr Charles Olisa, Mrs Cordelia Anyangwu, Mr Sonny Ofe, Chief Victor Egbo and Mr Spencer Okpoye.

Okowa said the new board was a good blend of youth and experienced members.
He said that it was gratifying to note that the members were grassroots politicians who had served the party and the government in various capacities.

He advised the board to consult widely with communities to ensure that their needs were met.

“I advise that you adopt a bottom-up approach when it comes to the nature and choice of projects that should be embarked upon.

” Involving the host communities in your decision-making process is imperative to avoid contention and distrust.

“In this regard, the charge I gave to the previous board is worth restating here.

“There must be specificity in planning; projects must be fit-to-purpose. They should be conceived based on real, not felt, needs,” he said.

According to the governor, communities should determine the projects they want in their areas.

“Commissioners are to draw up the project needs and environmental concerns of their communities and present to the board for consideration, approval, and execution.

“This governance paradigm must be complemented with strategic thinking, prudent spending, and stringent projects execution.

” It is important that you hold regular stakeholder meetings as a way of getting valuable feedback on your operations and performance.”

He urged them to embrace effective communication as an indispensable tool of management. .

“Let the people know what you are doing, explain the rationale to them, and ensure that you are properly understood.

“Your appointments are not only based on merit and competence, they are also in recognition of your consistency, faith, and belief in our vision for a stronger Delta.

” I trust that you will continue to do us proud in this new assignment,” Okowa said.
He thanked the immediate past board led by Michael Diden, adding that they performed creditably in the provision of community projects such as roads, classroom blocks, markets, and other physical infrastructure to host communities.

He lauded the commission for its skills acquisition programme which had provided relevant training and empowerment for Youths of oil producing communities in the state.

“The icing on the cake for me was the establishment of the DESOPADEC Skills Academy, in line with the administration’s youth entrepreneurship development programmes,” he said.

Responding on behalf of the board, Chief Nani, thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve.

He assured that they would work for the overall interest of the state and the oil-producing communities.