By Emma Amaize
WARRIâ€”A Technical Support CommitteeÂ set up by Delta State government to advise it on how toÂ make the Delta State Oil Producing Communities Development Commission (DESOPADEC) more functional and service delivery-oriented has recommended the appointment of an external audit/management panel to streamline the structure and workload of staffÂ of the commission.
Former Minister of Information and Chairman of the committee, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, stated this when he submitted theÂ report of the committee to Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan.
Professor Sam Oyovbaire said the committee took a critical look at the structure, organization, actual staff disposition, nominal roll and pay- roll of DESOPADEC to arrive at its recommendations.
He said the external audit/management panel would focus on the administrative and management structure, the accounting structure,Â determination of the optimum size of departments, units, salary structure and pension of workers in the commission.
According to him â€œwe strongly recommend that the panel be externaland not internal. We hold this view to reduce the possibility of the same persons who may have been involved,Â through commission or omission,Â in the recruitment of the present assumed confused staff strength,Â from undue interference with and compromising the work of the panel.â€
Prof. Oyovbaire noted that there should be review and amendment of certain important laws of the commission,Â especially the unnecessary and distractive disconnection between the chief executive officer and the accounting officer of the commission.
He said the commission should continue to exist, fully supported and maximally funded by the government to enable it dischargeÂ its responsibilities effectivelyÂ for the good of the people.
In a brief remark, Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan commended the committee for a job well done and noted that he could notÂ implement any of the Technical Support Committee recommendations until he had read the report.
He promised that his administration would be committed to funding the DESOPADEC,Â as the commission has brought joy to oil producing communities in the state through its developmental projects.
â€œ l have no cause to regret setting up the outfit and the communities have no cause either to regret because it has brought joy to them. I am carrying out this re-structuring to enable DESOPADEC function well,â€ the governor said.
He called on DESOPADEC contractors to be patient with government, assuring themthat they would be paid soon.
He said:Â â€œI am working to see that they are paid some amount of money because the amount owed contractors now is greater than what the commission receives. In the next few days,Â we will start paying them. I appeal to them to be patient with us.â€
He explained that the issue of staff strength was being tackled, as ghost workers have been fished out, adding that the issue of staff receiving double salary was being looked into.
Dr. Uduaghan also said the commission would pay pension to staff who retired from the commission.