By Emma Amaize
WARRI â€” DEPUTY GOVERNOR of Delta State, Prof Amos Utuama, has said that oil communities in the state have started witnessing a new lease of life, with the creation of Delta State Oil Producing Areas Develop-ment Commission (DESOPADEC) by the state government.
Speaking in Sapele, where he flagged off the commissio-ning of the second phase of 266 projects completed by the commission, Utuama said there was hardly any concerted effort to develop the oil-bearing communities before now, even with the 13 percent derivation, adding that the commission was conceived to fill the gap.
According to him, DESOPADEC was envisio-ned by the former administra-tion of Chief James Ibori and the present government of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan energized and has continued to propel it.
He noted that in spite of its teething problems, the commission has changed the fortunes of the oil communi-ties in Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa ethnic nationalities.
Prof Utuama, who kick-started the programme with the commissioning and handing over of renovated buildings and equipment to Sapele Technical College, Amukpe, commended the chairman of the commission, Chief Wellington Okirika, for the giant strides.
Commissioner for Special Duties (DESOPADEC), Mrs. Orezi Esievo, was later to explain that over 1000 projects were awarded so far by the commission and a total 648 projects completed so far.
Esievo said the 266 projects to be commissioned between December 1 and 14 were projects completed in the second phase.