By Samuel OYADONGHA
The people of the oil-rich Tarakiri clan in Sagbama Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, last week had cause to celebrate as the Tarakiri Cluster Development Board commissioned some mega projects in four of the six communities that made up the cluster.
Communities that benefited from the projects include Agbere, Ayamasa, Isampou and Ofoni. However the board had to postpone the projects commissioning at Egbemo-Angalabiri and Agbiadiama communities for security reasons.
Agbere community can now boast of a modern Information Communication and Technology, ICT Centre while, its dilapidated schools I, II and III, were renovated and now wearing a new look, the board commissioned an ICT centre and the newly renovated schools I, II and III.
Ayamasa was not left out as it now has a new civic centre as well as a newly renovated and equipped Women Development Centre to cater for the capacity development of women in the community.
At Ofoni, which for now could only be accessed by water, an ICT centre was commissioned and handed over to the community. Isampou community also had a modern ICT centre while Zarama and Zion communities had newly constructed blocks of teachers’ quarters.
The projects were bank-rolled by the oil giant, Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), under its Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) entered into with the Board.
The Tarakiri Cluster Development was inaugurated on April 16, 2010 and metamorphosed into a foundation on February 4, 2012.
Speaking at the commissioning, which turned into a mini carnival by the elated indigenes of the area, the Chairman of the Cluster Board, Dr. Jude Ebibokefie, lauded its sponsor, the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), and the mentoring Non-Governmental Organisation, NGO, Self Help and Rural Development Association, SHERDA, for the successful completion of the projects.
Represented by his Vice, Chief Godspower Akpandara, the chairman re-iterated the board’s commitment to human capacity development in the communities.
Commending the state government for providing the enabling environment and Shell for facilitating the dividends of democracy in the various communities through the projects, he enjoined the benefiting communities to be responsible and make optimal use of the projects and protect them from vandals.
The board chairman also gave the assurance that the gesture would be extended to Egbemo-Angalabiri and Agbiadiama as soon as the security situation improved in the communities.
Representatives of the various communities thanked the Board, SPDC and SHERDA, as well as the state government for making the projects’ completion a reality.
They not only promised to protect, maintain and keep the projects in good condition, but also asked that more projects be executed in their communities.