By Emem Idio
YENAGOA—AS stakeholders in the development process, communities in Bayelsa State where projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, are sited, have been advised to protect and take ownership of such projects.
Executive Director of Mac-Jim Consortium Foundation, a non-governmental organisation in the Niger-Delta, Mr. Godson Jim-Dorgu, gave the advice during a one day sensitisation and town hall meeting with traditional rulers, chiefs, opinion leaders, community development committee, CDC chairmen, youths and women leaders of various communities in Yenagoa, the state capital.
According to Jim-Dorgu, as direct beneficiaries and stakeholders in the development process, there was the need for the community leaders to take ownership, monitor and verify NDDC projects sited in their domains.
He tasked the stakeholders on the need to form advocacy committee and create grassroots awareness on projects to prevent abandonment.
“The communities have an important role in the implementation of impactful projects carried out by the NDDC in their various domains as direct beneficiaries; therefore we are here to encourage community engagement and participation in the development process because if as benefiting communities they do not take ownership, the sustainability of the projects would be difficult to achieve,” he said.
Also speaking, Executive Director of Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, Mrs. Emem Okon, said the town hall meeting was convened primarily to promote community participation in NDDC project formulation, implementation through mobilisation and sensitisation of benefiting communities.