By Dayo Johnson, Akure
OVER N1.1billion has been contributed to implement projects in the oil-rich Ilaje communities in Ondo State by the NNPC/Chevron Joint venture.
The General Manager Policy, Government & Public Affairs, Esimaje Brikinn, disclosed this at the Annual General Meeting (AGM
) of the llaje Regional Development Committee (IRDC) held at Ode- Ugbo.
Brikinn, who spoke through the Policy, Government and Public Affairs PGPA Superintendent, Tony Emegere, said that the lRDC leadership in the communities had expended the funds for various projects.
The projects, according to him, include a science laboratory, multipurpose halls, concrete and wooden foot bridges, housing projects, town halls, reverse osmosis water project, purchase of two speed boats for transportation and provision of public toilets.
Other programmes executed include micro credit scheme, scholarship awards, skill acquisition schemes, donation of books to secondary schools and quarterly medical programme for aged persons and pregnant women.
“The achievements of the IRDC over the years reinforced our belief that a process that is community driven can stimulate quicker community development than processes and system designed without effective participation of community members”, he said.
The Superintendent implored community leaders, women, youth and other stakeholders to keep an open mind and continue to support the implementation of the GMoU to allow the communities to reap more benefits from the model.
Brikinn reminded the communities that the benefits of the GMoU could only be sustained in an atmosphere of peace.
The Chairman of the IRDC, Adekunle Omomowo, said over 5, 000 community members from the GMoU mandate communities had benefited from the body’s services directly or indirectly since the new leadership assumed office.
Omomowo listed the programmes to include offer of employment to youths, award of scholarship to secondary and tertiary institution students to the tune of N9m and free medical outreach program.
The paramount ruler of the area, the Olugbo of Ugbo Kingdom, Obama Fredrick Obateru Akin Runyan advised the leadership of the IRDC to apply the “ Yoruba analogical broom- bunch theory” by being united in all their dealings with all stakeholders across the communities.