By Festus Ahon
GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has commissioned 54 projects executed by the Itsekiri Regional Development Committee, IRDC and funded by the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture.
The IRDC is one of the community-based organizations established and funded by the NNPC/CNL Joint Venture under the Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU with the Delta State Government, Chevron Nigeria Limited and Itsekiri Communities around CNL operations.
Okowa, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Oil and Gas, Mr Freeman Fregene commended the NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Limited Joint Venture for partnering with the State Government to develop the communities.
He enjoined other multi-national oil companies to continually invest in the communities where they do business while also praising the IRDC for flawlessly executing the projects and keeping the peace in the Communities.
The Governor told the benefitting IRDC Communities to make good use of the projects and provide the necessary environment for International Oil Companies, IOCs to operate.
Mr Esimaje Brikinn, CNL’s General Manager, Policy Government and Public Affairs on his part, congratulated the IRDC for taking the steps to commission the projects.
“CNL takes its role as a corporate citizen in Nigeria seriously and continues to demonstrate its commitment to responsible corporate citizenship through social investment programmes that promote health, education and economic development in communities around our operational areas and beyond,” he said.
Esimaje, who was represented by Sam Daibo and Tony Emegere attributed the successes being recorded by the GMoU community development programme to the participatory -partnership model being used.
Esimaje said: “The successes we have recorded generally through the GMoU reinforce CNL’s belief that the community-driven participatory model can stimulate quicker community development than processes and systems designed without effective participation of the communities and other relevant stakeholders.”
Chairman of IRDC, Mr Austine Oniyesan, noted that the projects, which were conceived and designed in 2014-2015 to help address the housing challenges in the area, comprised of 52 two-bedroom detached bungalows spread across the communities, as well as an Agric Farm Project at Tisun Community and Town Hall at Ajudaibo.
He thanked the NNPC / Chevron JV for solely providing funds for the projects and disclosed that the next project circle of IRDC will commence very soon after necessary needs assessment in the Itsekiri communities.