*Embarks on 8-day project commissioning
*Askia-led board possesses unusual passion for project delivery – Oborevwori
*Our mandate is in line with Okowa’s SMART agenda – Diden
By Perez Brisibe
JULY 31st made it one year since the Bashorun Askia Ogieh led Delta State Oil Producing Area Development Commission, DESOPADEC board was inaugurated with a charge on the new board to key into the new SMART approach of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa led administration in addressing the pressing needs of the oil-bearing communities in the state.
The board which has Hon. Michael Diden as chairman was also charged by the governor with the task of sustaining and deepening the policy of less dependency on oil and to lay a solid foundation for economic growth and infrastructural development.
In what he described as a paradigm shift from the old DESOPADEC, managing director of the board, Bashorun Askia Ogieh while unveiling his mission and vision for the commission during a 3-day in-house training for staff of the agency who he described as the tool to drive the needed change, said: “My mission and vision is to rebrand DESOPADEC and positively affect the lives of the people in the mandate areas.”
Ahead of the budgetary year, the board also embarked on a town hall meeting with stakeholders of the five ethnic nationalities from oil bearing communities in what the DESOPADEC boss said is geared towards feeling the pulse of the people in respect to project execution.
The move according to the MD, “is a bottom-to-top approach” noting that with such tactics, the commission will be embarking on projects needed by the people contrary to the scenario where such projects are imposed on them.
To encourage an amicable relationship with the oil bearing communities, the board also met with representatives of oil exploration companies operating in the areas to foster a business development synergy with the commission acting as an interventionist agency between the locals and the oil companies.
With all variables finally in place, the board went to work in the better half of 2019 and came out with a bang in the New Year with the commissioning of a harvest of projects in what the state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa described as “the commission’s favourable response to the needs of our various communities.”
Six months after inauguration, the Askia led board achieved its first mark with the commissioning of five legacy projects in Isoko North and South local government areas of the state namely: Opute Hall, Ozoro; Ultra Modern Civic Centre, Uzere; Model Secondary School, Uzere; Students Hostel at the Delta State University, Oleh Campus and six three-bedroom bungalows for visiting Lecturers also at the university as well as a four semi-detached two-bedroom bungalow housing unit at the Nigeria Maritime University, NMU, Okerenkoko in Warri South-West local government area.
Not deterred by its modest achievements six months after inauguration, the Askia-led board went back to work in a bid to show all Deltans that they are indeed a peg in a round hole by surpassing their six months achievements with their one year anniversary.
True to its word, one year after the board was inaugurated, the agency launched a 7-day project commissioning tour across the five oil-bearing ethnic nationalities beginning with the commissioning of the ultra-modern national town hall at Ogume and the 1.52km perimeter fencing, water project and gate house of the Oliogo Umuseti community school both in Ndokwa West local government area.
Others are the renovated block of 6-classrooms fully fitted with furniture for pupils and teachers, whiteboards, fans and sundry facilities at Ezedogume Primary School, Ogbe Ogume, solar-powered 20, 000 litre water project scheme at Ebedei Uno, Ukwuani local government area of the state.
On the second day of the project commissioning, the DESOPADEC team beamed their focus on Urhobo ethnic nationality with the commissioning of the Oguedion, Ijomi and Water Board road projects in Jesse; commissioning of Ejaise and mission road projects in Oghara all in Ethiope West local government area as well as the Ozue secondary school and Famous Oborevwori street projects in Okpe local government area.
The agency on day 3 and day 4, visited Itsekiri ethnic nation where it commissioned the Mewe Omadili close project, Yonwuren College Library project, fencing and interlocking of the DESOPADEC welding and fabrication center, rehabilitation of the Obodo water scheme and Obodo multi-purpose hall, Obodo all in Warri South local government area.
Others are; commissioning of Oboghoro healthcare center with doctor’s quarters in Oboghoro community, concrete landing jetty in Ubege community and the Koko water project in Uba-Egbelemeji community all in Warri North local government area.
In continuation of project commissioning for Urhobo and Ijaw ethnic nations, the board also commissioned projects at Okolor primary school as well as the Agoloma cottage hospital in Udu and Patani local government areas of the state.
Other projects commissioned are the reconstruction and furnishing of the Sekebulou town hall, 32 metre stores in Odimodi and electrification project in Ode Itsekiri all in Warri South West local government area and the commissioning of the Hon Obaro road project, Ogofotha Uloho street project, Okpesia and Eboh road projects and a host of others in Isoko South local government area.
Askia-led board possesses unusual passion for project delivery – Oborevwori
At the events, Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori who commissioned some of the projects, described the Askia-led DESOPADEC board as a team possessing an unusual passion in respect to people driven project delivery.
Speaking at the commissioning of the Ogume tall project, the lawmaker stated that the quality of projects inaugurated is ample evidence of a proactive and pro-people Board in a hurry to touch the lives of the people in the mandate area.
According to him, the effort of the board has continued to give full vent to the agenda of building a stronger Delta as enunciated by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, adding that their efforts remain salutary, especially given that they are just rounding up one year in office.
Our mandate is in line with Okowa’s SMART agenda – Diden
On his part, chairman of the board, Hon. Michael Diden while commissioning the solar-powered 20, 000 litre water project scheme at Ebedei Uno, reaffirmed that the mandate of the present board is in line with the directive of the state governor to make notable impact and touch the lives of people in the mandate area adding that the board remains committed to executing more impact driven projects.
In his remarks at the project sites, Chief Askia explained that the current board took it upon itself to take stock of its achievements, adding that it decided to do this through its harvest of projects to commemorate its one year anniversary.
On the need to protect the projects, the DESOPADEC boss pleaded with the people to ensure proper protection of the projects adding that the jobs were done in line with the needs and demands of the people.
He said: “It is our belief that since what they demanded for is what we have given to them; we believe as a people, they ought to protect these infrastructures because it is to their own benefits and to make their lives more meaningful.”