•We spent N278.4million on these projects – Chevron
•We commend the sole sponsor of the projects – Comr. Ukori
•More needs to be done – Community
•DTSG is committed to developing coastal areas of the state – Chief of Staff
•EGCDF has spent over N3billion on 116 infrastructural projects – Esimaje
As an organization that is interested in the socioeconomic development of local communities, the Chevron sponsored Egbema-Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation, EGCDF, in a week-long event commissioned numerous projects as executed by the Foundation in Egbema and Gbaramatu communities.
These projects, GbaramatuVoice reliably gathered, were sited across the coastal communities of Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdoms of Delta State.
Our correspondent further gathered that the projects commissioning were flagged off with the commissioning of a Concrete Landing Jetty/Waiting Shed at Aza-ama (Sunny) Zion community in Egbema Kingdom, Warri North Local Government Area and the renovation of Egbema Heritage Guest House in Effurun, Delta State on Monday October 30, 2017.
As part of the planned programme of events, on Tuesday October 31, 2017, the commissioning train arrived Gbaramatu Kingdom to continue with the commissioning of the following projects as sited: Staff Quarters at Opuede community; 0.3km Concrete Pavement Road at Benikrukru community; a 0.8km Concrete Pavement Road at Kenyagbene community.
Others, as commissioned on this said date includes, Laboratory Block for the Model Secondary School at Kokodiagbene community, all located within Warri South West Local Government Area of Delta state.
In his speech, the EGCDF Chairman, Comr. Jude Ukori said the Foundation is most glad commissioning this magnitude of projects within this shortest period despite the harsh economic condition in the country.
He further stressed the importance of the projects which he said will provide succour in terms of addressing environmental challenges like flooding, inaccessibility, the dearth of educational facilities amongst others.
He therefore, urged the communities where the projects are sited to protect and guide them jealously.
Comr. Ukori in same token commended its sole sponsor, Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL) with its Joint Venture partner, the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) in funding the projects.
He also used the same medium to call for an increase in funding due to the enormous developmental needs of communities that have suffered long neglect, denial and marginalization by successive governments at all levels.
The EGCDF boss also hinted that the two cottage hospitals in Egbema and Gbaramatu Kingdoms are ready for use but the Foundation cannot proceed to commission them until the government agrees to take over and deploy personnel to the facilities.
In his remark, Tony Emegere who represented the CNL General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA), Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, said that the seven projects commissioned in Egbema and Gbaramatu had cost N278.4million.
Giving the breakdown of the said amount, he said that since inception, EGCDF has spent over N3billion on 116 infrastructural projects, over N460million on scholarships and about N44million on microcredit programmes.
While stating that 12 projects are currently ongoing which he said includes the Electricity Project at Igoba community and Opuama Concrete Link Road Walkway, among others.
While acknowledging the success of the GMoU which has allowed communities to take the front seat in driving their developments, Esimaje stressed that Chevron desire is to continue to have an open and transparent relationship with the government and people of Delta State.
Such collaboration he said is necessary especially in the area of completion, equipment, staffing and sustainable management of projects such as the Cottage Hospital in Oporoza and Tsekelewu embarked upon by EGCDF.
On their part, the Delta State Government, represented by the Chief of Staff, Government House, Hon. Tam Brisibe assured communities of the state government’s commitment to developing the coastal areas through the Okowa led SMART agenda most especially in youth empowerment, tasking them to key into the programmes.
The Chief of Staff further acknowledged the completion of all projects embarked upon by local contractors who are indigenes of the community thus making effective the Local Content Act signed into law by the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
In a related development, members of the various communities appreciated CNL and the Foundation for the laudable projects while urging more to be done as there are other enormous challenges facing coastal dwellers.
In his reaction, Comr. Sheriff Mulade, Chairman of Kokodiagbene community and Secretary of the Foundation, tasked CNL and the Delta State Government to live up to their full responsibilities by providing the much awaited infrastructural developments, as peace is a by-product of justice.
Present at the commissioning of projects is Hon. Tam Brisibe, Chief of Staff, Delta State Government; John Kalio, representative of the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs; Dr. Wiliki Jeffrey, representative of the member of the National Assembly and Delta State House of Assembly; Ajakaye Emily, NAPIMS/NNPC; Hon Clifford Atijere, Special Assistant to Government on Communities Mobilization, Delta State.
Others are Chief Williams Igbiriki, representative of the Pere of Egbema Kingdom; Apostle Philip Tonfawei, representative of the Pere of Gbaramatu Kingdom; community chairmen; community elders and dignitaries too numerous to mention.