Bayelsa residents commend W/Bank, seek extension of SEEFOR project

Residents of Bayelsa State have commended the World Bank for initiating the State Employment and Expenditure For Results (SEEFOR) Project, while seeking for the extension of the project in the state beyond the 2020 deadline.

The project has employed 17,665 residents and ensured the construction of 406 roads across the state in the last six years since it was established.

The Niger Delta Report (NDR) recently toured some of the completed and ongoing projects undertaken by SEEFOR, an initiative of the World Bank, the European Union (EU) and the state government, across the eight local government areas of the state where the initiative has its presence.

In partnership with the Community Social Development Agency (CSDA) and Fadama, SEEFOR has identified social and economic problems in various rural areas and resolved them through execution of projects and programmes.

In Opolo, Ekeki, Okaka, Swali, Ox-Bow Lake and Edepie in Yenagoa, the initiative has constructed and rehabilitated roads.

Some of the roads constructed by SEEFOR are Nengi Aiyerite Concrete Road1, Opolo; Nengi Aiyerite Concrete Road 2, Opolo; Concrete road with culvert, Edepie; concrete road along the Ekeki- Okaka Internal Road 1; maintenance of Ox-Bow Lake-Swali road, Oil mill waterside road and Aretalin road.

In Agudama community, the people chose to build a market and contributed their land, labour, materials and even acted as the contractor for the market project.

As a community-driven project, SEEFOR paid the contractual sum to the community.

The Gbarantoru concrete walkway in Yenagoa, was also constructed by SEEFOR.

Sagbama Town in Sagbama Local Government Area also boasts of a craft development centre. It was designed by SEEFOR in response to the community’s request, to train youths on vocational skills to make them employers of labour.

Impressed by the impact of the SEEFOR Project on the lives of Bayelsans, the deputy governor of the state,  Rear Admiral Gboribiogha John-Jonah (retd), appealed to the World Bank and its partners to extend the programme beyond its termination date.

According to him, given the huge success of SEEFOR programme in the state, there is a need for the World Bank to either extend it or create another window of similar collaboration with the state government, with a view to continuing the developmental agenda of the World Bank in the state.

Rear Admiral Gboribiogha (rtd) stated this when officials of the World Bank, as well as the SEEFOR national task team, paid him a courtesy visit at his office in Government House, Yenagoa.

The deputy governor also commended the World Bank for the SEEFOR concept and the encouragement it has given to the state government, adding that the penetration of the rural areas in terms of access, infrastructure and youth empowerment through the programme has been very successful.

Stanley Abiye, a beneficiary of SEEFOR Project, who owns a tailoring shop on Nikton Road in Yenagoa, described the project as novel idea that is helping to create business opportunities for Bayelsans through its grants for technical, vocational education and agricultural training.

Abiye said: “I had always desired to start my own tailoring business but the challenge then was that I had no job that would enable me raise capital until the SEEFOR Project came. From my salary while I was working with SEEFOR, I managed to raise money to start my own tailoring business.”

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