The Dodo River Communities Development Association in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa has inaugurated projects worth over N141.65 million funded by the NNPC/Chevron Nigeria Ltd Joint Venture.
The communities which benefitted from the projects were Amatu I, Amatu II, Biabiri I, Bilabiri II and Bisangbene.
The projects included Dodo River Secretariat in Yenagoa, building and furnishing of Bilabiri I Primary School, water treatment projects, concrete roads and twin-engine speed boats.
Others were communication systems, provision of plastic chairs and tables and canopies for the communities, among others.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of Dodo House, a secretariat for the communities on Thursday, July 9, the Permanent Secretary in Bayelsa Ministry of Mineral Resources, Mr Okebia Keku, lauded the association for the prudent use of the funds.
He said that the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), which is the development template the government was overseeing, had given communities greater participation in the selection and execution of development projects.
Earlier, the Chairman of the association, Mr Berry Negerese, had explained that the projects were executed with funds provided between 2016 and 2019.
He said that the introduction of the GMoU approach by Chevron had enhanced the capacities of Niger Delta communities in developmental activities, as they now handle projects funded by oil firms in a transparent manner, thanking the oil major for funding the projects.
The traditional ruler of Iduwini Kingdom in Ekeremor, King Joel Ibane, on his part, applauded Chevron for the gesture but appealed to the oil firm to sustain its development activities in its host communities.
The Senior Programmes Manager, Participatory Partnership for Community Development, the association’s mentoring organisation, Mrs Uju Obiora, also commended the transparent governance structure adopted.
The incoming chairman of the association, Mr Francis Amanmogiran, urged Dodo River communities to close ranks and seek more development funds from donors to complement their sole source of funding from Chevron.
CNL, it will be recalled, has sponsored or executed many projects that promote health, education and economic development across the Niger Delta and beyond.
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