The Olu of Warri, Ogaime Ikenwoli, has urged the leadership of the Itsekiri Regional Development Committee (IRDC) to regularly hold community engagement programmes in order to fast-track the development of Itsekiri communities.
The excited Warri monarch, who was represented by the Uwangue of Warri, Chief Gabriel Awala, made the plea at a recent first Townhall Meeting organised by the leadership of the IRDC leadership, at Omadino in Warri, Delta State.
The IRDC, which operates under the NNPC/Chevron Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU), held the event to step up advocacy on development in the 23 oil and gas producing/impacted communities.
Participants at the town hall meeting included representatives of the 23 oil and gas producing/impacted communities, under Chevron Nigeria Ltd areas of operation in Warri South, Warri South-West and Warri North local government areas.
Others were government officials, community leaders as well as IRDC mentoring Non-Governmental Organizations: Participatory Partnerships for Community Development (PPCD) and Morgan Smart Development Foundation, (MSDF).
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Chairman of IRDC, Mr Austin Oniyesan, in his address, explained that the event was organized to enable the leadership of IRDC to share ideas with relevant stakeholders on development that would move the various communities forward.
While appreciating leaders of the IRDC communities for the support given to his executive so far, Oniyesan thanked Chevron Nigeria Ltd, for her efforts toward the development of the Itsekiri oil and gas producing/impacted communities.
Public Relations Officer and Assistant Secretary of IRDC, Messrs Moses Orubu Fregene and Mode Akoma, disclosed that in the administration and accounting structures of IRDC, transparency was at the front burner.
Akoma stressed the need for indigenes of the communities to always provide the enabling environment for companies and contractors to execute their development projects.
The Programme Manager of PPCD, Busola Babalola, who earlier spoke on capacity building, institutional spending and roles of resource mobilization played by PPCD under its communication strategy, said it was geared towards advancing the workings of IRDC.
Nigerian Tribune reports that the interactive forum provided a worthwhile platform for community representatives to canvass ways of improving the operations of IRDC as regards community development, education of people of the host communities, provision of job opportunities and capacity building.