Since 2019 when the current board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, was inaugurated, the leadership has upheld and pursued the clear executive directive of His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of Delta State, to achieve tangible impact in the oil producing areas of the state.
As an intervention agency of government, the engagement has been undertaken with every ounce of dynamism and full commitment to changing lives and the infrastructure narrative of various communities within available resources.
The array of interventions has been delivered with unalloyed adherence to quality, prudence and direct impact on the beneficiaries. The projects, evenly spread across the ethnic nationalities of Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko, Ndokwa and Ika, span the fields of Education, Social and Community Development, Housing, Water, Health, Power, Transportation and Human Capital Development, with the Commission undoubtedly surpassing the assessment parameter on the dashboard.
This synoptic appraisal of key sectors evidences the glorious testimonial of a Commission that has truly made a difference in the oil-bearing communities of our dear state and we are delighted by the resoundingly positive impact on the people.
Conscious of the fact that “health is wealth” and that a healthy people constitute great asset to the essential productive processes of their immediate environment and beyond, the current DESOPADEC Board has in the last three years devoted huge resources in the provision of health care facilities, equipment and consumables to cater for the needs of its mandate communities.
One of such health care facilities is the Ultra Modern Cottage Hospital at Oboghoro, a burgeoning coastal community in Warri North Local Government Area, complete with a well equipped Medical Quarters for the accommodation of doctors, nurses and other medical personnel who are now happily delivering services to the people.
In the same vein, the board, by popular demand, constructed an Ultra Modern All-Purpose Health Facility at Agoloma in Patani Local Government Area to respond to the health needs of the people. The fully furnished and equipped facility was commissioned by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori who gave plaudits to the Ogieh-led board for its deep connection with the people.
In his words, the efforts and achievements of the board attests to the ever bold initiative of the Trustees of the Commission on behalf of the Governor Okowa administration.
The board in the period under review also built and equipped a health facility at Utagba-Uno in Ndokwa West Local Government Area. This is in addition to renovating and fencing tens of clinics and hospitals in various other communities within the Commission’s mandate areas.
The Commission also donated equipment worth several millions of Naira to selected cottage hospitals and clinics as in Ogulagha, Burutu LGA; Oboghoro, Warri North LGA; General Hospital, Olomoro and Egbe-Igbide Cottage Hospital all in Isoko Nation. This is besides embarking on continuous free medical health programmes across most communities within its mandate areas.
The icing on the health pie was the provision of comprehensive medical equipment and consumables to all of the 268 Primary Health Care Centres in the state at the end of 2022.
The initiative ranks among the single largest dimension of corporate social responsibility in the health sector executed by any interventionist agency. It received the immediate commendation of His Excellency the Governor of Delta State who has also severally applauded the effectiveness of DESOPADEC in aligning with the Stronger Delta agenda of the State Government in health and other sectors.
Education is one of the parameters used to assess the development of societies and regions, especially by the Sustainable Development Goals. It thus has remained a key sectorial focus in the development of DESOPADEC mandate areas.
Since its establishment in 2007, DESOPADEC has given utmost attention to education through diverse expressions and the Askia Ogieh-led board has sustained this noble trend since its inauguration in August 2019 to embark on delivering brand new or completely renovated or refurbished blocks of classrooms, Lecture Halls, ICT facilities, perimeter fencing, water schemes, Principal Lodges, Lecturers and Staff Quarters, Student Hostels and Halls of Residence, Corpers Lodges, provision of books and furniture, amongst a range of other facilities all tailored towards guaranteeing a conducive environment for teaching and learning.
These landmark projects in the education sub-sector which are in hundreds, litter the ethnic nationalities of the Commission’s mandate areas. They span all cadres of education – elementary, secondary and tertiary – and draw directly from the needs assessment policy and consultations with the respective benefitting communities.
These interventions address inadequacies and help to still the billows of agitation and apprehension that seem to linger over time.
Despite the global COVID-19 pandemic that threatened lives and upended the socio-economic fortunes of nations, it is incredible that the board could very decisively take on many cost-intensive projects in the sector and deliver at high quality.
Roads and Transportation
Roads are the major channels of transportation of goods and passengers. They play a significant role in the socio-economic life of communities.
Driven by this understanding and a pragmatic passion to significantly increase the tempo of development in its mandate areas, the present board of DESOPADEC has taken very bold steps in intervening in the construction of various roads, jetties, bridges, concrete walkways, drainages and rehabilitation of some roads across various communities. The aim is to develop critical infrastructure in the rural areas to enhance business and commercial activities, especially the movement of farm produce to processing centres and markets in upland and coastal towns and cities.
Some of the communities, by no means exhaustive, that have benefited in this sector include Obotebe I, Oghara, Jesse, Sapele, Warri Metropolis, Uzere, Oleh, Olomoro, Emede, Emevor, Ozoro, Ugbege, Ogheye, Oboghoro, Utonlila, Ofagbe, Ibrede, Abavo-Obi Anyinma and other towns and communities too numerous to mention.
The joy and pride of the benefiting communities give credence to the proactive engagement of the Commission.