OVERVIEW OF DESOPADEC BOARDS

PRESENT BOARD: PRODUCT OF A NEW LAW
Dateline: September, 2015

In July, 2015, upon the conclusion of gubernatorial elections and the swearing in of a new executive government for the state ably headed by His Excellency, Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, proposal for a new law to replace the existing but seemingly defective law of the Commission was sent to the State House of Assembly for consideration and passage.
The said proposal which saw major administrative changes in the constitution of the board adopted the model of the bigger interventionist agency in the Niger Delta, the Niger Delta Development Commission, NNDC. By September of the same year, the bill had been passed into law and the board constituted to take off and provide leadership. The Board structure has the following changes:

1. The position of Executive Chairman ceased and same is replaced with a non-Executive Chairman on part-time basis;

2. There is the creation of the position of a Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, CEO;

3. There is the creation of Directorates (Four of them) to be headed by Executive Directors. These Directorates include the following:
i. Directorate of Finance and Administration
ii. Directorate of Works
iii. Directorate of Social Services, and
iv. Directorate of Planning, Research and Statistics.

4. The eight (8) Ethnic Representatives, albeit Board Members on part-time basis, are to operate their offices henceforth within their respective ethnic nationalities/territories. Their principal duty becomes that of monitoring projects in their area of operation. They only come to the Head office at Warri for board meetings and no more.
Below is the composition of the new board:

1. Hon. Godwin Ebosa - Chairman (Non-Executive)

2. Olorogun Williams I.I. Makinde - Managing Director/Chief Executive

3. Bashorun Hon. Askia Ogieh, JP - Exec. Director, Finance and Administration

4. Mr. Philip Yerinnene Gbasin - Executive Director, Projects

5. Engineer Victor Oritsetimeyin Wood - Executive Director, Planning, Research and Statistics

6. Hon. Christopher Ochor Ochor - Executive Director, Social Services

7. Chief Ereyitomi Thomas - Member representing Itsekiri Nationality

8. Chief Favour Izuokumor - Member representing Ijaw Nationality

9. Hon. Ovie Oghoore - Member representing Isoko Nationality

10. Chief Amos Itihwe - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

11. Chief Pius Ovbije - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

12. Mr. Jonathan Amitaye - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

13. Hon. Fidelis Chukwuwike Oputa - Member representing Ndokwa Nationality

14. Hon. Comr. Nnamdi Ezechi - Member representing Ndokwa Nationality

FINE-TUNED SECOND DESOPADEC BOARD

Dateline:  July, 2012

Barely a year after inauguration, it became imperative to reconstitute a new Board for the Commission for greater efficiency and service delivery, with the approval of the Delta State House of Assembly.

The new Board saw a mixture of old and new faces of members from the oil bearing communities of the state. Below is the new composition:

1. Mr. Oritsuwa Kpogho - Executive Chairman

2. Sir  Austin Ede Oghoro - Secretary

3. Hon. Michael Diden - Member representing Itsekiri Nationality

4. Mr. Kingsley Otuaro - Member representing Ijaw Nationality

5. Arch. Joseph Ajiri Ogeh - Member representing Isoko Nationality

6. Chief Christopher Obiuwevbi - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

7. Mr. Festus Utuama - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

8. Mr. Henry Ofa - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

9. Rev. Chukwudi Eke - Member representing Ndokwa Nationality

10. Sir. Ken Okolugbo - Member representing Ndokwa Nationality

The former Governor while inaugurating the Board advised it to adopt the bottom-top approach which involved letting the people decide on what they wanted by involving communities in project initiation. For effective budget planning and in line with the bottom-top approach, the Kpogho-led Board embarked on town hall meetings with host communities.

The areas of intervention of the Board include;

HEALTHCARE: DESOPADEC built, renovated and fenced a number of hospitals and clinics in various host communities. Several health facilities worth millions of Naira were donated to health centres and cottage hospitals in the host communities. Free health services were carried out in many of these communities in the mandate areas. Over 500,000 people were seen and attended to by the intervention teams. This programme covered most aspects of health care delivery to the people. Amongst the projects awarded include the Renovation and Furnishing of Maternity Ward at Uro-Irri, Supply of Hospital Equipment to General Hospital, Bomadi, Construction/Supply and Installation of Oxygen and Reticulation of Wards at Koko General Hospital, etc.

EDUCATION: DESOPADEC built, renovated and fenced a number of schools within the mandate areas in order to meet the educational needs of the people. Thousands of students of higher institutions were paid bursaries yearly. The Commission also gave out international scholarships to student. The first set of students graduated from the University of Maryland at Eastern Shore, USA. Amongst the projects awarded include Renovation of Six (6) Nos. Classrooms at Tuomo  Grammar School, Burutu, Renovation of six classroom block at Ugbeleme, Umutu L.G.A, Construction of 3 model classroom blocks at Ezhike Primary, Obi-Onyeonicha in Ndokwa West LGA, Construction/ Equipping/ Furnishing of Ict Class at Uwangue College, Warri South LGA, Renovation of Clasrooms Block at Obodo Primary School In Warri South LGA, Construction of Staff Quarters at Ogidigben Primary School in Warri South West LGA, Construction of Pupils Toilet at Ejaefe Primary School, Okpara Inland Ethiope East LGA (Phase I), Renovation of 10 Classroom Block at Onoroun Primary School, Renovation of Abruku Primary School, Ada-Irri in Isoko South L.G.A, Renovation of Uthatho Primary School at Akiewhe-Owhe in Isoko North amongst others.

HOUSING: As an interventionist agency, DESOPADEC built hundreds of housing units within the mandate areas and some are in various levels of completion. Contracts awarded include Provision of Mass Housing Scheme for Five (5) Cluster Towns, Furnishing of Pere Palace, Kiagbodo, Construction of Palace Of Delta TRAPCOM Chairman (Palace Of King Of Ibedeni) In Ndokwa East L.G.A amongst others.

ENVIRONMENT: The Commission has intervened in the following environmental areas

Solid Waste Management: The Commission embarked on Solid Waste Management Scheme in order to support the Local Government Councils. It was a huge success in Warri South, Udu, Uvwie and Sapele Local Government Areas while it lasted.

Erosion Control: The Commission constructed drainages in selected towns and cities to complement the efforts of the State Government in flood control. Contracts awarded include Erosion Control in Owhase, Erosion Control in Eku, Ethiope East L.G.A, Construction of Drains at Jesse Town, Ethiope West LGA, Construction of Drainage at Afor Okolori Road, Ndokwa East L.G.A, Construction of Concrete Drainage at Otor-Owhe Market Road, Isoko North LGA, Construction of 3km Storm Wall Drainage at Oporoza Warri South West L.G.A, Construction of Concrete Drain Along Sido Street Via Iyara with a Spur at Ogedengbe Avenue to Odion River, Warri, Warri South L.G.A amongst others.

Canalization and Reclamation: The riverine areas were not left out as they enjoyed canalization and land reclamation activities from the Commission. Contracts awarded include Clearing/Digging of Canal at Tuomo Bomadi, Purchase of Ellicott 1270 - 50 Dredger/Accessories for Itsekiri Ethnic Nationality among others.

Clearing of sea weeds: DESOPADEC was actively involved in clearing the creeks and waterways of water hyacinth which was a challenge to water transport and fishing in these areas. Apart from acquiring aquatic weed harvesters, the Commission also monitored these harvesters for effective cleaning up of the waterways. Contracts were awarded to clear up areas of water hyacinth. Areas so far covered include Orugbo to Isele Creek, Omadino River to Warri Port, Koko Port Section, Bodi to Obi Elowo Creek, Gbodede Creek, Okoyitoru Creek, awamba Creek, Jones Creek, among others.      

ROADS: Hundreds of roads were completed, some rehabilitated and others in various degree of completion throughout the mandate areas. Contracts awarded include Construction of Road at Obituegho, Koko, Warri North L.G.A, Construction of Ajie Street Egbokodo, Warri South LGA, Construction of Secretariat Road Extension,Ogbe-Ijoh, Warri South West L.G.A, Construction of Concrete Pavement Road at Idiegbene, Burutu L.G.A, Construction of Internal Road, Uzere, Isoko South LGA, Construction of Eriye Street/Avenue (Phase II) Oleh, Isoko South LGA, Construction of Anthony Miligu Road, Ashaka, Construction of 1 Km Oge-Owa Road at Ike-Onicha-Ukwani, Ndokwa West, Reconstruction of Orhuwhorun Township Road Udu L.G.A. (Phase I), Construction of Chris Obiuwevbi / Onovae / Okoruwe Street, Ughelli, Ughelli L.G.A. (Phase I)

EMPLOYMENT: The Commission with staff strength of about 3500 employed directly since inception, has provided thousands of job opportunities through the establishment of fish farms, piggeries, poultries, etc.

 MICRO CREDIT SCHEME: Hundreds of Deltans are beneficiaries of the DESOPADEC Micro-credit Scheme.

  PEACE AND SECURITY: The Commission through its intervention has achieved a considerable level of peace in the hitherto turbulent and restive communities in the State. Contracts awarded include Construction of Security Tents at Mopol 51 Base and Other Flash Points in Oghara, Ethiope West LGA, Construction of Divisional Police Head Quarters at Mosogar, Ethiope West L.G.A, Construction of Administrative Block (One Storey Building/Officers Mess/ Renovation of Canteen at Ekpan Police Station in Uvwie LGA, Construction of Police Post at Okpai, Ndokwa East LGA, Construction of Security Lodge at Olu's Palace, Warri, etc.

SPORTS: The Board impacted in the area of sports development with the Furnishing/Equipping of the Games Village in Koko, Rehabilitation of the Warri Township Stadium, Construction of Football Pitch/ Spectators' Stand at Okerenkoko, Warri South-West L.G.A, Construction of Football Pitch/ Spectators' Stand at Oporoza, Warri South-West L.G.A, Construction of Football Pitch/ Spectators' Stand at Ogbe-Ijoh among others.                                                                           

WOMEN, YOUTH AND PHYSICALLY CHALLENGED EMPOWERMENT: The Board through its empowerment scheme, donated tricycles, desktop computers, laptops, telephone (handset) repair kits, fish farming equipment, tailoring equipment, musical equipment, Braille machines, walking sticks, hearing aids among others to empower women, youth and the physically challenged.

SECOND DESOPADEC BOARD
Dateline: August, 2011

Towards the end of 2011, when it became clear that the Interim Management Committee had achieved its assignment, the State Government began putting machinery in place to inaugurate another Board for the Commission in accordance with the law setting it up. Thus the second Board consisting of politicians and technocrats was formally sworn in at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba by former Governor of the state, His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, CON.

This eight-man board consisted of the following persons:

1. Mr. Oritsuwa Kpogho - Executive Chairman

2. Sir Austin Ede Oghoro - Secretary

3. Hon. Michael Diden - Member representing Itsekiri Nationality

4. Mr. Kingsley Otuaro - Member representing Ijaw Nationality

5. Arch. Joseph Ajiri Ogeh - Member representing Isoko Nationality

6. Dr. Festus Egedegbe - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

7. Mr. Johnson Boro - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

8. Mr. Henry Ofa - Member representing Urhobo Nationality

9. Rev. Chukwudi Eke - Member representing Ndokwa Nationality

10. Mrs. Benedicta Osakunih-Izuegbu - Member representing Ndokwa Nationality

THE INTERIM MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE (IMC)

Dateline: August, 2010

At the expiration of the tenure of the first Board of the Commission in 2010, the state government under the leadership of former Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, CON, inaugurated an Interim Management Committee, IMC, to oversee the Commission pending the approval and inauguration of a subsequent board by the State House of Assembly. Members of this committee consisted of seasoned technocrats from the state civil service, all of them Permanent Secretaries. This was a six-man committee representing the ethnic structure on which the Commission is erected. They include the following:

1. Mr. Reginald Bayoko - Chairman (Ijaw)

2. Mr. Patrick Origho - Secretary (Urhobo)

3. Dr. Tosan Popo - Member, Representing Itsekiri Nationality

4. Mr. Ede Oghoro - Member, Representing Urhobo Nationality

5. Dr. (Mrs.) Dorothy Odiase - Member, Representing Isoko Nationality

6. Mr. John Ochonogor - Member, (Representing Ndokwa Nationality)

Major high points of the assignment given to the Interim Management Committee include the following:
i. to reposition the Commission along established rules and financial guidelines, standard operating procedures, etc, including the preparation of working documents to this effect;

ii.to conduct certificate verification exercise, proper staffing and grading;

iii.to design and put into use a workable staff condition of service;

iv. to produce a document on staff job definition, positions and status;

v. to merge and remodel existing departments and units according to needs, relevance and impact on the system that reflect the purpose for setting up the Commission;

vi. to retire, replace and swap if need be, directors/heads of departments and units based on their qualifications and experience.

The IMC was also mandated to amongst others verify and to re-appraise contracts with a view to identifying those awarded from ‘drawers and backdated.’

Upon assumption of office, the Reginald Bayoko led Committee swung into action, held interactive sessions with the management staff of the Commission and came up with the observation that the structure on ground was found to be defective and that the IMC would brace up with staff to strengthen the structure without bringing the system down.
In summary, the IMC stated the internal and external concerns of DESOPADEC as follows:

• No laid down recruitment procedure

• No due process followed in contract award

• Undue political influence exerted in the internal process of the Commission

• No salary structure

• Proliferation of Departments

• Over concentration of over qualified staff in certain departments to the detriment of other Departments

• No level of financial authorization

• Ghost workers

• Lack of standardized working manual

• Serious shortage of offices and vehicles

• Wide gap between the Headquarter and Area offices

From the internal problems inherent, the IMC observed that-
• The host communities which DESOPADEC was supposed to serve were completely detached as projects were imposed on them and this led to very high cost of projects execution.

• Staff’s attitude to work was very poor

• Lack of information on administrative, financial rules etc.

• Overplay of ethnic cleavages

• Staff indiscipline and

• Positions were zoned at the expense of merit.

Thus, the IMC in its task of restructuring the Commission, pruned the existing but unwieldy Departments to seven and four Units namely,
A. Department of Administration and Supplies with Mr. Emy A.O. Ojuederie as Director/Head (Retired)

B. Department of Finance and Account with Mr. Oritsuwa Kpogho, (FCA) as Director/Head (Immediate past Chairman of the Commission)

C. Department of Social Services with Mr. Anthony Tebekaemi as Director/Head (Retired)

D. Department of Planning, Research & Statistics with Engr. Moses Ozonogie Akwenuke as Director/Head (Zonal Co-ordinator)

E. Department of Infrastructure & Works with Engr. Waripowei Peter Ominijei as Director/Head (Zonal Coordinator)

F. Press Unit with Mr. Gregory I. Oweh as Director/Head (Retired)

G. Department of Investment and Industrial Promotions with Barr. Emmanuel Toritseju Emiko as Deputy Director/Head (Zonal Coordinator)

H. Department of Community Development and Public Enlightenment with Barr. Iyke James Obi as Deputy Director/Head (Deceased)

I. Internal Audit Unit with Mr. Onajite Richard Kande (ACA) as Deputy Director/Head (Zonal Coordinator)

J. Legal services Unit with Barr. John G. Omayone as Deputy Director/Head

K. Security Unit with Mr. Trelyn Okoh as Ass. Chief Security Officer/Head (Retrenched)
In furtherance of the restructuring exercise, the IMC constituted Tenders Boards made up of:

1. Commission Tenders Board with the Chairman of the Commission as Chairman and the members of the commission with the Secretary of the Commission as well as the Head, Finance and Account Dept and the Head of Planning, Research & Statistics as members.

2. The Management Tenders board with the Secretary of the Commission as Chairman and the Heads or Representatives of Finance and Account, Administration and Supplies, Infrastructures/Works, Legal services as members. The Head or Representatives of Planning, Research & Statistics would serve as Secretary.

Also, the IMC approved Travelling and Fueling Allowances of official vehicles for various cadres of Board members, management and staff of the Commission.
In its quest for certificate verification of staff, the IMC was also able to issue a preliminary contractual agreement to staff which was rightly termed “OFFER OF APPOINTMENT.”

Finally, in the restructuring assignment of the IMC was the mass redeployment or posting of more than 85% of the work force from the Head office to Zonal/Area offices.
From whichever way one decides to appraise the IMC, at the end of its tenure in July 2011, one thing was sure, the six- man team came to bring some form of stability and structural cum administrative consistency according to the exigency of the time, thus they were able to finally create a foundation upon which further structure and super structure could now be erected.

At the end of this exercise which lasted for close to a year, the Commission felt a new impetus in the form of establishment of standard operating procedure that has continued to guide all activities of subsequent boards, management and staff till date.

PIONEER BOARD OF DESOPADEC.

Dateline: July, 2007

After the struggle at various levels for the establishment of an oil Commission specifically tailored at developing the oil bearing and impacted communities in the state, it became a matter of time for the State Government to put in place a mission-based board to hit the ground running.
Thus few weeks to the end of the tenure of the James Onanefe Ibori administration in June, 2007, the bill setting up the interventionist agency was signed into law by the Governor. Similarly, upon the swearing in of a new Governor for the state in the person of His Excellency, Dr. Emmanuel Ewetan Uduaghan, the week old board was dissolved and reconstituted.
The composition of the board in sync with the spirit and letter of the new law consists of the following:

1. Chief Wellington Okirika - Executive Chairman (Ijaw nationality)

2. Engineer Johnson O. Toritsemotse - Member (Itsekiri nationality)

3. Chief Francis Temewei - Member (Ijaw nationality)

4. Chief Jessa J. Ojo - Member (Urhobo nationality)

5. Chief (Barr.) Joseph Egigba - Member (Urhobo nationality)

6. Chief Agbomiyeri - Member (Urhobo nationality)

7. Mr. Lucky Utunye - Member (Isoko nationality)

8. Barr. Austin Ogbolu - Member (Ndokwa nationality)

9. Mr. Ubah Ekufia - Member (Ndokwa nationality)

10.Chief (Barr.) Andy K. Osawota - Secretary (Urhobo)

The Chief Wellington Okirika led Board executed a total of 1,210 projects (i.e. 308 projects inherited from 13% Derivation Fund Committee and 902 new projects) between July 2007 and April 2009. A total of 198 have been completed from the 308 inherited from the 13% Derivation Fund Committee and 110 are on-going. Also 450 of the 902 new projects have been completed and 452 are at various stages of completion. Thus a total of 648 have been completed while 453 are on-going. This figure represents 53.5% performance within the above stated years.

The major areas of intervention include;

•Health Care Facilities & Free Medical Services

•Roads & Waterways

•Education, Bursary & Scholarships

•Employment of graduates

•Micro-Credit Schemes

•Agriculture

•Portable Water

•Staff Training Programmes & Workshops

•Foreign Investments & Partnerships

•Enduring Peace and Security in the turbulent and restive communities