According to the Executive Director, in other for the Commission to work efficiently and meet the needs of the people within the mandate areas, the Commission is in working relations with other agencies of government that have similar responsibilities of developing the Niger Delta Area, like the ministry of Environment, the Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), the Niger Delta Ministry and Women Affairs Ministry.
Speaking further, he said the area of synergy will increase once the State House of Assembly Approves the 2016 budget of the Commission, and with availability of funds, there will be a more working relationship with sister agencies in Imo state, Edo State and others, that have the Oil Producing Areas Development Commission.
“This current Board is in practice to those objectives setting it up, it’s also trying to meet up with such objectives” he said.
Hon Ochor while commending the group for carrying out a study and making recommendations for proper organisational management, said that the present Board of the commission has decided to be transparent by ensuring that activities of DESOPADEC is always in public domain by constant updating of the commission’s website.
On the issue of uncompleted projects, the Executive Director said that the policy of the Commission is now to “complete and commission”, where 60 percent of the budget will be allocated to ongoing projects, and 40 percent to new projects, in addition to the “Bottom Up Approach” of the Board, where the needs of the people will be considered in citing and executing of any project.
“The Board has taken a decision that all ongoing projects will be continued, completed and commissioned, and that is why 60 percent of the budget was allocated in 2016 budget for completion and 40 percent to new jobs”. he concluded.
Earlier, the leader of the group, Mr Leo Atakpu had called for synergy between the Commission and advocacy groups, and other similar bodies in the country, because studies have shown a lack of synergy among agencies working to develop the Niger Delta Area.
DESOPADEC to the Physically Challenged: No More Free Money
Due to the present economic conditions in the Country, especially the fall in oil prices and production level, the Management of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, (DESOPADEC), has said there is no provision for free money in the 2016 budget.
The Commission made this known when they met with the members of the Physically Challenged of the Ijaw Ethnic Nationality, in the Commission on Thursday, 16 June, 2016.
The Management, represented by the Executive Director, Social Services Development, Hon Ochor Chris Ochor, said that the Commission for now cannot continue to give out money, for non-productive ventures, when there are other vital needs to be attended to.
Hon Ochor who was reacting to the demands of the physically challenged to be properly empowered for the 2016 Christmas celebration funds for the physically challenged in the mandate areas, said that for the year 2016, such provision was not made.
He said that it is on record that level of federal allocation to states is determined by the level of production of oil; “What you get is based on what you produce”. He said.
The Executive Director, said for now, DESOPADEC is not like in the past, where money was available, as the reduction in oil prices and production is affecting what comes to the Commission.
Speaking further, Hon. Ochor used the occasion to call on the youths on behalf of the Commission to stop the destruction of oil facilities in the State, as every facility destroyed, affects the revenue of the State.