02 July 2015, Asaba — Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, yesterday, said that the move to amend the law setting up the state Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, was to make it more effective in delivering its mandate.
Okowa, when the state chapter of Host Communities of Nigeria Producing Oil and Gas, HOSTCOM, led by Dr. Peter Egedegbe, paid him a courtesy visit, said the financial situation of the country has made it necessary for prudent and judicious utilisation of resources which has made it imperative for the laws setting up DESOPADEC to be amended to make it effective and productive.
Observing that the era when projects were sited without adding value to the lives of the people was over, adding: “We are not repealing the old law, it is not a new bill. The amendment we are proposing is to structure DESOPADEC in line with the Niger Delta Development Commission model.
“This is democracy and I am not expecting that the amendment bill will come out exactly as we proposed it. There will be public hearings, people will make their contributions. I don’t believe in forcing the hands of legislators.
“I proposed that there should be a Managing Director and Executive Directors to run the day to day affairs of the commission while there will be commissioners who will be on part time basis, representing different ethnic nationalities.
“This gives you room to put in place a proper management process. It requires a smart management not based on ethnic nationalities but the ethnic nationalities will propose their projects and ensure that such projects are executed. There must be planned process in what we are doing. We should know what is the end purpose of what we are starting. Those who have ethnic sentiments are the commissioners, while the managers of the place will not have ethnic sentiments but will be committed to delivering on set goals.”
He assured members of HOSTCOM that there will not be changes in the rotational leadership of DESOPADEC, adding that the person who will represent the Chairman of the commission will put ethnic sentiments aside while carrying our his functions as only the Commissioners will have ethnic sentiments.