10 November 2011, Sweetcrude, Yenagoa – Indigenes of KEFFES host communities in Bayelsa State had cause to celebrate as Chevron Nigeria Limited yesterday commissioned projects valued at N482m in their domain.
KEFFES is an acronym for Koluama I & II, Ekeni, Fish Town, Foropa, Ezetu I &II and Sangana, communities located on the Atlantic fringe of Bayelsa in Southern Ijaw council and Brass local government area of the state. These communities could only be accessed by water and air an expensive means of transportation which is the exclusive preserve of the oil multinational.
The projects which include ten teachers quarters building with furniture, three potable water projects, seven public toilets, two concrete foot bridges, one community rest house, installation of two transformers, one concrete jetty and a renovated primary school building among others were executed by the Keffes Rural Development Foundation, one of the Regional Development Committees under the company Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU).
Speaking at the commissioning, Chevron General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs, Engr. Femi Odumabo said the successful implementation of the projects reinforces the GMoU Community Engagement model as a vehicle for sustainable socio-economic development in communities around its operations.
Represented Elijah Ebikikoro, GMoU Team Lead for Keffes, Odumabo, said, the successes recorded in the implementation of the GMoU in Keffes and in other clusters communities bordering our operations in the Delta region have shown that with support the communities can drive their development process.”
He described as immense the socio -economic benefits of the community driven GMoU saying, “as a result of the efforts to date, a value chain is coming together. It has empowered community contractors and artisans, enhanced education opportunities for the children through scholarships and provided better infrastructure for the people.”
According to him, the NNPC/Chevron joint venture not only appreciates the tremendous support of the Keffes people for continual growth and development of GMoU process but that the foundation has adhered to the fundamental principles of transparency, accountability and sustainability of the GMoU.
The GMoU he said, “Is a long term stimulus for sustainable expansion of the economies of the communities in the Niger Delta, it should help provide the youths with opportunities in meaningful engagement and enhances peace in the region through constructive dialogue and respect for the rule of law.
“We are encouraged by the evaluation of the GMoU which revealed that many stakeholders including, the good people of KEFFES are enthusiastic about the participatory approach and achi
Touched by the large number of community folks that graced the commissioning ceremony, Engr. Odumabo added, “the GMoU is demonstrating that community driven socio economic development in Nigeria is possible and workable.