The Dodo River Communities Development Association in Ekeremor Local Government Area of Bayelsa on Friday inaugurated projects worth over N141.65 million funded by the NNPC/Chevron Joint Venture.
The benefitting communities are Amatu I , Amatu II, Biabiri I, Bilabiri II and Bisangbene.
The projects inaugurated include Dodo River Secretariat in Yenagoa, building and furnishing of Bilabiri I Primary School, water treatment projects, concrete roads, twin engine speedboats.
Others include project communications systems, provision of plastic chairs and tables and canopies for the communities among others.
Speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the Dodo House, a secretariat for the communities, Mr Okebia Keku, Permanent Secretary Bayelsa Ministry of Mineral Resources applauded the association for the prudent use of the funds.
He said that the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) development template which the government oversees gives communities greater participation in the selection and execution of development projects.
Speaking earlier, Mr Berry Negerese, Chairman of the association explained that the projects were executed with funds provided between 2016 and 2019 adding that paucity of funds delayed the Dodo secretariat building project.
He noted that the introduction of the GMoU approach by Chevron has enhanced the capacities of Niger Delta communities in development activities as they now drive projects funded by oil firms in a transparent manner.
He appealed to Chevron and other development partners to assist the association with funds to furnish the secretariat to enable them put it to optimal use.
He urged the oil firm to extend community employment opportunities to Dodo River communities it its Agbami offshore oilfields.
In his remarks, King Joel Ibane, the monarch of Iduwini Kingdom in Ekeremor applauded Chevron for the gesture and appealed to the oil firm to sustain its development activities in its host communities.
Also Speaking, Mrs Uju Obiora, Senior Programmes Manager, Participatory Partnership for Community Development, the association’s mentoring organization applauded the transparent governance structure adopted.
Also incoming chairman of the association, Mr Francis Amanmogiran urged Dodo River community to close ranks and seek more development funds from donors to compliment their sole source of funding from Chevron