The Dodo River Communities Rural Development Association, Ekeremor Local Government Area (LGA) in Bayelsa on Friday said it spent N98.34 million on community development projects in 2021 The Trumpet gathered.
The 2021 expenditure is marginally higher than the N95.43 million spent by the association in the previous year of 2020.
Mr Francis Amamogiran, Chairman of the Association stated this while speaking during the 10th Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the association in Yenagoa, Bayelsa capital.
He explained that the funding came from Chevron Nigeria Limited under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) with the oil firm’s five host communities in Ekeremor LGA.
Amamogiran noted that the fund was deployed for infrastructure and non-infrastructure projects including town hall buildings, scholarships, adult education programmes, and cottage hospital staff salaries amongst others.
According to him, the association conducted its activities transparently and in line with the requirements of the GMoU funding framework which prioritises community participation in development projects.
He said the association was holding the last AGM under the GMoU model following the enactment of the Petroleum Industry Act and looks up to the government to provide further guides on the host community funds administration.
Mr Christmas Mark, Secretary of the association applauded the peaceful disposition of residents of the host communities that resulted in the successful oil and gas exploration and urged them to sustain the peace.
In her speech, Mrs Ruth Etebu, Permanent Secretary, Bayelsa Ministry of Mineral Resources expressed satisfaction with the administrative structure adopted by the association in implementing projects.
She advised the residents to continue their peacebuilding efforts to attract further development to their communities as peaceful atmospheres attract investors.
Mrs Mien Sunday, who spoke on behalf of the beneficiaries, expressed appreciation to Chevron and the leadership of the association for giving them another chance to learn to read and write.
She said that the knowledge acquired has improved their self-esteem and those engaged in petty trading can now keep records and track the progress they make in their various businesses.
She said that the adult education classes have also enabled them to participate in the education of their children as they can now help out with their homework, a development that has increased the bond of love in their families.
The high point of the event was the presentation of certificates to 10 female beneficiaries of the Adult Education Scheme by Etebu.
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