Delta State counts gains of 7 years of successful partnership with World Bank, European Union

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Delta State Skills Centre

THE State Employment and Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR) project, which is a seven-year partnership deal between the Delta State Government, the World Bank and European Union (EU) is a huge success, according to the State Project Coordinator, Sir Frank Apaokwu.

Unfortunately, the scheme is about to wind up in the next few weeks in Delta State. But Apaokwu says that more than 700,000 residents in the three senatorial districts of Delta State benefitted from the Community-driven Development subcomponents of the project.

”Within the seven years operation of the project, no fewer than 9,515 direct employments were created through its labour intensive Small Public Works components of the scheme,” Apaokwu told a news conference in Asaba on Monday, September 14, 2020.

Apaokwu noted that the figure was more than the initial target of 8,736 earlier set by the World Bank. ”During the period under review, SEEFOR successfully trained in excess of 14,900 beneficiaries in technical, vocational and agricultural skills as against the initial target of 7,900 set by the World Bank.

”The partnership deal had, within the period carried out more than 106 road construction and rehabilitation as well as drainage projects,” he said.

Delta State Skills Centre

He disclosed that more than 160 waste management contracts were implemented through its Public Sector Participants (PSPs) model and that “work is ongoing on the 13 labour intensive small public works road construction and maintenance sites across the state which are expected to be completed this September”.

Apart from the scorecard presented by Apaokwu, the testimonies from the beneficiaries of the various projects executed by the scheme also confirmed the huge success of the seven-year development scheme.

For instance, the students of the technical colleges and vocational centres in Delta State lauded the impact of the SEEFOR project in the state during the tour of some of the projects by journalists and officials of the scheme.

The students noted that the intervention of the donor agencies did not only transform the technical and vocational colleges, but also created jobs for them.

Okiroro Johnson, a student of Mechanical Department from Ofagbe Technical College, in Isoko North Local government area of the State, noted that the intervention of SEEFOR by providing adequate learning facilities and conducive environment has made learning of various skills at the institution very easy.

”The provision of these equipment by SEEFOR has helped to improve my level of assimilation as well as gave me the opportunity to execute jobs outside school hours,” he said.

For Okeoghene Goodluck of the same Mechanical Department, “with the intervention of SEEFOR, we have learnt so much within the shortest possible time.

”We can now conveniently dismantle cars, change engine oil, brake pads and fuel without any assistance.”

On his part, Mr. Innocent Etugbo, a beneficiary of SEEFOR, who resides in Ofagbe, said he graduated from the same Ofagbe Technical College and that ”it is by God’s Grace that SEEFOR empowered me with starter packs, which enabled me to set this Welding and fabrication shop.

”I was able to get married through the proceeds from this business and I am also now an employer of labour.

”And as I speak, I have 15 boys working under me. I must say I am grateful to God for using SEEFOR to establish me,” he said.

Similarly, the Administrator of Ozoro Vocational Centre in Isoko North Local government area of the state, Mr. Augustine Isawhe, noted that SEEFOR did a lot in the centre, that was established in 2010, but benefitted from the face-lift in 2014 by SEEFOR.

”Through SEEFOR intervention, our students enrolment rose from about 60 students to 180 students because they made the centre viable.

”SEEFOR projects have not only impacted on the students of this institution, but also impacted on the lives of the people of this community.

”In 2017, we trained a total number 17 persons from this community and in 2018, we trained 36 of them and most of them have been established in their various businesses,” he said.

Asiawhe, while commending the World Bank, EU and the state government for the intervention programme, appealed for more support, especially in the area of access road to enable the institution grow.

Delta State Skills Centre

The completed project sites visited were science laboratory and examination hall at Unenurhie Secondary School; multi-purpose hall and open market stalls at Oviri-Olomu; multi-purpose hall and renovated staff quarters/corpers’ lodge at Aragba-Orogun; and renovated multi-purpose hall and borehole at Igbuku.

Pa. Julius Arenerian of Unenurhie and Pa. David Okoro of Oviri-Olomu, said their respective communities chose the projects, which were executed with the donor agencies contributing 90 percent of the cost, while the benefiting communities raised the balance 10 percent.

The Principal of Unenurhie Secondary School, Mrs. Tessy Ebah, told newsmen that the school was already reaping the dividends of the examination hall, as candidates for the ongoing West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) were in the hall writing the paper for the day at the time of the visit.

Two other beneficiaries of the starter packs, including 26-year old Vote Emmanuel and 43-year old Godspower Omonuwa, said that the empowerment by the European Union and the World Bank has enhanced their economic wellbeing.

According to them, they graduated from Ogor Technical College where the donor agencies also built and equipped the basic electricity laboratory in Otor-Ogor community.

The principal of the technical college, Mr. Ugute Chuks, thanked the World Bank and the European Union for the intervention in the electrical department, but appealed for the resuscitation of the neglected foundering department.

At the Ose Green House Farm, which is being executed in partnership with FADAMA III in Ekwere-Agbarho, the coordinator, Samuel Oghenebrume, said the specie of pepper that was cultivated was of high yield, but lamented low sales.

In the same vein, some Delta Communities have commended the World Bank, European Union (EU) and the Delta sponsored State Employment and Expenditures For Results (SEEFOR) for the impact the projects made in their lives.

They told the journalists, who toured some of the Communities where the projects were being implemented, reports that the projects did not only create jobs for the people of the state, but had also improved their social economic wellbeing.

Some of the residents, who spoke with NAN said that SEEFOR did not only create jobs for them, but also gave them the opportunity to give back to their communities, especially in the area of vocational skills.

Mr. Solomon Akpuru Solomon, a Supervisor under the Public Works project of SEEFOR, who supervised the construction of Concrete Pavement in Torugbene in Burutu Local Government Area of the state, said that the project did not only create job for him, but it also gave him the opportunity of learning various skills as well as training other people in his Community.

”I was employed as a supervisor under the SEEFOR project, and I have been able to acquire more skills and at the same time, I have been able to transfer such skills to SEEFOR beneficiaries attached to me.

”I must commend the World Bank, EU and the state government for giving me the opportunity to learn moulding of interlocking, laying of interlocking as well as mixing of cement among others.

”I have a total number of 60 beneficiaries and six supervisors, who are working under me and by the Grace of God aside the SEEFOR job, I also handle other jobs which give me additional money,” he said.

Another beneficiary of SEEFOR projects from the same community, Mr. Joshua Adelabu, said: “This project did not only engage me in various skills, but has also impacted on me so much that the little stipends that come from it has helped to create a source of livelihood for us as youths in this community.’ ‘

The farmers were not left out of the impact of SEEFOR project in Ezebiri in Bomadi Local Government Area of the state where a Cassava processing plant was donated to members of the Tomara Ogbo Cassava Processing group for processing of their cassava under SEEFOR FADAMA III project.

Mr Abdul Ojoboye, Secretary of the Group, said ”Since the establishment of this cassava processing Plant, processing of cassava has been very easy for us here.

”Before SEEFOR gave us this plant, we process between five and six bags of cassava daily, but now, we process as many as 15 bags of cassava daily.

”That is the more reason we in this community, especially the cassava farmers are grateful to the World Bank, EU, and Delta State Government for SEEFOR projects in our community.”

The residents of Koko in Warri North Local Government Area of the state, who also benefited from the SEEFOR project, where open market stalls were constructed as well as the construction of skills acquisition centre, also lauded the World Bank, EU and the state government for the projects.

Mrs. Sisami Jiringho, a trader in the area, while commending SEEFOR for the project, noted that theconstruction of the stallas s in the area had also helped to boost economic activities. She appealed for more lock-up shops, saying that it would attract more businesses to the community.

The successes recorded by this partnership between the World Bank, the EU and Delta State should serve as a model for both the federal government and other state governments for poverty alleviation, skills acquisition and empowerment of the people.

– Sept. 17, 2020 @ 13:35 GMT |

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