The Delta Government says it has executed 182 micro projects in 91 communities through the community-driven development project of State Employment Expenditure for Results (SEEFOR).
The Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr Barry Gbe, said this on Monday, in his address at a one-day sustainability workshop on SEEFOR in Asaba.
He said that the projects included the construction of market stalls, town halls, skill acquisition centres, toilet facilities and examination halls, as well as execution of water and electricity supply schemes.
The commissioner, who was represented by his Special Assistant, Dr Alex Ighoro, underscored the need for the sustainability of the SEEFOR projects by the communities wherein they were located.
He said that the projects were financed by the World Bank, the European Union (EU), the state government and the benefiting communities.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that the sustainability of these micro projects must be a major priority for your respective communities.
“You must ensure that you reciprocate the gesture of the state government, which provided the funds for the projects, by putting the facilities to use, while ensuring that you imbibe a good maintenance culture,” he said.
Gbe said that he was particularly impressed with the community-driven development sub-component of the SEEFOR projects.
According to him, this is because the initiative is rooted in community participation, right from the initiation stage through implementation to the completion stage.
“There is no better way to entrench community participation in governance than through this medium, where communities are allowed to propose their respective projects.
“The communities are also allowed to determine the contractors that will execute the projects for them.
“They even disburse the funds to the contractors from their community’s accounts, with strict monitoring by the social implementation unit and the state project coordinating unit.
“From all indications, the community-driven development initiative is indeed a commendable one,” he said.
Gbe said that the state government intended to leverage on the achievements of SEEFOR community-driven development initiative for future projects, particularly those in the local communities.
The state Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr Frank Apokwu, said that the essence of the workshop was to appraise the achievements of the community-driven development initiative.
Akpokwu said that the SEEFOR projects were geared toward curbing youth restiveness in the Niger Delta area and enhance opportunities for youth employment.
He said that the SEEFOR programme was also aimed at increasing public access to socio-economic services, while improving the financial management of the benefiting states.
One of the participants at the workshop, Mrs Ejiroghene Idogho from Ethiope East Local Government Area, said that the community-driven development initiative had impacted greatly on their communities.
She said that the renovation of 20 open market stalls in her community had attracted customers from neighbouring communities to the market.