Accord For Development emerges the Community Development Organization Of The Year 2018. The award is in recognition of Accord's giant stride in community development in the Niger Delta. Garden City Advancement Agency in Port Harcourt, Rivers State hosted the award.
Accord

Accord

The Global Memorandum of Understanding GMoU as adopted by some oil companies put the development of communities at the feet of host communities but with the active guidance of development partners and the sponsors (i.e. the oil companies) for the success of the process. Hence, the inauguration of Ochia-Assa Community Development Board was in furtherance of the process of community development as nominees from host communities were inaugurated to flag off a new dispensation. A total of Twenty-six (26) members make up the board.

As part of the mandate for the board, they are expected to work in tandem with WalterSmith who are the sponsors and Accord For Community Development who are the facilitating Non-Governmental Organization. The board are expected to oversee the administration of the GMoU fund on behalf of their communities which is meant for diverse projects.

Proceedings from Board Inauguration

  1. Opening Formalities

The inauguration session commenced with an opening prayer. The lead facilitator from Accord for Community Development, led by Victor Akubor welcomed all participants which include members of staff of WalterSmith, the traditional rulers from the various communities of Ochia, Assa, Obile, Awarra, nominated members of the board, community observers and officers of Accord For Community Development.

In the course of the opening formalities guests took turns to introduce themselves by stating their names and their respective communities.

Mr. Rowland Ogundu, Assistant General Manager (AGM) WalterSmith welcomed guests for making it a point of duty to attend the inauguration. He reiterated the need for cooperation between the host communities and WalterSmith which he represents to pave way for a win-win that will bring development to the various communities while also ensuring the business of WalterSmith thrives. In the same vein, he advised the new board to ensure they undertake projects that have economic and societal benefits by judiciously using the allotted GMoU funds of 100million naira to benefit all and sundry. The AGM further noted that in the realm of development, no sum is too small to develop a community.

  1. Presentation on GMoU Modalities and Expectations of Ochia-Assa Board

Presentation on GMoU Modalities and Expectations of Ochia Assa Board

A presentation on GMoU modalities and expectation was made by Accord For Community Development. The board members were informed that they are accountable to the community leaders who nominated them and as such are expected to work in the best interest of their community in which they represent. Similarly, the lead facilitator of Accord informed the board members that they are expected to follow due process in the discharge of their duties while also ensuring their communication with the community folks are true and not misleading.

Furthermore, the nominated board members were informed that they are bound to face some challenges but they should brace up to tackle them as they manifest.

General Contributions and Submissions

Contribution from WalterSmith

The following contributions and submissions from the various stakeholders surfaced in the course of the inauguration:

  1. The traditional rulers in tandem with the board members and community people unanimously agreed that the newly constituted board will work without a functional executive. It was agreed that decisions will be taken during board meetings and in the presence of board members. However, for administrative convenience, a board chairman will be nominated and ably assisted by a secretary and treasurer who will be a woman.
  2. Also, it was agreed upon that all the documentation for board members inclusive of names across communities should be completed and forwarded within 2 weeks.

Questions and Answers

Guests and participants had the opportunity to ask questions as it bothers on grey areas on their mandate as board members. In the case of who is eligible to bid for projects, the lead facilitator from Accord explained that community contractors are expected to make their bidding and whoever qualifies will be awarded the project to run. The rationale for community contractors handling project is to pave way for accountability and seriousness of the task on community development.

Also, in addition, the Assistant General Manager at WalterSmith informed members that the company has zero tolerance on members of staff nominating contractors for the community. However, clarification was made that only on special cases where consultants when needed for complex matters that are outside the purview of the board and community, only then will WalterSmith choose to nominate and recommend on their behalf.

Oath Taking for Board Members

Board members taking their oath of office

The board members were officially inaugurated as Ochia-Assa Community Development Board after the administration of the oath of service by the lead facilitator of Accord. A total of Twenty-sis (26) persons constitute the members of the board.                              

Inauguration Wrap-up/End of Session

The traditional rulers in attendance were given the opportunity to give their final comments towards the end of the inauguration. The traditional rulers unanimously recommended that WalterSmith should look for a way to incorporate some funds for their respective palaces which should be separate from the GMoU funds for projects.

Also Hon. Chidi Igwe gave the final closing remarks as he implored all stakeholders to work assiduously to seeing to the success of the board and ultimately the developmental strides of the various communities who will be the immediate beneficiaries of socio-economic interventions.   The inauguration ended with a closing prayer and group photographs were taken subsequently.   

Town Brass community is located in Brass LGA of Bayelsa State. The Town Brass is among the eight communities that is made up of Brass cluster board. The community is located along the Atlantic Ocean 70% of community members are fisher men and women.

Town Brass community trust after visit to various schools in the community by evaluating the status of infrastructures and libraries, it was discovered that Town Brass community secondary school do not have a functional library and computer accessories.  After the visit by community trust members, it was unanimously agreed to assist in purchasing government approved textbooks and computers and other accessories for Town Brass community secondary school.

 Town Brass community secondary school textbooks

The students during the ceremony were informed about the GMoU process how Town Brass included what is due to Tow n Brass yearly from the GMoU mandate. They were enlightened on the benefit of GMoU process reasons for establishment. The mentoring NGO (Accord For Community Development) representative during welcome address informed the students the reason while the Community Secondary School was selected for the project. He further advised that education is the key to success but that will happen when the students read their books and to keep off from bad company.

Accord Official and Town Brass Community Secondary School Students new

Other stakeholders who spoke during the ceremony also advised the students to be focused and face their studies because they are the leaders of tomorrow.

The principal of the Community Secondary School during his closing remarks appreciated SPDC and its team for assisting them to equip the school library and provision of computer accessories. He further appreciated the mentoring NGO for making it possible for the Community Trust to embark on such life changing project for the school.

 

Opuorubo is amongst the eight communities that is made up of Brass Cluster development Board. Opourubo being also one of the impacted communities on the SPDC facilities, the community is entitled to some percentage of yearly mandate of Brass cluster development board.  The community haven’t received their yearly mandate from 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, unanimously agreed in a town hall meeting facilitated by Accord For Community Development that, fund accrue for Opuorubo community should be used to purchase engine boats for 13 community members including men women and youths.

Government Representatives the Beneficiaries

         The handover ceremony was characterized with different activities such as:  

  1. Mentoring NGO opening speech: Representative of Accord For Community Development Mr. Isaac Simon on his opening remarks congratulated beneficiaries and further advised that engine boat should be maintained and put into use by the beneficiaries. He further explained that, the aim of the program is to increase income generation of the community members by reducing unemployment and poverty in Opuorubo community
  2. Bayelsa state representative: Engineer Brass during his remarks congratulated beneficiaries and assured them of future support from the state government if any opportunity surface. He advised that beneficiaries should try as much as possible to dedicate their time and energy in doing the business in other to increase their income generation and reduce poverty in Opourubo community.

Presentation of Engine Boats

 

Other stakeholders who spoke during the ceremony appreciated SPDC for their support for increase income generation of the community members especially in Opuorubo. SPDC should continue with their good work they are doing to humanity especially in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria.

The next activity was the presentation of Engine boats and fishing accessories to 13 beneficiaries.

Material presented were

  1. Presentation of 13 Single Engine boat 8HP to 13 beneficiaries from Opuorubo community
  2. Presentation of fishing nets to 13 beneficiaries during the ceremony.
  3. Presentation of twine rope and other fishing facilities

Materials Presented to the 13 Opuorubo Community Beneficiaries

Accord For Community Development being a development mentor organization facilitated a session that enlightened and induct the Brass cluster development board members in Kalorubou community about the projects that would be implemented in in their community.

Kalorubou is amongst the eight communities that is made up of Brass Cluster development Board. Kalorubou has been one of the impacted communities of SPDC facilities, the community was entitled to some percentage of yearly mandate of Brass cluster development board.  The community have not received their yearly mandate from 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2018, unanimously agreed in a town hall meeting that fund accrue for Kalorubou community should be used to carry out skill acquisition training in three sections for the youths in the community. The three area are computer training, stud making, welding and fabrication.

The beneficiaries were informed about GMoU procedures roles and responsibilities of community members and other stakeholders in the process. The yearly mandate of Brass Cluster and percentage being given to Kalorubou community was communicated to community beneficiaries. Beneficiaries were further advised to utilized the opportunity through this training to increase their income by creating jobs for other community members. They were also informed that the training would be for six months. Beneficiaries will be given starter packs after the training. 

After the induction/orientation, beneficiaries were transported to their various centers in within Yenagoa.

The training started on the 2nd of September 2019.

The ambience of the environment was quite cozy and the beneficiaries of the 3rd edition of YESAP beaming with smiles even as they gathered at the Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) situated in Alesa-Eleme in Rivers State, Nigeria for their graduation ceremony.

The Youth Empowerment and Skills Acquisition Programme (YESAP) is an eclectic empowerment programme targeted at beneficiaries drawn from operational areas of Port Harcourt Refining Company (PHRC) in Rivers State.       

In this third edition of YESAP, beneficiaries have successfully been trained in various vocational training centres in diverse skills such as Welding and Fabrication, Fashion Designing, Catering, Hair Dressing, Computer Engineering and Poultry Farming.

Hence, in continuation of the training and support, another round of business management training was organized for these set of trainees to complement the initial introductory business training that was availed them at roughly a month into their Vocational Skills training in October, 2018.

The aim of this business training is to further equip them with business best practices that is needed to set sail in their chosen business and also to have the requisite knowledge on how they can withstand competition from existing business owners.

It is worthy to note that fresh starters in business are known to face the initial herculean task of navigating through the difficulties that beset them which manifest due to their inexperience and at other times in the harsh operating environment.

Focus of the Training:

The focus of the training was aimed at equipping the beneficiaries with the needed business management skills and acumen to help them drive their enterprises. The training therefore was packaged with emphasis on what entrepreneurship is, business idea generation, business plan writing, business risk and strategies. Other areas treated include formal sources of finance, traditional method of business finance, challenges of securing business finance and strategies to mitigate the problems. The other aspects covered include factors that make businesses to thrive and what brings about business failure, customer relationship management, information and communication platforms that aids businesses, the use of various social media infrastructures in driving the businesses of Entrepreneurs among others.

Areas Covered

The training modules that captured the above listed business training areas were subsumed into 4(four) key areas as follows:

  1. Community Business Planning and Management
  2. Finance for Community Businesses
  3. Business Success versus why Businesses Fail
  4. The Benefit of Social Media in Sustaining Your Business

One of the core goals of the Development Advocacy and Gender Unit of Accord For Development is to mainstream gender in all program activities of the organization.

Accord in partnership with Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) Abuja Nigeria, organized and facilitated a town hall meeting with women groups and gender focused CSOs

The award is in recognition of Accord's giant stride in community development in the Niger Delta. Garden City Advancement Agency in Port Harcourt, Rivers State hosted the award.

“Tough times never last, but tough people do” so goes a popular aphorism by Robert Schuller.

Page 1 of 7

Photo of the day

Imo---WalterSmith.jpg

Recent Stories