EFO im­plores own­er­ship of Eco­log­i­cal Projects by com­mu­ni­ties

Daily Trust - - ENVIRONMENT - By Chidimma C. Okeke

As­away­ofen­sur­ingth­at­pro­jectssited in com­mu­ni­ties last long and ful­fill the pur­pose for which they were meant, there is need for com­mu­ni­ties to take over the own­er­ship of com­pleted eco­log­i­cal projects, the Per­ma­nent Sec­re­tary of Eco­log­i­cal Fund Of­fice (EFO), Engr. Goni M. Sheikh, has said.

This was made known in a state­ment from the Eco­log­i­cal Fund Of­fice signed by Tolu Makinde, Deputy Di­rec­tor Press.

Ac­cord­ing to the state­ment, Sheikh made the call re­cently in Sag­bama, Bayelsa State, while ad­dress­ing com­mu­nity lead­ers led by the Vice Chair­man of the Sag­bama Com­mu­nity De­vel­op­ment Com­mit­tee, Mr. Ek­isah Sinkumo, at the end of a one-day in­spec­tion tour of the multi-mil­lion naira Sag­bama Ero­sion Con­trol and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion Works Project in the town.

The state­ment read in part: “The best way to show ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the enor­mous re­sources be­ing com­mit­ted by the Federal Govern­ment on ex­e­cu­tion of the var­i­ous eco­log­i­cal projects across the coun­try is for the ben­e­fit­ing com­mu­ni­ties to show com­mit­ment and re­gard such projects as their projects as well as unite to pre­vent people from turn­ing them into dump sites.”

It as­sured the people that the Sag­bama flood con­trol and shore­line pro­tec­tion project will, on­com­ple­tion, guard against the kind of flood dev­as­ta­tion which the com­mu­nity ex­pe­ri­enced in 2012, adding that the Federal Govern­ment has ap­proved the sum of N1.5bil­lionE­co­log­i­calFund­in­ter­ven­tion for the area.

It also ap­pealed to the com­mu­nity to co­op­er­ate with the state govern­ment and the project con­trac­tor in re­mov­ing ob­struct­ing struc­tures along the right of way ca­pa­ble of ham­per­ing the speedy ex­e­cu­tion of the project.

Mr. Ek­isah Sinkumo who re­called the har­row­ing ex­pe­ri­ence of the com­mu­nity dur­ing the 2012 flood dev­as­ta­tion, com­mended the Federal Govern­ment for promptly re­spond­ing to their dire need.

He also ap­pealed to the Bayelsa Stat­e­gov­ern­ment­to­com­pen­satethose whose prop­er­ties fall within the right ofway,pledg­ingth­e­co­op­er­a­tionofthe com­mu­nity.

The state­ment noted that Sag­bama Ero­sion Con­trol and Re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion works Project was awarded on 5 Septem­ber 2012 at the cost of N1.5bil­lion to the Nige­rian West­min­ster Dredg­ing & Ma­rine Ltd as con­trac­tor and Messer’s Liv­ing­stone Con­sul­tants as con­sul­tant. It said that ac­tual work on the project was started in 2013 and it is con­sid­ered 62% com­pleted, adding it would be com­pleted be­fore the end of the year.

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