Niger Delta Group Demands Need Assessment Before Project Execution

Worried by the seeming slow pace of community development efforts in the Niger Delta, despite huge funds budgeted for the region by private and government bodies, the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group (NDEBUMOG) has called for a pragmatic, all-inclusive approach to needs assessment.

This was contained in a communiqué issued after a one-day community town hall meeting on inclusive budgeting organized by NDEBUMOG, with support from Oxfam in Nigeria. The meetings were held across Bayelsa State, including Elebele in Ogbia Local Government Area; Amassoma in Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor Local Government Areas; Yenagoa in Yenagoa Local Government Area and Kaiama in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area.

Participants at the meetings urged the government include communities in the process of budget preparation and and implementation and to carry out proper baseline studies and needs assessment before projects are sited in communities.

For indigenes of Ogbia Local Government Area to feel the impact of community development, it was resolved that, “Communities in Ogbia LGA should be encouraged to develop a framework for prioritized projects to guide developmental processes in the communities. The ongoing dualisation of Yenegwe- Kolo- Nembe Road and Opolo-Elebele Road, which terminates at Elebele should be extended to link other communities in the cluster. Government should, also, expedite action to complete projects within record time.”

The communities, therefore, appealed to NDEBUMOG to organise capacity building on budget monitoring for the Kolo Creek Development Foundation.

For Amassoma cluster it was resolved that “There should be extension of electricity to areas that have been developed from the point of last electricity wiring in Amassoma. Also, the abandoned Amassoma Civic Centre project should be completed. Government was advised to apply due process in the procurement and bidding for contract awards and implement fully the state’s Fiscal Responsibility Act. Also, quality and specification should be adhered to and community people included from start to finish of projects.

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