NewsNGO Partners OXFAM On Community Leaders/Govt Engagement Strategies Training

NGO Partners OXFAM On Community Leaders/Govt Engagement Strategies Training

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March 26, (THEWILL)- A Non-Governmental Organisation, the Connected Development (CODE), in partnership with OXFAM, has trained some community leaders on strategies to engage with the government, to derive maximum benefits from the implementation of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), as it affects host communities.

The communities, drawn from four states of Akwa Ibom, Cross River, Delta and Rivers, tagged: “Power of Voices Partnership Fair4All”, town hall meeting and training in Uyo.

The community leaders were empowered on how to monitor and hold the government accountable and also track projects allocated to their communities.

Mr Kingsley Agu of CODE, who anchored the training session, said the training was to equip the community leaders on how to monitor and track down projects for the overall benefit of the people.

Agu urged oil-producing communities to embrace the Petroleum Industry Act and make good use of the three percent to develop their communities.

“Connected Development is Africa’s leading Non-Governmental organisation that empowers marginalised societies. We do this by creating platforms for both the citizens and the government.

“We are training community leaders on how to sit with the government, how to table their problems and challenges.

“We are training them on how to engage the government to ensure the proper implementation of PIA and derive maximum benefits from the three percent community development fund”, Agu said.

Agu appealed to those managing the funds in the community to ensure transparency and accountability for the good of the people.

In his contribution, Mr Jonathan Akpata from Delta, urged community leaders to eschew internal wrangling, avoid greed and work for the interest of their people.

He noted that with peace and harmony existing in the oil-producing communities there is bound to be development, stressing that development can only occur when there is peace.

He called for more engagement at the community level for a proper understanding of the petroleum industry act, as it affects communities.

He added that there was a need for the inauguration of the Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) in communities yet to be inaugurated.

Mr Cyril Akpan from Akwa Ibom, who represented the Ibeno community, called on Settlors to provide take-off funds for the HCDT committee to enable them to set up their offices for administrative purposes.

He argued that the five per cent administrative cost allocated to the HCDT committee was crossly inadequate, adding that it should be adjusted upward.

The community leader noted that the Petroleum Industry Act has given too much power to the settlors, as the Secretary of the board is a settlor.

It would be recalled that the PIA has given host communities through the Host Communities Development Trust (HCDT) some certain amount of money from companies that operate in their communities to go and develop the communities.

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