Determined to deliver sustainable development to its mandate areas of Ilaje and Ese-Odo Local Government Areas, the Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a reputable Foundation, Foundation For Partnership Initiatives in the Niger Delta (PIND).
PIND is a non-profit foundation established in 2010 by Chevron Corporation to provide support for socio-economic development programmes which improve standard of living for many communities in the Niger Delta region.
This is achieved through dynamic innovative programmes and multi-stakeholder partnerships focused on poverty alleviation and the promotion of peace in the Niger Delta region.
The MoU was signed during the week on the second day of a three-day retreat organized by OSOPADEC in conjunction with PIND for Management and Senior Staff of the commission, at the Ondo State Public Service Training Institute (PSTI), Ilara-Mokin.
Delivering his keynote address at the event, the state Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, reiterated his administration's commitment to the overall development of the oil producing communities in the state.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Hon. IfedayoAbegunde, Akeredolu who described the partnership between OSOPADEC and PIND as a round square in a round hole averred that the array of seasoned professionals assembled by PIND will further enlarge the horizon of OSOPADEC'S operations.
The governor added that the collaboration will also impart global best practices in the activities of the commission.
Akeredolu averred that since inception, his administration has continued to place high premium on training and re-training of workers in the state as no amount spent on capacity building is a waste.
He therefore urged participants at the retreat to make maximum utilisation of the opportunity generated by it by paying rapt attention to the inputs of the various resource persons.
Also speaking at the event, the Chairman of OSOPADEC, Hon Olugbenga Edema noted that the benefits derivable from the collaborative efforts of the commission with PIND cannot be over-emphasized.
Edema enumerated these benefits to include conducting an objective organizational diagnosis of the commission with a view to recommending measures for enhancing service delivery capacity as well as ensuring the professionalization of the commission's workforce to an enviable international standard.
He noted that in the last few months, PIND Foundation has been able to identify and secure the services of a high level institution capacity building economist to work with the commission at a cost totally borne by PIND.
His words: "At the inauguration of this board on the 10th of April, 2017, Mr. Governor did direct that this board of OSOPADEC under our watch should explore all areas of collaborations with reputable organizations in order to deliver sustainable development in the commission's mandate areas.
"In the course of profiling potential development partners and other organizations with which we could collaborate, providence brought us close to PIND Foundation, and the result of our long discussions and negotiations is what we are witnessing today, culminating in the signing of the MoU," Edema added.
Edema also noted that the retreat is geared towards reviewing the mandate of the commission with a view to identifying the roles, structures and responsibilities of each department.
The OSOPADEC Chairman averred that the retreat is also designed to strengthen governance, accountability functions and ethos of the commission, stressing that without strong governance, no organization can perform optimally.
He therefore expressed optimism that at the end of the retreat, the participants will be better equipped with a renewed vision, commitment and a stronger sense of purpose to drive the vision that will take OSOPADEC and the mandate areas to a future that is enviable and sustainable.
In his speech, the Executive Director of PIND, Dr. DaraAkala stated that the foundation was established to promote inclusive and equitable development in the Niger Delta region.
Akala said to deliver on its mandate, PIND has effectively structured its programmes around peace building and sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.
He noted that since its establishment, PIND has been influencing development policies through support for organisations in order for them to deliver on their various mandates.
Delivering a lecture titled "The Commission: Mission, Vision, History and Mandate", a former Ondo State Head of Service, Prince AjoseKudehinbu charged the participants to redouble their efforts at developing OSOPADEC mandate areas.