Igoniko Oduma Yenagoa
The Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Simbi Wabote, on Tuesday clarified that the board is not an interventionist agency.
Wabote gave the clarification at the maiden edition of the interactive session/open forum with representatives of NCDMB’s project host communities in Bayelsa State held in Yenagoa.
Among those in attendance were paramount rulers, chairmen and secretaries of Community Development Committees, women and youth group leaders, among others.
According to him, the explanation became necessary because of the notion in some communities that the board was established as an interventionist organisation.
Wabote, who was addressing complaints by some community representatives, further stated that the NCDMB was not also an oil and gas exploration and production company.
He reiterated that the board’s mandate, according to the law establishing it, is to act as a catalyst for the industrialisation of the country’s oil and gas industry while ensuring active local participation in the industry.
The NCDMB boss represented by the Director of Planning, Research and Statistics, Patrick Obah, described the interaction as very important and
acceded to suggestions by the stakeholders for periodic interface to close communication gaps.
Wabote, who commended the community representatives for acknowledging NCDMB projects sited in their areas, said,”I will like to use this opportunity to reiterate that the board is not an interventionist agency. That should be very clear.
“The board is not also into crude oil and gas production activities. However, we will make sure that we improve on our level of communication with you and any noticeable error in this regard is regretted.”
Also speaking, the General Manager, Corporate Communication and Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Ginah O. Ginah, said the essence of the interaction was to create a direct channel of communication with host communities in line with the board’s Community Content Guideline.
He said the forum was also aimed at passing vital updates on the various stages of ongoing projects and encourage host communities to support their speedy completion.
Ginah said the forum was also to give communities insights into employment and other economic benefits in the value chain of projects for their overall socio-economic development.
Earlier, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of Lakeview Communications Ltd, Chief Nathan Egba-Ologo, facilitators of the open forum, had explained that the interaction was designed to formally bring the management of NCDMB and its host communities together for a friendly conversation on, and mutual understanding of issues bordering on their relationship in order for them to get direct feedback and not through a third party.