Berry Negerese at the official handover ceremony
The Chairman Dodo River Communities Development Association (DRDA), one of the Regional Development Committees under the Global Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) between the Bayelsa State government, Dodo River communities and Chevron Nigeria Limited (CNL), Mr. Berry Negerese has described the GMoU as a veritable instrument for meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in the Niger Delta region.
Mr. Negerese gave the indication recently at the official hand over of the Amatu II Cottage Hospital, built by the Dodo River Communities Rural Development Association (DRDA) to the Bayelsa State Government for proper management and integration into the State’s Health scheme.
He stressed the importance of the GMoU to sustainable development of the communities in the Niger Delta and stated that the community engagement model pioneered by Chevron has engendered capacity building for the communities to own and operate their development process in a participatory and transparent manner.
He thanked the Bayelsa State Governor, Chief Seriake Dickson for the successful takeover of the hospital and commended the efforts of Chief Hon. Fredrick Yeiteimone Agbedi (the House of Representative Member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency) and other stakeholders in facilitating the successful State’s takeover of the facility.
Berry explained that the 45-bed hospital has a medical laboratory, pharmacy store, operating room, Doctors, Nurses and Medical Corps’ lodge, delivery room, post-natal room, functional water system, water ambulance, 50KVA generating plant with a generator house and a Jetty. The hospital is also connected to the community’s 100 KVA generator.
Mr. Esimaje Brikinn, General Manager, Policy, Government and Public Affairs (PGPA) commended the State government’s action describing it as a progression of the GMoU and a way of helping Nigeria meet its Sustainable Development Goals. “This project addresses one of the three targets of the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and is a validation of the sustainability plan of the GMoU,” he said.
He further revealed that Since 2005 when CNL pioneered the GMoU as a community-led participatory partnership model for community engagement and sustainable development, the company continues to contribute funding (running into billions of naira) to the Regional Development Committees (RDCs) that represent the communities in its area of operations to execute hundreds of projects in the communities through a governance model that ensures transparency and accountability. “The projects which cover the areas of education, health, housing, scholarships, economic development, etc., have benefitted over 600,000 people and assisted in enhancing the quality of life in these communities,” he noted.
Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, represented by the State’s Commissioner for Health, Bayelsa, Prof. Ebitimitula Etebu applauded Chevron for contributing to improved medical care in the Dodo River communities of the State. He committed to ensuring that Doctors and medical Corp members would always be posted to the hospital to ensure that there are always capable and adequate hands to run the hospital. He also assured that officials from State Ministry of Health will visit from time to time to ascertain the state of the facility and possible areas to improve services.
Hon. Agbedi (Chairman, House of Reps Committee on Gas), who attended the event, also expressed delight over the takeover of the hospital by the State government which he said will assure its sustainability. The Pere of Iduwini Kingdom HRM Joel E. Ibane, also appreciated Chevron for the GMoU and urged the community to provide an enabling environment for the medical personnel to be posted to the hospital to perform their duties, while calling on the State government to ensure that the facility is well-utilized.