Security Agencies, Youth Groups, Others, Pledge Sustained Collaboration with NCDMB 


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Major security agencies, youth leaders and pressure groups on Thursday in Yenagoa pledged to give their all toward the sustenance of stakeholder engagements and collaboration as instituted and managed by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).

At a one-day Interactive Session on security issues, the Bayelsa State Police Command, the Department of State Service (DSS), and Joint Task Force (JTF) Operation Delta Safe commended the NCDMB, organisers of the event, for initiatives that have engendered greater awareness and a cooperative spirit among stakeholders, particularly among youths, security agencies and corporate entities in the oil and gas industry.

Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) Asinim Butswat said Bayelsa State currently enjoys official rating as the State with the lowest crime-rate in the South-South and ranks very high among all the states in the Federation. “Bayelsa State is lucky as all security agencies are here… and we collaborate” he stated, adding, “we collaborate with members of the local communities, interest groups…” as afforded by platforms such as the interactive session.

He said, beyond maintenance of law and order, the Police prioritise the protection of critical infrastructure in the State, which includes oil and gas facilities, highways, and telecommunications equipment, among others, and that by its proactive approach to policing and the technology applied, particularly the use of drones and cameras placed at strategic locations, the State Command has achieved great success. He urged NCDMB to continue organising such interactive sessionsand stakeholder meetings. 

Commander J.O. Bayode of Operation Delta Safe, who represented Rear Admiral J.U. Okeke, also commended the existing collaboration among security agencies in Bayelsa State, assuring that measures put in place to combat illegal oil bunkering and sea piracy have significantly minimised such criminal activities. Like CSP Butswat, he enjoined members of the public to assist the security agencies by providing useful information on suspicious activities in their communities. He also enjoined the NCDMB to sustain its promotion of stakeholder engagements.

In a paper titled “The Place of Intelligence Gathering and Information Sharing in Promotion of Security and Peace-building amongst Youths and Public/Private Entities,” the DSS representative, Mr. Bernard Matthew, said “Greater synergy amongst security agencies through information sharing and joint operations” remains a desirable strategy to curb challenges suchas hostage-taking and kidnapping, illegal oil bunkering, and cultism, among other vices.

He advised youths to “acquire skills even if you have a degree,” arguing that self-development was a way of ensuring that one could secure a good job or enjoy career advancement or even be self-employed. To organisations, his advice is that corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be accorded appropriate attention, while office-holders at all levels should strive for good governance and accountability. 

A professor of International Relations and Strategic Studies at Igbinedion University, Okada, Edo State, Femi Olufunmide, spoke on the theme, “The Utility of Constructive Engagement with Corporate Bodies.” He said acts like violence on people, issuing of threats, blockade of business premises, and vandalisation of pipelines, were non-constructive, and never served any useful purpose.

He urged host communities and youths to seek constructive avenues for pursuit of their objectives. He advised that civil communications like letter writing, stating issues and seeking peaceful engagements are better. He also suggested dialogue and negotiation, goodwill gestures, and collaboration. 

Benefits of constructive engagement, according to him, include communal peace, a safe and secure operating environment that would make companies and communities enjoy improved economic life, empowerment of citizens and development projects.   

In a presentation, “Communicating and Interfacing with NCDMB Zonal Offices,” the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Zonal Coordination, NCDMB, Barr. Esueme Dan Kikile, represented by the Deputy Manager, Media and Publicity, Mr. Obinna Ezeobi, stated that the Board’s philosophy of stakeholder engagement and collaboration had been demonstrated from its earliest beginnings in Yenagoa. 

While noting that “engagements with stakeholders in Yenagoa in 2010 shows that is a priority of the NCDMB,” he said the Board has ever been determined “to create value in Bayelsa State.” 

He pointed out that pursuant to the Board’s mandate of capacity building and local content development, it has contributed significantly to the economy and development of Bayelsa State.He listed the 17-storey Nigerian Content Tower, Swali, Corporate Headquarters of the NCDMB, the 10-megawatt power plant at Elebele, and STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) Programme for which the Board has trained 1,000 teachers now teaching in different secondary schools. 

Other projects of the Board include the establishment of well-equipped Information and Communication Technology Centresin all local government areas of the State, empowerment of over 50 physically challenged persons, undergraduate essay competition for which mouth-watering prizes are given to winners (students and participating schools), as some examples.

In regard to the Nigerian Content Tower, Mr. Ezeobi explained that backward integration was pursued by the Board, resulting in the training of over 250 Bayelsa indigenes as artisans and craftsmen. They built the edifice, and most of them are currently engaged in the three-star NCDMB Conference Hotel currently under construction within the vicinity. Sand and wood and lots of other materials were also sourced from the locality here.

In addition to the foregoing, the NCDMB has completed a world-class industrial park, the Nigerian Oil and Gas Parks Scheme (NOGAPS) at Emeyal-1, in Ogbia Local Government Area, which is bringing to this State manufacturers of components and spares of equipment and tools used in the oil and gas industry. Some unquantifiable benefits that NCDMB has brought to Bayelsa include the yearly oil and gas industry conferences the Board hosts in Yenagoa, and visits from foreign oil and gas companies and ministries of petroleum.

He, however, urged citizens of the State to understand that NCDMB has a duty to extend similar projects and events to other parts of the country, assuring that “Our doors at NCDMB are continually open.”

Goodwill messages were given by a number of groups, including Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), National Youth Council (NYC), Bayelsa State Chapter, and Movement for Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP). The IYC Central Zone Women Leader, Mrs. Benedicta John-Jacob, expressed appreciation to the NCDMB for consistently working to bring stakeholders togetherto create understanding. She urged the Board to continue the initiatives. Comrade Imeabi Saviour Oscar, Public Relations Officer of MOSOP, equally thanked the NCDMB, noting that “events like this help to reorientate youths” to become better focused in life.

Other youth groups in attendance were from Akwa Ibom State, Afenifere (South West), Ohaneze (South East), National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), National Parliament, Edo State, and Presidential Amnesty Programme, Phase II beneficiaries.

In a vote of thanks, the General Manager, Planning, Research and Statistics (PRS), Mr. Ene Ette, thanked all participants for making the event a huge success. Recalling the recurring sentiment from many speakers, he said, “NCDMB assures that it will always engage with stakeholders.”  



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