From Paul Osuyi, Asaba
Delta State Government has retained the staff of the State Employment and Expenditure for Result (SEEFOR), a socio-economic intervention of the European Union and the World Bank.
The SEEFOR project which intervened in areas of employment generation, access to socio-economic services and public expenditure management, came to en end last month after seven years of interventionist services in communities across the state.
Speaking at the winding up ceremony, Director of Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) of the state Ministry of Economic Planning, Mrs. Patience Ogbewe said SEEFOR staff would be retained due to their level of capacity which was attained their rigorous training programmes.
Handing over the project to Ogbewe at the presence of the Commissioner for Economic Planning, Mr. Barry Gbe, the Project Coordinator, Frank Akpokwu said SEEFOR came on stream in 2013, adding that it impacted positively on several lives in the state.
Akpokwu said over 9,515 youths were engaged to carry out small public works component, for a period of 12 months’ interval and thereafter, they were sent to the state’s technical colleges and vocational centres to acquire more skills.
He said SEEFOR’s intervention helped repositioned technical colleges and some vocational centres in the state, adding that trainees were further empowered with starter packs.
“In the area of public works, projects executed by the SEEFOR across the state, included the areas of road maintenance and waste collection.
“For roads’ maintenance, the projects included construction of roads and drains, de-silting drains and vegetation control, among others,” he said.
Akpokwu noted that SEEFOR also raised the bar in community development through micro projects including water supply, construction of markets, classroom blocks, multi-purpose halls and laboratories.
“In addition, SEEFOR provided technical assistance to state agencies responsible for public works and waste management and assisted them in the discharge of their oversight function on the sub component of youth employment.
“Delta SEEFOR was praised for providing technical assistance to support reforms and capacity building in Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), which deal with state public finance.
“These included offices and staff of ministries of Economic Planning, Finance, office of the auditor general, Due Process/Public Procurement, Board of Internal Revenue and Delta State Houses of Assembly,” he added.