Paul Osuyi, Asaba
A cross-section of beneficiaries of projects executed by the State Employment and Expenditure For Result (SEEFOR) in some communities in Delta State have commended the World Bank, European Union and the state government for bringing transformation into their lives and business ventures.
SEEFOR is a World Bank/European Union assisted intervention programme in partnership with states through the Federal Government.
It executes projects in three components of youth employment and access to socio-economic services; public finance management reforms; and project management, monitoring and implementation support.
Some of the beneficiaries who spoke during a visit to project sites in Delta north senatorial district said their businesses received a tremendous boost since the intervention of SEEFOR.
At Igbodo in Ika North-East Local Government Area, where SEEFOR rehabilitated the dilapidated Garri Stalls at the community market, woman leader Mrs Mabel Ogbolu said the reconstruction of the stalls has saved the traders from the elements of rains which hitherto render their goods useless.
“Our garri business was threatened because rain used to spoil our garri before the stalls were built. We now have where to keep our garri bags. We thank SEEFOR and the government for the gesture,” she said.
She, however, appealed to SEEFOR to facilitate the provision drier at the cassava processing mill initially provided by the interventionist agency through FADAMA III.
At Agbor Technical College in Ika South, the principal, Mr Benjamin Osubor, stated that the story of the school changed for the better following the intervention of SEEFOR with the provision of basic equipment for the various department, a development, he claimed has tremendously increased student enrollment.
Other projects visited included the completed ICT centre, Teachers’ Lodge, and Corpers’ Lodge in Idumuje-Unor; rehabilitated community health centre and drainage construction at Isibor Street at Umunede; completed Green House Farm at Ukala; the completed State Integrated Financial Management Information System at the Delta State civil service secretariat in Asaba among others.
The state project coordinator of SEEFOR, Frank Akpokwu who spoke alongside the national coordinator, Mr Greg Onu, informed that any project executed by the interventionist agency was based on the request of the benefiting community.
“The projects are community-based and demand-driven. We do not impose any project on them but they must, first of all, agree on what they need, before any work can commence based on SEEFOR guidelines,” Akpokwu said.
He commended the state government for its prompt release of counterpart fund since SEEFOR started work in the state over seven years ago.