FRIENDS and relatives of the Senior Special Assistant on Local Content Policy and Development to the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Mr. Laurence Izegbu have sent messages of felicitations to him on his attainment of 50-days in office few days ago.
To mark the event, Izegbu expressed appreciation to God for the privilege to be of service.
He also acknowledged Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for granting him the appointment, saying his unalloyed loyalty and admiration for his commendable strides remained steadfast.
“Also, I owe a profound debt of gratitude to my benefactor and political mentor, Josephine Ada Kachikwu Esq. I’m eternally grateful.
“Consequent upon my resumption I underwent an induction conducted by the Director of Administration,Delta State Local Content Agency. This brief expose was initiated to acquaint me with the ropes of government service.
“Afterwards, a familiarization tour was embarked upon as I travelled to Warri to meet with the Director-General of Delta State Local Content Agency. This afforded me the opportunity to parley with the Technical Adviser to the DG as well as other members of staff of the agency.
“During a crucial general meeting with the Agency’s Director-General, Director of Administration and Senior Technical Adviser to the DG, I presented my value proposition.
“My proposition was an assemblage of innovative but practicable ideas, conceived with the sole objective of bolstering the efforts of the Delta State Local Content Agency.
“This is all in a bid to ensure the lofty ideals and visions of Governor Okowa’s administration are realized to the fullest extent.” Elated Izegbu said.
Some of the propositions he brought to the table are as follows:
- DATA COLLATION:
- The collation of the data of every company operating within the extractive sector in Delta State is in process.
- Also, the collation of the data of unemployed Delta youths catalogued by local government, qualifications, age and skill-set was a part of my proposition which is also in progress.
- Skills training for Delta youths on entrepreneurship, soft skills and services in hot demand by Delta-based companies operating within the oil and gas sector is to be scheduled as modalities are being worked out.
- Knowledge transfer on how to bid for contracts in the petroleum industry.
- ESTABLISHMENT OF A THREE-WAY PORTAL
The Building of a three-way portal between the extractive companies, government, and then the public has been proposed and approved by the Director General of the agency.
Extractive organizations would be prompted to upload their reports from resource and contract award perspectives showing the amount of local resources they utilize for their operations. On another report, they are to indicate the number of indigenous contractors deployed for their operations.
In accordance with the law, 70% of the workforce of extractive companies based in Delta State must be indigenes, with evidence of residence in Delta State.
- UNSCHEDULED VISITATIONS TO OIL COMPANIES OPERATING IN DELTA STATE:
Extractive firms would henceforth be required to declare periodically, evidence of skills and technology transfer to Delta State indigenes, and to also reveal their expatriate quota. This is in progress.
- THE DEBUT OF AN OFFICIAL MAGAZINE FOR LOCAL CONTENT: “DELCA”
An official Magazine for the Delta State Local Content Agency has been initiated. This is to promote companies that have demonstrated an excellent sense of corporate social responsibility.
This magazine shall also be used as an avenue to recognize and applaud the efforts of private individuals who have been at the forefront of the galvanization of employment in Delta State.
They have been befittingly tagged “Apostles of Local Content” and shall be published when the magazine production is completed.
- PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS:
I have been in talks with some private organizations in a bid to induce partnership with the Okowa-led administration. Companies that shall embrace this partnership shall be made to benefit in innumerable ways as this symbiotic relationship shall open a fresh vista in their operations.
Also, to the glory of Delta State and the Okowa administration, investments in the area of infrastructure would break fresh grounds in our economic growth rates and ignite an expansion in human capital.
- COLLABORATION WITH INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS:
Presently, a couple of reputable organizations based in the United States which I have personally reached out to have signaled their interests in funding a social investment program in Delta State. This shall remain subject to the Governor’s endorsement and also, the availability of irrevocable guarantees with stabilization clauses.
- PEACE AND CONFLICT RESOLUTION:
There has been an age-long controversy between oil companies and their host communities. Through the discharge of my duty within these past 50 days, I have created channels of dialogue with the youths, community leaders and the leadership of various technical associations, some of which are in charge of fittings, pipeline laying, welding, fabrication, rig workers, et al.
Applying the strictest sense of diplomacy and understanding of their concerns, I have appealed for calm, while also encouraging them all to remain on the path of diligence. The assurance that my office will strengthen a good working relationship between them and the oil companies has been well-received.
This shall be a continuous process, and we’re on the right track.
In promoting the sustenance of tranquility, I have in like manner interfaced with several local government Chairmen and Divisional Police Officers.
During my visit to Lee Engineering Company, a reputable firm in Delta State which handles engineering designs, pipeline activities and other services, I took note of certain salient points which shall get addressed in no distant time.
Shortly afterwards, I also paid a visit to some oil pipelines where I utilized the opportunity to appeal to the conscience of the restive youths within those precincts.
Of a truth, the work that lies ahead is huge, but not half as tall as my determination to contribute my own quota in ensuring that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s vision of employment and prosperity for all Deltans is attained.