The Project Coordinator, Delta SEEFOR Project, Sir Frank Apokwu has on the behalf of Delta SEEFOR Project and the state at large pledged his unflinching support to the actualization of the deployment of the Kobotool Application software, which he described as a tool that would revolutionize Monitoring & Evaluation in the State.
He stated this during the opening ceremony of the training for Supervisors and Enumerators for the Deployment of Kobotool Application for data capturing of Delta SEEFOR projects held on Friday, 13th September, 2019 at Orchid Hotels, Asaba. He expressed his profound gratitude to the World Bank/EU, the National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU), to Activity Executing Agencies (AEAs) and the SEEFOR Project staff for their support so far towards actualizing this laudable objective.
Speaking earlier at the event, the representative of the National Project Coordinator, SEEFOR Project, Mr. D. Mooreino said that the successful deployment of the kobotool software was key to measuring accurate results and impact of the interventions of the SEEFOR Project which could be accessed from anywhere in the world when the need arises. He encouraged supervisors and enumerators selected from different AEAs to embrace this rare opportunity of being trained in the usage of the kobotool software which is globally recognized.
The Delta SEEFOR project has organized a two-day workshop for focal officers of the different sub-components Public Financial Management (PFM) reforms implementing agencies on Thursday 5th –Friday 6th September, 2019 at Orchid Hotel.
The purpose of the workshop as described by the Project Coordinator, Delta SEEFOR Project, Sir Frank Apokwu was to emphasis the need for implementing agencies to put in their best in ensuring that that the World Bank/EU funds allocated for the PFM reforms was effectively used with the ultimate goal of producing desired results. He encouraged participants to put in their best in achieving set goals of the reforms which invariable will be a pivot to greater heights and opportunities for the State.
Responding to presentations made by focal officers from each sub component in the PFM, the M&E officer, Delta SEEFOR Project, encouraged participants to go back to the drawing board and bring up viable implementing activities with timelines noting that maximal support will be given to each component from the project office to ensure that key Performance Indicators (KPI) are met.
Present at the event were representatives from Activity Executing Agencies implementing the various sub-components of the PFM Reforms which is legislation/Regulation, Budget Reforms, Accounting Expenditure Control and Financial Management Reporting, External Audit and Internal Audit, State Integrated Financial Management System.
Delta SEEFOR Project has organized an interview session for prospective consultant supervisors for batch 6 Public Works contract. The just concluded interview took place on the 28th & 29th August, 2019 at the Association of Civil servants Hall, Asaba.
youths drawn from Umunede, Agbor, Kwale, Mbiri, Uvwie and Asaba were interviewed.
The National Project Coordinating Unit (NPCU) has organized a workshop on “Project Management Professionals” facilitated by Philips Consulting firm for officers of State Project Coordinating Unit (SPCU) across the four pilot cities of Delta, Rivers, Bayelsa and Edo state currently implementing SEEFOR Project. The workshop was held at UBA Head Quarters, Lagos from the 19th – 23rd August 2019.
The purpose of the training as described by the National project Coordinator (NPC), Mr Greg Onu was to fully equip the relevant officers with prerequisite skill for project management as it relates to achieving project Developmental Objective (PDO) and adequately showcasing results of the project following the winding down stage of the project.
Present at the workshop were the Project Coordinators, Project Accountants, Project Procurement Officers, Project M&E officers and Communication Officers.
The project coordinator, Delta SEEFOR Project, Sir Frank Apokwu has expressed the strong drive of the State Government towards youth entrepreneurship in the state and the role of the SEEFOR Project in this regard. He expressed this at the tour to Automedics limited, Lagos on thurday, the 8th of August, 2019.
Sir Frank Apokwu relaying the objective of the visit to Automedics Limited said that the ugly situation where the TVET institutions have been unable to maximize the potentials of the trainees, especially in the Automobile Departments across the six technical colleges and three vocational centres in which the Project has been intervening must be addressed hence the need for sponsorship of internship training programmes for students The PC stated further that outstanding trainees from the Automobile Departments will be selected and sponsored for internship training programmes in already flourishing firms which operate using modern technology and according to international standard in the automobile industry.
Speaking also during the tour was the Director Programs &Technical, DSTVEB, Mr Agbogidi Goodnews who in expressing gratitude to the World Bank/EU for the enormous support to the entire TVET system stated that the internship program will ensure that student are fully equipped to succeed in the automobile industry, noting that the internship program was a dream come through for the trainees.
The Director DSTVEB said that Automedics limited was chosen because of its remarkable success stories and it fully equipped workshops and manpower.
The Project Coordinator , Delta SEEFOR Project, Sir Frank Apokwu has led a team from the SPCU, DSTVEB and TVET Institution for a visit to Automedics Limited and Digital Bridge Institute , Lagos to forge a collaboration with the organisation on internship training program for trainees in the TVET Institutions of the State.
The Project Coordinator, SEEFOR Project, explained that sustainability endeavors for trainees in the TVET Institutions was important to the state government , stating that exposure to real working environment with modern facilities and mentorship which are not readily available in the institutions are key in ensuring grandaunts of the TVET institutions get quality entrepreneurial skills that will equip them for self employment and also employers of labour .
The representative of Digital Bridge Institute responding, appreciated the State Government for the laudable endevours and the strong drive to seeing youths become great entrepreneurs thereby bringing progressive development to the state. He pledged to give the state all the support it needs for a successful internship training.
The Okowa SMART Agenda has brought smiles to the faces of a lot of youths in the State as reliable means of livelihood has been handed over to gradaunds . This was stated by the project Coordinator, Sir Frank Apokwu during the presentation of Starter Packs to graduate trainees of the Vocational centres at Asaba Vocational Centre on Thursday, 11th July, 2019.
In his remarks, Sir Frank Apokwu emphasized the state governments commitment to ensuring that youths are gainfully employed through acquisition of vocational, technical and agricultural skills and also empowering outstanding graduate trainees with starter Packs in their individual vocations. He further insighted that the strong drive to curb youth restiveness and take youths off the street led to the State governments collaboration with the World Bank/EU through the SEEFOR Project.
Also speaking at the event was the representative of the Delta State Technical, Vocational & Educational Board (DSTVEB) Mrs Joy Etchie who encouraged youths to put in their very best at their different chosen business endeavors which cuts across Catering, Hair Dressing, Tailoring, Barbing, Electrical and Welding\Fabrication skills noting that they were indeed fortunate to be benefactors of the starter packs nonetheless interjecting that strict monitoring of their various individual businesses by the DSTVEB will be carried out to ensure success and compliance with the scheme’s core value and also ensuring that Government resources are not wasted.
Congratulating the Starter Packs beneficiaries, the Project Coordinator, SEEFOR Project intimated that this was the third batch of grandaunts in the TVET institutions receiving starter packs from the project. He spoke also on the WB/EU objective of raising worthy entrepreneurs noting that a total of 101 (one hundred and one) starter Packs was to be presented to outstanding graduate trainees of Asaba, Sapele and Ozoro Vocational Centre. He thereafter advised benefiting youths to replicate the good gesture of the State Government by using the equipment for the purpose for which they were presented and intended whilst emphasizing on the need to constantly develop their entrepreneurial skills and be good employers of labour.
In an interview with one of the benefiting youth from Sapele vocational centre, Mrs Merit Otmediohe, she expressed delight stating that all her worries were over recounting how she had on several occasions attempted to save towards purchase her catering equipment, but was met with several challenges which made all of her efforts futile but according to her, the starter packs was a dream come true and they were very pleased with this laudable endeavor by the State Government through SEEFOR Project. She stated further how her life will have a positive turn-around having acquired the prerequisite catering skills with international standards flowing from the World Bank/ intervention in the upgrade of learning procedures in the centre , as she said the sky was now her stepping stone as all needed for her to excel as a caterer has been put in her hands by the state Government through SEEFOR Project.
The Delta SEEFOR Project, which came on stream in the state in 2013 has been consistently and tremendously impacting on several lives in Delta State in multifaceted areas in tandem with its core objective of enhancing opportunities for employment and access to socio-economic services while improving the public expenditure management systems in the participating states of Niger Delta such as Bayelsa, Delta, Edo and Rivers.
In partnership with the World Bank and European Union, the State Government under the present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, through the SEEFOR intervention have engaged over 8,455 youths to work in the small public works component of SEEFOR for a period of 12 months interval thereafter, sent to the Sate Technical Colleges and Vocational Centres to acquire one form of skill/vocation or the other and presentation of starter-packs to SEEFOR trainees to commence their businesses with a view to becoming entrepreneurs and thus contribute their quota to the economic base of the state.
To this end, a total of 101 beneficiaries have already benefited from starter-packs from the laudable initiative of SEEFOR intervention with many more to benefit in few weeks from now. In realization of the multiplier effects of technical and vocational education, especially as a veritable tool for driving the economy of any nation, the Delta SEEFOR project as mandated by the funding partners-World Bank and European Union have given all TVET institutions in the state a face-lift, aimed at improving the learning environment and provision of modern learning equipment among others, and today the State owned six Technical Colleges and three Vocational Centres can compete favourably with their counterparts in any part of the world. The SEEFOR intervention in this regard, in addition to the uncommon passion and resources being invested in the sector by the State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa towards re-positioning technical education in the state.
Other achievements of the SEEFOR project in the Technical Colleges and vocational centre include the sponsorship and eventual accreditation of all the courses in the six Technical Colleges by the National Board for Technical Education (NBTE), Kaduna, and sponsorship of three weeks training of Assessors and verifies by NBTE in Lagos as part of the fulfillment for the accreditation of trade courses in vocational centres.
In the area of public works, a total of 254 projects have been executed by the SEEFOR project across the state. Out of this statistics, 94 projects are in the areas of road maintenance while 160 projects were achieved in the waste collection. For the roads maintenance, the project includes construction, either roads or drains, de-silting and erosion vegetation among others.
Again, SEEFOR project had recorded giant strides in the CDD social sub component as 122 micro-projects executed with 96 out of the number already completed and in use by the benefitted communities. These micro-projects range from water supply, construction of modern market, classroom blocks, multi-purpose halls, science laboratory and equipment among others.
To ascertain the level of implementation of the SEEFOR project and its achievements in Delta State, a cracked team of officials from the Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning and National Project Coordinating Unit of the World Bank SEEFOR project visited the state on a two-day advocacy. During the visit, a stakeholders interactive session with participants from the Activities Executing Agencies(AEAs) and members of the SEEFOR Steering Committee as well as Delta SEEFOR staff at the instance of the Delta State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu. The officials were later taken on a guided tour to some SEEFOR sponsored roads projects in Asaba, Ekuma-Abavo and Owanta-Aliosimi, State Skill Acquisition Centre, Asaba, SIFMIS project , CDD-social water and market micro projects in Onitcha-Uku and Igbodo communities and Agbor Technical College. All project and facilities in the communities and TVET institutions were achieved through SEEFOR intervention.
Considering the overwhelming impacts of the SEEFOR project in all the four implementing states, the officials avail themselves of the engagement with the critical stakeholders to harp on sustainability of the project so that those who are yet to benefit through the intervention would benefit. Against this backdrop, the State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu stated that as part of deliberate strategies to ensure the sustainability, the Okowa-led administration would mainstream the SEEFOR development template into its budget.
The commissioner, who lauded the World Bank, and the European Union for their partnership with the State Government in driving development in the state, maintained that the SEEFOR programme was in consonance with the SMART agenda of Delta State Government, anchored on job creation through empowerment of the teeming jobless youths.
While acknowledging the unequaled achievements of the immediate past Project Coordinator, Delta SEEFOR Project, Mr. Benson Ojoko under whose watch, Delta SEEFOR was rated high and very successful by the funding partners and thanked him for bringing his wealth of experience to bear within the period he was under the saddle. Dr. Emu, however, pledged his support for the new Project Coordinator, Mr. Frank Apokwu and described him as a seasoned technocrat in administrator but advised him to always call on the former Project Coordinator, Mr. Benson Ojoko to put him through in some areas of the job and expressed optimism that Mr. Frank Apokwu would consolidate on the gains recorded Mr. Benson Ojoko. Dr. Emu particularly stressed the need to always follow World Bank procedures.
In his remarks, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Abuja, Mr. Samson Odewala, who is the leader of the team urged Delta State Government to fashion out critical measures of ensuring the sustainability of the SEEFOR programme in the state, noting that the programme would exit in 2019. Mr. Odewala maintained that the Delta SEEFOR project was rated the best implementing state in the league of benefiting states in Nigeria. He said they were in the state to assess the level of the implementation of SEEFOR Project in the state so as to evaluate the reality of what was being read on newspapers concerning the achievements of Delta SEEFOR and applauded the SEEFOR team in the state led by the former Project Coordinator, Mr. Benson Ojoko for the uncommon achievements, even as he enjoined the new Project Coordinator, Mr. Frank Apokwu to brace up the challenge of recording more successes. He recommended private sector participation as one of the ways with which to ensure that the project was sustained in order for more communities to benefit from the initiative.
Speaking in an interview with newsmen, the National Project Coordinator, SEEFOR Project, Mr. Tunde Lawal said ‘’ We have seen that Delta State Government has since surpassed the laid down target in all the components of this intervention programme and it is obvious that beneficiaries in all the communities are asking for more’’ . While saying that Delta SEEFOR was second to none, Mr. Lawal also stressed the need for sustainability of the programme, even as the Administrator of Delta State Skill Acquisition Centre, Mrs. Peace Okonye and the Principal, Agbor Technical College, Mr. Owabor Jude, who conducted the officials round the facilities procured through SEEFOR intervention in their institutions, noted that since the SEEFOR intervention, the institutions had witnessed tremendous increase in the students enrolment figures especially in skill acquisition.
For his part, the immediate past Project Coordinator, Delta SEEFOR Project, Mr. Benson Ojoko who highlighted the achievements in different components including the small public works where about 254 projects both in roads maintenance and waste collection, CDD social where 122 micro-projects were achieved with 96 already completed and in use, success in the FADAMA project, the induction of 745 youths sponsored by the SEEFOR project on the current batch of the YGEP and STEP programme, the accreditation of six state owned Technical Colleges and the sponsorship of the training of 29 Assessors to NBTE as step to accredit the three state Vocational Centres, improvement of the learning environment in all the TVET institutions, employment of 8,455 beneficiaries as well as presentation of starter-packs to SEEFOR trainees in TVET institutions among others among others, thanked World Bank and European Union for admitting Delta state as one of the benefiting states of the SEEFOR project.
The Delta State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, flanked by his right hand side, the Permanent Secretary in his Ministry, Mr. Ben Igo and to his left the Permanent Secretary,Federal Ministry of Budget and National Planning, Mr. Samson Odewala listening to the National Project Coordinator, SEEFOR, Mr. Tunde Lawal during a courtesy call on the commissioner
The State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, flanked by his right hand side, the Permanent Secretary in his ministry, Mr. Ben Igo, the Permanent Secretary, Fed. Ministry of Budget and National Planning, the immediate past Project Coordinator of Delta SEEFOR, Mr. Benson Ojoko and the the new Project Coordinator, Mr. Frank Apokwu during an inspection visit to one of the roads projects in Asaba