...N380m saved from commission’s biometrics system
By Joel Grandball
When he assumed office as the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission, DESOPADEC, no one questioned the managerial acumen and capacity of Bashorun Askia Ogieh to take the commission to it’s expected heights.
Having previously severd effectively and seamlessly as the Executive Director, Finance of the interventionist agency, Ogieh’s wealth of experience in the running of DESOPADEC has become the folcrum around which the successes being recorded by the commission have continued to revolve.
Reeling out the achievements of DESOPADEC under his watch in the last two years, during an interaction with newsmen at Peemos Hotel, Warri, after a two-day media tour of some the commission’s landmark projects, Ogieh said: “Assuredly, DESOPADEC is living to its bidding as the foremost interventionist agency resolutely poised to touch the lives of the people in many an aspect and reset the development mode for which it has become known more than a decade ago.
“And everywhere the commissioning train has berthed in the last two years, it has been with wild and robust appreciation reminiscent of a vibrant Big Heart state that is our beloved Delta.”
According to him, “On assumption of office two years ago, the Board adopted the bottom-up model where communities in our mandate areas decide which projects they need, discarding the era of imposition of projects which has been the norm.
“We came on board with some low hanging fruits and long term projects, including the tangibles and intangibles, we have been delivering faithfully to our mandate areas.
“Prior to the restructuring of the Commission in 2015, staff in their usual laissez-faire attitude were being governed by their own whims and caprices. The issue of ghost workers with non-conducive work environment was particularly notorious.
“We introduced a rebranded biometrics system, to ensure that our staffers come to the office and that they earn salaries as appropriate. The biometrics system is now better synchronized such that as you clock in and out, you can now directly check your clocking data and know your regularity status.
“Our biometric system is a new technology that captures fingerprints and facial recognition.
Every staff receives his/her clocking details as customized text messages on his/her mobile phone monthly for transparency. Also, we attached security integrated circuit (IC) to the biometric machines to avoid being compromised by dubious staff or people of such shady mindset.
“On coming onboard, we upgraded our personnel/payroll system and audit. To plug all loopholes of human factors and infractions, we migrated to an updated personnel payroll system technology. This has led to a rise in the level of transparency as it has largely eliminated human errors and infractions. Our current system enables the generation of pay slips and same transmitted to the E-mail boxes of our staff.
“Gentlemen of the Press, I can report that savings from the Biometrics system, over three hundred and eighty million naira, have been deployed into the DESOPADEC Tower we are building currently.”
Ogieh asserted: “To the glory of God, we have made remarkable feats in the service delivery mandate to our oil-producing communities in the State, particularly when viewed against the backdrop of the unpredictable challenges that literarily confronted us in the whole of the year 2020 and counting, by way of the global COVID-19 pandemic with its crunch economic effect amongst others.
“Two years may seem less of a period to sound the drums in achievement in a typical business cum corporate system. Yet, in our peculiar case, every single day bodes a bunch of expectations for the long neglected people in the mandate areas for which we owe the duty of positively altering the status quo.
“As one privileged to helm the Commission at this hour, I can say without equivocation that indeed we have continued to etch our names on the development canvass of the area. This collective intervention has remained as exciting as can be.
“The evidence of undeniable completion and commissioning of community demand-driven projects that continue to upscale and retune our engagement frequency very loud and clear in the mandate areas proves to be encouraging to us.
“Our policy thrust, from the blast of the whistle, was to be all encompassing, including intervention in critical infrastructure in the known sectors of education, health, power, housing, transportation and commerce. In addition, we also resolved to upscale our human capital development in empowering our women with financial muscle as well as creating a window of vocational enhancement for our teeming youth.
“I am glad to announce that the pioneer students of our innovative DESOPADEC Skills Academy, DSA, (160 of them) have just completed their six-month training programme in various vocational fields such as Catering and Confectioneries; Electrical Repairs and Solar Energy Works; Fashion Design and Tailoring; Hairdressing and Makeover; Shoe and Bag Making; Tiling, Interlocking and POP; Welding and Fabrications; Information Communication Technology; Health, Security & Environment (HSE).
“In the period under review, we have criss-crossed the length and breadth of the mandate areas, on land and water, commissioning and handing over top grade projects that are community-driven and fully furnished to the people in very memorable ambience.”
He listed some of the projects to include construction with full furnishing of Lecturers’ Estate at Delta State University, Oleh Campus, Oleh, Isoko South LGA; construction with full furnishing of Students’ Hostel at Delta State University, Faculty of Engineering, Oleh Campus, Isoko South LGA,
and construction with full furnishing of Corpers’ Lodge, Principal’s Residence, Classroom Blocks at Aboh Grammar School, Aboh, Ndokwa East LGA.
In the period under review, the commission also embarked on the Construction with full furnishing of Corpers’ Lodge, Osubi, Okpe LGA;
Renovated and fully furnished ‘OPUTE HALL,’ an ancient cultural landmark in Ozoro, Isoko North LGA; Completed and fully furnished Uzere Civic Centre, Uzere, Isoko South LGA; Provision of 40,000 capacity solar-powered water scheme at Obodo, Warri South LGA and Provision of 20,000 capacity solar-powered water scheme at Ozoro, Isoko North LGA.
Similarly, the commission undertook the provision of 20,000 capacity solar-powered water scheme at Ebedei, Ukwuani LGA;
provision of 20,000 capacity solar-powered water scheme at Uba Egbelemeji, Koko, Warri North LGA;
newly constructed and fully furnished Ozue Model Secondary School, Okuovo District, Okpe LGA;
construction and equipment of Welding and Fabrication Centre, Omadino, Warri South LGA and construction of concrete jetty with 300m walkway at Ugbege, Warri North LGA.
The commission did the construction with full furnishing of Town Hall, Sokebolou, Burutu LGA; construction with full furnishing of National Hall, Ogume, Ndokwa West LGA; construction with full furnishing and equipping of Cottage Hospital, Agoloma, Patani LGA; Construction with full furnishing and equipping of Cottage Hospital, Oboghoro/Utonlila, Warri North LGA, construction of 1.85 km perimeter fence and gatehouse at Oliogo Secondary School, Oliogo Umuseti, Ndokwa West LGA, Construction of Civic center, landscaping and furnishing at Osubi. Okpe LGA and a host of other projects across communities in the state.
The Managing Director noted was icing the cake with the ongoing construction of the ‘DESOPADEC Tower,’ an ultra-modern 4-storey office building complex hemmed between the present twin office building of the Commission’s Warri-Sapele Road Head Office.
“This, without doubt, is the signature cum legacy project the current Board is committing to in the re-jigging process”, he said.
Saying that the board was humbled by it’s modest but impactful interventions thus far, he said: “We owe a debt of gratitude to our Principal, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, Governor of our dear State for his immeasurable support and for providing us the enabling environment to offer our contributions that cohere with the Stronger Delta agenda of his administration.
“All our efforts are therefore inextricably strung to the development template he has provided for all stakeholders in the greater Delta project.
“As we look ahead in the coming months, I assure you all of our unbroken strides that will manifest in more projects inauguration and make life more meaningful to our people. This promise is with every sense of responsibility.”