KEFFES Rural Development Foundation (KRDF) has employed 104 teachers and health workers to address shortage in eight coastal communities in Southern Ijaw and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa.
Nigeria News Agency reports that Bayelsa Ministries of Education and Health are collaborating with KRDF in the intervention, aimed at addressing acute shortage of teachers and health workers in Bayelsa rural communities.
Mr Mathew Sele-Epri, Chairman KRDF, said during the inauguration of the scheme on Monday that the effort would also reduce unemployment in the rural coastal settlements.
NAN reports that the 104 beneficiaries of the employment received their appointment letters issued by the KRDF at the event.
According to Sele-Epri, the beneficiaries, after undergoing orientation, will be deployed to eight public primary schools, six public secondary schools and six public health centers in the benefiting communities.
The communities are Koluama 1 and 2, Ekeni, Fish-Town, Foropa, Ezetu 1 and 2 and Sangana, which form the acronym KEFFES communities.
Sele-Epri explained that the foundation was set up to manage community development and social responsibility funds provided by oil firms operating in the oil rich coastal settlements.
Recall that KRDF was set up for eight Chevron host communities in Bayelsa comprising Koluama 1 and 2, Ezetu 1 and 2, Foropa, Fish Town, Ekeni and Sangana located along the Atlantic coastline within Bayelsa.
Following the 2015 divestment from Oil Mining Leases 83 and 85 by Chevron to First E&P, an indigenous firm, the new owners entered into agreement with the host communities and adopted the governance structure of KRDF
Sele-Epri said the intervention was funded by the First E & joint venture to the tune of N67 million annually, through a subsisting Memorandum of Understanding with KEFFES communities.
He noted that the targeted facilities had long been neglected by the state government, hence the need for the intervention, which, he said, was meant to bridge the gap in the education and health sectors.
“The foundation will pay salaries and sustain the programme until there are enough personnel. It is an intervention and can only run as long as we lack teachers.
“Once we get adequate teachers for schools, we will wind up.
“We have employed monitors from all communities to supervise employees. We have structures in place for monitoring and evaluation.
“It will cost about N 67 million a year, an average of N5.6 million will be spent monthly,” Sele-Epri said.
Chairman of the KRDF Board of Trustees, Chief Claudius Leghemo, applauded the First E& joint venture and urged the state government to prioritise the development of oil bearing communities.
He said it was an irony that the communities who suffered the adverse impact of oil and gas exploration and production were neglected in the provision of social amenities.
Ms Ayebatonye Basuo, Head of Social Performance, First E & P, said the oil firm remained committed to the development of its host communities and implementation of agreements with KEFFES communities.
She explained that under the existing Global Memorandum of Understanding, the First E& Joint Venture funds development projects were chosen and implemented by the host communities.
Two representatives of the beneficiaries of the employment, Mrs Okpulu Queen and Ms Ileberi Ebiseyo, lauded the KRDF for creating an avenue for them to render services to humanity in their respective communities.
They pledged to work hard and contribute their quotas to the development of their communities, and expressed appreciation to the oil firm for supporting the intervention in education and health sectors.
NAN reports that the Ministries of Rural Development, Health and Education facilitated the collaboration.
Chief Walter Liverpool, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education commended KRDF and First E&P for the intervention.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan/Oluwole Sogunle