A non governmental organization, Stakeholder Alliance For Corporate Accountability, SACA has stressed the need for members of cluster development boards to exhibit openness while executing projects and programmes contained in the Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU.
The Executive Director of SACA, Mr. Kingsley Ozegbe stated this at a Stakeholders’ Validation of Research on Kolo Creek GMoU in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Ozegbe said the essence of the research work on the Kolo Creek GMoU is to ascertain how it has worked, what has not worked, identified gaps and possibly to see how communities in the cluster can benefit maximally from their God given resources.
He urged participants to be open, frank and truthful in the validation of the research work, adding the validation process is not targeted at anyone but to seek their input to fine-tune the GMoU process for better performance.
SACA Executive Director advised the management of the GMoU to be democratic in running the affairs of the cluster board, emphasizing that they should be transparent and accountable as the GMOU is set up for the people.
He said: ” The research work on Kolo Creek GMOU was chosen on random, SACA has done a similar research work in Gbaran. But today, we are trying to find out how the GMOU in these communities is performing because it is meant to achieve a purpose.
” The findings show the GMOU has brought relative peace in the communities, it has improved relationship between communities and Shell, it has also improve relationship between communities because they are cluster together and are working as a team..
” The main issue is there is a gap in monitoring, the communities are not fully involved. The GMOU is not meant for the CTs, not for the CDBs, not for the community leadership but is meant for everybody in the community. There is need for openness in the process, the people need to participate and if possible ask questions were necessary.
” My advise for the managers of the GMOU is to understand that the GMOU is meant for the people. It should be democratic, all the process should be open, nothing should be made secret.
In his remarks, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Mineral Resources, Dr Ebieri Jones charged members of cluster development boards to be transparent and accountable in the execution of projects and programmes in the Global Memorandum of Understanding, GMoU.
Dr. Jones called on communities to ensure that they own as well as drive the process of development by making sure that projects executed are properly monitored, insisting that monies meant for the execution of projects in the GMOU belongs to everybody in the communities.
Making his presentation on Kolo Creek Cluster titled: ” An Assessment of the GMoU in Kolo Creek Cluster: Impact and Prospects, the lead researcher, Mr. Godson Jim Dorgu said key challenge in the research findings is that most people not been aware of the operational policies and guidelines in GMoU, adding that there has been complains about the operational policies, and guideline documents not been made a public document.
Jim Dorgu further said introduction of the GMOU has brought relative peace and has helped to enhance development in the communities and called on the cluster managers and community leadership to deepen as well as strengthen the process, take a critical look at the concerns raised in order to improve and make the GMOU beneficial to the people.