DESOPADEC Board Charts Policy Direction In Week-Long Executive Management Retreat

Reports by Larry Mogbeyiteren & Boniface Nzesi Ossai

The Board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) has held a week-long Executive Management Retreat at the Lagos Business School (MASTERCLASS 2020), Pan African University, Lekki, Lagos State to

chart a new policy direction for the Commission in its service delivery functions.

Led by the Chairman of the Board, Evang. Prince Michael Diden and the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of the Commission, Bashorun Hon. Askia Ogieh, the executive retreat was essentially primed to interrogate existing management structure and leadership toward a new corporate orientation and deliberate proactive paradigm shift for the Commission which is inspired by the Executive Governor of Delta State, His Excellency Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa to change the service delivery narrative of the Commission and make it more responsive to the yearnings of the oil-producing communities in the mandate area.

Setting the agenda of engagement during the retreat, the Commission’s helmsman and Chief Executive Officer, Bashorun Hon. Askia Ogieh in his opening remarks disclosed that the choice of the theme of the retreat which is, “Leadership and Change Management,” was billed to address and retune the thinking matrix of the Board in management and organizational structure.

He averred that the Commission must elect to change the negative public perception that has stuck to it for too long, adding that the time to be equipped with the requisite tools for this assignment is now.

Specifically, he highlighted a couple of executive tasks on the Board by H.E. the Governor to include:
1. Reforming the contract award process to curb the patronage of companies without the requisite technical capacity and pedigree to diligently execute people-based projects;
2. Improving project supervision procedures to eliminate cases of substandard jobs;
3. Ensuring that projects executed have direct benefits to the communities by liaising with relevant stakeholders in deciding the choice of projects (as a fall-out of the recent Town Hall meetings in all the ethnic nationalities of the mandate area);
4. Repositioning DESOPADEC into a more responsive, focused and purpose-driven intervention agency;
5. Initiating measures to sustain and deepen the peace in the oil-producing communities.

The Managing Director/CEO also hinted at a crucial challenge that has confronted the management of the Commission over time – transactional leadership – that appears to undermine efficiency in service delivery due to indifference and laissez-faire attitude. A marked departure from this reactive leadership style is transformational leadership which the MD/CEO distilled in this wise:
“In transformational leadership, the leader develops and shares the vision of the organisation’s future so that other members will imbibe it and they will get focused on what to achieve. But I must say that this is not happening because we at the management level hoard useful information from our colleagues in other departments or even from our subordinates. We do not provide leadership for change in corporate enhancement because we lock up vital files and information while we proceed on leave.

“Many of us are guilty of some of the things we are going to learn about Leadership and Change Management in the course of this retreat because we have not been exposed to aspects of this trend of corporate governance. That is the kernel. We have been well trained in our various fields but do not apply our knowledge in our work place, one of the reasons we are here. We must take full advantage of this retreat to acquire all the knowledge we can from this excellent institution, the Lagos Business School.”

Having set the tone for the retreat, the MD welcomed all participants and charged them to be humble and ready to apply the knowledge, skills and attitude learnt for greater service delivery and functional impact within the mandate area.

The week-long executive management retreat is being attended by all Board Members and some Directors and Heads of Departments/Units of the Commission, and it bodes good fortune for a Commission in a hurry to break out of the old-school cocoon of transactional leadership and access the modern transformational leadership.

Some key features and modules of the training retreat which held at the Lagos Business School included a Case Study such as the Ondo State Child and Maternal Health, Abiye Project, a three-module lecture on “Driving Public Sector Performance” comprising Politics, Strategic Planning & Implementation in the Public Sector, using Ondo COMESERVE as case vision and strategy.

Participants were also exposed to a rich and challenging bouquet of lectures with topics such as, “Project Planning, Monitoring and Control for Effective Execution: Public Sector Viewpoint” also applying the Ondo COMESERVE as a case vision & strategy.
Others modular topics at the retreat included Financial Management, titled Building a Culture of Transparency & Accountability: Budgeting and Reporting by Akintola Owolabi, using Ondo State Child and Maternal Health, Abiye Project as a case vision and strategy; Public Sector Performance, titled “Conceptualizing Transparency, Service Excellence and Accountability: Performance Leadership with case discussion and Work-through Exercise; Take Home Case and Video Preparations using such case as “Akunyili at NAFDAC: The Challenge of Changing A Government Agency.”

Also at the capacity building session were lectures like Driving Public Sector Performance with the topics: Stakeholders Issues and Management; Stakeholder Engagement: Creating Organizational and Social Value; Organisational leadership with the topic, Ethical Intelligence, Financial Crime and Leadership with a case study of Nuhu Ribadu’s Leadership of EFCC.

Participants were exposed to topics such as Change Management Process/Winning Commitment to Change with a case study drawn from Akunyili at NAFDAC: The Challenge of Changing A Government Agency; Constructing DESOPADEC Stakeholder Map; Politics, Ethics and Corporate Governance; Developing new Vision, Strategy and Processes; and Implementing the Renewed Vision and Change: People and Operational Management.
The retreat was eventually wrapped up amidst closing ceremony.

The one-week executive retreat which was coordinated and driven by the Executive Director, Planning, Research & Statistics, Comr. Amb. Shedrack Lucky Agediga may just be the avenue by the current Board of the Commission to retune the corporate antenna of management and change the narrative for more efficient service delivery to the people in the mandate area.

Participants at the retreat included the Chairman, Evang. Prince Michael Diden; the Managing Director/CEO, Bashorun Hon. Askia Ogieh Fcna, CrFA; Hon. Chief John Obukowho Nani, Executive Director, Finance & Admin; Hon. Barr. Daniel Mayuku, Executive Director, Projects; Comr. Amb. Shedrack Lucky Agediga, Executive Director, Planning, Research and Statistics; Barr. Leonard Anoka, Executive Director, Sogisl Services Development; Hon. Griftson Omatsuli, Board Member (Itsekiri); Dr. Paul Bebenimibo Board, Member (Ijaw); Dr. Paul Oweh, (Isoko); Hon. Joyce Overah, Board Member (Urhobo); Olorogun Vincent Ogheneruemu Oyibode, Board Member (Urhobo); Okakuro Kent Akigho Okiemute, Board Member (Urhoho); Hon. Christian Ikechukwu Akozor, Board Member (Ndokwa); Dr. Samuel Ossai Ochonogor, Bosrd Member (Ndokwa); Arch. Anselm Nwokenye, Board Member (Ika); Mr. Louis Dike Ajie, Director, Department of Finance & Account; Mr. Dave Ejokunemu, Head of Secretariat; Barr. Tsewo Edema Eyen, Head, Department of Investment &Industrial Promotion, Engr. Oghale Efe-Aluta, Head, Department of Project Monitoring & Evaluation, and Mrs. Chinenye Ezonfade, Head, Media & Public Affairs Unit, all of the Commission.


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