By John Ikani
First-class titleholders under the aegis of the Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council have undergone a five-day training in Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution, ADR, at the Nigerian Content Tower, NCT, Swali, Yenagoa.
Sponsored by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), the training is intended to raise awareness about time-tested processes and techniques for the settlement of disputes by means other than through litigation, which is time-consuming and costly.
These are particularly desirable with the advent of the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA), 2021, and the creation of Host Community Development Trusts (HCDTs).
In a keynote address at the opening ceremony on Monday, the Executive Secretary, NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Kesiye Wabote, underlined the pivotal role of traditional rulers in shaping the destiny of our communities, noting that “In the face of rapid global changes, it becomes imperative for us to leverage on our rich cultural heritage to create a future that seamlessly integrates tradition with progress.”
The Executive Secretary said the NCDMB in its mission to promote the development of local content in oil and gas communities, “recognises the importance of community engagement” and that traditional rulers could foster “a peaceful, conducive environment for sustainable development by actively engaging with government agencies, private entities and local communities.”
He assured the royal fathers that “The NCDMB is committed to supporting initiatives that empower local communities and embrace the skills of our people,” and enjoined them “to explore avenues for collaboration, shared insights and chart a course towards sustainable development.”
While emphasising how beneficial collaborations could be to communities and organisations, he declared: “Together, we can build a future that honours our past, celebrates our present and ensures prosperity for generations to come.”
The Executive Secretary was represented at the event by Engr. Mofe Megbele, Deputy Manager, Stakeholders and Government Relations, NCDMB.
The Chairman, Bayelsa State Traditional Rulers Council, King Bubaraye Dakolo, Agada IV, expressed appreciation to the NCDMB for making the training programme possible, stating that it would be of immense benefit to the participants, even though arbitration has always been part of the services rendered by royal fathers in their respective domains.
Organisers of the training, Tusaire Consultants, were as grateful to the NCDMB as the royal fathers. The company’s Managing Director, Mrs. Toinpiri Osene, in her welcome address, commended the traditional rulers for their effective leadership in their respective domains which has contributed to the peace in the State. She assured them that the leadership workshop would further sharpen their skills in arbitration.