Senator Ede Dafinone: One Year Of Excellence In The Red Chamber


 

By Edesiri Ofomala,

Senator Dafinone’s first year in office is marked by a tireless work ethic, a deep understanding of the legislative process, and a commitment to delivering results for the good people of Delta Central Senatorial District. The 10th Senate was inaugurated in the red chamber of the National Assembly on Tuesday, 13th June 2023. Delta Central has the towering and visible presence of Senator Dafinone, serving in his first term as the Senator representing the collective interest of all Delta Central citizens.

The legislature performs three key functions: lawmaking, oversight, and representation. It assumes its primary importance globally as the law-making organ of government, playing a vital role in shaping a nation’s laws and policies. Conspicuously outlined in Section 4(2) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, it is provided that the “National Assembly shall have power to make laws for the peace, order, and good governance of the Federation or any part thereof with respect to any matter included in the Exclusive List set out in Part I of the Second Schedule to this Constitution.”

This report highlights the commendable achievements of a first-time legislator approaching his legislative duties with a positively different style. Senator Ede Dafinone, representing the people of Delta Central in Delta State at the 10th Assembly, exemplifies the essence of a public servant well-prepared to serve the community even before taking office. In a manner reminiscent of Wole Soyinka’s seminal memoir, Senator Ede Dafinone has Set Forth at Dawn!

CHRONICLE OF SENATOR EDE DAFINONE’S FIRST YEAR IN OFFICE:

Addressing The Needs of Constituents of Delta Central Senatorial District.

Senator Ede Dafinone was able to attract the following projects to his constituency under the 2024 Budget:

1. Micro Enterprise Agribusiness Training and Provision of Starter Packs to Women in Selected Communities of Delta Central Senatorial District, Delta State. (Ongoing)

2. Training and Empowerment of Youth and Women Agribusiness with Focus on Livestock and Aquaculture Production in Okpe LGA. (Ongoing)

3. Provision and installation of 500KVA/11KVA Transformers in selected communities. (Ongoing)

4. Renovation Works and Provision of Equipment for the Electrical Engineering Laboratories with Transformers, Switch Gears, and Prepaid Meter Prototypes for Practical Trainings at the Sapele Technical College, Sapele. (Ongoing)

5. Provision of Buses for Students use at the Otefe Polytechnic, Oghara, Ethiope West LGA. (Ongoing)

6. Training and Empowerment of Youth Through Basic Driving School of Minibuses for Each Rural-Urban Transportation Scheme in Okpe LGA. (Ongoing)

7. Provision and Construction of H2GO Nano-Carb Membrane Filtration Technology Solutions in Town and Villages Along Coastal Population in Okpe LGA. (Ongoing)

8. Supply of Hospital Equipment to Selected Health Centres. (Ongoing)

9. Medical Outreach, Testing and Dispensation of Drugs in Selected Communities. (Ongoing)

10. Construction and Repair of Soak-Away and Installation of 3-in-1 K-Integrated Solar Street Light at Sapele Prisons in Sapele LGA. (Ongoing)

11. Construction of 50 Rooms First Phase Hostel for Sub-Degree Directorate, Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE) in Uvwie LGA (Ongoing)

12. Construction of a Railway Stop/Station at Egbo Uhurie within Egbo Town, Ughelli South LGA. (Ongoing)

13. Provision and Installation of Solar Streetlights to Selected Communities. (Ongoing)

14. Construction of a Police Station in Effurun-Otor in Ughelli South LGA, and Construction of a Police Station/Quarters in Orogun Main Town, Ughelli North LGA. (Ongoing)

15. Provision and Installation of Transformers in Sapele LGA. (Ongoing)

16. Construction and Equipping of ICT Centres in Selected Secondary Schools in Delta Central Senatorial District. (Ongoing)

17. Selected Replacement of 500K VA Transformers in Communities of Ethiope-East LGA. (Ongoing)

18. Construction and Equipping of ICT Centres in Selected Secondary Schools in Delta Central Senatorial District. (Ongoing)

19. Provision and installation of Solar Streetlights for the following communities in Udu, Ughelli South, and Ughelli North LGAs: (Completed)

20. Installation of solar streetlights in Afiesere market to Oshegu street junction, Iwrekpokpo quarters in Ughelli North LGA. (Completed)

21. Installation of solar streetlights in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church link road/ Bakpovwe in Otor Okwagbe in Ughelli South LGA (Completed)

22. Installation of solar streetlights in Okwagbe/Okweimo road, Ughelli South LGA. (Completed)

23. Installation of solar streetlights on Odjikpata road, by Railway, Orhuwhorun, Udu LGA. (Completed)

Note: The ICT Centers shall be sited in selected schools in Uvwie, Okpe, Ughelli North, Ughelli South and Udu LGAs, amongst others.

LEGISLATIVE INTERVENTIONS AND OVERSIGHT

Legislative interventions and oversight are essential components of effective governance, ensuring that executive actions align with established laws and policies while promoting transparency, accountability, and constituents’ welfare. In the context of the Delta Central Senatorial District, these legislative mechanisms have been actively employed to address critical issues and enhance the region’s socio-economic development.

This report reviews significant legislative interventions and oversight activities undertaken to improve infrastructure, resolve conflicts, and boost economic prospects.

1. Fact-Finding Visit to Sapele Technical College: On Monday, June 19th, 2023, a legislative fact-finding mission was conducted at Sapele Technical College to assess the current state of the institution and identify measures needed to restore it to its former glory. This initiative aimed to revitalize the college, ensuring it delivers quality technical education and skills training to the youth. This initiative aimed to revitalize the college, ensuring it delivers quality technical education and skills training to the youth. The visit enabled the Senator to identify the needs of the STC and make budget proposals accordingly.

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2. Advocacy for Federal Road Repairs: On the heels of his inauguration on June 13th, 2023, Senator Dafinone immediately called the attention of the Federal Government and its relevant agencies to the poor state of federal roads in Delta Central Senatorial District, particularly the Warri-Sapele-Benin Road and Amukpe-Eku-Abraka-Agbor Road, among others. In response, the Federal Ministry of Works & Housing (FMWH) and the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) each replied to the letters sent to them. Senator Dafinone is pleased to note that the process of intervention is ongoing.

Additionally, a motion was moved on the floor of the Senate that resulted in the setting up of an Ad-hoc Senate Committee on Federal Failed Roads, which requested each Senator to submit lists of failed Federal Roads and erosion-troubled locations. The list for Delta Central Senatorial District has been collated and duly submitted.

3. Thanksgiving: Following his inauguration as Senator representing Delta Central, Senator Dafinone expressed his gratitude to God through a thanksgiving service at Praise Baptist Church in Sapele. He celebrated his successful and peaceful election and subsequently hosted a warm reception for his constituents and party members, fostering a sense of community and appreciation.

4. Addressing Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh Community Crisis: In the wake of resumed hostilities between Aladja and Ogbe-Ijoh communities, which led to the loss of life and destruction of properties, Senator Dafinone commissioned a fact-finding delegation to assess the damage and pledged to work with other relevant government agencies to find a lasting solution to the recurring crisis. This intervention seeks to foster peace, resolve conflicts, and promote harmony among the affected populations.

5. Upgrading Diete Spiff Airstrip, Osubi: On Thursday, October 5th, 2023, a formal request was made to the Honourable Minister of Aviation for the upgrading of the Diete Spiff Airstrip in Osubi to a full-fledged airport. This proposal aims to enhance regional connectivity, stimulate economic growth, and attract investment. We are happy to note that N2 billion was allocated to the Ministry of Aviation and Aerospace Development for the upgrade of Diete Spiff Airstrip, Osubi.

6. Investigating Crude Oil Thefts: On Wednesday, October 10th, Senator Dafinone co-sponsored a motion on the urgent need to stop and investigate the incessant and nefarious acts of crude oil thefts in the Niger Delta Region. This initiative aims to address economic sabotage, protect national resources, and ensure equitable distribution of wealth.

7. Economic Negotiations: In a bid to negotiate better economic prospects and developmental potential for Delta Central Senatorial District, Senator Dafinone has engaged and continues to engage in a series of broad-based strategic meetings with top government functionaries, including the Secretary to the Government of the Federation of Nigeria, HE George Akume, among others.

8. Ujevwu-Itakpe Railway Line Extension: A motion is being proposed for the extension of the Ujevwu-Itakpe Railway Line from Itakpe to Abuja and the addition of more trains to the fleet. This intervention aims to enhance transportation infrastructure, facilitate trade, and improve accessibility.

9. Petition on Commissioner Nomination: On Thursday, November 16th, 2023, Senator Dafinone presented a petition on the floor of the Senate seeking to address the great injustice perpetrated against Delta State regarding the nomination of the Commissioner representing Delta, Bayelsa, and Rivers states in the Federal Civil Service Commission. The Delta Central Senator stated that representatives from both Bayelsa and Rivers State had served two terms each, while the representative from Delta State had only served a single term that ended in 2001. Upholding the principles of justice, equity, and fairness, Dafinone argued that Delta State be allowed to produce the next Commissioner. This action seeks to ensure fair action and meritocracy.

10. Growth of Non-Oil Exports: Advocacy efforts have been directed towards promoting the growth of non-oil exports to diversify the economy and improve the national overall revenue base. Engaging with the Nigerian Export Promotion Council has been a key strategy in exploring ideas for this initiative.

11. Discussions with NEPC Executive Director: On Saturday, February 9th, 2024, Senator Dafinone engaged in insightful discussions with the Executive Director of the Nigerian Export Promotion Council (NEPC), Mrs. None Ayeni, at Export House, Maitama, to exchange ideas on growing the non-oil sector, which holds one of the keys to the revitalization of the economy.

12. Enhancing Educational Infrastructure: On Friday, February 23rd, 2024, in an effort to strengthen the educational sector in Delta Central Senatorial District, the Senator engaged Arc Sonny Echono, the Executive Secretary of TETFUND, to explore areas of collaboration in enhancing educational infrastructure and promoting research excellence in the region’s tertiary institutions.

13. Visit to FUPRE: On February 27th, 2024, Senator Dafinone visited the Federal University of Petroleum Resources Effurun (FUPRE) to familiarize himself with the institution’s operations and discuss key issues relating to its growth and development. As part of his commitment to support the university’s advancement, he successfully facilitated the construction of a 50-bedroom hostel for the Directorate of Sub-Degree programs, marking the first phase of his efforts to enhance the institution’s infrastructure and provide better facilities for its students.

14. Support for Local Traders: With the aim of encouraging local traders in Delta Central Senatorial District, the Senator met and had productive discussions with Chief Dr. Isioma Okonta, Delta State Focal Person for Federal Government Conditional Grants to Nano Business Enterprises, as well as the Loans and Technical Head for the World Bank Livelihood Support Unit.

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15. Condemning Killings in Okuama Community: On Tuesday, March 19th, 2024, on the floor of the Nigerian Senate, Senator Dafinone co-sponsored a motion to condemn the dastardly killings that took place in Okuama Community in Ughelli South LGA of Delta State. He also prayed that the National Emergency Management Agency should reach out and provide relief materials to the people of Okuama.

16. Release of Detained Monarch: On Friday, April 19th, the Nigerian Army released the detained monarch of Ewu Kingdom in Ughelli South Local Government Area of Delta State, His Royal Majesty King Clement Ikolo, to Senator Ede Dafinone.

17. Consultative Meeting: On April 21st, 2024, Senator Dafinone convened a consultative meeting with his party members to provide an update on his stewardship in the Senate. The meeting aimed to foster engagement, transparency, and accountability, allowing him to share his achievements and receive constructive feedback from those he represents.

18. Skill-Up Artisans Empowerment Scheme: On May 11, 2024, officers from Senator Dafinone’s office met with the leadership of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF), the agency responsible for conducting the Federal Government’s Skill-Up Artisans empowerment scheme, to ensure that a screening centre within Delta Central Senatorial District was included in the list of screening centres. Their efforts resulted in the extension of the screening dates, enabling the people of Delta Central to apply and be screened.

19. Addressing Food Insecurity: The Senator understands that food insecurity is a critical issue that affects many individuals and families. As such, he canvassed for Delta Central and Nigerians when the Senate Committee on Banking, Insurance, and other Financial Institutions held an interactive session with the Economic Team of President Bola Tinubu’s administration, emphasizing that the people are hungry, and the government should address food insecurity and other pressing issues.

20. Establishment of a Constituency Office: A constituency office was established to better serve the people, providing a direct channel for addressing their concerns and facilitating effective communication with legislative representatives.

21. Offshore Technology Conference Submission: As Vice Chairman of the Local Content Committee, Senator Dafinone made a submission at the 2024 Offshore Technology Conference (OTC) to assert that local content must be specific to areas of operation as a means of powering local growth and development.

22. Steady Power Supply: As part of his efforts geared towards improving power supply and distribution in Delta State, Dafinone met and engaged Mr. Peter Ikenga, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of Transcorp Power Limited, Ughelli Delta State.

23. Fact-Finding Visit to BEDC: On February 3rd, 2024, Senator Dafinone paid a fact-finding visit to investigate the persistent power outages in Delta Central, meeting with BEDC’s Regional Head, Mr. Curtis Nwadei, and Warri Regional Office officials to explore solutions for enhancing power supply and improving the overall electricity experience for constituents.

24. Meeting with Senate Liaison Officers and APC Executives: On Monday, June 10th, 2024, Senator Dafinone hosted his Senate Liaison Officers and APC Executives from Ethiope West LGA in Abuja.

BILLS TAKEN:
1. A bill for an act to establish a Federal University of Education Isiokolo Bill. This new bill on the subject passed 1st reading on the 22nd of November 2023.

MOTIONS:
1. Motion calling for the extension of the Ujevwu-Itakpe Railway Line from Itakpe and plea for one more train to be added to the fleet.

2. Motion on the need to stop setting ablaze stolen crude oil vessels arrested in the Niger Delta: This motion highlights the environmental and economic repercussions of burning confiscated crude oil vessels and calls for alternative measures.

3. Flood Disasters and Climate Change: This motion addresses the urgent need to stop gas flaring and reduce deforestation nationwide to combat climate change and prevent flood disasters.

4. Motion of SOS on the need to urgently fix the horribly dilapidated portions of the Effurun-Sapele-Benin Road: This motion underscores the critical condition of the Effurun-Sapele-Benin road and calls for immediate repairs to improve transportation infrastructure.

EXPECTATIONS FOR THE SECOND YEAR AND BEYOND

As the Senator enters his second year in the Red Chamber, his focus remains on building upon the successes of his first year and driving impactful changes through a comprehensive legislative agenda. Here’s what constituents and stakeholders can expect:

1. Legislative Agenda and Priority Setting: In the second year, he will refine and prioritize his legislative agenda to address the most pressing societal challenges. This includes introducing and passing impactful legislation that targets:
a. Power Generation: Developing policies to enhance energy production and sustainability.
b. Port Development Facilitation: Driving legislative support for the expansion and modernization of port infrastructure to boost economic growth.
c. Agriculture: Implementing laws to support agricultural development, improve productivity, and ensure food security.
d. Youth and Adult Empowerment: Enacting policies that provide educational and vocational training opportunities.
e. Empowering MSMEs, SMEs, and Access to Finance: Facilitating access to financial resources and support for small and medium enterprises.
f. Technology and Innovation: Promoting legislation that fosters technological advancement and innovation.
g. Market Linkages: Creating frameworks to improve market access for local producers.

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2. Environmental Conservation and climate change: Legislating for sustainable environmental practices and reduced carbon emissions.

3. Engage in Policy Research and Bill Analysis: The Senator will prioritize rigorous policy research and detailed bill analysis to ensure that all legislative proposals are grounded in empirical evidence and best practices. This focus will help craft well-informed policies that can effectively address issues such as energy shortages, agricultural inefficiencies, and environmental challenges.

4. Strengthening Constituent Relations: Maintaining and enhancing strong relationships with constituents is crucial. The Senator will:
a. Regularly engage with community members to understand their needs and concerns.
b. Hold town hall meetings and forums to provide updates and gather feedback.
c. Establish responsive communication channels for constituent services and support.

5. Active Committee Participation: He will continue to play an active role in Senate committees, leveraging these platforms to influence key legislative areas. His participation will be strategic, focusing on committees that align with his priority areas like agriculture, finance, and technology.

6. Expanding Outreach and Publicity: Increasing awareness and visibility of legislative activities is essential. The Senator plans to:
a. Utilize various media channels to communicate his legislative efforts and successes.
b. Engage with the public through social media, newsletters, and other communication tools.
c. Organize events and workshops to educate constituents on policy changes and their impacts.

7. Building Legislative Alliances: Forging strong alliances with fellow legislators is vital for the passage of impactful legislation. He will work towards:
i. Building bipartisan support for key initiatives.
ii. Collaborating with other senators to co-sponsor and champion important bills.
iii. Creating coalitions focused on common legislative goals.

8. Enhancing Staff Capabilities: A well-equipped and knowledgeable team is critical for legislative success. Efforts will be made to:
a. Provide continuous training and development for staff members.
b. Enhance research capabilities and legislative drafting skills.
c. Ensure that the team is well-versed in the Senator’s priority areas and legislative processes.

9. Advancing Legislative Proposals: He will advance key legislative proposals focusing on the promotion of power generation, port development, agricultural advancement, and other priority areas. This will involve:
a. Drafting and presenting new bills.
b. Advocating for the passage of existing bills that align with his legislative agenda.
c. Ensuring thorough debate and discussion of proposed laws.

10. Ensuring Oversight and Efficiency: Oversight is a critical function of the legislative process. He will:
a. Conduct oversight activities to ensure the proper implementation of laws and policies.
b. Monitor government programs and expenditures to ensure efficiency and accountability.
c. Address any lapses in policy implementation through appropriate legislative measures.

11. Continuous Plan Review and Adaptation: Finally, he will adopt a dynamic approach to his legislative strategy. This includes:
a. Regularly reviewing and adapting his plans based on new insights and changing circumstances.
b. Ensuring that his legislative agenda remains relevant and responsive to the needs of the people.
c. Being open to feedback and willing to adjust strategies to achieve the best outcomes.

12. Zonal Intervention Projects/Constituency Projects on Infrastructural Development: He will prioritize infrastructural projects that improve the standard of living and stimulate economic growth within his constituency. This includes:
i. Road Construction and Maintenance: Developing and maintaining road networks to improve accessibility and transportation.
ii. Water Supply Projects: Ensuring the provision of clean and reliable water sources.

13. Socio-Economic Development: Fostering socio-economic development will be a key focus through initiatives such as:
a. Market Infrastructure: Building and upgrading market facilities to enhance trade and commerce.
b. Community Centres: Establishing centres for social gatherings and community activities.

14. Skill Acquisition Training and Empowerment: Empowering constituents with skills and resources is essential for sustainable development:
a. Vocational Training Programs: Offering training in various trades to equip individuals with employable skills.
b. Empowerment Programs: Providing resources and support for small businesses and entrepreneurs.

15. Basic Education and Primary Health Care Development: Investing in education and healthcare is crucial for community well-being:
a. School Renovations and Supplies: Improving educational facilities and providing necessary materials.

16. Health Clinics and Medical Supplies: Establishing and equipping primary health care centres to ensure accessible medical services.

By focusing on these areas, the Senator aims to continue his legacy of excellence, driving meaningful change and progress in key areas such as power generation, agriculture, technology, education, and environmental conservation.

STRENGTH OF CHARACTER, HALLMARK OF SERVICE.

It was Barack Obama who said “Change will not come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

One of the hallmarks of Senator Dafinone’s dedication to his Senatorial District is his strong work ethic and unflinching commitment to his legislative duties. He is a reputed workaholic who drives himself and his staff hard to put in their very best. He has brought into public service his wealth of experience and disciplined work culture mastered from the private sector.

Thanks to the team SED in Abuja and in Delta State, but most especially, thanks to the Almighty for His grace, mercy, direction and protection.

Edesiri Ofomala, an Aide to
Distinguished Senator (Chief) Ede Dafinone Media Office.
Thursday, June 13th, 2024.


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