Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA)
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Agriculture & Agro-allied
Who We Are
The Rivers State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA) is a strategic initiative of the Rivers State Government set up by law in 2007 to refocus development efforts in the areas of poverty alleviation, grassroots development and youth empowerment in the state.
The Agency's flagship programmes include the State Governor's Special Overseas Scholarship Scheme through which it aims to enhance the state's human capital base. Over 1,000 young Rivers State men and women, including the physically challenged are currently studying in eight overseas countries for degrees in various fields, such as medicine, engineering, ICT and geosciences.
Another critical area of mandate for RSSDA is the development of sustainable agro allied potentials of Rivers State. The Songhai Farm at Bunu Tai (under the Songhai Rivers Initiative) is being strategically developed to serve as the hub for all agricultural programmes in the state. It is an integrated world class farm and centre of excellence for enterprise training and transfer of skills to local farmers and research into agricultural techniques and varieties.
The Workmanship and Technical Training Centre (WTTC) Bori, is our cutting edge training institute that will drive skills acquisition for our young men and women in some critical areas such as fabrication, pipe fitting, welding, carpentry, masonry, tiling, catering, etc. RSSDA runs other training programmes, including Overseas Skills Training schemes in Norway and Namibia in partnership with United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR)
RSSDA's drive for partnership leverages external expertise and funding from partnering organizations such as UNITAR, Shell Petroleum Development Company, Total E&P Company, Dutch Agricultural Development and Training Company (DADTCO), Rogaland Kurs Kompetensesenter (RKK), Rivers State University of Science and Technology, International Fertilizer Development Centre, Highbury College, UK, LR Group of Israel, Rivers State line ministries, etc. Through its small and medium scale enterprises, RSSDA provides opportunities for the self employment of our youths through skills acquisition, business training and access to capital to own their own small businesses. A unique partnership with The Promise Franchise in 5 LGAs, and is an example of SMEs providing enterprise skills for young Rivers men and women.
In 2012, RSSDA won in the Gold category of the prestigious International Star Quality in Leadership Award given by the Business Initiative Directions, a Paris-based international organization which champions the global promotion of better business reputation and excellence.
The RSSDA is an institutionalised continuation of its predecessor, the Rivers State Sustainable Development Program (RSSDP), which was itself initiated as an Ad-hoc Implementation Committee to accelerate grassroots development issues in Rivers State. The Federal Government of Nigeria set up the Ad-hoc committee in January 2006 within the context of the Gulf of Guinea Peace and Sustainable Development effort, the governments of Britain and the United States of America and major oil multi-nationals operating in the country.
During the ad-hoc working period, the then Attorney General of Rivers State, Odein Ajumogobia (SAN) – who later became the Minister of Foreign Affairs, chaired the RSSDP committee. Its membership was drawn from the other principal stakeholders comprising representatives of the oil companies, USAID, DFID, and the World Bank. RSSDA was later formally established as an autonomous entity under the office of the Executive Governor of Rivers State.
RSSDA formally started operations in January 2008 under the leadership of its pioneer Executive Director, Mr Bolaji Ogunseye, who was RSSDP’s Technical Team Leader and was on secondment to RSSDA from SHELL Nigeria.
In 2009, the Executive Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, appointed a supervisory chairman, Precious Omuku to oversee activities in the Agency and in February 2010, a new Executive Director, Noble Pepple a seasoned administrator on secondment from SHELL was appointed to run the RSSDA activities.
'...So no one is left behind '
What We Do
RSSDA activities are divided into two core areas, namely, Human Capital Development and Agro-Allied and Business Development
HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT (HCD)
Human Capital Development is one of RSSDA’s critical areas of focus. Its primary objective is the development of manpower and building of capacity in the areas of education, skills development, and health so as to address some of the gaps in the current and future manpower needs of the state.
The programmes of the Human Capital Development Division account for about 60% of the Agency’s total annual budget.
Some of the notable Human Capital Development programmes of RSSDA are the Governor’s Special Overseas Scholarship Scheme, The Overseas Technical Training Scheme, The Greater Horizon Opportunities Programme (GHOP), The Graduate Work Experience Placement Scheme (GWEPS) and The Workmanship and Technical Training Centre (WTTC)
Other programmes are The Excellence in Local Governance Initiative (ELGI), The Rivers State North Growth Pole Project and the Emergency Medical Services (EMS)
AGRO ALLIED SERVICES & BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
The Agro-allied & Business Development targets sustainable commercial agriculture and the development of small and medium scale enterprises (SMEs) as veritable tools for mass liberation from poverty through an increase in the number of productive enterprises and boosting the capacity to earn sustainable incomes in the state.
The Agric/Agro-Allied and Business Development Division has the responsibility to design and implement the programmes in order to enhance the participation of the rural poor in productive agricultural venture, integrating them into the relevant supply chains and making them active contributors to the mainstream economy.. The programmes are designed to achieve the core objectives of provision food security, enhancement of sustainable livelihood, promotion of rural growth and boosting macro - economic development
The key areas of focus are The Soghai Rivers Initiative, Integrated Regional Farm Centres, Integrated Resource Centres, and Agric e- commerce Platform. Others are Small and Medium Scale Enterprise Development Programmes, Capacity building, coaching and mentorship, and Business Development and Special Projects.
Partner international and local development agencies and the Government of Rivers State to lift the poor in Rivers State above the poverty line through deliberate and sustainable intervention programmes and projects
P – Passion for the Poor
A – Accountability
R – Respect for People
T – Transparency
I – Integrity
•Evaluate and assess existing and future intervention programmes through the acquisition, warehousing and analysis of development socio-economic and data.
•Formulate and implement plans, initiatives, strategies, intervention models and specific measures to achieve sustainable socio-economic development, capacity-building, skills acquisition, alternative sources of livelihood in an environmentally sustainable manner in Rivers State.
•Collaborate with Government including local councils, the communities, international development agencies and organised private sectors in the pursuit of sustainable development agenda for Rivers State.
- SUSTAINABILITY – Ensuring that projects the Agency embarks upon are sustainable and useful to the people
- PARTNERSHIP – Seek out credible partners that will co-invest their expertise and funds in the projects
- SOCIAL ENTERPRISING – Ensuring that each project or programme provides benefits beyond just profit to the greatest number of people, and is able to create wealth and enhance the quality of life of the people
- MARKET ACCESS – ensuring that beneficiaries have access to markets where commercial value is placed on their goods and services
Implementing our philosophy
We are build individuals to be able to empower themselves and meet the basic livelihood needs of their households, thus becoming active socio-economic agents for societal change.
We give support to individuals and the communities that they live in, we invest in human capital, rural infrastructure and social development, which will create the enabling environment for the individual to:
· Empower themselves economically
· Effectively manage their households
· Become active agents for positive socio-economic change in Rivers State.
In light of the above, RSSDA’s operations are to:
· Develop the individuals through formal and on-the-job training, skills acquisition, and formal education.
· Empower the individuals through business incubation and technical support.
· Enable individuals become productively active income earners who can ensure food security for their households, meet their basic needs, have disposable income and pay taxes to the public treasury.
· Provide the infrastructural and social development support that will bring about an enabling environment for the target population to achieve objectives 1 to 3 above.