The people of Ughelli South and Uvwie Local Government Councils of Delta State waited expectantly for the indefatigable governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, who is continuing his inspection/commissioning of projects and meeting the people.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa motorcade arrived its first port of call was Ewu –Orere Road to examine the extent of work done, quality of work done and to urge the contractor to expedite action on the road project.
Delta State Governor Satisfied with quality of work done, the Governor and his entourage left to inspect another ongoing road project.
This time, it was the inspection of the construction of Ovwor/Effurun – Otor Bridge and Access road. The governor thereafter went to inspect the rehabilitation and resealing of Okpare–Umolo–Ovwodakpokpor- Kiagbodo road.
Speaking before the commissioning, the State governor stated that in view of the quality job done by some contractors, his administration will continue to patronize contractors that have delivered quality jobs to Delta state.
Following the successful commissioning of the above mentioned road, Dr Okowa went ahead to commission yet another very important road – the construction of Okpe Olomu to Olomu Secondary School Road, Otere in Ughelli South Local Government Council.
Dr. Okowa by this giant strides is standing taller that his contemporaries owing to the fact that while some are complaining of lack of funds to execute projects, he has continued to surprise his detractors who admitted that the governor is trying giving the harsh economic realities facing us.
Due to the high regard theDelta State governor has for the traditional institution, he took time off to visit the Okobaro of Ughievwen kingdom where he urged the royal fathers to continue to engage the youths in activities that would reduce tension and engender peace, an ingredient necessary for development to thrive.
The governor’s motorcade berthed next at Uvwie Local Government Council where the governor, in his usual characteristics, inspected some ongoing projects while others were commissioned.
Speaking at the palace of the Ovie R’ Uvwie of Uvwie kingdom His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Sideso, Abe 1, governor Okowa appealed to the youths to always toe the part of peace promising that despite the poor financial status of the state, government will continue to execute projects that will enhance the living standards of the people throughout the state.
The next day, the governor was on hand to interact with the people by way of town hall meeting held at the headquarters of Ughelli South Local Government Area, Out Jeremi, and that of Uvwie, Effurun. The Governor started by telling the people that he was there to talk to them and to listen to them in other to carry everybody along with a view to prioritize project delivery according to the peoples’ need.
He started that since February, 2016, the quantity of oil produced in the state reduced drastically to the extent that Delta State, which was hitherto second in oil production, was relegated to the fourth position.
As if that was not enough, the prize of oil in the international market also took a plunge downwards thereby greatly reduced receipts from the Federal Government. That notwithstanding, the governor was optimistic that things will change for the better more so that the Escravos line has resumed transportation of crude products.
A big challenge the governor faced was over bloated wage bill of the state civil service which was frightening at about 7.4 billion naira when he assumed the governorship of the state.
He opined that employing more youths will cause more problems for the state and will negatively affect the delivery of amenities like hospitals, schools, roads among others, hence his government designed other ways of managing the situation. Skill acquisitions were the next option.
In this regard youths are being trained and starter packs given out to enable them start their own businesses.
The highly elated governor could not hide his happiness because of the success stories he was already getting from the beneficiaries. Some beneficiaries are not only growing their businesses, they have started training other persons as well as employing some.
While admitting that government cannot do it alone, he enjoined the private sector to contribute their quota in other to get more youths meaningfully engaged. In Uvwie alone, about 80 youths have benefitted from the government skill acquisition programme.
Technical education is one aspect that the government is keen to develop, hence some Technical Colleges have been renovated and equipped with the state of the art facilities, while other colleges will receive the desired attention in due course.
This is to enable students acquire both theoretical and practical aspects of their studies and this will in turn make them job creators by the time they complete their studies. Another method the government is exploring is the Micro- Credit scheme, a system that has been used to empower many farmers and market women.
Due to the success of this programme, more funds will be injected to incorporate more beneficiaries. The wisdom behind this cannot be over emphasized, therefore the best that can be done is for all Deltans to come together since the governor’s appeal has always been remain peaceful and enjoy the dividends of democracy through his smart Agenda.
Dr Okowa advised Deltans to leverage on the opportunity provided by Central Bank of Nigeria through the Anchor Growers Programme and procure loans that will enable them to develop their own enterprises.
The governor recalled that some time ago, he visited Camp 74, Anwai. where a young man upon graduation went into fish farming and as at today he had been able to organize other youths into groups made up of 350 participants with about 1,000 fish ponds thereby taking many youths off the streets and making them productive entrepreneurs. This could be replicated in Uvwie axis owing to the aquatic nature of the environment.
He therefore urged that all, especially the youths, should form clusters which grow into large ventures if pursed with the desired vigour and enthusiasm. The governor reiterated that every part of the state will receive attention as things improve but stress the need for all to remain calm and peaceful.
Following the utterances of the governor since he embarked on the Inspection/commissioning of projects and town hall meetings which will make the governor transverse the 25 Local government areas of the state, one can easily see the vision and the passion the governor has exhibited so far.
It will seem that the government for now concentrated more on road projects. This is a deliberate attempt since the importance of good road network cannot be emphasized.
Apart from ease of movement of persons, goods and services, communication will be enhanced needless to mention that farm produce from the interior can easily be transported to the urban areas thereby making the producers to have more value for their efforts.
In two years of this administration, all local government areas has received the governor’s attention in one form of development or the other and from all indications, the governor is poised to do more. The peoples’ contribution, most especially, will be to maintain an atmosphere devoid of racour.
It is hoped therefore that all Deltans must support the governor who in his avowed commitment to the development of the state has turned Delta State into a huge construction site even promising that the tempo will be increased when the rains subsided.