Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa on 28/09/16, inaugurated the 2016 cycle of his administration’s job creation scheme saying entrepreneurship is the way out of the unemployment challenges facing the country.
According to the governor, getting jobs in government organizations are becoming very difficult based on the high number of graduates chasing the few opportunities available, observing that the way out was for people to acquire skills, empowered to be self sufficient and become employers of labour.
The governor who spoke at the inauguration ceremony which took place at the Songhai-Delta training centre Amukpe reiterated, “we are training you to become job creators that we need in Delta State, you are here to improve on your lives and be in a position to be employers of labour.”
“I believe that you are going to step into a greater future. I want to see you as better Deltans, Deltans who will say, I have been able to create jobs for my self and jobs for others,” he said, disclosing, “I have visited some farms and I have seen the enthusiasm from those who graduated from these programmes; if you want to succeed, you must be passionate about what you are doing.”
Governor Okowa who assured Deltans the programme would be continuous, further advised the participant, “you have to be committed to that which you have learnt because, I have a passion to turn many youths of Delta State into persons who will create jobs for others; you should rely on God and you will succeed in whatever you do and do not sell your starter packs.”
He also, urged graduates of the programme to ensure that they give thanks to God stating, “you are going to reap more if you are dedicated to God.”
The Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Emmanuel Efeizomor II, Obi of Owa who spoke on behalf of traditional rulers who attended the ceremony, expressed satisfaction with the success stories of the empowerment programmes, asserting, “this is a revolution that put food on the table, revolution that will extricate you from the shackles of poverty.”
The Chief Job Creation Officer in the state, Prof. Eric Eboh in a speech, said, participants in the programme were for Skill Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), and Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP).
He stated, “as proof of growing stakeholders’ confidence in the job creation scheme, international development partners and non-governmental organizations have intensified technical support and collaboration for training, monitoring, service delivery feedback and mentoring.”
The Delta State Government notes with great concern the statement credited to the Edo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, accusing Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa of deploying militants to Edo State to allegedly disrupt the now postponed governorship election earlier slated for Saturday, 10th September, 2016.
This allegation is baseless, unfounded, spurious and tendentious. The latest outburst from Governor Oshiomole is consistent with his favourite pastime of heating up the polity with unguarded utterances and wild allegations.
We vehemently reject this accusation as alarmist in conception, reckless in delivery, puerile in content and false in facts and, so, fit only for kindergarten’s “tales by moonlight”.
Governor Okowa is a peace loving Nigerian who has never and will not engage in any activity inimical to law and order.
It needs to be reiterated that the exalted office of the Governor is one that demands decorum and maturity. Therefore, those who are privileged to occupy such offices need to exercise restraint in their public conduct and utterances. Governor Okowa has committed himself to raising the standard of governance in all ramifications and, therefore, will not descend into “gutter politics”.
Commissioner of Information
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has called on the Federal Government, the private sector, philanthropists and well meaning Nigerians to urgently come to the aid of the state as flood submerges more communities in the state.
Speaking in Asaba while reviewing the damage caused so far by the flooding, the Governor said that the scope of the damage from the flooding was far beyond the capacity of the State to cope with.
According to him, the situation on ground was “grave and grim” with over 1O0 communities in no less than 10 Local Government Areas of the State impacted seriously.
The Local Governments Areas affected include Patani, Isoko South, Isoko North, Ndokwa East, Bomadi, Burutu, Oshimili North, Oshimili South, Ughelli North and Ughelli South.
In particular, he said that the River Niger has spread over its banks covering an average distance of between six kilometers and 10 kilometers inland in the affected communities, stressing that the tide was increasing by the day.
His words: ‘’Within a period of three days the number of communities affected increased astronomically and for now there is fear of total flooding of the affected communities.”
Describing the situation as “devastating and a huge challenge”, he said most of the rehabilitation camps were already recording about 100,000 displaced persons explaining that mattresses, food items and medical facilities were being arranged for the victims in the interim.
Accordingly, Dr Uduaghan called on the federal government, corporate bodies, NGO’S, and public spirited individuals to partner with his administration in bringing succour to the victims.
He lamented that two persons have died from the flooding but added that the committee headed by the Deputy Governor of the State, Prof. Amos Utuama (SAN) to tackle the challenges of the flooding, was working round the clock to ensure that no more life was lost.
He charged members of the committee to be transparent in their dealings and ensure that no item meant for the victims were diverted.
The governor charged the committee to set up sub committees in the local areas and involve residents of the affected communities in the distribution of relief materials and movement of the people and their property.
Dr. Uduaghan appealed to those who were still in the flood prone zones not to wait until they were in danger before coming out explaining that the state government was ready to assist them with both land and river transportation to relocate.
‘’The river is surging into the communities on a daily basis and increasing in tempo, let everyone in the flood prone areas come out before it is too late because a stitch in time saves nine,” he added.
Briefing the Governor, the chairman of the Rehabilitation Committee on Flood Victims, Prof. Utuama sounded a note of alarm that it was becoming increasingly difficult to access some of the communities affected by flood.
Prof Utuama said the Committee has gone round to take physical counts of communities affected in the state and assured victims of the state government’s determination to secure their lives and property and make them comfortable.
He said for now the rehabilitations camps are well secured and commended some Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) particularly the Red Cross Society for their support.
Prof Utuama said though the task was herculean members of the committee would work day and night to bring succour to the victims.
Meanwhile, the Delta State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) expressed its appreciation to all persons and organizations that have visited the various re-settlement camps in the State to provide material, financial and moral support to victims of the devastation occasioned by the current upsurge of the River Niger.
The Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Dr. Tony Nwaka in a statement today said: “Arising from inquiries from other good spirited persons and organizations, who may not physically visit the thousands of displaced persons, but desire to render assistance in various forms, we appeal that further communication be established with the under-listed contacts;
Lagos Area: 08023270542, 07035010323. email@example.com
Abuja Area: 08034534318. 08086661344. firstname.lastname@example.org
Warri Area: 08124537414. email@example.com
Asaba Area: 08037230004. 08034016121. firstname.lastname@example.org
He said His Excellency, the Governor can also be reached directly on these lines: 07057007888, 08127770002, 08127770003
The Delta State Emergency Management Agency appreciates the continuing support and concern demonstrated by the public in these very challenging times, particularly the subsisting resolve to collectively manage this unprecedented disaster.”
The State Governor, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan who disclosed this at the Inter-denominational Independence Thanksgiving service in Asaba, also hinted that there would no longer be automatic promotions for the teachers.
According to him, preliminary investigations revealed that many of the teachers on the official payroll were not on ground in the classrooms. “In a particular school, several physical checks showed only five teachers as against 24 teachers on the payroll”.
This ugly trend, he noted must be stopped as the government was prepared to pay the 27% wage increase only to genuine teachers in the state schools.
His words ‘’There are so many people on the payroll yet few are doing the job. This exercise will therefore expose the irregularities in the system and reduce the huge wage bill and eliminate waste’’.
Dr. Uduaghan disclosed that about 3.7 billion naira was spent monthly to pay primary, secondary and tertiary institution’s teachers’ salary saying that it was a heavy burden on the state’s finances.
He called on teachers in the state to call off their strike and use dialogue as an instrument of conflict resolution as most of the issues at stake demanded understanding and maturity.
Specifically, he said that though the State releases over #500million monthly to augment the salary of primary school teachers in the state, it was not the responsibility of the State Government to pay primary school teachers’ salary.
Similarly, he said that automatic promotion of teachers was being discouraged as part of measures to ensure that promotion would be based on qualification and available vacancies.
The Governor regretted that everybody on Grade Level 16 wants to be promoted to level 17 irrespective of existing vacancies in the system.
‘’Even in the civil service, there is order and the processes followed are very clear. Promotions are done in consonance with existing vacancies but in the teaching profession, everybody wants to be promoted irrespective of the vacancies’’, he stated.
The Governor who promised to do “unusual things” to move the state forward said the challenges facing the state were bigger than the resources coming to the state.
In a sermon, the chairman of the Delta state Christian Association of Nigeria(CAN) Rev Gideon Oyibo called for fervent prayers so that security and flood challenges facing the state would abate.
Rev Oyibo while commending the state government for giant developmental strides found in the state called on the NUT to resolve the present strike action by teachers through dialogue.
He called on Christians to see themselves as instruments of transformation and development explaining that if they do not take steps to improve their lot, God will not come down to do it for them.
Rev Oyibo therefore enjoined the political class to be God’s agent for change and improve the living standards of the people even as he said that God was waiting for them to act.
He also said God needs good men to the faithful and execute people’s oriented programmes. The thanksgiving service featured prayer sessions for Nigeria and Delta State, the good health and well-being of the President, the state governor, assembly members and public servants.
The Delta state government commenced the phasing out of Okada (commercial motorcycles) in Asaba the Delta state capital and other major cities including Warri, Effrun and Udu, when Governor Uduaghan commissioned 1,250 tricycles with a warning to politicians not to interfere with the distribution of the tricycles as it was exclusively reserved for commercial motorcycle operators.
However, the ban on Okada, which was supposed to have comeinto effect today, October 1, 2012, has now been reportedly extended by one month to November 1st, 2012, following appeals by those affected to allow them time to make alternative arrangements and indeed the desire of the state government to ensure that no one is unduly victimized during the phasing out process.
Dr Uduaghan stressed that the tricycles were strictly for commercial motorcyclists popularly called okada, warning politicians to keep off as it was not meant for political patronage, even as he specifically enjoined politicians not to see it as an avenue for providing jobs for their boys and advised them to go to the open market to purchase their own if theywere genuinely interested in empowering their boys with tricycles.
His words ‘’I like to appeal to the political class not to interfere in the distribution of these tricycles. Do not use it to settle your boys. The tricycles are strictly for the okada riders who are transiting from okada to tricycles”.
The Governor who subsidized the cost of the tricycles up to 70 percent from 400,000 thousand naira to 150,000 thousand naira warned operators of the tricycles to restrict themselves to the routes approved for them.
Dr Uduaghan stated that the introduction of the tricycles was to replace and gradually phase out the commercial motorcycles as part of measures to ensure safety in the transport sector and security in the State.
He noted that okada usage has done more harm than good in the state especially increasing the security challenge of the State adding: “the time has come for us to adopt a comprehensive transport system that would guarantee the safety of lives and property in the State”.
The Governor assured okada operators that his administration was not leaving them empty handed explaining that the present efforts to start from Asaba , Warri and Effurun would be extended to all urban centres of the state.
Dr Uduaghan further announced that the ban on okada usage in major cities has been extended by one month to November 1st 2012, to give okada operators enough time to prepare for the new policy.
Amidst cheers, the governor announced that the state has procured some boats and were expecting, more which would soon be commissioned for use in the riverine areas of the state.
He said: ‘’we are improving the transport sector and very soon more commercial buses and boats for riverine transportation will be commissioned. I assure you we will not relax until things are better for our people’’.
The Commissioner for Transport Honorable Benson Igbakpa in his address explained that the provision of the tricycles was to return sanity on the roads and ensure the safety of lives and property.
He appealed to okada operators who were the major beneficiaries to maintain and use the tricycles judiciously as it would encourage the state government to purchase more.
Igbakpa assured the governor that his Directorate would monitor and ensure that the 1,250 tricycles were strictly used for the purpose for which they were meant for to enable Deltans derive maximum benefits from the initiative.
Delta joins other states like Rivers, Cross Rivers and Abia as major areas where the operations of commercial motor-cycles (okada) have been banned from major metropolitan cities in the various states.
Below are some photos of the Commissioning.
The Asagba of Asaba, Obi (Prof) Chike Edozien has expressed sympathy for flood victims in Asaba, Delta State capital and environs and appealed to the Federal Government to establish office of the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) in Local Government Areas of the state for prompt emergency response.
The Asagba who was represented by the Iyase of Asaba, Chief Patrick Isioma Onyeobi, made the call while inspecting flooded areas in his kingdom together with his Chiefs and council members.
Chief Onyeobi, whose residential apartment was also affected by the ravaging flood from River Niger, sympathized with the over 600 victims now quartered at St. Patrick’s College, Asaba, temporary camp where they were settled and supported with medication and food by the state government.
The Asagba’s team which visited the flooded residential areas, are being including Infant Jesus, Power Line, Tourist Garden Hotel Resort, Okwe and Nigeria Immigration Service Command office, Akwuebulu, expressed surprise at the impact of the flood.
The Asagba advised the flood victims, especially the homeless accommodated at St. Patrick’s College Camp and others residing along the Benin – Asaba expressway (from Power Line) to have faith in God, adding that the Federal Government would soon proffer solution to curb such disaster.
For prompt response to emergency situations, especially in the grassroot areas, the royal father advised the Federal Government to establish NEMA office in the local council areas, adding that the presence of such body would alleviate human suffering.
Reacting on his personal experience as a victim, Chief Onyeobi expressed shock, adding “I was surprised, but I thank God for giving me the wisdom of not building closer to the Niger River bank, God really saved me.”
Among the Chiefs on the team were Obi (Engr.) Ngozi Konwea JP, and the Onihe of Asaba, Chief Ubaka Attoh and others.