In line with Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s commitment to speedy provision of infrastructure, the Delta State Executive Council has approved the construction and rehabilitation of five roads.
Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Patrick Ukah in a post-exco briefing shortly after the meeting which was held in Asaba, yesterday (19/9/17), stated that the approval for the construction and rehabilitation of the roads were necessary for work to commence immediately the rains ease off, noting that due to the terrain of the state, roads can only be constructed in the dry season.
According to the Commissioner who attended the press briefing in company of his counterparts in the Ministries of Finance and Transport, Mr David Edevbie and Mr Vincent Uduaghan, “during the rainy season, construction is at the lowest ebb, we mainly concentrate on skeletal services like construction and clearing of drains but, as the rains subsides, EXCO has approved the construction of five roads in the state.”
The Director-General of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, Dr. Ben Nkechika also attended the briefing which was attended by journalists from different media houses.
“Exco approved the reconstruction of Korebe road in Koko, Warri North Local Government Area; the construction of Agbaroh/Orherhe/Otokutu road in Ughelli North Local Government Area, and the construction of Okwagbe/Otutua/Esaba road, phase 1, Okwagbe in Ughelli South Local Government Area of the state,” he said, adding that approval was also given for “the construction of Okotomi, Obi Okonkwo Cresent/Pat Okonkwo street/Chukwu Meka Lane/part of Samuel Dietake Street/Diokpa Bishop Odu Street, Okpanam in the state capital territory.”
Mr Ukah who stated that Governor Okowa’s administration is committed to the provision of infrastructure across the state, emphasized, “bearing in mind that good roads boost the socio-economic life of the people, approval was also, given for the rehabilitation of Jesse/Boboroku road in Ethiope West and the rehabilitation of lssele-Uku/Onicha Ugbo road from Obi palace junction in Aniocha North local government Area.”
While disclosing that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa presided at the meeting, the Information czar, stated that “the sum of N600 million was approved as counterpart fund for the implementation of the 2017 Sustainable Development Goals.”
Dr. Nkechika at the briefing threw more light on the functionality of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, stating that it has been in operation in the state with pregnant women as the greatest beneficiaries.
While stating that the formal sector has been captured by the scheme, the Medical Doctor said plans have been concluded for the informal sector to be captured as contributors are expected to have four beneficiaries from the scheme with the state government contributing to the scheme.
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has called on the Nigerian Navy not to relent in its efforts to protect oil and gas facilities in the Niger Delta.
Governor Okowa made the call when the Flag Officer Commanding Logistics Command, Oghara, Rear Admiral Peter Onaji and other top officers of the Command paid him a familiarization visit in Asaba.
Speaking during the visit, Governor Okowa reiterated that the Navy has done a lot to restore peace in the creeks of the Niger Delta and also, helped in checking sea piracy and protection of national assets.
According to the Governor, “the activities of the Navy have helped to curb sea piracy and protection of national assets, especially facilities that transport crude and gas; it is important that the Navy does not relax on its duties, because of the importance of having secured maritime for socio-economic activities.”
“Today, we have peace in the creeks largely due to the efficiency of the Navy in collaboration with other security agencies and stakeholders which has impacted greatly on the economy of the country,” the Governor said.
He used the occasion to commend the Chief of Naval Staff for his commitment to developing the Navy to face any challenge, saying that his initiatives had been felt in Delta State and the whole of the Niger Delta.
Governor Okowa observed that it was laudable for the Navy to make its facilities, especially, its Medical Facilities and Educational Institutions available to the general public, even as he assured that his administration would partner with the Navy to build a secondary school in the State.
Earlier, Rear Admiral Onaji said he was recently posted to be the Command Officer in charge of Logistics Command, Oghara and the visit to the Governor was important to intimate him about the activities of the Command.
While commending Governor Okowa’s administration for its numerous assistance to the Navy and other security agencies operating in the State, the Command Officer disclosed that the Logistic Command provides logistic support for Navy formations all over the country and as such, has no limit to its coverage area.
He assured Governor Okowa of the support of the Navy in securing the waterways and also, be available to tackle security issues as the need arises, emphasising that the Navy loves peaceful environment and ensures that people live in peace with one another.
Commissioners and other top government functionaries attended the event.
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. firstname.lastname@example.org
Abuja Area: 08034534318. 08086661344. email@example.com
Warri Area: 08124537414. firstname.lastname@example.org
Asaba Area: 08037230004. 08034016121. email@example.com
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.