NPC COMMENCES DEMOGRAPHIC SURVEY IN DELTA

The National Population Commission has commenced the 2018 round of the Nigeria Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) programme in Asaba.

The State Director of NDHS, Mr Sunday Enwelim who made this known in Asaba, stated that the commission had already enumerated four clusters in the state and that the survey commenced since August 15 and would last till December 15, 2018 in all the states of the Federation.

According to Mr Enwelim, the NDHS was part of the Worldwide Demographic and Health Surveys Programme conducted periodically in countries and designed to provide data for monitoring population and health situation across the globe.

He revealed that the 2018 NDHS was the sixth to be conducted in Nigeria since 1990, saying that this year’s exercise in Nigeria was a national sample.

“It is designed to provide up to date information and reliable estimates of the fertility levels and preferences, awareness and use of family planning methods, breastfeeding practices, nutritional status of mothers and child health, knowledge and behaviour regarding HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections (STIs), female genital cutting, fistula and domestic violence,” the NDHS Director said.

He also stated that the 2018 survey would provide estimate of anaemia and malaria prevalence among children between 6-59 months and adults and sickle cell disease patients.

Explaining further, the 2018 NDHS Coordinator, South-South Zone, Mr Tellson Ojigun stated that a complete listing of household had been carried out in each of the 1,400 selected enumerated areas in the country and that a representative sample of approximately 42,000 households had been selected for the survey, saying that 14, 000 households was a selected

He also stated that the survey would focus on women between 15-49 years living in all selected households and men of age bracket 15-59 years living in the selected household, saying that the data collected would be used by programme managers and policy makers to evaluate and improve existing programmes.

DEFECTIONS: Okowa congratulates PDP, welcomes Ortom, NASS members

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has welcomed the defection of Benue State Governor, Samuel Ortom and All Progressive Congress (APC) lawmakers to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), saying that their action is an indication that the PDP is prepared to rescue Nigeria from the present state of affairs.

In a statement in Asaba on Thursday, by his Chief Press Secretary, Charles Aniagwu, Gov. Okowa congratulated the National Chairman and leadership of the PDP for the proactive steps taken so far in repositioning the party.

According to the Governor: “I congratulate members and leaders of the PDP on the defections and abandonment of the APC by the Governor of Benue State, Samuel Ortom and the members of the National Assembly.

“The defections have clearly shown to the entire world that the APC lack the capacity to manage a political party, and indeed a government and this explains why the people now look up to the PDP to rescue the country and put it on the path of good governance for our people.

Governor Okowa commended the defectors for the courage they have exhibited in abandoning “the sinking ship.”  He stressed that the defections signify a vote of no confidence in the APC-led government and that the 2019 election will be a referendum of how the APC shattered the expectations of Nigerians.

He added: “The decision of a significant number of members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives to leave the APC and decamp into the PDP clearly indicates that there is hope that the country will be rescued from the misrule of the APC government.

The Governor congratulated the PDP for positioning itself as a suitable alternative for the defectors. He emphasized that the choice of the PDP as a preferred destination for them is an affirmation of the kind of leadership the national chairman of the PDP, Prince Uche Secondus has provided since assuming office.

Okowa further encouraged other Governors, lawmakers to consider joining the PDP as the party is set on a mission to rescue Nigeria.

Anioma Nation Adopts Okowa As Sole Candidate; As Ekweremadu, Secondus, Wike, Ibori, Uduaghan, Others Laud Okowa

THE Anioma Nation in Delta state yesterday (21/04/18) endorsed the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for a second term, an endorsement the Governor said will spur him to do more for Deltans.

This endorsement was given at the grand reception held in honor of Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa by the Anioma nation.

National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, Deputy President of the Senate, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Wike, former Chief Economic Adviser to former Nigerian President, Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Chief Philip Asiodu, former Governors of Delta State, Chief James Ibori and Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, renowned nationalist, Chief Newton Jibunor, among others, also endorsed Governor Okowa for second term at the occasion which was attended by former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue, the Ide of Ahaba, Chief Sunny Odogwu, traditional rulers, President-Generals of different ethnic nationalities, among others spoke at the event which took place at Asaba.

According to the Governor, “today, my people of Anioma put up this show and I thank you all for this wonderful event. In 2015, Delta State did something that strengthened the unity of our people, that though we are diverse in ethnic, we believe that we are one people; one Delta State; they realised that if the unity of Delta State must remain, they must speak with one voice and they did that through their votes and I won in the total votes cast in all the ethnic nationalities.”

“That obviously sent a message that we are one people and we will continue to live in unity because, in that unity, we will blossom; in that unity, we will succeed,” the Governor said, adding, “we came at a time there were challenges but, because of the support of all, we were able to wade through the turbulent days; the dark days are over and we shall grow to greater heights.”

He continued, “as we move on as a people, I must count on your support for us to sustain the peace that we enjoy, with peace, we will do well as a people, we will continue to build the roads in this state.”

“As Deltans, we need to continue to pray and build on the trust that exists among us, I listened to President General of Isoko, the President General of Urhobo nation and the President General of the Ijaws endorsing me, so, who should I be afraid of, when I have the Lord and all these good people on my side? I thank you for adopting me as the sole candidate for the governorship election and I assure you that we will remain focused and resolute in developing our state, “ he said.

At the well-attended event, renowned nationalist, Chief Newton Jibunor moved a motion for the adoption of Governor Okowa as the sole candidate of Anioma Nation for the 2019 gubernatorial elections in Delta State which was unanimously endorsed by the people.

Governor of Rivers State, Barr. Nyesom Nwike, said, “as far as we are concerned in Rivers State, Okowa should be preparing for swearing-in because, if any other party is coming to Delta State to contest against Okowa, they should first tell the people what they have done for the people, because, Okowa is a gentleman, he is dependable and he has done very well in Delta State.”

The Deputy President of the Senate, Dr Ike Ekweremadu, lending his voice said, “I enjoin you the people of Delta State to take the decision to return Governor Okowa in 2019, I thank the Delta people for bringing an example of bringing justice to every part of the state for Nigerians to emulate, I commend Governor Okowa for doing justice to all manners of people and ensuring justice, fairness, and equity in his activities.”

Speaking at the occasion, the PDP National Chairman, Prince Secondus averred that no amount of political intimidation, arrests and detention would cow the party from taking over the Presidency and winning most of the elections in 2019. He  said, “we are proud of your son, we are proud of his achievements, on behalf of the national working committee, we salute our Governor, this is a new PDP and by the special grace of God, we will regain our lost grounds, no amount of intimidation, no amount of blackmail will stop Nigerians from voting PDP in 2019.”

“The PDP is set to take over because, the APC is a sinking ship, our youths are not lazy at all, our youths are leaders of tomorrow, they are resourceful, they are intelligent and they are there for the interest of this country.”

He called on all to observe one minute of silence for those who had lost their lives to the herdsmen and Boko Haram rampage saying, “we sympathize with our people in states where people are being attacked.”

Chairman of the occasion, Chief Philip Asiodu described Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as an illustrious son of Anioma Nation who has delivered dividends of democracy in all parts of Delta State and deserves re-election for a second term in office.

Chairman of the planning committee for the event, Prof. Epiphany Azinge said, “the decision to receive our son, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa 3 years into office is purely deliberate, we recognise that he is more the son of Delta State, the entire Delta State remains his constituency; his commitment to actualization of his campaign promises is resolute and irreversible.”

“His track record as an expert in prudent financial management has helped him to navigate the early challenges of inheriting the treasury of a state with lean resources, that he is able to stabilise the ship of a state amidst these challenges is not only a cause for admiration but also a reason for commendation.,” he said, emphasizing, “Anioma nation has resolved to adopt our son, His Excellency, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as the sole candidate of Delta North for re-election as Governor, come 2019, he has the blessing of entire Anioma nation to proceed as our candidate for 2019 governorship election for Delta State.”

Immediate past Governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Minister of Information, Prof. Sam Oyovbaire, Alaowei Broadrick Bozimo spoke on behalf of the Ijaws, Chief Iduh Amadhe spoke for the Isoko nation, Chairman of the Delta State Traditional Rulers Council, HRM Obi Efeizomor whose address was read by the Obi of Ubulu-Uku, HRM Kikachukwu, the Itsekiri nation who spoke through Chief Solomon Areyenka, the Anioma Congress whose speech was delivered by former Deputy Governor of Delta State, Chief Benjamin Elue, Ndokwa Neku Union through its National President, Chief Johnson Opone, Mr Kester Ifeadi and others who spoke at the occasion gave reasons why Governor Okowa should re-emerge as the Governor of Delta State in 2019.

The occasion which was very colorful witnessed a large turnout of people from different parts of the state.

No Land For Cattle Colony In Delta – Okowa

Delta State, Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has declared that the state does not have land for cattle colonies

The Governor made this declaration Asaba while addressing stakeholders at a meeting involving Herdsmen, Farmers, Community leaders and Heads of security agencies.

He decried what he described as the inability of the Federal Government to disarm armed herdsmen who perpetrate crimes and other vices and called on the Federal Government to come up with a clear-cut policy direction on this issue.

As part of interim measures to address the recurrent clashes between herdsmen, farmers and host communities, Governor Okowa tasked Chairmen of local government councils to set up a special task force on security comprising of necessary interest groups in their various councils, within one week.

The Governor expressed concern over the occurrence of incidences where cattle are led by minors.

“Some of those who are also looking after the cows are so young that most times, they are not able to take decisions concerning the cows, as long as they carry arms and ammunition, there is a major security issue at stake”.

He used the occasion to buttress the fact that Delta State has no land for the Federal Government’s proposed cattle colonies, disclosing that most Deltans are moving to neighboring Edo State to farm because of inadequate land in the state.

“By next week, we need to have an interventionist committee on security in all the local government areas of the state while we await a definite policy direction from the Federal Government. Chairmen of the local government areas must ensure that names of members of the committee gets to the office of the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who is the Chairman of the Central Coordinating Committee and ensure that minutes of their inaugural meetings are also, sent to the SSG,” the Governor said, noting that it was wrong for anybody to hide under the guise of herdsmen to perpetuate crime in the state.” He said.

He emphasized, “the Nigerian constitution does not allow anyone to graze on somebody’s else farm, it does not permit you to forcefully take over someone’s house, we can co-exist as a people but, as we co-exist, there must be mutual respect for one another, whoever you are, when you engage in crime, the law takes its course.”

While calling for caution and peaceful co-existence among Deltans, Governor Okowa urged the Police and security agencies not to be compromised in ensuring justice for all, asserting that they should not allow the communities to lose confidence in their abilities to check crimes, especially those committed by herdsmen.

The Commissioner of Police, Delta State, Mr. Muhammad Mustapha assured Deltans that their security will not be compromised by the Police in ensuring peaceful co-existence in the state.

Those who spoke at the meeting including traditional rulers, farmers, Myetti Allah and Hausa/Fulani representatives commended Governor Okowa for ensuring that the situation has not snowballed into major crisis despite issues of killings, rape of women, armed robberies, among other vices.

Some of those who spoke at the meeting called on the state government to take actions towards stoppage of grazing in the state, noting that the people could survive without beef and its by-products while others stated that efforts should be geared towards peaceful co-existence in the state.

Okowa, Others Attend Ekwueme’s Funeral Service

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led top government functionaries and politicians to attend the burial ceremony of one of the founding fathers of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and Nigeria’s first democratically elected Vice President, Dr. Alex Ekwueme.

The burial ceremony which took place at Dr Ekwueme’s hometown, Oko, Anambra State was also, attended by Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osibajo, former President Goodluck Jonathan and wife, Patience; former Vice President Namadi Sambo, former Secretary General of Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku, Governors of different states of the country, Chairmen and members of different political parties, among others.

Governor Okowa was among the first dignitaries to arrive St. John The Divine Church, Oko, Anambra State venue of the funeral service for the late Dr. Ekwueme who Prof. Osibajo at the occasion, described as principled, brave and “set an excellent example of loyalty as Vice President.”

“He was a man of impeccable integrity,” Prof. Osibajo said, stating that the federal government has renamed Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ikwo (FUNAI) in Ebonyi State as Dr. Alex Ekwueme University.

Former Commonwealth Secretary-General, Chief Emeka Anyaoku in an emotion-laden tribute at the occasion described the deceased as a “cerebral politician who did not play politics of bitterness.”

The Primate, Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, His Grace, Nicholas Okoh had in a sermon challenged political office holders to ensure that Nigeria’s independence goes beyond “paper”.

According to him, Nigeria should be independent in providing basic amenities for its people, noting that it is wrong for Nigerians to leave their kits and kins to seek medical services outside the country and in most cases, lose their lives in such whereas, those in authority can make the hospitals in the country functional.

“Our independence is only on papers, our leaders should deliver us from running to other countries for medical services, whatever the deficiency in the medical profession, the government should help us, let our people stop dying abroad,” the Primate said.

Speaking on the topic, “Get Into The Ark,” Most Revd. Okoh urged all evildoers in the country to repent and get into the ark of God, observing that the late Ekwueme achieved so much in the academia, politics and did so much to transform his community, Oko which political office holders deserve to emulate.

He emphasized that political office holders should be men of integrity and avoid cheating the electorates by coming to them only when they need their votes.

2018 CAA Athletics Championship: Delta Is Ready To Host- Dalung

As Delta State prepares to host 2018 Confederation of African Athletics’ [CAA] African Senior Athletics Championship, Sports Minister, Chief Solomon Dalung has inspected the ongoing construction of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, venue of the championship, expressing confidence at the state’s readiness to host the championship.

Speaking after the courtesy/inspection visit to the state, Chief Dalung who was accompanied by the President, Athletics Federation of Nigeria, Ibrahim Shehu Gusau and Former AFN President, Chief Solomon Ogba, said that Delta State is ready to host the championship, stressing that the facilities would be ready on time and the championship would be used to showcase the capacity of Africa to host the world.

He commended Governor Okowa for his support for sports development in the country and the facilities being put in place to host the 2018 CAA Athletics championship, stressing that a successful hosting of the sports tournament would improve the economy, provide employment and engender peace.

“I want to commend Your Excellency for your support to host the CAA Athletics championship, it is a rare demonstration of selfless leadership, Delta State has sprung its normal surprise, what I see here is quite amazing, His Excellency and his officials will be able to deliver on time. The pitch is interesting as they took their time to prepare the laying structure to ensure they have a durable pitch. Governor Okowa deserves commendation”, he said, adding “Africa is using this championship to showcase to the world its capacity to host the world and you are a harbinger for sports development in Africa”.

The minister emphasised that sports engenders peace, unity and economic growth in the country.

Earlier, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who accompanied the Minister on the inspection visit assured that the state is committed to the successful hosting of the championship stressing “we are committed to the success of the 2018 CAA Athletics championship and we are going to offer all the support needed to ensure the successful hosting. Sports is a unifying factor among our people especially in the maintenance of peace and development of the economy”.

He thanked the Minister for the visit, explaining that it would spur the Local Organising Committee to put more efforts towards ensuring the facilities were in place for the championship and urged the private sector to do more to support sports development in the country.

Google Honors Keshi

Google has created a doodle of the late former Nigerian coach, Stephen Keshi, on its loading page on Tuesday to mark his 56th birthday.

Google said the doodle was in recognition of the legacy of the former coach of the Nigerian football team, the Super Eagles, who died on June 7, 2016, at 54.

Doodles are fun and spontaneous ways introduced by Google to celebrate holidays, anniversaries, and the lives of famous artists, pioneers, and scientists.

The doodle, which will be viewed in all African countries, illustrates the unique achievement of Keshi, who won the 1994 Africa Cup of Nations as player and as a coach in 2013.

The author of Things Fall Apart Chinua Achebe (deceased) was another such notable personality honoured by Google in the past.

Google said, “Keshi is one of only two men to win the Africa Cup of Nations as both a player and a manager, a testament to his wit, talent, and love for the sport.”

Okowa Urges FG To Intervene On PIB; As Kachikwu Brainstorms With Stakeholders In Oil Industry

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the Federal Government to intervene in the speedy passage of the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly.

Governor Okowa made the call in Asaba at a Stakeholders’ Engagement Meeting Cum Enlightenment Campaign with the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

“Where do we stand with the PIB?” Governor Okowa asked the Minister, adding, “it is something you have to put the President in the know because, if that bill is not passed next year, the National Assembly will have to start afresh, the whole process.”

While observing that the passage of the PIB will address most of the issues affecting the oil industry, the Governor commended Dr Kachikwu for directly engaging stakeholders in the oil industry, noting, “there is the need for constant interface between the oil companies and the communities, we need to consolidate on the peace we have now; there should be sincerity and openness in our dealings.”

He also, stated that oil companies have no reason not to have operational offices in their areas of operation and called on the Federal Government to prevail on the companies for them to relocate their headquarters or operational offices to their areas of operations.

“There is no reason why their operational offices should not be here (areas of operation), it is important, it will also, impact on our Internally Generated revenue and the psychological effect that you have to move to states outside your areas of operations is not fair, the Federal Government should have a time lag for the oil companies to move to their areas of operations,” he said.

While noting that the Federal Government has shown commitment to the opening of the Maritime University, Okerenkoko by releasing the sum of N1 billion, Governor Okowa also, disclosed that his administration has released the sum of N100 million to assist in the effective take off of the University, and called on the people in the riverine communities to be patient as actions are also on for work to commence at the Gas Revolution Industrial Project.

Dr. Kachikwu had said the stakeholders meeting was important as a Memorandum of Understanding which will take care of issues discussed would be prepared and timeline for its implementation set.

He commended traditional rulers and their subjects for maintaining peace in the region. disclosing that 10 companies have applied to build modular refineries in Delta State while work at the Gas City project, Ogidigben would soon commence as efforts are on to get more investors in the various sections of the project.

“We are bringing back the financiers of the Gas City Project, we want to also, let you know that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources has not given out contract for pipeline protection, the Maritime University is on course and we believe that by August/September next year, academic activities will commence, the Federal Government has released N1 billion for the project, President  Muhamadu Buhari is committed to ensuring that things are done right for Nigerians,” he said, assuring that efforts are also on to make the sea ports in the state viable.

Traditional rulers, representatives of different oil companies, community leaders among other stakeholders spoke about how to ensure peaceful work environment for the petroleum industry operators.

FG, DTSG To Colloborate On Energy Theft, Power Billing System

Delta State, yesterday, recorded a major breakthrough in power generation, as the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola commissioned the new Power Injection Sub-station in Asaba.

The Minister, at the occasion, said that the present administration is committed to improving and sustaining power generation in the country, adding that a lot of measures are in top gear to that effect.

While also speaking during the opening ceremony of the 21st Monthly Power Sector and Stakeholders’ meeting in Asaba, after the commissioning, Mr. Fashola, disclosed that the Federal Government intends to improve power generally in the state and country at large by constructing sub-stations in Okpai and Kwale.

On pre-paid metres, the minister said that government has reached agreement with the contractor to settle the matter out of court, adding that about N27bn will be paid to the contractor to supply metres to the Distribution Companies (DisCos) that will in turn be distributed to customers who need them. He said that the power sector had recorded successes and has been expanded with the injection of 40 and 46KVA transformers to boost services.

The minister said that the Rural Electrification Agency (REA) is on course, adding that rural areas are encouraged to embrace solar power as it is cheaper and easier to connect difficult terrains to the national grid through solar.

While commending the Delta State Government for its desire to assist the Benin Electricity Distribution Company (BEDC) to ensure sustained power supply in the state, Mr. Fashola said that the progress made in the sector was due to hard work and the peace recorded in the Niger Delta, stressing that for the first time, both hydro and gas supply systems worked without interruption, hence the improvement in power generally across the country.

Fashola, who lamented the vandalisation of power installations across the country, warned against building on power lines as it is dangerous.

Earlier, the Managaing Director of BEDC, Mrs. Funke Osibodu, said that a lot of progresses had been recorded as there has been improved power supply and many communities as Ibusa and Ogwashi-Uku have been energised to the national grid recently.

She said that the commissioning of the Asaba sub-station is a major breakthrough, adding that it will improve power supply to Asaba and its environs, disclosing that another sub-station at Ibusa is almost completed and ready for commissioning soon. Highlight of the ceremony was the cutting of the tape to commission the project by the minister.

Why Delta Placed 2nd In NCCN Rating Among Other States -Emu

Concrete facts have emerged on the achievements of the Delta State Government that made it possible for the state to be placed on the 2nd position behind Lagos State among the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

The National Competitiveness Council of Nigeria (NCCN), in partnership with Ford Foundation and Tony Elumelu Foundation, recently released the Sub-National Index Overall State Ranking for 2017  which saw Delta closely occupying the 2nd slot on the table behind Lagos State.

Addressing a press conference in Asaba on Tuesday at the Ministry of Information conference hall, the state Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, disclosed that four critical parameters were used by the independent body to arrive at its final decision.

He revealed that Delta State placed tops on Human Capital Overall Ranking (Education, Health, Migration and Gender Equality), 5th on Infrastructure Overall Ranking (Roads, Electricity, Airport, Telecom, Waste and Water), 23rd on Economy Overall Ranking (Access to Finance, State Finances, Business Sophistication and Tax),  and 7th on Institution Overall Ranking (Security, Transparency, Justice, Corruption and Permits).

The Economic Planning Commissioner, who was accompanied by his Information counterpart, Mr. Patrick Ukah, stated that a total contract sum of N170,412,772,742.90 has so far been awarded by the state government on the construction of 149 roads of 764.39 kilometres and 225.59 kilometres of drains.

Dr. Emu stated that N37,637,333,366.09 is for 49 roads of 252.12 kilometres and 55.31 kilometres of drains in Delta Central, N51,458,906,454.84 for 65 roads of 325.43 kilometres and 126.02 kilometres of drains in Delta North, and N81,316,532,921.97 for 35 roads totaling 186.84 kilometres and 44.26 kilometres of drains in Delta South.

He specifically said that a total of 67.58 kilometres of roads and 34.43 kilometres of drains are currently ongoing in the riverine areas of the state with a view to linking the dwellers there with people living upland for both economic and social integration.

Some of them are the Trans Warri- Ode-Itsekiri Access Roads Phase 1: Section 1 Ubeji to Ode-Itsekiri Roundabout with Spurs to Ijala Ugbodede, Orugbo and Ajigba – Inorin – Usele Communities and Section 11(iii) Ode-Itsekiri Internal Roads, construction of Oporoza Palace Road in Gbaramatu Kingdom, Warri South West Local Government Area and the construction of Burutu Township Roads in Burutu Local Government Area.

Others are rehabilitation/widening of Access Road to Beneku community, Ndokwa East, main axial road in Okerenkoko, Warri South West, construction of internal roads in Ikpide-Irri community, Isoko South, construction of rigid concrete pavement at Obitobon-Elolo-Ajaokurogbo-Orubu Road, Ogidigben, Warri South West, construction of Okenrekoko township roads (Phase 11), Warri South West and the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of the Obutobo1-Obutobo11-Sokebolou-Yokri road,  Burutu Local Government Area.

Dr. Emu revealed that the state has a total of 1,121 public primary schools and 463 public secondary schools with a total population of 443,813 and 326,004 respectively, adding that the state also has 4882 students and 1,094 trainees in its 6 Technical Colleges and 4 Vocational Centres respectively.

He further said that so much work, in terms of physical structures such as new classrooms, renovation of existing ones and provision of furniture, are ongoing at a high scale as well as content issues.

The Economic Planning Commissioner noted with joy that what is outstanding is that all these are being done in a recession and at a time our resources as a state are at the lowest ebb arising from the Niger Delta crisis as evident in our rating on Economy within the time under review.

The Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, in his contribution, attributed all the lofty achievements of the Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa led administration in the state to the prudent management of available resources by the Governor.

Mr. Ukah said that the ranking did not come to him as a surprise as Governor Okowa is determined more than ever before to take the state to greater heights in order to earn more recognitions from other reputable independent organisations across the country and beyond.