May 29th 2015, Deltans witnessed a lot of promises from Delta State Governor, Sen Ifeanyi Okowa. He came into office and met a huge debt profile which he never wished for but being a man who hate blames and complaints, he started well with the invention of remarkable projects spread across the state.
Even though our monthly revenue both from the Federation Account and Internally Generated Revenue had dipped significantly. The non-oil sector of the economy remained largely untapped.
The level of youth unemployment was troubling, posing a clear and present danger to the socio-political stability of the State. Our credit was in bad shape, and the financial system was at best, shaky and at worst, perilous.
The Governor’s promises to the people and the fulfillment of prosperity for all Deltans was still on course. He quickly switched into action by using the little available resources in making life simple for the good people of Delta State.
Gov. Okowa came into office with the slogan of PROSPERITY FOR ALL DELTANS and with a five-point agenda encapsulated in the acronym SMART which means; Strategic Wealth creation project and provision of jobs for all Deltans; Meaningful peace building platforms aimed at political and social harmony; Agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialization; Relevant Health and Education policies; Transformed environment through urban renewal”.
Despite recession in our nation, Gov. Okowa never gave up on his promises to the people which has increased his street credibility in Delta State.
In August 2015, Gov Okowa launched the Job and Wealth Creation Scheme with the following programmes viz; Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP), Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), and Production and Processing Support Programme (PPSP).
Today, I am excited to announce that the Okowa led administration has created over a total of 17,173 (seventeen thousand, one hundred and seventy three) private sector jobs. This figure consists of 6,800 (six thousand, eight hundred) direct jobs and 10,373 (ten thousand, three hundred and seventy three) indirect jobs of both skilled and unskilled workers. As a Special Purpose Vehicle, the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer accounted for 7,522 (seven thousand, five hundred and twenty two) of these jobs while the remaining 9,651 (nine thousand, six hundred and fifty one) were created through projects, programmes and initiatives implemented through the various MDAs.
Not withstanding the ongoing recession, Gov. Okowa with the mindset of making a remarkable impact on the infrastructural development of Delta State, embarked on over 50 roads construction and rehabilitation across the state
Some of the projects commissioned during the first anniversary of his administration are:
– Ejinyere/Orodje Street in Orerokpe, Okpe Local Government Area;
– Jeddo Ughoton Road and Access Road to Eagles Height University (Phase 1 Jeddo/Omadino Bridge), Okpe local Government Area
– Oteri Township Road in Ughelli North Local Government Area;
– Okere-Urhobo Community Roads in Warri South Local Government Area (Olomu link Road, 1st and 2nd Olomu Streets, Otor-Okere and Agba Roads)
– Kefas Road with a spur to Uzere junction, Oleh, Isoko South Local Government Area
– Uduophori road (Phase 1), Patani Local Government Area
– Orikeze Street with a spur to Orikeze close, Agbor, Ika South Local Government Area;
– Usonia Road, off Nnebisi Road, Asaba;
– Faculty of Law Complex, Delta State University, Oleh Campus, Isoko South Local Government Area
– Pedriatic Wards/Water Scheme in Patani General Hospital; and
– Azu-Owa Abavo Cottage Hospital, Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area
Meanwhile, works are ongoing and at an advanced stage at the Cable Point Road dualization, Asaba, Okpanam Road Dualization, Asaba, Warri-Sapele Road Dualization in Sapele from Amukpe Roundabout, the construction of Amekpa-Afiesere-Ufuoma Road in Ughelli North Local Government Area, Lagos-Asaba Road dualization in Agbor, construction of Oza-nogogo-Alisimie Road in Ika South Local Government Area, and Okerenkoko Beach Road in Warri South West Local Government Area, are progressing steadily and should be ready for commissioning a few months from now.
Coming to the Agricultural Sector.
In order to make farming easier in the state, the state government distributed tractors to 64 Cooperative Societies. Another set of 106 Cooperative Societies got Mellon Shellers while 18 other Cooperative Societies received Outboard Engines and Fishing Gears support packages.
The state Governemnt also distributed improved variety of cassava cuttings, fertilizer, and cash to 475 cassava farmers; 100 fishery farmers were given fingerlings, feeds and cash; 100 poultry farmers were supported with 200-day-old chicks each, feeds and cash; 50 poultry layer farmers got 200 layers each, feeds and cash; 50 piggery farmers received 10 growers, feeds and cash; while 40 tomatoes farmers were supported with seedlings, agrochemicals and cash
On the Education Sector
This administration is convinced that the solution to our current unemployment crisis and youth restiveness is to focus attention on the acquisition of vocational and technical skills by our teeming youth population.
Without telling you stories, let me list our achievements in the Educational Sector
The Complete Renovation of Agbor Technical College were the government undertook the following:
– Conversion of Catering/Workshop Block to a Six-Classroom Block with Stores and Toilets;
– Conversion of a Six-Classroom Block without Stores and Toilets to a standard Classroom Block with Stores and Toilets;
– Demolition and reconstruction of Hostel Block;
– Renovation of Six-Classroom Block with Stores and Toilets;
– Renovation of three-Classroom Block with Stores and Toilets;
– Demolition of 2Nos dilapidated Four-Classroom/Workshop Block and construction of 2Nos Prototype Six-Classroom Block with Stores and Toilet facilities;
– Renovation of Prototype Building/Block Laying Workshop with Offices;
– Completion of Prototype Steel Stanchion and Structural roof Workshop Building;
– Construction of a 3-Bedroom Bungalow for the Principal;
– Completion of Prototype Steel Stanchion and Structural Roof Workshop -Building(Auto Mechanic and Welding Fabrication Workshop);
– Improvement of Multi-Purpose School Hall;
– Demolition and reconstruction of a Prototype Administrative Block; and
– Construction of Twin 2-Bedroom Staff Quarters (2No).
The awarded Phase II Project which captured construction of School Fence, Gate/Gate House have also been completed, while building of Generator House, Erosion Control and construction of the school’s access roads and drains are all currently work in progress
At Sapele Technical College, the state government also undertook the following:
– Renovation of principal’s Lodge (2-Bedroom Duplex Quarters and 18Nos Garages);
– Renovation of staff room/Computer Centre;
– Renovation/Rehabilitation of Hostel Block;
– Renovation of Painting and Decoration Block
– Renovation of Electrical Building
– Expansion/Renovation Of Generator House;
– Renovation of Electrical Workshop;
– Renovation of Radio, TV and Electronics Block;
– Renovation of Toilet Block by Woodwork and furniture Craft Practice Workshop;
– Renovation of Secretariat Department Typing Pool
– Completion of Science Laboratory
– Renovation/Alteration works of Administrative/Principal’s Office Block
– Renovation of Welding and Fabrication Classroom;
– Renovation of Mechanical Engineering Department Classroom Block;
– Renovation/Rehabilitation of Storey Building Hostel Block
– Renovation of Kitchen/Dining Hall;
– Provision of Overhead Water Tanks;
– Renovation of ICT/Assembly Hall;
– Renovation of Two-Classroom Block; and
– Renovation of Three-Classroom Block.
At Ofagbe Technical College, the Okowa administration undertook the following:
– Renovation of Boys Quarter;
– Renovation of Multi-Purpose Hall;
– Demolition and Reconstruction of Administrative Block (Principal’s Office);
– Renovation of Staff Quarters
– Renovation of Welding/Fabrication Workshop;
– Renovation of Automobile Workshop;
– Construction of Dining Hall;
– Construction of Block of Toilets;
– Renovation of Hostel Block(Storey Building)
– Renovation of Electrical Workshop
– Renovation of Mechanical Department (Six-Classroom Block);
– Renovation of Library Block
– Renovation of Science Laboratory/Business Studies Department; and
– Renovation of Mechanical Department (Four-Classroom Block)
The Governor also commissioned the recently completed Law Faculty Complex of the Delta State University in Oleh, and also ensured that all programmes in the Faculty of Law and Engineering programmes of the state owned university were fully accredited. which was completed by this administration.
Another great feat was recorded on December 1st, 2016 when Gov. Okowa commissioned numerous projects at the Delta State Polytechnic Ozoro, including the Olympic standard 14,000 capacity stadium built by the management of the polytechnic with support from the Delta State Government.
As promised by Gov. Okowa to Deltans upon assumption of office to pursue legislation that will “support and promote Universal Health Insurance Policy for all Deltans.” The inauguration of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission on Wednesday, May 4, 2016, marks the fulfillment of that promise. With the inauguration of the Commission, Delta became the first State in the country to have a mandatory health insurance scheme for the purpose of universal healthcare coverage.
The goal of the universal health coverage, which the United Nations has been encouraging all member – countries to adopt, is to ensure that people are able to access and get treatment at our hospitals/clinics without suffering financial hardship at the point of service, or denied service outright due to lack of funds. When the insurance scheme is fully operational, it will lead to a more robust healthcare system, improved quality and more affordable healthcare delivery as well as significantly better health outcomes.
Even more significant to me is that the poor, women and the vulnerable will no longer have to seek recourse to money lenders to pay for health services, leading to further impoverishment.
As part of the activities marking the Okowa led Administration’s first anniversary, Gov Okowa commissioned the newly-built Azu-Owa Cottage Hospital in Abavo, Ika South Local Government Area, and the Children’s Ward and other facilities at the General Hospital, Patani.
On this note, I am urging Deltans at home and abroad to support this administration in making Delta State a transformed State. We can only do this by sustaining peace in our various community. Irrespective of our party affiliations, our first obligation is to make Delta Great.
Thanks and God bless you all.