Okowa Calls For Sustainable Implementation Of Pension

… Swears-In Igo, Atube As Chairman, Secretary, Local Govt Pensions Bureau

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has urged the Federal Government to work out ways for all states of the federation to key into the contributory pension scheme, because of the overall benefits of the scheme to the Nigerian worker.

Governor Okowa made the call yesterday (18/10/18) in Asaba during the swearing-in ceremony of Mr Ben Igo and Mr Frank Atube as Chairman and Secretary respectively of the Local Government Pensions Bureau.

According to the governor, “the Federal Government should look at ways to ensure that all the states of the federation implement the contributory pension scheme; until more states enlist in the pension scheme, we will not have sustainable pension plan for all our workers.”

“It is becoming increasingly difficult to administer pension in Nigeria, Delta State has enrolled into the contributory pension scheme and only eight states as at today have enrolled into the scheme, no doubt, the contributory pension scheme comes with a lot of challenges but it is the best for the future of our country and the states,” he stated.

Governor Okowa stressed that “the biggest challenge is the payment of the backlog of past services and we need to find ways of settling these payment of past services because, until we do that, many states will not enroll and they will not have sustainable pension scheme for workers.”

He continued, “I want to urge the federal government and states to come together and look at the best possible ways of funding the payment of these past services so that all states can enroll into the scheme.”

While congratulating Mr Igo and Atube for the appointments, Governor Okowa disclosed, “the appointments like all other appointments we made were based on merit, integrity and experience; though, they have a lot of work to do because of the challenges of payment of pensions and helping to defray payment of past services.”

Mr Igo on behalf of Mr Atube, thanked Governor Okowa for finding them fit to serve the people, assuring that they will discharge their duties diligently.

Okowa Calls For The Abolition Of Death Penalties …Says Prisons Should Be Reformatory Centres

Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa has called for the abolition of death sentence in Nigeria.

Governor Okowa made the call yesterday (18/10/18) in Asaba when he received members of the Presidential Advisory Committee on Prerogative of Mercy led by Mr. William Alo.

Nigeria is a major player in the International community, “we need to ask ourselves if death sentence is still relevant in our society? In many states, many Governors are not ready to sign the death warrant, why are they not signing the death warrant? The world is moving away from death sentence.”

While decrying the overpopulation of Nigerian prisons, Governor Okowa urged the federal government to improve on the facilities in the prisons.

“We need to evolve measures that will make Nigerian Prisons to be truly reformatory centres, so that ex-convicts can be better citizens”. He said

“There is no doubt that most of our prisons are crowded, even in Delta State; there is the need to have reforms that will change the mind of the prisoners for them to be useful to the society; I pray that the committee keeps this advocacy on what to do to carry out reforms to make prisoners come out as better persons,” he said.

Governor Okowa continued, “we need to make them see life differently and acquire skills to live better life after imprisonment, we need to have a total rethink to carry out a total reformation of prisoners because if we reform their lives and does not provide skills, many of them will return to their old ways.”

Earlier, Mr Alo had said they were on advocacy visit to prisons in the state, adding that it was important for suggestions to be made on how to improve on the services in the Nigerian Prisons.

2019 Polls: Osinbajo, Okowa Call For Credible Media Coverage

VICE President Yemi Osinbajo and the Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa have urged the media to retain its credibility as an unbiased umpire.

They made the call at the 14th edition of All Nigeria Editors Conference (ANEC) holding in Asaba, Delta State.

According to Prof. Osinbajo, “the journalism profession has always been at a greater risk than other professions; freedom of expression has always given people the right to use any information, but, there was some actions by some regulatory parliaments that created obstacles for all newcomers except for renowned professionals and this created some restrictions; but today, all that is gone and who is to blame for the death of this profession?”

“The first culprit is technology; its inheritable evil also has the capacity for overwhelming good as we need technology in every aspect of our livelihood; the second and most important culprit is the professional himself,” he said, observing, “over time, we have lost the trust of the public, because, what do people want? People want the truth, objectivity – they want clear analysis of events.”

He continued, “there was a time when someone would say, ‘I read it in the Times’ because, whatever was written then was absolutely meant to be the truth but today, skeptics will ask you “who sponsored this story?’ Most of the investigative reports are reported by the social media such as blogs, television channels and so forth; The Guild, as we all agree, is a society of gate-keepers to whom belongs the responsibility of defining the efforts, the norms, the ethics of this profession; upon you is also the burden of setting the acceptable rules, the conventions and practices of the profession; this gathering is made greater in a society where corruption is the order of the day and where there is constant fight, and the burden of The Guild is to ensure that your rules and regulations are enforced and kept as it is a self-regulatory profession.”

Governor Okowa had in an address, observed that the independence, objectivity and credibility of the media is being undermined by media practitioners engaging in public relations consultancy services to politicians, dearth of investigative journalism and inadequate remuneration for journalists in their places of work.

“Media practitioners who are known to be engaged as Public Relations Consultants to politicians/ public office holders compromises the editorial independence, fairness and objectivity of the press; by the time a professional journalist goes on social media to be advocating for or defending a particular candidate/public figure, he cannot be trusted to report fairly and impartially on matters concerning that person; this is a clear and present danger to the journalism profession and one that this body should strive to contain as quickly as possible, especially as we approach the 2019 general elections,” the governor said, adding, “I must point out that there is still too much hear-say reporting; too often, reporters base their stories on what people say or allege without bothering to crosscheck the facts; as a result, politicians/political office holders are forced to defend themselves against sometimes very wild, outlandish allegations; reputations have been ruined, careers destroyed and families torn apart because of such reporting.”

Governor Okowa who described the Nigerian press as one of the freest in the world with a rich, enviable history of crusading against corruption, bad governance and despotic leadership, noted that “a situation where a reporter is unsure of his next pay cheque does not augur well for the growth of the profession as it exposes them to undue influences from politicians and public office holders; survival is a basic instinct of man and a person whose survival is threatened could care less about integrity and fairness.”

He asserted, “we need our journalists to report the truth no matter whose ox is gored but they cannot do that with boldness, confidence and assurance if their welfare is in jeopardy. “

Governor Okowa stated that the theme for the conference, ‘Credible Elections, Sustainable Democracy and the Role of the Media,’ was “relevant at this point in time, especially in the light of the recently concluded party primaries; indeed, the choice of the theme aptly reflects the concern of all Nigerians for a free, fair, transparent and credible 2019 elections for sustainable democracy.”

“Democracy requires the exercise of political power to promote the public good or welfare of the people, accountability and transparency in governance and the existence of viable opposition parties for it to be sustainable,” he observed, disclosing, “one of the biggest steps we took towards ensuring sustainable democracy in Nigeria was when in 2015 the ruling PDP at the federal level conducted an election, lost and handed over to the opposition APC; this was a scenario previously thought impossible but when that happened, to the chagrin of critics and naysayers, a solid foundation was laid for sustainable democracy in Nigeria. “

He emphasized, “the current APC-led Federal Government must build on this foundation and resist the temptation to repress the opposition and militarise the electoral process; to do otherwise would have terrible repercussions on this democracy that many have fought and died for.”

Earlier, the chairman of the occasion, Mr Tonie Iredia had in a welcome speech, urged the media to make everyone accountable for what he does, stating, “as journalists, we should stand in the forefront and do what the journalists are supposed to do – setting the agenda, we should engage in developmental journalism.”

President, Nigerian Guild of Editors, Mrs Funke Egbemode welcomed participants stating that all Nigerians must be actively involved in making the right choice about those who will lead the country in 2019.

Osinbajo, Okowa, Dangote, Others Say Africa, Making Progress

NIGERIA’S Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, Delta State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, billionaire businessman, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, erudite scholar, Dr. Christopher Kolade, among others, graced the launch of the book, ‘Africa Arise and Shine’, authored by the founder and Chairman of Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Jim Ovia, where they observed that Africa was making steady progress.

Speaking at Lagos where the event took place, Prof. Osinbajo observed that the fact that democratically elected Presidents are in charge of all the countries in Africa was a clear testimony that Africa is making progress.

While calling for the rebranding of Africa to project the continent in positive light, the Vice President described the story of Mr Ovia as inspiring, stating, “Mr Ovia is a great contributor to nation building, his investment in education and the training of thousands of people, he is humble and a self effacing man; I am not surprised he tells his story from humble beginning; his story gives ample room for grace and the Nigerian dream is captured here; a man who built from N20 million to N6 trillion enterprise, Jim have nurtured leaders.”

“It is not about how the figure looked in the first few days, it is about character, integrity, fidelity to service over self,” the Vice President stated.

Governor Okowa at the event, stated, “I want to appreciate all of you for coming to this great event, we are proud of what Mr Ovia has done for our nation and also back home in our state, Delta, we will continue to appreciate him for the great things he is doing for our country.”

The governor who attended the event with such Deltans like the Dein of Agbor, HRM Benjamin Ikenchukwu Keagborekuzi I, members of the National Assembly, among others stated that the book will inspire Africans to always aspire to bring out their best.

Chairman of the occasion, Dr. Christopher Kolade had in his opening speech, said the book by Mr Ovia was an opportunity for Africans to tell their own stories, noting that the description of Africa as a dark continent was as a result of outsiders telling the story of Africa.

“Africa was described as a dark continent and I am happy that I am not leaving this world believing that Africa is a dark continent; one problem with Africa is that other people tell our stories and I am happy that one of the brightest is telling the Africa story and it is remarkable that Jim Ovia is telling his own story and I believe it is an interesting story for us to read,” he said.

Different personalities including State Governors, the Governor of Central Bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele, Alhaji Aliko Dangote who was represented by his daughter, Halima, Mr Akintola Williams, Mr Tony Elumelu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Folunronso Alakija, Chief Tony Momoh, among numerous others read different passages from the book and also, spoke glowingly about how Mr Ovia grew an enterprise of N20 million to more than 16 billion dollars.


16th September, 2018.

It is hereby announced for the information of the general public, particularly residents in Delta State, that a case of Lassa fever has been reported in the state leading to the death of a 75 year old woman.

The victim, who took ill, went to the General Hospital, Umuolu, Ndokwa East Local Government Area (LGA) on 18th August, 2018, was referred to the Central Hospital, Kwale, Ndokwa West LGA the following day, 19th and from there was further referred to the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba on 24th August, 2018.

At the FMC, Asaba, the victim’s blood sample was taken to Irua Specialist Hospital, Edo State, for test but unfortunately died on the 29th August, 2018 the same day the hospital in Irrua received the lab result which was confirmed positive to the Lassa virus.

Accordingly, residents in the state are advised not to panic, as the Ministry of Health officials are on top of the situation, doing contact tracing on those who had contact with the victim.

Findings indicate that it is over 21 days since the victim presented at the hospital in Umuolu and Kwale and no case has been discovered, however, contact tracing is ongoing at FMC, Asaba.

As part of safety measures to curb the spread, residents in the state are advised to cultivate good personal hygiene, clean and fumigate their environment, promote community hygiene to prevent rodents from entering homes and protect food from rats and to report any case of strange fever to the nearest hospital.

Lassa fever is a viral hemorrhagic fever that is caused by the urine and faeces of a species of rat when they get in contact with food, water and human wounds with their faeces and urine. Infected persons spread the disease when their body fluids such as blood, faeces, urine, sperm and vomit come in contact with others.

Paul Osahor
Director of Information

PEACE: Okowa Calls On International Communities To Sponsor Skill Acquisition Programmes For Nigerians As He Receives US Ambassador To Nigeria

TO ensure a peaceful and more progressive country, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has called on the international community to engage in the sponsorship of training programmes for Nigerian youths in the area of skill acquisition.

Governor Okowa made the call when the Ambassador of the United States of America to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba.

According to the governor, “we are giving hope to our youths because, we know that the more youths we take out of the streets, the more peace we will have and the more investment and development that can take place in the country.”

“It is important that the international community engage in the training of our youths in skill acquisition as it will go a long way to equip them to contribute to the socio-economic development of the country,” the governor said, adding, “we thank you (Ambassador of the USA) for contributing your quota in the training of some of our youths in agro-business; the state will partner with you to train more youths in agro-business; we are looking for more partners.”

He continued, “we thank the World Bank for contributing to the training of our youths through the SEEFOR; we are aware that a lot of jobs need to be done and a lot of youths need to be trained.”

“So far, as a state government, we have carried out three cycles of our job creation training; we monitor and mentor our trainees and we are glad to say that we have over 62 per cent success rates in our wealth creation programmes,” the governor disclosed.

He commended the Ambassador for visiting the state to find out the progress made in the training of beneficiaries of Presidential Amnesty programmes, expressing delight that the facilities used for the training would be useful in training more youths in the wealth creation programmes of his administration.

Mr Symington had in a speech said they were in the state to visit the agricultural training programme going on through the Presidential Amnesty programme in partnership with some American investors.

While commending Governor Okowa’s administration for providing a conducive environment for the training to take place, he observed that agricultural business would boost the economy of Nigeria.

He added that Nigeria is the economic hub of Africa and the youths through skill acquisition which they must put into use, can change their lives and make the country great.

Okowa Promises To Construct Bridge Across Ase Creek in Ndokwa East

DELTA State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has assured the people of Okpai in Ndokwa East local government area of the state that his administration will construct a bridge across the Ase Creek and construct the road from Kwale to Okpai.

The governor gave the assurance when the Igwe of Okpai, HRM Ugbomah Enebeli II led his subjects to pay a courtesy call on the governor at Government House, Asaba.

According to the governor, “we appeal to the people of Okpai to remain peaceful because, in peace, you will continue to thrive; we shall not continue to wait for the oil companies to construct the bridge across the Ase Creek; Okpai is blessed with oil and gas, and the Independent Power Plant in the community is an asset to the country.”

“I feel very sorry that for so many years, we are using pontoon to cross the Ase Creek, we will certainly take actions on that,” Governor Okowa stated.

While disclosing that his administration was making several efforts to develop all the communities in the state, especially, the oil producing communities, Governor Okowa observed that with the assets and economic activities going on in Okpai community, the area deserves a Police Station, adding that siting of a modular refinery in the area can only be decided by private investors.

The Igwe of Okpai had in an address presented by Mr Amaechi Asugwuni lauded the development programmes of Governor Okowa’s administration.

He also, called for government presence in his kingdom noting that despite playing host to Nigeria Agip Oil Company for more than 40 years and playing host to the IPP which supplies more than 450 megawatts to the national grid and other oil companies operating in the area, it was sad that there was no motorable road to the kingdom while pontoon was used to cross goods and passengers across the Ase Creek.

They called for government to provide infrastructure, including Police Station in the kingdom, disclosing that shore protection contract awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has been abandoned.

Road Closure

It is hereby announced for the information of the general public particularly motorists in Asaba, that the Cabinet road around the Permanent Secretaries and Commissioners quarters will be closed to vehicular traffic for three weeks from Monday, September 17th, 2018.

The closure of the road is to enable the contractor handling the Storm Water Control measures to construct a box culvert across the road.

Consequently, motorists are advised to take alternate routes like the Macdons and High Court roads, to get to their destinations.

Accordingly,the Delta State Government regrets all inconveniences the closure of the road may cause road users and residents in the affected areas.

The general public particularly motorists and commuters are to take note and be guided accordingly.

Paul Osahor
Director of Information.

Ukah Credits Okowa For Developments In Okpanam

Delta State Commissioner for Information,Ogbueshi Patrick Ukah, has said that he was grateful and happy that the people of Okpanam Kingdom in Oshimili North Local Government Council, appreciated his efforts, even as he gave the credit to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa who made such developments possible.

Ogbueshi Ukah, who spoke when he went to felicitate with the Ugoani of Okpanam Kingdom, His Royal Majesty, Michael Mbanefo Ogbolu, on his 2018 New Yam festival on Sunday, stated that just as the thoughts of God are good for His people, he knows that the thoughts of Governor Okowa for the people of Okpanam, Oshimili North and the entire state are of good.

The Commissioner for Information expressed happiness that the people of Okpanam appreciates the little he has been able to do stressing that it is only through the help of God and the State Governor that they were done.

Ogbueshi Ukah revealed that the developments in Okpanam would not have been possible if the Governor did not give his approval or supported it adding that the entire cabinet of the Government of Delta State led by Governor Okowa made them possible.

He noted that his prayer is that Deltans will continue to appreciate these goodness that we experience today adding that this is just the beginning.

Speaking during the festival, the Ugoani of Okpanam Kingdom, His Royal Majesty Michael Mbanefo Ogbolu, insisted that he enjoys cordial relationship with the Omu of Okpanam and called for the revamp of Asaba Textile Mill.

The Monarch said that the media has sensationalized his relationship with the Omu, stressing that his rapport with the Omu has been devoid of rancor or ill will.

“I enjoy an excellent relationship with the Omu, what you read on the pages of the newspaper is what I refer to as media hype. There is no quarrel whatsoever between my person and our illustrious Omu” he said.

He commended the Commissioner for Information, Ogbueshi Patrick Ukah, for attracting transformation to the community, even as he said “that was why we considered it to confer chieftaincy title on him. As of today he is the Enyi of Okpanam kingdom”.

The Ugoani passed a vote of confidence on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, stressing that given the meager resources, he has performed creditably well evident in the massive infrastructural development, sports development and agriculture, even as he appealed to the Governor to revamp Asaba Textile Mill as he did to the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.


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.