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.

Ukah Assures On More Developments In Okpanam Axis

Delta State Commissioner for Information, Ogbueshi Patrick Ukah, has thanked the Landlords’ Association of Pat Okonkwo axis (Okotomi Layout) Okpanam, Oshimili North Local Government Area, saying that he is indeed happy with the positive feedback he has received from them on the achievements of the Governor Okowa led administration.

The Commissioner, who stated this when they paid him a courtesy visit  at his country home in Okpanam, assured them of more developments to be seen in the community and its environs as the state government has a listening ear and is attentive to the needs of the people.

Mr. Tunde Obado Oliogu, who led the delegates, described Ogbueshi Ukah as an astute and pragmatic politician, who has through his official position attracted developments to their community.

The association pledged their unalloyed support for the Commissioner for Information’s political goals while declaring that they would mobilise en masse to return the State Governor, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in 2019.

Earlier, the Yoruba Community living in Okpanam, Hairdressers Association, Artisans’ Association of Okpanam and Oshimili North Traditional Rulers, had paid visits to the Commissioner in appreciation of his good works in the Okpanam community and in Delta State and pledged their allegiance to the Governor Okowa led administration.

DTSG COMMITTED TO CORPORATE EXISTENCE OF NIGERIA

The Delta State Govt has said that it will deal decisively with any person or group which activities threaten public peace, order, and security

A statement from the State Ministry of Information has advised members of the public particularly Deltans to go about their normal and lawful duties and to be wary of the activities of the Independent People of Biafra (IPOB).

The statement reiterated the commitment of the Government and people of Delta State to the corporate and peaceful existence of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

Why Govt Sanctioned Poly Registrar, Bursar – Sinebe; Says N500 Million Spent On Accreditation In Delsu

The Delta State Commissioner for Higher Education, Engr. Jude Sinebe, has given reasons for the recent disengagement of the Registrar and Bursar of the Delta State Polytechnic, Ogwashi-Uku.

The Commissioner, who was speaking when took his turn yesterday to address the press at the ongoing ministerial press briefing on the activities and achievements of his ministry held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Information, Asaba, said that the subversion of due process in the employment of staff for the Polytechnic by the affected officers was responsible for their disengagement.

According to the Commissioner, the officers went about the employment without getting the approval of the State Governor, which he said happened way back in 2013, saying, “They did not act alone. Others civil servants were involved, some 11 others.”

He explained that the affected officers were asked to resign and also forfeit all their retirement entitlements, saying the measure was to guide against impunity and deter others from carrying their job without observing due process.

The Higher Education Commissioner, who was responding to questions, said that Delta State University (DELSU) was able to generate N2 billion some time ago, but that the figure had fallen to N1.6 billion as at last year, saying no tertiary school paid a kobo to government but that government on a monthly basis provide subvention to higher institutions in the state.

He revealed that the State Government gave permission to higher institutions to generate revenue and spent part of it on running their daily cost and embarking on infrastructure development.

The Commissioner said that the State Government had spent over N500 million on accreditation of programmes in DELSU and that N30 million was also released for the last convocation done in the school.

Engr. Sinebe assured that the Senate building at the main campus of DELSU, Abraka, would be completed as soon as funds were released.

On why the name of College of Physical Education, Mosogar was changed to College of Education, Mosogar, the Commissioner said that it was to make the institution more encompassing and attractive to prospective students.

He clarified that 70 years remained the retirement age for professors in Universities and 65 years for other academic staff, while academic staff in Polytechnics and Colleges of Education was 65 years and other staff 60 years.

Anioma Nation To Honour Okowa April 21

In giving honour to whom it is due, Asaba, the capital of Delta State, will stand still on Saturday, April 21 as the Anioma nation is to hold a grand reception in solidarity with their son and Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, for his sterling leadership of the state.

Disclosing this on Sunday in a press briefing, the Chairman, Organizing Committee, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who was represented by the Head, Media and Publicity of the Committee, Mr. Patrick Ukah, said that the Anioma nation has come together to show support for Governor Okowa who has distinguished himself as a true son of Anioma.

Mr. Ukah said that though the reception is long overdue, it is coming at the most appropriate time now that Governor Okowa has stamped his feet in the governance of the state, adding that the celebration is worthy because the Anioma people have long desired to have its fair share in the governance of the state and such prayers have been made manifest in the person of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

He added that prominent sons and daughters of Anioma nation from all walks of life will grace the occasion, stressing that the state will also be expecting the National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Prince Uche Secondus, various state Governors, Senators, Traditional Rulers and other party bigwigs as well as business tycoons.

Expressing his confidence in the ability of the governor to steer the state towards the promised land, Mr. Ukah said that Governor Okowa is a detribalized Deltan, who has taken the entire state as his constituency, even as he highlighted some of the laudable projects of the SMART agenda littered all over the state.

Mr. Ukah said that the organization of the ceremony signifies that Anioma nation is one united entity and stands solidly behind Governor Okowa to complete the good works he has started in the state, stressing that although there may be few dissidents, the reception transcends political sentiments.

Delta SSG Highlights Achievements Of Government; Says Due Process Is Observed In Contract Awards.

The Delta State Government has revealed that a lot of milestones have been recorded so far in fulfilling the fundamental policy thrust of its administration anchored on the legacy of Wealth Creation and Prosperity for all Deltans in line with its electoral promises.

The Secretary to the Delta State Government, Hon. Festus Ovie Agas stated this during the maiden edition of the 2018 Ministerial Press Briefing held at the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Information, Asaba.

Hon Agas said that the State Government despite its lean resources from inception had engaged over 2,500 unemployed youths and has transformed them into owners of businesses and employers of labor in its Job Creation Scheme.

According to the SSG, “The success of the schemes has attracted commendations and support from many national and international institutions, including the World Bank which became a co-sponsor for the third-cycle of the programme.

“The State Government has redoubled its efforts in engaging Deltans especially the youths in meaningful ventures through various skill acquisition programmes such as the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneur Programme (YAGEP) and Skills Training and Entrepreneurial Programme (STEP).”

The Secretary to the State Government revealed that a Department of Monitoring and Mentoring under the Governor’s Office has been established to properly monitor the implementation of these programmes and mentor the beneficiaries.”

Contributory Health Scheme

On the Delta State Contributory Health Scheme, the SSG stated that it was central to the Okowa led-Administration’s vision for universal health coverage in the State, saying that its purpose was to improve the availability and access to quality healthcare services for all Deltans.

While saying that over 62 General Hospitals, 107 Primary Health Care Centres, 10 private hospitals and the Federal Medical Centre, Asaba had been accredited for the programme, Hon Agas affirmed that due care was taken to ensure fair distribution of the facilities across the State.

He said that while most public officers had enrolled into the scheme, the informal and private sectors were still being mobilized to enroll, even as he said, “Annual premium is about seven thousand naira only, which may be paid in installments and the State government bears the premium for pregnant women, children under 5-years and widows.

He assured that before the year runs out, physically and mentally challenged persons as well as the elderly above 65 years of age would be enrolled on a free-premium basis.

Infrastructural Development

The SSG stated that a total of 165 road projects across urban, rural and riverine landscapes with a total length of 776.5 kilometers had been started by the government out of which 70 road projects with a length of 263 kilometers had been completed while others were at various stages of completion.

According to him, to curb the effect of the perennial rain flood in Asaba, a massive storm-drain project was underway in the capital territory, saying it would curb the menace of flooding that annually overwhelms vast sections of the territory thereby dislodging traffic, businesses and homes.

He also added that there had been a massive development of infrastructure across primary, post-primary and tertiary educational institutions in the State, saying, “This has partly contributed to the successful accreditation of the courses in most of the institutions, including the Law, Engineering and Medical Sciences programmes in Delta State University, Abraka.

Upgrade Of Asaba Airport

On the Asaba International Airport, the Secretary to the State Government said, “In order to further boost the economy of the State, the Asaba Airport has been undergoing a major upgrade especially, the resurfacing of its runway and the provision of some vital technical facilities such as the Voice Communication System (VCS), the Automatic Weather Observation System (AWOS) and Low Level Wind Shear Alert System (LLWAS).”

He revealed that the airport had been closed to traffic for five weeks with effect from today, April 9, 2018 to enable the completion of the resurfacing of the runway, saying that after the resurfacing, bigger Airplane would land at the Airport.

Hon. Agas also used the occasion to debunk the allegation that due process was not followed in the award of the building of new Secretariat Complex.

Pensions

With respect to Pensions, Hon Agas said, “Payment to workers that retired under the Old Pension Scheme is up to date. For the workers that retired under the Contributory Scheme, Government been releasing N300 million naira monthly towards defraying the commitments to them, while the re-computation of the actuarial value of their past services in line with the current salary scale is at the completion stage.

“Government has been regular in releasing its 10% counterpart contribution towards the claims of serving workers which amounts to approximately N322 million monthly while also ensuring the release of the workers 7½% contribution into their Retirement Savings Accounts.”

“The payment of the accrued claims from the Old Scheme into the new scheme has been a challenge because of the huge outlay of funds required and appealed to the retirees involved with the claim to bear with the State Government as work towards resolving the actuarial valuation is on-going to find a way forward towards defraying it.”

Earlier, the Commissioner for Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, stated that the Okowa led-administration had made exemplary legacy records of policy reforms and landmark achievements in agricultural transformation, fiscal prudence, road rehabilitation and construction”

“It is therefore very important that the information on the programmes, projects and policies of the government is transmitted down to the populace as it is the fundamental right of the people to be properly informed of the activities of their Government.” Mr Ukah stated.

He revealed that in order to build on what the State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa said during his media chat with journalist last month, the Ministry of Information as the organ of government responsible for the dissemination of information had put in place the press briefing to engage the Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to take turns to brief the press.

Asaba, Nigeria, Wednesday, April 4, 2018

NO.DTS 8379: TOWN HALL MEETINGS: OKOWA, UDUAGHAN, OTHERS BRAINSTORM ON HOW TO MAKE WARRI, KOKO PORTS FUNCTIONAL

NO.DTS 0380: GOV OKOWA PLEDGES ADMINISTRATION’S SUPPORT FOR GENUINE INVESTORS… SAYS STARS UNIVERSITY WILL BE FIRST OF ITS KIND IN SUB-SAHARAN AFRICA

NO.DTS 0381: DELTA CHIEF JUDGE TASKS PARENTS ON SOUND MORAL UPBRINGING OF CHILDREN

NO.DTS 0382: ASABA INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT RUNWAY, TAXIWAY SHUTDOWN FOR SIX WEEK

NO.DTS 0383: 2018 SERIES SECRETARIAL EXAMINATION HOLDS APRIL 9 – 12

Editor: Churchill Oyowe
Tel: 08062269772
Website: www.information.deltastate.gov.ng

NO.DTS 0379: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018
Town Hall Meetings: Okowa, Uduaghan, Others Brainstorm On How To Make Warri, Koko Ports Functional

ISSUES of dredging the Koko and Warri Ports took centre stage today as Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa held town hall meetings with the people of Warri North and Warri South Local Government Areas.

At the town hall meetings which took place at Warri and Koko respectively, Governor Okowa disclosed that his administration was working with relevant authorities to see that Warri and Koko ports were dredged for them to function optimally.

The town hall meetings were in continuation of series of town hall meetings going on in different local government areas of the state.

Governor Okowa who stated that his administration was committed to ensuring a state where facilities were functional, observed that making the seaports active would bring a lot of benefits to the people, the state and Nigeria as a nation.

“The cost of dredging the Ports is alarming, but, we are exploring different opportunities for the Ports to be functional,” the Governor said.
He commended the people for their support for his administration, disclosing that the town hall meetings provided fora for him to tell the people what his administration was doing and also, get reactions from the people about the achievements of his administration and their expectations.

The Governor, who was accompanied by his Deputy, Barr Kingsley Otuaro and top government officials, assured the people that there would be consistent efforts for potable water to be distributed, and urged the people to embrace the compulsory health contributory scheme.

According to him, the health contributory scheme was designed for Deltans to have easy access to health facilities, assuring the people that the health centres in the areas would be made functional because of their importance to the people at the grassroots.

Governor Okowa also disclosed that his administration was constructing markets despite the fact that it was the function of local government councils because, the Councils do not have the capacity to construct such, saying, “We construct the markets and handover to the Councils to manage.”

He also explained that due to the high cost of scholarship for Deltans wishing to go out for their post-graduate studies outside the country, his administration had worked out a model for such students to be given scholarship to study in the country as it was more cost-effective to do so.

Former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, stated that it was important for the Ports to be made functional, noting, “While Koko has free trade status, it is deep but, the channel is shallow.”

Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area, Hon. Michael Tidi had during the town hall meeting in Warri, said, “The monumental Ode-Itsekiri Internal Roads network represents a watershed in the annals of the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people, a true marvel to behold, it stands as a prominent testament to the legendary resourcefulness with which you (Governor Okowa) approach governance; the Itsekiri people are very grateful for that unique insight of giving Ode-Itsekiri and environs vehicular civilization for the first time in our history, we appreciate His Excellency for your commitment to the Trans-Warri/Ode-Itsekiri Bridge that would link neighboring communities, amongst other growth catalysts.”

“It takes a man of courage and integrity to make promises, keep them and still come back to listen to more requests, we consider this Town Hall meeting to be a rare privilege, indeed and we most sincerely appreciate you, our Governor for providing such a veritable platform for our people and other critical stakeholders in the society to meet and interface with the number one citizen of the state,” Hon. Tidi added.

At each of the town hall meetings, people of all walks of life spoke freely, while most of them commended the Governor for his numerous achievements, others drew the attention of the Governor to areas his administration needed to act on.

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NO.DTS 0380: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018
Gov Okowa Pledges Administration’s Support For Genuine Investors… Says Stars University Will Be First Of Its Kind In Sub-Sahara Africa

The Governor of Delta State, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has declared his administration’s determination to continue to support and encourage individuals with genuine intention to bring development to the state.

Dr Okowa made the declaration while performing the official groundbreaking ceremony of the STARS University, Idumuje-Ugboko in Aniocha North Local Government Area yesterday.

The Governor who was represented by the Commissioner for Higher Education, Engr Jude Sinebe, in his speech said that when completed the university would be the first of its kind in Sub-Sahara Africa as well as in Nigeria, just as in the case of the College of Physical Education, Mosogar.

Governor Okowa described STARS University as uniquely designed to train athletes in various sporting activities, expressing optimism that the university would open up the area and also accelerate development in the entire state.

Earlier, the Chairman of the occasion, Rtd Captain Joseph Okubor, asserted that prince Ned Nwoko had a huge passion for his people’s well-being which he said had been re-enforced by the groundbreaking ceremony, stressing that it would usher in unprecedented development in the community.

According to him, a seed had been sown with the groundbreaking ceremony of the STARS University and urged the people to strive to become role model rather than chasing wealth at all cost.

Also speaking, the Chairman, Project Implementation Committee, Prof. Nduka Uriah, described Ned Nwoko as a visionary politician and legal luminary of great repute.

Prof. Urial, started that when completed the university would be a center of excellence for sports/conventional university, stating that all the academic requirements by the National Universities Commission (NUC) had been met.

The founder of the University, Hon Prince Ned Nwoko, said that the sports university would also offer conventional courses, and joint honour degree would be awarded.

While thanking the people of Idumuje-Ugboko and those who graced the ceremony, he explained that STARS University represented Sports, Technology, Arts and Research Sciences.

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NO.DTS 0381: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018
Delta Chief Judge Tasks Parents On Sound Moral Upbringing Of Children

The State Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro has reiterated the need for parents to imbue in their children good moral and scriptural principles that would make them viable citizens.

Justice Umukoro gave the advice when the International Federation of Women Lawyers Association, FIDA, Delta State chapter, paid him a courtesy call in Asaba to intimate him of the existence and activities of the Association.

The Chief Judge, who was reacting to observations of the group concerning nursing mothers awaiting trial in prison custody, attributed the increase of baby mothers and crime in the society to dysfunctional family system.

While expressing reservation on the ability of orphanages to take adequate care of motherless children removed from their mothers in prison custody, Justice Umukoro stated that the reason such mothers were being kept behind bars should be inquired into without sentiments for the interest of the larger society.

He disclosed that the Judiciary was collaborating with the State Ministry of Women Affairs, Community and Social Development to appoint competent members from the Area Courts as Assessors to sit with Judges and Magistrates in the six Family Courts in the three Senatorial Districts of the State.

He used the occasion to advise parents, especially mothers, to exercise due diligence while profiling the background of prospective suitors before giving their consent, even as he promised members of the Association his support during their forthcoming FIDA/Delta week.

Earlier, the Chairperson of FIDA, Mrs Okus Lauretta Omezi, said that they were in his office to intimate him on activities of the group and solicited his support, being the number one citizen of the Judiciary in Delta State.

Mrs Omezi, who was in company of executive members of the Association, disclosed that the Association had been resuscitated to be alive to its responsibilities, saying it was established in Delta State 15 years ago and had branches in 32 States of the Federation.

The Chairperson, who is also a President of Area Customary Court, enumerated objectives of FIDA to include enhancing and promoting the welfare of women and children, to establish friendly international ties on the basis of equality and mutual respect for all peoples, and to provide advice to the government in all cases of neglect relating to women and children.

While thanking the Chief Judge on the increasing rate of transfer of cases to ADR, the Association appealed for more transfers affecting women and children to enable them benefit from access to justice.

They equally brought to the attention of the Chief Judge cases of nursing mothers and persons of unsound mind on awaiting trial and could not competently withstand trial, even as they called on him to ensure that specialists were appointed to man family courts.

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NO.DTS 0382: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018
Asaba International Airport Runway, Taxiway Shutdown For Six Week

The Asaba International Airport runway and taxiway will be closed for traffic for six (6) weeks beginning 9th April to 15th May, 2018, to operators of Airlines and Passengers.

This closure, according to a statement signed by the Delta State Director of Information, Mr Paul Osahor, is to make way for the rehabilitation work of the middle section of the runway to be executed and completed.

The general public, especially airline operators are by this announcement advised to take note of the closure.

The Delta State Government and the Contractor handling the rehabilitation work of the Asaba International Airport, Setraco Limited, called on the general public and airline operators to take note and expressed regret all inconveniences the closure may cause them.

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NO.DTS 0383: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 4, 2018
2018 Series Secretarial Examination Holds April 9 – 12

The 2018 series of the Delta State Secretarial Examination for Confidential Secretaries and Secretarial Assistants in the Delta State Public Service has been scheduled to hold from Monday, 9th April to Thursday, 12th April, 2018.

According to a statement signed by the State Director of Information, Mr Paul Osahor, the schedule became necessary following the gracious approval by the State Head of Service, Mr Reginald Bayoko mni.

The statement noted that the examination will hold in two centres, namely Staff Training Centre, Asaba and Hussey College, Warri, and called on interested candidates to take note of the date and venues for the examination.

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DTSG Approves Four Roads In Capital Territory

The Delta State Government has approved the construction, rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of four raods in the capital territory.

This was part of the decisions taken during the State Executive Council meeting held inside the Government House, Asaba, on Tuesday.

The state Commissioner for Information, Mr. Patrick Ukah, who spoke after the meeting listed the approvals to include the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of Ibusa Road (from Nnebisi Road to Benin/Asaba Expressway), Asaba, and the construction of Ambassador Leo Okogwu Road (from Onwuegbuzie Street junction to Osuzoka Street in Zappa), Asaba.

Others are the rehabilitation and asphalt overlay of Jesus Saves Road (from Summit Road junction to Onwuegbuzie Street junction) and Onwuegbuzie Street (from Jesus Saves Road junction to Nnebisi Road by Konwea Plaza), Asaba, and the construction of NCC Institute/State’s Owner-Occupier Housing Estate/CBN Housing Estate Road, off Asaba-Ugbolu-Illah Road, Ugbolu, Oshimili North Local Government Area.

Mr. Ukah further disclosed that the construction of Creme Suites Road, Owa-Ekei, (from old Lagos-Asaba Road to Kingsway Street junction) in Ika North East, the rehabilitation and construction of various roads in Ekakpamre, Ughelli South and the construction of Queens Street, Boji Boji, Agbor, Ika South, were equally approved.

Gov. Okowa Holds 1st Quarterly Media Interaction for Year 2018

To control effects of flood water on Deltans, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has said the state government will spend more than N30 billion for the construction of storm drains.

According to the Governor, the amount would take care of eight storm drainage channels in the state including their discharge points.

The Governor made the disclosure in Asaba during the first quarterly interactive session with Journalists for the year, 2018.

“We have taken the bull by the horn as regards the flood control in the state; we wanted to be sure that we were on the right path, we did not just want to start constructing drains all over again without bringing solutions to the flood issues in Asaba so our consultants worked with the Nigerian Society of Engineers to provide us with eight options of drains,” he said.

“Storm drainages that we had to undertake as a state which was put at a total cost of a little above N30 Billion and out of the eight strategic network of Drains we chose to work with three as they were very critical and the total cost of the three is about N11 Billion.”

He continued, “the first one we started with was the one that is going to be within the area of DLA road through Jesus Saves road, the Agric Road area and that is the construction that is ongoing straight from that area through the Nnebisi road to the Amilimocha river and I think that the project has gone very far; we have been promised that the project will be delivered by the end of May this year and we are happy to announce that from my inspections, the project is going on very well and I am sure that a lot of us would have had the opportunity to see this construction and for those of us who may not have, I must appeal that for us to be able to do proper reporting, there is a need for us to visit projects to see what is on going.”

“There are two other projects, one of them is the drainage project that will take us through Ambassador Ralph Uwechie road to discharge to the Anwai stream and that project is already ongoing; the project was awarded about a month ago and work is ongoing and it will take 12 months to complete, so, we may not be getting all the relief within the Okpanam areas all through the rainy season but, it is our hope that before the next rainy season they would have completed the project so hopefully the project will be delivered by God’s grace by the end of February 2019 and once it is completed it is going to drain the larger part of Okpanam while part of the water coming from Okpanam will be drained through the project that has a discharge point at the Iyi-Abi stream that is across the Asaba/Onitsha expressway and I am happy to announce that the company working on the Okpanam project has stepped up their pace of work; the third of the storm drainage projects is the one that is going to drain DBS area and the adjoining areas around the DBS and that project is a 12 month project and I hope that they all will be delivered on time because the impact of the projects will only be fully felt in the year 2019 and it is my hope that we can reasonably go far enough before the rains sets in this year.”

Speaking further, the governor described the numerous clashes between herdsmen and farmers in the country as a great threat to sustainable food production.

According to the Governor, “if we are going to encourage agriculture in this country, we must address the loss of farm produce from these security challenges posed by the herdsmen/farmers clashes” all over the country.

While disclosing that his administration had taken proactive steps, including setting up interventionist committees to ensure that the clashes do not escalate as is being witnessed in some other states of the federation, Governor Okowa expressed confidence that the Presidential Committee set up on the issue will proffer solutions for the Federal Government to give policy trust for Nigerians to follow.

He also clarified that the issue of herdsmen taking over Uwheru community in Ughelli North local government area was being taken care of by security operatives, asserting that his administration will always employ diplomacy to avoid loss of life as a result of the activities of herdsmen.

On the issue of tractors being hired to farmers at exorbitant cost, the Governor expressed joy that most Deltans were into farming, noting that farmers’ co-operative societies took charge of the hiring of tractors, but promised that more would be procured to cater for those who could not access tractors being run by the co-operative societies.

Fielding question from Journalists on the taking over of land belonging to Umutu community by the Edo State government, Governor Okowa stated that the Attorney-General and Commissioner of Justice had been directed to liaise with Umutu community because the issue was before the court.

The governor reiterated that his administration was committed to the overall socio-economic development of the state and markets, especially in rural communities where such markets play vital roles in the development of the areas.

He said, “we are trying to assist our people through rural markets because, that helps to grow commerce and the local government councils that are directly in charge of markets may not be very strong financially and if we continue to leave them, that means we will be impacting very badly on the economy of the state and in the course of this year, we are building markets, one of which is the Ozoro market which was just recently awarded, it was a promise made and it is a huge market; the other is the Oghara market which was in very bad shape; we are also building the market in Burutu town and others.”

At the well-attended session, Governor Okowa lauded the synergy that exists between his government and the media, stating, “without that partnership (with the press), it will be difficult for the world to know exactly what we are doing as a state either in terms of projects or the challenges that we have in the course of this administration.”

He disclosed that the revenue to the state has greatly improved which led to the state not owing salaries of workers and also, complementing local government councils to offset backlog of salaries owed their staff.

“I know that when we spoke the last time, that we were anticipating things will gradually get better and I want to confirm to us that by the special grace of God in terms of receipts from Federal Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) allocation as it concerns the state, and by God’s grace a lot has been done in the course of time; it has been confirmed that at the end of December 2017, in terms of salaries, we have paid all our salaries at the state level up to date; we have even begun as a state to give support to the local government councils to enable them to pay their salaries more regularly and we are beginning to find ways to settle some of the backlog of salaries; we are committed to that and it is going to be a gradual process and we hope that the councils that owe will eventually be able to settle the backlog of salaries,” the Governor assured.

On the issue of security generally in the state, Governor Okowa thanked Deltans for their peaceful dispositions which has ensured effective take off the multi-billion naira Premium Steel Rolling Mill, formerly, Delta Steel Company, Aladja. He attributed the performance of ground-breaking ceremony for the take-off of companies in the state and the flooding of the state by investors to the peaceful atmosphere in the state.

He observed that the state was peaceful, adding that his administration also, holds regular Security Council meetings to nip security challenges in the bud.

Governor Okowa who reeled out some of the achievements of his administration, urged Deltans to key into the compulsory health insurance scheme of his administration, adding that the contract for the construction of phase I of Oko road in Oshimili South local government area have been awarded.

Ukah Commends Gov. Okowa for Fulfilment of Campaign Promises

The Honourable Commissioner for information, Mr. Patrick Ukah has commended the administration of Senator Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa for its massive impact on the various sectors of the economy of the state.

Mr. Ukah who described the governor as a stabilizer and pacesetter, said that he had all it takes to seek a second term in office, saying he had been able to handle properly the polity of the state.

The commissioner made this known in an interview with newsmen from Vanguard and Nations newspapers in his office.

The commissioner said that Governor Okowa had been able to fulfill his various promises on infrastructural development in rural areas like Okwe, Issele Uku, Bomadi, and Oleh, among others.

According to him, Governor Okowa’s administration had been able to stabilize the economy of the state noting that about 3,000 Deltans had been empowered in entrepreneurial programmes and that over 750 Deltans were currently undergoing training.

Also, he said that the governor had confidently sorted out the issue of unpaid salaries of workers, stating that the debt profile of the state had also been reduced to the barest minimum.

He further stressed that the administration had given good attention to basic education stating that many government-owned primary and secondary schools had been renovated and provided with adequate materials and facilities such as chairs and tables.

The Information Commissioner added that the government had established about six centers for vocational education to train youths on handwork and encourage them not to totally be inclined to white collar jobs only.

“Over time we found out that people are more inclined to white collar jobs than skills, so we thought of how to train and empower our youths to acquire skills. We have about six vocational centers in the state where youths are trained by those that have been trained before”, he said.

The state government, he said, had been able to tackle the problem of flood, particularly in the state capital, Asaba by engaging in the construction of deep erosion control consultants calling on Deltans to see the great achievements of the government on various areas of the state.