…Says ‘my oath is a covenant to build a stronger Delta’
By Ovasa Ogaga,
Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa said that the state government will redouble its efforts in tackling the menace of illegal collection of developmental levy popularly called “Deve” by some youths and community leaders in the state.
The Governor stated this at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, Delta State when Dr Okowa and his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro took oath of office as Governor and Deputy Governor respectively, noted that the deve collection has hampered development in state and will no longer be tolerated as it has been outlawed.
Governor Okowa in an address he delivered after being administered oath of office by the Chief Judge of the state, Justice Marshal Umukoro, stated that the oath he took was for him to build a stronger state.
According to the governor, “the oath of service I just took is more than an official function or constitutional requirement, it is a covenant between us, a covenant to build a stronger Delta in which we can freely and confidently, pursue our dreams and happiness in a safe and secure environment. “
“We shall remain mindful of the fact that whatever we do without laying a good foundation for our youths would be ‘building blocks on quick sand;’ parents, guardians, teachers and community leaders must rise up to their duties,” he said, adding, “we must teach our children the difference between good and evil, right and wrong; they must be taught the virtues of hard work, civic obligations, love, tolerance, good neighbourliness and respect for elders because, we must realize that if we give the wrong foundation to our children today, it goes on to bite the society when they grow up.”
The governor who scored his administration high in the management of human and material resources, disclosed that during his first term in office, his administration through the Ministries of Works, Urban Renewal and the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, embarked on a total of 455 road projects comprising 1,269.42 kilometers and 517.34 kilometers of drainage channels and as at April 30, 2019, 263 of these roads, covering 638.23 kilometers and 295.71 kilometers of associated drains have been completed.
In the education sector the governor stated that his government has rehabilitated the 6 technical colleges at Agbor, Sapele, Ofagbe, Utagba-Ogbe, Ogor and Issele-Uku, stating that plans have been concluded to build 19 more technical colleges to ensure that every local government area in the state has at least, one technical college to encourage skill and entrepreneurship development of the people.
“As many of you present here will testify that we devoted substantial resources, time and energy to build a knowledge-based economy and a critical mass of skills for entrepreneurship and business competitiveness; over 20,000 persons benefited from our flagship Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme (STEP), Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP) and similar programmes undertaken by the Ministries of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Commerce and Industry, Women Affairs as well as the Delta State Micro Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agency,” the governor said, stating that curriculum of tertiary institutions in the state would be overhauled to include courses in personal development and problem solving.
He also, listed the achievements of his administration to include the accreditation of courses offered by the Delta State University, approval for the take-off of the Faculty of Environmental Sciences at the Asaba Campus of DELSU, emphasizing that the upgrade of Asaba Airport to category 6 which receives international flights was also, an achievement by his administration in his first term as the airport will be concessioned to a consortium.
While he did a break-down of sector by sector achievements of his administration in his first term in office, Governor Okowa gave credit to the Delta State Advisory and Peace Building Council, the Advocacy Committee Against Vandalism of Oil and Gas Facilities, traditional rulers, community leaders, grassroots organisations, and various stakeholders for working closely with his administration to ensure a peaceful state that has become the choice of investors.
“My deputy and I, pledge to do our best to be deserving of your trust; indeed, we are resolute in our quest to leave a legacy of a Delta State that is the frontrunner in the federation; all we need are your prayers and full cooperation; the future that we envision requires that we all open our hearts and minds to the values of love, courage, discipline, cooperation and commitment, which are imperative for growth, stability and sustainable development,” Governor Okowa said, reiterating, “we will explore the limitless possibilities that abound in our State and harness them for the greater good of all; in the same token, we must exigently sheath all political/ethnic cleavages, avoid stereotypes, shun prejudices, sustain and strengthen the institutions that enable peaceful co-existence in order to build a State united in our diversity. These values constitute the cornerstone for building a Stronger Delta with the three pillars of Prosperity, Peace and Progress.”