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Okowa’s Infrastructure Model: A Solid Plan For National Recovery Okowa’s Infrastructure Model: Solid Plan For National Recovery
Published Dec 13, 2022 IN Column, STRONGER DELTA,
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 WHERE flyovers and high­ways were recently ad­judged as misplaced prior­ity by that same leader who watched idly by while Nigeria was painted as the “poverty capital of the world; so he was merely attempting at ap­portioning blames for the country’s long-standing poverty level under his watch. Conversely, there is the duo with a “Plan For Recovery”, who provide a considered alternative to a seemingly failed change mantra being continuously sung for eight years non-stop, that it now sounds like a broken record. As for being a joint ticket holder of that recovery plan of action, with the support of all Nigerians come May 29, 2023, His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, Governor of Delta State and PDP Vice Presidential hopeful, has his eyes on the goal, beyond the euphoria of media ap­plause, with the understanding that Prosperity creation cannot be done in the box office, but by thinking out of the box, he has flawlessly crystal­lised a new infrastructure model in Delta State that purposefully makes him the “The Road Master”, that is in recognition of his outstanding ac­complishments in roads and general infrastructure construction across Delta State, no doubt a needed in­gredient for national recovery. So it is that His Excellency, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Executive Governor of Delta State, deploys his Finishing Strong Agenda as an icing on the cake that encompasses a most successful demo­cratic tenure. Indeed, the ovation is getting loud­est, as His Excellency, earnestly and ceaselessly deploys an abundance of development vision and enormous political will, into a prosperity of roads, bridges and drain­ages, flyovers and pe­destrian bridges, in both quality and durability, which would make them indelible on the sands of time. Hence, Finish­ing Strong, means that Governor Okowa’s envi­sioned legacy of creating strong institutions and all-round structures in Delta State, is a growing reality each passing day. It is the reason Governor Okowa is eulogised as ‘The Roadmas­ter’, the pace setter of a generation, as he continues to bestride the entire Delta State landscape, with a roadmap of Prosperity. As we speak, Delta State, under Governor Okowa, is a criss cross of democratic dividends, spanning all sectors of human development. Alas, one can truly exclaim that it is a ‘Stronger Delta’ State, with visible and fast paced development, never recorded as has been wit­nessed by all since 2015 when Governor Okowa came on board in a landslide electoral victory that is characteristic of his political trajectory.

How then could such a rule governed, due process driven development creation evade the applause of keen observers, including Governor Okowa’s recognition by the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (N.I.C.E.)? Indeed, it was not surprising, given that the engineers are in the know about what true development means and so, found him worthy of their approval. Chairman and President of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE), Mr. Babagana Mohammed, stated that the place and significance of engineering practice within the space of growth of infrastructure cannot be over-emphasised. He defined infrastructure as the capital inventory that propelled the supply of public items in a financial system, in addition to the supply of conducive dwelling for the individuals. In a keynote submission, Mr. Emeka Eze, former Di­rector General of the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), stated that infrastructure growth entailed the process of planning, organising, coordinating and controlling sources to realise selected aims. As observed, governments’ capabilities to deliver key infrastructure was vastly hampered by the COVID-19, but that Governor Okowa was one of such leaders, who made the best of the situation and turned it around in a most impactful manner. Later on, while welcoming engineers to one of the fastest growing state capitals in the country, Chairman of NICE, Dr. Jang Tanko, thanked Gov­ernor Okowa for the conducive doing business environment in Delta State. It was stated that the development stakeholders converged in Asaba to determine conditions that affected societal wants and to proffer solutions to them.

Their verdict: “As a body tasked with the regu­lation of civil engineering works in Nigeria, we recognise the landmark achievements of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa in highway/road construction, ero­sion management and mega structures, such as the massive Central Secretariat for civil servants in Delta. In recognition of those laudable achieve­ments, the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers, conferred on Governor Okowa, “the Finest Gov­ernor in Civil Infrastructure Growth” Award and investiture as an Honorary Fellow of the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers.”

 It was not the first time the engineers were taking due notice of Gov­ernor Ifeanyi Okowa’s infrastructural develop­ment strides; earlier, the engineers lauded the Delta State Government on mas­sive infrastructural proj­ects across the state. To demonstrate that it is fully aware of the goings on, the one and same body, the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE), had ear­lier commended the Gov­ernor for the state’s huge strides in infrastructural development, especially road construction and erosion control measures. The National Chairman of NICE, Mr. Jang Tanko, had taking due notice of Gov­ernor Ifeanyi Okowa’s infrastructural develop­ment strides; earlier, the engineers lauded the Delta State Government on mas­sive infrastructural proj­ects across the state. To demonstrate that it is fully aware of the goings on, the one and same body, the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE), had ear­lier commended the Gov­ernor for the state’s huge strides in infrastructural development, especially road construction and erosion control measures. The National Chairman of NICE, Mr. Jang Tanko, had sterling accomplishments of Governor Okowa, the plan to confer on him, its 2021 Award as the “Most Performing Governor in Civil Infrastructure Development in Nigeria”, was in the offing. Hence, the award was not instantaneous, but obviously a well thought out decision by the group.

Responding, Governor Okowa, was of the assurance that his administration would continue to do its best for Deltans. He had then challenged the civil engineers to use their conference to recommend ways to fix road infrastructure at lesser costs. “Unfortunately, there is a lot of gaps, in terms of infrastructure, particularly road infrastructure in our nation today and therefore, any person who finds himself in government at this time, has no choice than to try to attend to the road infrastructure challenge”, while he appreciated engineers in the state for their support and cooperation in the execution of key projects. In the same vein, preceding that award, the Newspaper Proprietors Association of Nigeria (NPAN), commended Governor Okowa for massive infrastructure development. Publisher of The Guardian, Mrs. Maiden Ibru, commended Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for visible infrastructural development in the state. Ibru stated this when she and two other newspaper publishers from Delta – Nduka Obaigbena of Thisday and Sam Amuka of Vanguard – visited Okowa at Government House, Asaba, on Thursday, January 28, 2021; Ibru observed that she was impressed with the “massive infrastructural upgrade in Delta, especially in Asaba, the state capital.’’ According to her, Okowa’s successes in his political career and his performance as Governor, is a reflection of his humble upbringing. In response, Okowa said: “Let me register my appreciation to the gurus of newspaper publishing from our dear state. I truly must thank you and I appreciate this visit. We are very encouraged by this visit, knowing that it’s a visit by a high calibre of persons.”The Governor also received a delegation of members of the National Assembly from Delta State, led by Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Ndudi Elumelu, while he expressed gratitude to them for their support.

It should be reiterated: Governor Okowa further em­barked on the construction of several inner city roads, including Kefas Road in Oleh, Old Ozoro/ Oleh Road in Isoko North and South local government areas. From Asaba to Ughelli, Akugbene to Agbor, Okpanam to Or­erokpe, Warri to Irri, Issele Uku to Iselegu, Idumuje-Unor to Idjerhe, Ogume to Ogulagha, Oleh to Odimodi, Koko to Kokodiagbene, the Okowa administration has made a great impact in urbanisation, rural integration and the provision of quality roads, drainages and bridges for the people. But it need not be re-emphasised that, Governor Okowa has built circles of roads and mega drainage sys­tems to address the critical infrastructural challenges. With Cable Point Dual Carriageway, Okpanam Road, Mariam Babangida Way and the hitherto intractable DLA Road fully delivered, residents of Asaba now have alternative routes to savour and to herald as testimonies of Governor Okowa’s delivery of unparalleled dividends of democracy. In addition, a multi-billion naira storm drainage project has saved most residents of the capital city from dangerous flooding, which had been an an­nual woe before the Okowa administration tackled it headlong and gave the people a sigh of relief. To mark the third anniversary of his administration, Governor Okowa inaugurated the rehabilitated Issele-Uku/Issele- Mkpitime/Onicha-Olona road, phase I of Issele-Uku/ Onicha-Uku/Ugbodu/Ukwu-Nzu/Obomkpa/Idumu-Ogo road, rehabilitated Issele-Uku/Onicha-Ugbo road and phase I of Onicha-Ugbo/Ubulu-Uku road, Idumueje-Unor Road in Aniocha North Local Government Area.

Evidence on ground demonstrates that Governor Okowa has brought the Ughelli–Asaba dualisation proj­ect up to speed, especially from the Sector C1 and Sector C2 axis, from Asaba to Ollo/Ossisa. The Kwale-Ogume- Obiaruku roads developed by the Okowa administration also brought respite to the people of the areas, just like the construction of Ekete main Road, off DSC Express­way, rehabilitation of Ekreravwe/Orhoakpor/Isiokolo Road, Abraka Township roads Phase 1, including the 8.5km Ughelli-Afiesere-Ofuoma Road in the heart of Delta Central; have all brought joy and development to the various impacted communities. The people of Irri, Oleh, Ozoro, Iyede, Emede, Owhelogbo, Ellu, Ofagbe, Ik­pide-Irri, all in Isoko North and Isoko South and Ughelli, Amekpa, Afiesere, Ofuoma, Oteri, Abraka, Orerokpe and several other communities in Delta Central and Delta South all have great testimonies to tell of Okowa’s foot­prints in road construction.

The Okowa administration exhibited greater courage in the construction of roads in the riverine areas. Ac­cording to the Governor, the riverside Delta contributes largely to the production of oil, which is the economic mainstay of the nation and therefore, deserves the entire infrastructure hitherto being enjoyed in the uplands. With this development philosophy in mind, Governor Okowa ensured that all roads in Burutu Town were entirely paved to give the people a new lease of life and there is the Main Axial Road and Okerenkoko Town­ship roads, Asphalt Overlay of the 19.7km Obotobo 1 –Obotobo11 – Sokebolou – Yokori road; 10.8km Okpare- Umolo-Ovwodokpor-Kiagbodo road, among numerous others; A 25.8 kilometers Trans Warri-Ode-Itsekiri, with 19 bridges and access road project, is another testimony of Governor Okowa’s infrastructural feats.

Aside road construction, Governor Okowa also com­pleted several bridges, including Ovwor-Olomu-Effurun- Otor Bridge, linking the age long communities in Ughelli South and also the Agbarho Orhere Bridge and access road to Otokutu in Ughelli North and Ughelli South and also the Oha Bridge along the old Oha-Orerokpe Road in Okpe Local Government Area. To give a new lease of life to the people of the oil-rich Benekuku, Okpai and other communities along the creeks of Ndokwa East a fresh lease of life, the Okowa administration embarked on the construction of a massive bridge across the Ase creek to connect the riverine communities with the upland of Kwale in Ndokwa West Local Government Area. Gover­nor Okowa noted that the oil companies operating in the area should have constructed the bridge long ago, but he took up the gauntlet to ameliorate the sufferings of the people. As Delta rolled forth the drums to celebrate three decades of its existence, it was worthy of note that indeed, it has been 30 years of great impact in road infrastructure, but that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa took the infrastructure sector to greater heights, making his appellation as Road Master a very deserving one. The huge construction sites are palpable and visible signs that Deltans are no longer where they used to be.

Hence, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has wel­comed innumerable awards. He was conferred with “Ambassador of the Senate Award” by The Senate Press Corps of the National Assembly. Receiving the award, Okowa, who was represented at the ceremony by Deputy Speaker of Delta State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Ochor Ochor, said he was delighted to be honoured with the award, while stating that it would encourage him to do more for the people of Delta in the remaining period of his administration. He thanked the Senate Press Corps for the honour and called on journalists in the country to intensify efforts at preserving the nation’s hard earned democracy. Chairman of the Senate Press Corps, James Itodo, while welcoming dignitaries to the event, said Governor Okowa was recognised for the award because he stood very tall among his peers, in terms of development across Delta and enhancement of welfare of Deltans through series of poverty eradication and empowerment programmes in Delta State.

 Governor Okowa was also honoured with the 2019 “Zik Prize in Leadership and Good Governance”, also in recognition of his outstanding accomplishments in road infrastructure and the socio economic development strides under his leadership. The award was presented to the Governor by the Public Policy Research and Analysis Centre (PPRAC), organisers of the Zik Prize in Leader­ship Awards, to mark its 25th anniversary. Receiving the award at the Civic Centre, Lagos, Governor Okowa said that the honour done him by the PPRAC would spur him to do more in the areas of skills acquisition, the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, micro credit, widows and household support and general infra­structural upgrade in different sectors of the state’s economy. The Governor said: “I am impressed with the recognition of our modest contributions to the development of our state and I want to as­sure you that we will expand the frontiers of all the programmes that earned us this award. In spite of the present global economic hardship, our administration will continue to adopt best practices in project conception, execution and implementation of policies and programmes, even as I thank all Deltans for their support in moving the state forward. The late Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe was a great patriot, bridge builder and a role model of note and I therefore, call on Nigerians to sustain his legacies by promoting positive traits that he radiated while on earth.” In his remarks, the SGF, Boss Mustapha, who also received the Zik Public Service award at the event, lauded Governor Okowa for his inspiring contributions to the overall growth and development of Delta State and Nigeria, especially for his role in liaising with the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19.

Several other dissection of the Zik Prize was convincing of the integrity of the award and the suitability of recipients, notably Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa. Hence, while he was commend­ing the organisers of the ceremony for the honour done him and other recipients, Mustapha called on Nigerians to put the inter­est of the nation above self as late Nnamdi Azikiwe did and was called Great Zik of Africa.” Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka noted, “As I congratulate recipients of various categories of the 2019 Zik Prize, I must also laud the organisers of the programme for sustaining the annual event since its inception 25 years ago.” In his welcome address, Chairman of the Advisory Board of PPRAC, Chief Marc Wagbara, said that since inception 25 years ago, the Zik Prize had emerged as the most respected award in Nigeria. According to him, PPRAC established the Zik Prize in Leadership Awards as part of its annual lecture series to further highlight the Great Zik’s monumental legacy of patriotic fervour and national­ist vision. Further dissecting the Zik Award, he stressed the need for Nigeria to continue to work for every Nigerian, irrespective of ethnic, religious and political affiliations, while he congratulated recipients of the Zik Prize in Leadership and implored them to remain committed to the noble ideals of good governance, which had earned them the awards. He restated that Great Zik, as he was fondly called, believed in “One Nigeria, adding that size, diversity and demography of Nigeria, makes it one of the most important countries in the world. “The Zik Prize has continued to attract interest from Nigeria and beyond because the organ­isers have been led by great Nigerians of impeccable honour and integrity. The personality of the man in whose honour the award was instituted has also contributed to the great successes recorded by the Zik Prize since it was founded in 1995. To put Nigeria on the path of progress as envisioned by the Great Zik and other great nationalists, justice, equity and fairness must be observed by leaders in all ramifications.” Why restate all of the above- Truly, they are aids to development-justice, equity, fairness, particularly, balance of projects across the three Sena­torial Districts of Delta State, which have given impetus to the realisation of Governor Okowa’s Stronger Delta Agenda.

Governor Okowa also had his day during the NARD’s 40th An­nual General Meeting (AGM) and Scientific Conference, which the medics dissected under the theme: “Healthcare Infrastruc­ture Optimisation and Adaptation in the Face of a Global Pandemic: The COVID-19 Challenge”, where the highly enhanced and upgraded Delta State University Teach­ing Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara, courtesy of the Okowa administration, played the capable host. There and then, the First Vice President of NARD, Dr. Julian Ojebo, repre­senting the National President of NARD, Dr. Aliu Sokomba, presented the dual NARD Award to the performing Delta Governor. NARD independently declared that it found Governor Okowa deserving of the recognition, due to his outstanding contributions to midwifing and implemen­tation of the National Health Act and implementation of the Residency Training Act, 2017. There was a time lag between the award notification and the eventual award presentation by the NARD leadership, being an evidence that it went through a process of validation of the Governor’s conformity with the set criteria. NARD confirmed that efforts by Governor Okowa in pioneering the implementation of the Residency Training Programme in Nigeria and his legacy involvement with the National Health Act, are laudable and worthy of their professional commendation. Receiving the dual award, Governor Okowa thanked NARD for the honour and assured that his administration supports the hosting of the National Secretariat of the association at DELSUTH, Oghara.

Next, he assured of liaison with the Nigeria Governors’ Forum to ensure that more states “domesticate and implement the Residency Training Act as assented to by President Muhammadu Buhari’’. The Governor also called for the adoption and implementation of a viable and sustainable healthcare financing programme for the 36 states of the Federation. Ever concerned with the prevailing state of the country’s health landscape, the medical doctor-cum-Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, diagnosed that, “with an abysmal 0.5 per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in public health spending, Nigeria had one of the lowest public healthcare financing globally.” The awards did not only rain, but poured. As more of the awards came his way, Governor Okowa attributed the success stories to partnership with Deltans through years of experience in governance. Thus, on Thursday, January 17, 2019, Gov­ernor Okowa emerged as “Governor of The Year, 2018”. The award organisers declared that the award was for his diligent delivery of democratic dividends and working to make Nigeria’s democracy better, through result-oriented governance. Governor Okowa, while receiving the award, christened “Independent Newspaper Award” at an im­pressive event held at Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos, went down memory lane to his sojourn in politics, through climbing the rungs, which many love to recite, given the various political positions he held in the course of perfect­ing the act of governance and strong partnership with the people of Delta State.

A performer extraordinaire, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has turned Delta State into a massive infrastructure ha­ven, encompassing the length and breadth of the state. It underscored his astute management of the challenges exacerbated by the pandemic situation and his creation of a novel infrastructure base for building a Stronger Delta now and in the future. Indeed, Governor Okowa’s non-stop infrastructural and general development strides across Delta State since May 29, 2015 has been a strong reply to the rigid and close-minded few, whose stock in trade was engaging in idle talk, while Governor Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa came, saw and conquered on the infrastructural turf and across varied sectors of the state’s economy.

It is noteworthy that Governor Okowa’s resilience and drive for the needed infrastructure turnaround of Delta State was axiomatic with the creation of Prosperity for All Deltans. Given his rich governance experience and most active involvement for a better Delta State and Nigeria, he said: “it’s crucial that we align our programmes with world traits and upscale our vision deliverables by means of con­sidered allocation of resources, prudent administration, in addition to strict and efficient monitoring. Additionally essential in this regard is the creation of Public-Private- Partnership financing fashions, which would speed up infrastructure growth, actualise essential investments and foster inclusivity.” All of the above Governor Okowa exemplifies through fiscal discipline and holding public expenditure within income limits. “This approach has been very helpful in serving Deltans and realising rural-urban integration and concrete urban renewal by means of huge growth of infrastructure, which is among the pillars of our Stronger Delta Agenda.

“My administration launched the development of 799 roads, with a mixed size of 1,577.8 kilometres of roads and 908.34 kilometres of drainage channels, as at June 30, 2021. The 20.28km Obotobo I – Obotobo II – Sokebo­lou–Yokri – Highway beside the Atlantic Ocean is a basic instance of our dedication to offering infrastructure of the most positive impact on the populace. Certainly, the riverine communities of Burutu,Oporoza, Okerenkoko, Benekuku, amongst several others, now savour the ex­perience of well paved roads, which are no longer the exclusive preserve of the uplands.” He continued: “Asaba, the capital metropolis of our state, has been remodeled into one of the fastest rising cities in Nigeria. The Asaba Storm Water Drainage and the ultra modern Central Secretariat, are two of the flagship initiatives within the Delta State Capital Territory.”

At this juncture, it is pertinent to say that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has ensured high quality of infrastructural projects, which has not gone unnoticed, hence the rain of numerous awards on the performing Governor. He domesticated the COREN model of project coverage, with the inauguration of the Delta State Expatriates Monitor­ing Committee and the State Technical Committee, saying that, “it would see to the enforcement of requirements and professional ethics within engineering practice in our state. My administration has since inception, been organising and coaching our engineers via refresher programmes within the Delta State Civil Service, as a way of upgrading and updating their professional knowledge and abilities on a continuing basis. Our self assessment and monitoring has certainly strengthened the present high quality management mechanisms and enhanced the impact of engineering activities by the state.”

He was once Secretary to Local Government (SLG), Local Government Chairman, Commissioner for Agri­culture, Health and Water Resources, Secretary to State Government (SSG) and Senator of the Federal Republic, before emerging as the Elected Governor of Delta State on May 29, 2015 and Re-Elected on May 29, 2019. As Governor Okowa recalled, “I was here in 2017 to re­ceive the ‘Man of The Year Award 2017’ and I am being honoured again. Both awards were possible because we are in perfect relationship with our people back home. I thank God for His blessings, though, the terrain was tough but, I was able to succeed with our people because of the experiences we have garnered in the act of gov­ernance over the years; in partnership with all Deltans, who are now, more united than ever. As a government, we will continue to ensure good governance and better days ahead for us all. I can comfortably say that we are achieving results, of which people are watching as dem­onstrated through several awards, including your own awards- Governor of The Year Award 2017 and 2018, making me a two-time winner, in a row. If you ask me, it was due to a positive partnership, which brought con­fidence and faith by our people that no matter what, we will continue to respect our Social Contract with them, which guaranteed their genuine partnership with my administration.” Then brother Governor, Seriake Dick­son of Bayelsa State, did not begrudge the deserving award recipient, Governor Okowa, but congratulated him for receiving the Governor of The Year Award, noting that the Delta State Governor was contributing greatly to the building of his state and nation.” Others too- the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nye­som Wike, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State, Enugu State Governor, Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi, Aare Afe Babalola, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commis­sion (DESOPADEC), which won the “Outstanding State Agency Of The Year, 2018, Air Peace, among numerous attendees, were all happy for Governor Okowa on his rec­ognition. Engr. Mansur Ahmed, National President of the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), observed that the occasion was to honour “men and women who had distinguished themselves to make Nigeria great; such men and women, we have to recognise, honour and always remember.” The award host, Managing Director/ Editor-in-Chief of Independent Newspapers Limited, Mr. Ade Ogidan said, “we are here to celebrate great Ni­gerians who distinguished themselves and made great impact on nation building; this event is to tell a story of achievers with impeccable profile.” As if to underline the areas that truly made Governor Okowa the Governor of the Year, he subsequently bagged another award for his great strides in enthroning a better environment in Delta State, just as an Agency he created on Warri, Uvwie and Environ development had swung into action, to fulfill its mandate on the environment.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa sought the cooperation of the people for the effective tackling of environmental challenges in Delta State. A particular charge to Deltans was during an inspection tour of ongoing drainage and road projects in and around Asaba. It came amid his recognition by the African Newspapers of Nigeria Plc, Publishers of the Tribune titles, which conferred on him the “Nigeria’s Torchbearer in Infrastructure and Environmental Development”, for his developmental strides, during an event to mark the newspaper’s 70th anniversary in Lagos. Represented at the occasion by his Deputy, Barr. Kingsley Otuaro, Okowa dedicated the award to Deltans, especially traditional and religious leaders, for their peaceful disposition to his adminis­tration. Later, while briefing newsmen after inspecting facilities at the Asaba General Hospital, the Governor said all the projects would be completed and commis­sioned in the life of his administration. He noted that on account of the daily work, there was need to safeguard the environment. Meanwhile, the Warri, Uvwie and En­virons Special Area Development Agency (WUEDA), had officially kick started activities, with its pioneer Director General, Comrade Ovuozorie Macaulay. The agency was established after the passage of an Executive Bill by the Delta State House of Assembly, coming on the heels of the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency, led by Hon. Joan Onyemaechi. Governor Okowa had set up the dual interventionist agencies for an all-encompassing development of their catchment areas.

According to him, the agencies were to “intervene and formulate a permanent holistic master plan for the development of their areas.” Macaulay, who spoke with reporters then, queried, “why should Warri be a city of caravans? While he pleaded with the residents to support the agency in the onerous task set out for it by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa. The former Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) state chairman regretted that in the past when caravans were removed or demolished, their owners re-erected them within weeks, adding that this time around, “it will be a different ball game entirely, as we will constitute a task force to monitor compliance.” He went on: “Effective urban renewal actions are inevitable in our contemporary cities if they must compete with their peers in the developed economies. Those who witnessed the oil boom of the early 70s through the 80s will agree that the Warri metropolis was the hub of industrialisa­tion and the perfect definition of what a fast developing city should be. Regrettably, Warri and its environs have become stunted on account of a number of inter related factors, chiefly the prolonged crisis that lasted between March 1997 and September 2004.” Macaulay submitted that the disturbances and the accompanying militancy led to the relocation of oil firms and other viable indus­tries from the city, leaving the economies of the area in doldrums.

He was happy that Governor Okowa was determined to restore the glory of Warrri and environ. Yet again, Hope Alive Nigeria, a reputable Non Governmental Organisa­tion (NGO), known for activities to promote good gov­ernance and sustainable development, in collaboration with various allied organisations, conferred on Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, the “Most Performing Gov­ernor in Nigeria Award for 2018”, two of such awards in a single year. It stated that the decision to confer on Gov. Okowa with “this well deserving award was taken after extensive research to see what all the governors in the 36 states have done in the past years in five major areas, namely: infrastructure development, human capital devel­opment, promotion of peace and security, as well as near­ness to the grassroots and execution of people-oriented social service programmes that directly impacted on the land and lives of people in each state.”

He continued thus: “Governor Okowa is the foremost Governor, in terms of being the governor who goes out to the field most frequently on visits to project sites, complet­ing abandoned projects, as well as kick starting, inspecting and commissioning new projects all over the state; thereby, creating comfort and Prosperity for Deltans through his S.M.A.R.T. governance.”

High Chief (Bashorun) Askia Ogieh, Chairman of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC), received two meritorious awards on behalf of Governor Okowa. In yet another occasion, in recognition of the success strides of the Okowa administration’s efforts in Job and Wealth Creation, Delta State Governor, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, received the “Outstanding Governor of The Year Award (Job Creation), courtesy of Daar Com­munications Limited. At a most colurful ceremony held at the International Conference Centre, Abuja, Daar Com­munications, owners of African Independent Television (AIT) and Ray Power FM, observed that “Governor Okowa is a man whose life has been dedicated to Public Service.

“Despite the economic challenges that greeted his as­sumption of office, Governor Okowa displayed remarkable resourcefulness, resilience and strong managerial acumen, as reflected in the spread and balance of infrastructural projects across the three Senatorial districts of the state, employment generation and notable transformation in the education sector”. They continued, “In less than four years, his administration embarked upon 357 road projects, comprising 1, 056. 15 kms of roads and 352.78 kms of drains; also, his administration has trained huge numbers of young graduates in choice enterprises, while training and empowering Deltans to own their own businesses.

In circumspect, keen observers of the unprecedented development in Delta State, have bestowed added ener­gies to the developmental strides of the performing Okowa Administration, thus bidding it greater speed in the full realisation of the promised Prosperity for All Deltans; their commendations were not meant to serve as idle praise singing or to ruffle the feathers of arm chair critics, who even in the comfort of their arm chairs, cannot deny the glaring fact that Delta State, under the able leadership of Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, have never had it so good, just as he continues to soar upon the building blocks of the past years of the state’s existence and to chart unprecedented inroads of democratic dividends- a narrative underscored by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governance in Delta State.

As a performing government, it does not pander to the interests of praise singers and has no need to curry the favour of award givers; but accepts varied acknowledge­ments because they are the result of the independent verification of a burgeoning era of Prosperity through a people-centred governance, with manifest testimonies of a new dawn across multiple sectors of the state’s economy. Of note is the popular recognition by the Nigerian Institute of Civil Engineers (NICE), coinciding with his “Finishing Strong Agenda”, thus it is the reflection of a leader, who has never wavered, coming up to speed always in all he is set out to do, for the realisation of the Delta State of the collective aspiration of all Deltans. Governor Ifeanyi Okowa recognises that the greatest recognition would be a good place in history, as he marches on, focused and undistracted, in enthroning a Stronger Delta State, a per­fect model for national recovery, that with the electorate being on their side, his party, the PDP, adjudged, albeit in a most unbiased manner by commentators, as the only one among the political parties, with a clear-cut presidential manifesto, so the PDP is in good stead to make the differ­ence and create Prosperity for All Nigerians.


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IWD: Women Cry Out Against Spike In Domestic Violence
Mar 24, 2023
Shell Links Rivers Explosion To Oil Theft , Regrets Loss Of Lives
Mar 08, 2023
NNPCL Attributes Fuel Queues To Movement Restrictions For Elections
Mar 08, 2023
Okowa’s Legacy Of Roads, Bridges & Flyovers, Etc
Mar 24, 2023
Okowa’s Promised Realisation Of A Better Dawn In The Niger Delta
Jan 24, 2023
How ‘Finishing Strong’ Agenda Qualifies Okowa For VP Slot, Higher National Assignment
Jan 17, 2023
How Okowa Is Preparing Delta For Prosperity Beyond 2023
Dec 27, 2022
Okowa’s Legacy Projects: Koka Flyover, Many Others And The Need For Continuity
Dec 20, 2022
Plan For Recovery: Analysis Of Okowa’s Experience In Prosperity Creation
Mar 24, 2023
The Niger Delta Question And Okowa’s Recipe For A Better Region
Nov 22, 2022
Asaba Stadium And Projects’ Delivery In General: Separating Facts From Fiction
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Proofs That Okowa’s Fulfilling Promises, Deserving Of VP’s Role
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