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Okowa Debunks Allegation Of Borrowing N850 Billion
Published Mar 23, 2023 IN News, Economy,
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  • Says His Administration Making Remarkable Progress In Roads, Education, Others
  • Explains Why He Supports PDP Guber Candidate, Oborevwori
  • Inaugurates Govt House Press Center


DELTA State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday, debunked insinuations in some quarters that his administration had borrowed over N850 billion since it assumed office in 2015.

Governor Okowa, who debunked the allegation while briefing the press on the giant strides of his administration at the new Press Centre in Government House, Asaba, described it (the allegation) as a lie from the pit of hell.

According to him, his administration had only accessed the sum of N91 billion from the N217 billion owed the state by the Federal Government, under the bridging finance project, stressing that the money was not a loan as erroneously insinuated.

He said the money was ploughed into many projects that had been completed, while others were at different stages of completion, even as he advised critics of his administration and those seeking to take the number one position to speak the truth to people.

Governor Okowa said remarkable progress was made by his administration in health care delivery, education, infrastructural and human capital development, emphasizing that 2000 kilometres of roads and over 1000 kilometres of drains were also executed by his administration.

He said the creeks and other riverine communities of Ijaw and Itsekiri extraction had a fair share of road and bridge projects despite the cost, just as he said that the Ayakromo bridge project was on-going through a new contracting firm following its repudiation as a result of poor performance by its former contractor.

“The rumour that we have borrowed N850 million was a lie from the pit of hell. It is unfair for anybody trying to be the governor of the state to deceive the people.

“We have structured our finances with superior thinking. When we borrowed money, we borrowed reasonably to finance our projects.

“We have constructed over 2,000 kilometres of roads in the state. We have constructed a lot of bridges and we are still constructing more.

“We are still working on the bridge on the Beneku River, the Orherhe bridge project and others. We have revoked Ayokromo bridge project and re-awarded it to a more competent contractor,” the governor said.

Okowa noted that his administration had enjoyed peace and all round development due to the input of members of the state House of Assembly, union leaders, stakeholders, civil servants, politicians, traditional rulers and the organized private sector, adding that they should sustain the tempo of such support.

On the assumption that the Warri axis was abandoned in terms of road projects, the governor said the flooding challenges in Warri and its environs took months before solutions were proffered which, he said, gave birth to the storm water drainage project in the area.

While affirming that the storm water drainage project in the area had gone far, Governor Okowa said tarring any road in Warri without proper drainage and discharge point would have amounted to waste of resources, adding that with the storm water project on course, the Warri township stadium and major roads construction will be achieved soon.

“We have done over 1,000 kilometres of drains across the state as well as underground drains. The same thing we did in Asaba, we have started it in Warri. A lot have been done and l know that at the end of the day, Warri will be better for it.

“Having realised that the storm drainage project in Warri was nearing completion, we awarded contract for the total rehabilitation of the Warri township stadium last year,” Okowa added.

He said the huge pensions arrears owed retirees from the state civil service which was inherited by his administration on assumption of office in 2015 has been defrayed significantly.

The governor said that genuine arrears owed workers in the state would be paid and advised appropriate agencies of government to ensure that promotion was done as at when due to avoid accumulation of arrears.

He said the concessioning of Asaba Airport and Delta Line Transport Company to private investors had yielded positive result, stressing that economic drain the two agencies brought on the state has now become an asset.

On the emergence of Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori as the governorship flagbearer of the PDP, he said the PDP Gubercandidate was the choice of the people based on his (Oborevwori’s) victory at the party’s primaries.

“I will continue to support the candidacy of Oborevwori. There was a primary conducted in which he scored 590 votes to emerge winner so he is my choice.

“We are in a democracy where people make choices. Oborevwori was chosen by the people; so, I will continue to support him,’’ he said.

The governor described himself as product of a democratic course and recalled that in 2015 he went through a democratic process to emerge as PDP’s candidate.

“I promised to push democratic process forward by ensuring free and fair elections in the state”, he said. On the Presidential and National Assembly elections, he said the electoral umpire failed to live up to expectation and acted against the new Electoral Act.

“Today, we have four universities running in Delta State. Some persons may have something to say about it, but i have no regret floating the universities by upgrading some of the existing institutions in the state to universities.

“The important thing is that we have brought university education closer to the people. It is important to make it clear that we do not charge tuition fees in Delta, what they (students) pay is running cost.

“In the primary and secondary schools, we have continue to do the best we can. Technical education is key in our entrepreneurial development. We are laying a strong foundation for entrepreneurial development in the state.

“Civil service cannot provide all the jobs. That is why we are building capacity in entrepreneurial development through the various skills acquisition and entrepreneurial development programmes of the state government.

“The contributory health scheme of the state government is working very well as it has the highest number of enrollees in the country,” he said, adding that the state secretariat was one of the best secretariat in the country.

In his remarks, the State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Comrade Michael Ikeogwu thanked the Governor for his media-friendly policies and programmes, even as he assured him of robust relationship in

promoting the policies and programmes of his administration.

The media chat featured questions and answers session.

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