We made more progress in Delta- Gov. Okowa
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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta says his administration made significant progress in the development of the state in spite of daunting challenges in the past six years.
The governor, who made this known in a statewide broadcast to residents and the people of Delta on Monday, in Asaba, expressed gratitude to God for the achievements.
‘`Since 2015 when we came on board, this administration has been confronted with two major crises – the economic recession in 2016/2017 and the COVID-19 global pandemic that practically grounded the economies of the world.
“With great joy and gratitude to God, I am pleased to report that we have made more progress than was thought possible.
“Exactly six years ago, we began the journey of building a smart, strong, and resilient Delta State where every citizen is empowered to pursue his or her dreams of success and happiness,” he said.
He said that his administration formulated the Delta State Medium-Term Development Plan (2016-2019) which included policies and programme priorities designed to accelerate infrastructural development.
Okowa said his government also prioritised policies to reduce youth unemployment and poverty as well as stimulate and sustain inclusive economic growth.
He also said that the Delta State Medium-Term Development Plan II (2020-2023) wass building on the foundation laid in the first term.
Okowa said that the Plan was anchored on six strategic imperatives including the adoption of cross-sectoral, multi-pronged approach to job and wealth creation.
He said that the Plan strongly emphasised on skills’ training and raising entrepreneurial leaders to combat youth restiveness, drive the economic diversification business and competitiveness of the State.
The governor said that the Plan also promoted civic engagement in communities and created the peaceful atmosphere necessary for development to take place.
He explained that his administration also made agriculture regain its pride of place in the economy through private-public sector partnership in the agricultural sector, and development of the agricultural value chain.
Okowa said that his administration also provided the Universal Health Coverage and cutting-edge technology for broad-based and excellent service delivery essential for a healthy and productive populace.
According to him, the administration has built “an educational system that will produce thinkers, innovators, leaders, and managers that will excel globally; and Partner with relevant stakeholders and investors to attract infrastructure funding”.
He said that some of his achievements also built and transformed the over 10 years abandoned Stephen Keshi Stadium, Asaba, within three years.
“The Public Finance Management Bill and the Audit Bill, which are in the final stages of legislation are expected to solidify the regulatory foundations for sound public finance management in the State.
“These instruments will help to achieve a more robust planning and budgeting system aligned to overall macro-economic framework, medium-term sector strategies, and performance-based budgeting,” he said.
He said that his government also established the Technical and Vocational Education Board and created a Special Purpose Vehicle, the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer to drive Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Development,
Okowa said that the Technical and Vocational Education Board had been integrated into the new Ministry of Technical Education created by this administration.
According to him, the Office of the Chief Job Creation Officer is now known as the Job and Wealth Creation Bureau by Law of the government.
“It is no longer news that the government recently established three new universities; the University of Science and Technology, Ozoro, Dennis Osadebey University, Anwai-Asaba, and University of Delta, Agbor.
“The rationale for the establishment of these universities is simply to broaden access to university education for many of our bright students who, unfortunately, are unable to gain admission even when they are qualified.
“To cite an example, in the 2019/2020 academic year 25,896 candidates from the State chose Delta State University as first choice. Out of this number, 22,358 qualified but only 4,854 candidates could be admitted,” he said.
He said that the his administration embarked on a total of 799 road projects comprising 1,577.8 kilometres of roads and 908.8 kilometres of drainage channels.
“As a result of the Asaba Storm Water Drainage project, residents of Asaba and the capital territory are enjoying the rainy season as the massive flooding that used to overwhelm the city is now a thing of the past.
“Very soon, residents of Warri and Effurun metropolis will experience similar joy when the Storm Water Drainage Project in that axis is completed,” he said.
“Our primary and secondary schools continue to receive priority attention with the construction, reconstruction, renovation, and equipping of 8,617 classroom blocks and administrative buildings.
“In February 2016, we became the first State in the country to launch the Universal Health Coverage scheme with the birth of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission.
“As at today, the scheme has 906,768 enrollees. Providing primary and secondary healthcare services under the scheme are 471 accredited public and private healthcare facilities.
“In terms of health infrastructure, this administration has renovated and upgraded 209 Primary Healthcare Centres across the State,” Okowa said.
He said that Delta also maintained its leadership role in Sports and congratulated the state contingent to the recently concluded National Sports Festival (Edo 2021) “for doing us proud”.
“For the third consecutive time, Delta took the first position, thus cementing our leadership role in sports.”
Okowa pledged to sustain his administration’s focus in the remaining two years of his tenure.
“Of course, as we enter into the last lap of this administration, political activities are expected to heat up, but we shall endeavour to stay focused on our goals in order to leave the legacy of a Stronger Delta standing on the tripod of Prosperity, Peace, and Progress,” he said.