By AMAECHI OKWARA, ASABA
Shortly after Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa took oath of offi ce as the Governor of Delta State, he promised to do things diff erently through his 5 point SMART Agenda. And his mission was clearly stated on how best to implement programmes. His administration set out purposefully to initiate and implement laudable development projects and programmes that will impact positively on the lives of his people, which he described as prosperity for all Deltans.
Okowa’s fi ve point agenda, (SMART) include; Strategic wealth creation projects and provision of jobs for all Deltans, Meaningful peace building platforms aimed at political/ social stability, Agricultural reforms and accelerated industrialization, Relevant health and education policies and Transformed environment through urban renewal Okowa was confi dent and dedicated to consolidate and advance the peace, progress and prosperity of the of the state. Okowa’s strategy has recorded tremendous successes in many areas, as the governor has invested massively in infrastructural development in terms of road, education and skills acquisition centres in the last two years.
As part of its urban renewal and developmental eff orts, the governor at the second quarter of his administration, kick started the empowerment programmes, awarded roads construction/rehabilitation contracts and billions of naira was approved for the construction which is expected to be completed according to the specifi cations despite the dwindling oil price.
So far, excess of 581 kilometers of roads have been reconstructed or rehabilitated across the state by administration. Okowa’s administration has constructed the following roads: Construction of Monu-Olarewaju Crescent, Off Mariam Nneamaka Ali Drive, dualisation of Nnebisi Road, Asaba, construction of Joseph Ebolo and Madonna School Road, Asaba, construction of Obi Okolotu/ Anthony Ononye Street, with access from Maduemezia Street, Asaba, dualisation of Asaba/Okpanam Road, Asaba (Section 11), construction of discharge drainage channel, construction of Kwale Township Road, Kwale, rehabilitation of Asaba Airport Runway, rehabilitation/ widening of access road to Beneku in Ndokwa West local government area, construction of Access Road to midsc, dualisation of Owa-Ekei-OwaAlero Road )from Old Lagos / Asaba Road to Owa-Alero).
In August 2015, Okowa launched the job and wealth creation scheme Okowa: Striving to fulfi ll campaign promises Okowa Okowa’s strategy has recorded tremendous successes in many areas, as the governor has invested massively in infrastructural development in terms of road, education which include, youth agricultural entrepreneurs programme (YAGEP), skills training and entrepreneurship programme programme (STEP) and production and processing support programme (PPSP). Th ese programmes has created over 27,000 private sector job, both direct job and indirect jobs of both skilled and unskilled youths across the state.
Th e inauguration of all the empowerment programmes of Okowa marked the historic turning point in the state government’s attempt to tackle youth unemployment head-on. However, the administration did not meet the expectations of the people in its performance in one year in offi ce. But the governor has proved critics of his administration wrong in this midterm by taking the state beyond where he met it with regard to good governance and delivery on democratic dividends to his people.
In agriculture, the administration has made tremendous achievements and eff ectively undertaken the following in the sector: Distributed 220,000 improved oil palm seedlings to farmers for enhanced yields, Instituted two rice mills in Obior and Ikweghwu-Agbarha, Instituted two cluster fi sh farmers in Mbiri in Ika North-East Local Government Area and Ewulu in Aniocha South Local government area, Established a cane rat cutter (grass cutter) and goat multiplication centre at ADP, Ibusa, rehabilitated fi sheries laboratories in Warri.
By AMAECHI OKWARA, ASABA DEMOCRACY DAY Others include: Training of 95 extension agents/block supervisors, provided 71 motorcycles for use of trained agents /block supervisors, trained 124 poultry farmers selected from the 25 local government areas, introduced and distributed new proVitamin A/Beta Carotene cassava Cuttings to farmers, distributed, free of charge, knapsacks, sprayers, agrochemicals. State commissioner for information, Mr. Patrick Ukah said that Okowa has kept faith to his promises in all the areas of the fi ve point agenda.
On job and wealth creation, which is one of his cardinal points, the level of unemployment, especially among youth, has reached very worrisome level, with all the dire consequences this portends for the state, but now Okowa has brought prosperity to Delta youths across the 25 local government area of the state. Okowa has equally embarked on a town hall meeting with Deltans across the 25 LGA with inspection/ commissioning of projects as part of his campaign promises where Deltans are given the opportunity to advice, suggest and make demand as it aff ects them.