Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa says salaries owed local government workers is attributed to their unique salary structure and large number of staff.
According to Governor Okowa, it is only in Delta State that some local government councils have the same salary structure with the state and federal government.
Expressing sympathy, he explained that staff of the third tier of government were suffering in the state as a result of salary arrears and noted that apart from the salary structure, some local government councils have more than 700 persons as their staff strength.
He was speaking at Issele-Uku, Aniocha North Local Government Area of the state during an electoral victory celebration and empowerment programme of the member representing the area in the Delta State House of Assembly.
Giving assurance that his administration would not encourage the sack of workers because of recession ravaging the country, Governor Okowa disclosed that the councils have adopted an approach where only verified staff and “those who come to work” are paid.
He also used the occasion to reiterate his administration’s commitment to equitable distribution of projects in the state, asserting, “We are doing a lot across the state and Deltans in Central, South and North know that I am not discriminating.
“Despite the tough time, we are doing a lot because God has given us the wisdom to utilize what we have to the benefits of our people. I am confident that our revenue will improve in 2017 and we will increase the tempo of what we are doing in the state,” the Governor said.
The Senator representing Delta North, Peter Nwaoboshi; Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Monday Igbuya, among others who spoke at the occasion commended the ingenuity of Governor Okowa and acknowledged his effective management of the resources of the state to the benefits of the people.
The team leader of the British Department for International Development (DFID), Mr. Terry Lacey, has identified agriculture as one of the best ways for job creation especially with the current economic downturn associated with the fall in oil prices in the international market.
He made the declaration during a business visit to the Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, to discuss their intention to partner with the state government in the areas of agricultural development.
They presented plans to focus on the private sector, and particularly small farmers because they are the foundation to achieving a stable and sustainable economy for the state.
According to him, if some Deltans decide to become small scale farmers, the internally generated revenue and the agriculture sector would see a tremendous boost and for this to happen the small scale farming has to be recognized by government, big scale farmers and companies.
Acknowledging that the DFID programme falls in line with the Governor’s smart agenda in the area of agricultural boost and wealth creation, he noted that keying into this programme would surely bring about a boost in the state’s agricultural produce.
Expressing satisfaction with the partnership and giving assurances of the state government’s support to the agency, Governor Okowa said that the partnership would boost his efforts towards reducing the number of unemployed people in Delta State.
He reiterated his belief that the agricultural sector was a sure way of boosting the state’s internally generated revenue as well as creating job opportunities for the teeming youths in the state.
He also mentioned that his administration was looking into how it can develop more agro based industries especially in areas with comparative advantage of agro products such as cassava and palm oil.
He added that going into agro processing entails creating market linkages which would form a key factor to the success of the agricultural sector in the state.
Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has said that the multi-billion naira Delta Steel Company, Aladja would commence full operations in 14 months’ time.
He made this revelation while addressing leaders and elders of Delta North Senatorial District (Anioma nation) who paid him a solidarity visit at Government House, Asaba.
According to the Governor when the steel company becomes fully operational, it would add value to his administration’s commitment to job creation for Delta citizens, disclosing that he had a fruitful discussion with the new owners of the company on the revamping of the steel company during the recent India/Africa Business summit he attended with President Muhammadu Buhari in India.
He also believes that in another 12 to 14 months, the DSC would come alive again with many other companies in the state.
While thanking the people of Delta North for their support and show of solidarity to his administration, the Governor urged the people of Anioma to remain united and cooperate with all ethnic nationalities to move the state forward.
He asserted that the leaders must show examples to their followers so as to engender peace in their areas.
Earlier, Senator Peter Nwaoboshi, who spoke on behalf of the Anioma people said that their visit was to show solidarity and support to Governor Okowa.
They congratulated him on his victory at the election petition tribunal, observing that Deltans overwhelmingly voted for the Governor.
Senator Nwaoboshi told the Governor that political leaders and their followers in Anioma have resolved to support his administration to realise vision of prosperity for all Deltans.