Okowa Asks Youths To Shun Cultism, Drug Abuse

Delta Govt. To Partner With NDDC On ProjectsDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has called for urgent actions to save Nigerian youths from the adverse effects of cultism and drug abuse.

The Governor made the call on Tuesday in Asaba when he received the Chairman, Delta State Chapter of the National Youths Council of Nigeria (NYCN), Comrade Kenneth Okorie, and members of the executive committee.

Okowa noted that “there has been a lot of cultism and the use of drugs and it is ravaging our youths, wherever we find ourselves, we should kick against it (cultism and drug abuse).

“Cultism has become active even in secondary schools and outside the walls of our schools, we need to carry out advocacy among our youths, so that we begin to rethink these ills, we cannot destroy ourselves, we need to reach out to the youths early enough so as to save them from self-destruction,” the governor emphasised.

While disclosing that his administration through the Directorate of Orientation was currently involved in awareness campaigns against cultism and drug abuse, Okowa added that his administration has also, empowered youths through different skill acquisition programmes to be self-sufficient and become employers of labour.

He stated that his administration will continue to encourage the youths especially through technical skills and called on the NYCN to “build and inculcate in the mind of the youths the need for hard work, commitment, focus in other to succeed in life.”

The Governor assured the youths of his administration’s readiness to partner with relevant stakeholders in its desire to run an inclusive and participatory government for the desired results to be achieved.

“We are disposed to getting people to be part of decision making and governance, that informs the town hall meetings that we have been holding and that is why we hold stakeholders meeting to get the input of our people,” he added.

Earlier, Comrade Okorie, commended Governor Okowa’s administration for carrying out programmes that are beneficial to the youths.

Okowa Pledges Commitment To Development In Delta

delta-state-governor-ifeanyi-okowaDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has urged the people of the state to take advantage of the Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

The programme is aimed at creating economic link between small holder farmers and reputable large-scale processors, with a view to increasing agricultural output and significantly improving capacity utilisation of processors.

Governor Okowa made the appeal at the Isoko Economic and Investment Summit held at Oleh, Delta State, where he said his administration is committed to encouraging speedy development of the state.

The summit, tagged ‘Harnessing Isoko Economic Potentials and Opportunities for Sustainable Development’, is driven by the need to diversify the economy of the Isoko nation and the state at large.

It is also targeted at improving human capital development, reducing the poverty index of the people of the area, as well as exploring new avenues of business development.

The Governor, who said the outcome of the summit should not be put to waste, decried the low patronage of the Anchor Borrowers’ programme.

He called on the people to form cooperative societies, to enable them have access to the funds and be involved in large-scale farming, which he described as the greatest employer of labour.

“Unfortunately, not too many Deltans (Delta residents) have cued into the CBN Anchor Borrowers’ Scheme.

“The scheme was slated just for rice alone, but because of our request, it now includes aqua-poultry. Over 50,000 people are engaged in this process but we have just 2800,” he said.

Keynote speaker at the event, Professor Abednego Ekoko, noted that before investments can thrive, certain infrastructure must be put in place.

“Isoko suffers from serious infrastructural deficiency, especially power. Most times, power is as low as zero with high bills and it is a problem. There are two Isoko river ports that have been made extinct,” he said.

The Chairman of the occasion, Ayodele Othihiwa, was hopeful that the summit would attract investors who will work with the people to create value in areas of comparative advantage, particularly in agriculture and agribusiness.

“The acreage of farmland cultivated is limited and when yield is compared to the efforts, it is very low. Therefore, one of the primary things we need to do is to transform the agricultural sector through mechanised farming,” he noted.

Okowa Challenges Immigration On Accurate Data Of Expatriates

Okowa Orders Contractors To Speed Up Road Projects
Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa

The Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has challenged the Nigerian Immigration Service (NIS) to provide accurate data of expatriates to check loss of revenue.

The governor made the call when the Comptroller Immigration Services, Delta state Command, Mr. Baba Ali Zakari led officials of the agency to pay him a courtesy visit in Asaba, the state capital.

Governor Okowa who was surprised that the Immigration Service had accurate records of expatriates in Delta state, observed that such should be made available to the state Board of Internal Revenue Service to ensure that revenue accruing to the state and the country is not lost.

“I am glad that we are monitoring and supervising the expatriates quota in the state because, sometimes we hear about expatriates coming in, they work and live here because proper records are not kept on them.

“The state and nation loses in terms of revenue that is derivable from taxes that are supposed to be paid by them; so, I am glad that the Immigration Service has given us the number of expatriates in the state at the moment and the Board of Internal Revenue will look into its records to ensure that it correlates with your records and if it does, we can take it up immediately because, we know that there are sharp practices by some of our companies that are involved in the oil sector,” Governor Okowa said.

The governor also used the occasion to state that with active Immigration Service, crime rates would be reduced, especially in Delta state where the Police has noticed that most of the crime committed in the state were by foreigners.

“We are very much aware that there is a lot of work for the Immigration Service to do and that there is greater need to continue to monitor immigrants who are within the various localities in the state.

“I am glad to hear that you have officers distributed through the local government areas because, we know that crime rate is increasing now and it is time for us to become more cautious about allowing people come into our states.

“We know that the law in Nigeria allows us to move freely but, it is important that the people who come into our state are properly documented because, recently, some criminals that were caught, some of them are foreigners as the Commissioner of Police did report to me”, he expressed.

The Governor, however, charged Immigration to step up its activities on checking human trafficking in the country.

Meanwhile, Mr Zakari said the visit was to brief the Governor and members of the State Executive council of the activities of the Immigration Service in the state.

He commended Governor Okowa’s administration for its numerous assistance to the agency, “We thank you for the construction of access roads to the Immigration Office in the state, and we also appreciate your commitment towards ensuring security of lives and property in the state, the Immigration Service will not relent in repatriating illegal immigrants in the state”.

Okowa Calls On Dangote, Other Investors To Explore Nigeria’s Gas Industry

Okowa Woos Dangote, Investors To Tap Into Nigeria's Gas IndustryDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has asked investors to tap into the abundant gas resources in the state, in order to boost the state’s economy and that of Nigeria.

The Governor made the call while commissioning an ultra-modern office complex and warehouse of one of the biggest distributor of Dangote Cement in Asaba, the state’s capital.

The event had in attendance, Africa’s richest man and President of Dangote Group of Companies, Mr Aliko Dangote.

Governor Okowa stated that Mr Dangote has done a lot in the area of boosting not only Nigeria’s economy, but the economy of West Africa, stressing that the greatest benefit of such investments is job creation.

While some State Governments depend on the Federal Government for allocations to handle capital projects, Dr. Okowa stressed the importance of gas in Nigeria’s petrochemical industry.

He expressed confidence that with the help of investors, the natural gas in Delta State is capable of turning the state’s economy into a more viable one.

Governor Okowa reiterated the readiness of his administration to encourage prospective investors, adding that Nigeria is blessed with natural resources to be a huge importer of finished products.

He emphasized that there will be a lot of derivable benefits, if investors tap into the gas industry of Delta State.

“We have a lot of gas in Delta State and gas is very important to the petrochemical industry.

“As a nation, we cannot continue to import finished products and we strongly believe that we will play host to the next multi-billion Naira project of the Dangote Group in Delta State.

“As a state, we want to see a lot of actions beyond the cement industry, because it will create a lot of job opportunities for our youths,” the Governor said.

Gas Is Better Than Oil

The prospect appears to be bright as Mr Dangote disclosed the possibility of the company to invest in the natural gas that abounds in Delta State.

“We are an industrial company and what we concentrate on is agriculture; we do rice, sugar, cement, limestone, but the strength of Delta State is gas and gas is better than oil.

“Once there is gas, we will be able to do a lot in the petrochemical industry. We are doing an oil-based one in Lagos which is the most expensive way of doing petrochemical.

“The cheapest way is gas, if we can get the gas here, we will definitely come and invest a lot of money in Delta and employ unemployed youths,” Dangote said.

Delta State contributes about 29.98% of the total oil production in the country, as natural gas is associated with crude oil.

According to the Niger Delta Budget Monitoring Group, estimated reserves amount to 800 million cubic meters of the total gas production of about 2000 million cubic meters a month.

Only 12 million cubic meters are used as fuel, while 11 million cubic meters are sold with the balance flared.

Reports also reveal that crude oil revenue, which accounts for a lump sum of the Federal Allocation, has recently depleted due to the activities of militants in the Niger Delta region and the persistent fall in global oil prices.

Okowa Says Osinbajo’s Visit Would Enhance N/Delta Development

Delta Govt. To Partner With NDDC On ProjectsThe Delta State Governor, Mr Ifeanyi Okowa, says the visit of the acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, now affords the Federal Government a proper view of the issues and challenges being faced by the people in the Niger Delta region.

The governor said this while giving an assessment of the vice president’s recent tour of the area.

He also expressed confidence that the development would enable the government adopt the right approach in dealing with the Niger Delta question.

A group that calls themselves the Niger Delta Avengers have claimed responsibility for attacks on oil and gas facilities in the region, gradually dipping the nation’s oil production which had hit 2.4 million barrels per day in the post-amnesty era.

For a nation that depends largely on sales of crude oil for its revenue, a drop in production at a time of volatile oil prices is a huge threat to the her economy.

Mr Osinbajo’s visit to Gbaramatu Kindom in Delta state, Bayelsa state and Imo state among others, has however centered on discussing how to achieve peace that would lead to the improvement in crude oil production and resolve the youth restiveness in the region.

He has assured the oil producing states of the Federal Government’s readiness to genuinely draw a road-map, that would  lead to the peace and development.

Delta Govt. Scores Administration High On Empowerment Programme

Delta Govt. To Partner With NDDC On ProjectsThe Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has scored his administration high, in its empowerment programme.

Okowa, in his inaugural speech on May 29, 2015 had said, the performance of his administration would be predicated on a SMART agenda, which is an acronym for Strategic wealth creation projects and provision of jobs for all residents of the state.

The governor said, “I came in with the SMART Agenda and I have continued to stay on course despite the economic recession; yes I agree that we are supposed to move much faster than we are doing today, but, the fact remains that though the economy is bad we have continued to keep hope alive and we will continue to stay focused on our programs.”

“In the year 2015, we had two main programs for the youths; the Youth Agriculture and Entrepreneurship Program(YAGEP) and in that year, we had 256 youths that were trained in agricultural production, we are happy to announce that they have all been established; we have visited some of them and they are doing very well, and we are glad to announce the success of the program,” He said.

“In the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Program (STEP) we engaged 1044 youths, we have had a continued monitoring and mentoring program; and the reports we have received have been very positive.”

The governor also disclosed that, “In 2016, the YAGEP program, we trained 342 persons while in the STEP program, we trained 557 persons; the programs had their starter packs put in place and we had a micro-credit adjustment.

“We believe that if we continue to meet the people’s need, things will be better for them, so, while we are providing them with starter packs, we are also introducing them to work with the micro-credit scheme”

“We have also started a program for people with disabilities, they have been engaged in the programs and they are currently doing very well.

“We had the graduate employment enhancement scheme; most of the youths in the agricultural scheme are in clusters because we realized that it was the best way and we have been doing very well with the cluster system,” He said.

Kachikwu Expresses Hope For A Better 2017

Ibe Kachikwu Expresses Hope For A Better 2017The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu has urged Nigerians to face the challenges posed by recession and make the best of it in 2017, observing that the recession has brought out the ingenuity in Nigerians to look within.

According to the Minister who spoke at a musical event which took place at his residence at Onicha-Ugbo, Aniocha North Local Government Area of Delta State as part of celebration for the yuletide, “we must make sense out of our situation”.

“Everywhere I go, opportunities abound, the difficulties of today, should challenge us for a better tomorrow,” he said, observing that God has endowed Nigeria with a lot of gifts that should be tapped to make the country greater in 2017.

He emphasised, “God gave us energy to energise the environment; He gave us a beautiful environment and gave us food in abundance if we can use our hands to work on the soil.”

Dr Kachikwu contined, “As much as we may hate what is happening in the country, let the pains of today not frustrate you; let the challenges of today make you better for tomorrow because, in one year’s time, it will go well. We will create a Nigeria we all will be proud of.”

Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, was among dignitaries that graced the ‘Night of Soulful Music’ organised by the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr Ibe Kachikwu.

In a brief sermon at the event which was spiced up by renowned gospel musicians, Rev. Fr. Peter Mobuogwu of the Catholic Diocese of Issele-Uku disclosed that Christmas is about celebrating the love of God.

He sued for peace among Nigerians, asserting, “what we desire now is the peace that comes with Christmas, we are celebrating the great love of God and there is hope that life will continue after now because, God stooped down to take the form of man for our sake”.

Okowa Restates Vision For Development In Delta State

ifeanyi-okowa-speaksDelta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has reiterated that his vision for the state is to build and promote critical infrastructure.

This, he believes would create a conducive environment for investments to thrive in order to encourage meaningful engagement of Deltans, most especially the youth, upon whom the future lies.

Okowa stated that the vision is all encompassing in his administration’s SMART Agenda.

According to him, this has initiated an economic development approach aimed at integrating the entire landmass of the state through good network of roads that link communities and cities across the three senatorial districts of the state.

The Governor who was represented by the state Commissioner of Information, Mr Patrick Ukah, disclosed this during the 4th biennial public lecture of the Enuani Democratic League (EDL), which took place at Ejeme-Aniogor in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State.

In his words: “Our vision is to achieve sustainable development by building necessary infrastructure and creating the conducive atmosphere that would encourage investments and the meaningful engagement of our people, especially the youths to whom the future really belongs.

“Our economic development approach aims at integrating the state through good network of roads that link communities and cities across the state.

“This will also include the building of a befitting state capital. It is our goal to see that the completion of on-going projects across the length and breadth of the state is to give nerve and impetus to commerce”.

He however called on all Deltans to encourage investors and also contribute their quota in the task of developing the state, assuring that the state government would continue to encourage and assist genuine investors, who are out to serve as agents of positive social and economic change.

Second Niger Bridge: Lawmakers Give Assurance Of Completion

Niger bridgeThe House of Representatives Committee on Works have reiterated the Federal Government’s resolution to complete the second Niger Bridge.

The group led by Mr Kabiru Gaya gave the assurance at a meeting with Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba, the capital of the state.

Mr Gaya and other members of the committee briefed the governor after they visited the site of the bridge to ascertain the level of progress on the project  as part of an ongoing investigation on how the funds for the project was disbursed by the former administration.

The River Niger Bridge in Onitsha, also known as the Onitsha Bridge, connects southeastern nigeria with western nigeria over the River Niger linking Asaba in Delta State.

Since its construction in December 1965, it has become relevant to the growth of the Nigerian economy, easing transportation and fostering trade and investments within the nation.

In order to reduce pressure on the bridge, the need to construct a second Niger Bridge has always been a welcomed idea for majority of Nigerians.

After getting information about the progress made, the committee members briefed Okowa on their findings.

While commending Governor Okowa for his infrastructural development projects and the quality of state representation in the National Assembly, Mr Gaya said that the bridge was a public-private project and that the government had earmarked funds to meet its part of the counterpart funding.

“We are here because the project is dear to the heart of Mr President and I know the project is dear to the governor and the people of Delta.

“I brought this able team because we are very much concerned about the project. Being a Public-private partnership project, we learnt the project has taken a very slow pace and the government is very much concerned. 18 billion Naira has been disbursed so far and 13 billion Naira has been approved for the project in next year’s budget,” he explained.

Governor Okowa told the lawmakers that strengthening of the legislature in the country was vital for the growth of democracy and decried the destruction to the roads by articulated vehicles.

He also wants regulation of the movement of heavy duty vehicles withing Nigeria, insisting that a lot of roads had been destroyed by trucks especially those above 30 tonnes, as they ply roads not originally designed to carry their weight.

“Some federal and state roads have failed because of this and we need to designated appropriate roads for them to ply as is done in other clime.

“The National Assembly is doing very well. It must continue to maintain their watchdog functions. You must work hand in hand with the executive and apply your watchdog functions”, the governor said. “The strengthening of the legislature is vital for the democracy.”

 

On completion, it is expected that the bridge would bring an improvement and accelerate the economic prosperity, transportation and exchange of goods and services across the country as well as reduce the pressure on the first Niger Bridge.

Okowa Goes Tough On Cultists In Delta State

Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State, CultistsDelta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has vowed that there will be no hiding place for cultists and anyone involved in the act of terrorism in the state.

The Governor validated his vow as he signed six bills, including the Delta State Anti-Cultism and Anti-Terrorism Bill 2016 into law.

Others bills presented for assent by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Honourable Monday Igbuya, and Clerk of the Legislature, Mrs Lyna Ochulor include: Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Bill 2016, Delta State Public Procurement Commission Bill 2016, Delta State Signage and Advertisement Agency Bill 2016, Delta State School of Nursing and Midwifery Bill 2016 and the Delta State Traditional Rulers and Chieftaincy (Amendment) Bill 2016.

Governor Okowa, while lauding the legislature for their diligence and cooperation towards having an egalitarian society where there is law and order, emphasised the importance of the bills he signed into law.

He expressed optimism that the laws would improve the peace, security as well as socio-economic life of the people and the environment in the state.

The Governor stressed that the Delta State Anti-Cultism and Anti-Terrorism law is important for the security of life and property in the state.

“Our youths should know that government will not take likely any breach of security, especially people who partake in cultism and terrorism.

“I want to caution our youths to shun all forms of cultism and terrorism this yuletide period because if they are caught, the law will take its cause, no matter the position of the person.”

Dr. Okowa revealed further that the Delta State Signage and Advertisement Agency law 2016 would also bring about smarter cities with proper signage regulations.

He observed that the Schools of Nursing located in different areas of the state do not have laws backing up their setup until recently, adding that the Delta State Public Procurement Commission 2015 would help improve government procurement process.

Honourable Igbuya explained that the presentation of the bills were in line with the constitutional duties of making laws that would impart positively on the people of Delta State.

He said the bills passed through rigorous process before they were passed by the legislature.

The event was also attended by the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Friday Osanebi and other principal members of the state legislature.

The Secretary to the Delta State Government, Honourable Festus Ovie-Agas, the Head of Service, Mr Reginald Bayoko and the Attorney-General, Mr Peter Mrakpor, among others also witnessed the event

Okowa Explains Why Local Government Staff Are Owed Salaries

Okowa Explains Why Local Government Staff Are Owed SalariesDelta 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.

Okowa Commissions 14,000 Capacity Stadium In Delta State

Okowa Commissions 14,000 Capacity Stadium In Delta StateDelta state Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa, has commissioned a 14, 000 capacity Olympic size stadium with 149 toilets and 89 urinal systems, amongst other projects.

While commissioning series of projects at the Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro, he stressed the need for managers of government institutions to ensure that finances are accountably utilized to the benefits of the masses.

According to him, the recession affecting the country has called for proper utilization of resources to avoid any form of wastage.

Students and guests showed up in numbers as the governor accompanied by top government functionaries commissioned the projects.

Other projects included a laboratory building for science laboratory technology department, engineering workshop for the department of chemical engineering, restructured Delta State Polytechnic, Ozoro main gate, firefighting station building, firefighting truck and back up truck as well as a two Kilometre campus road.

The school management saw the achievement as a dream come true as the
Chairman Governing Board Ozoro Polytechnic, Funke Solomon, commended Governor Okowa for his assistance which made it possible for such landmark projects to be executed.

The Rector of the Polytechnic, Dr Jacob Oboreh, on the other hand disclosed that the projects were executed by the staff and students of the institution.

“I have firm belief that as a Polytechnic that trains manpower for the technical development of our nation, we have the manpower and all the skills required for the execution of these projects,” he said.

He added that “we adopted a model whereby staff and students in engineering, building technology and quantity surveying departments are involved in the construction and execution of all our projects under the co-ordination and supervision of the Director of Works who is a COREN registered civil engineer.”

Seemingly pleased by the achievements of the institution authorities, the governor stressed the need for a better financial management and accountability, while also expressing confidence in the quality of training acquired by students

“It is one thing to generate fund, it is another to make accountable use of such fund and I believe that students will leave this institution well equipped for the future”.

Governor Okowa used the occasion to sue for peace in the state to ensure speedy development.

Established on November 12, 2002, Ozoro Polytechnic is known for excellence in Agriculture, Computing and Information Technology, Fashion Design , Arts and Sports.

Besides its primary areas of specialization, all students are trained in Computing and Information Technology as well as business and entrepreneurship.