GOV. OKOWA HAS BROUGHT ABOUT MELODRAMATIC CHANGES IN THE STATE — DR MICHAEL NWOKO
By. Frank Iroroh
As Deltans roll out drums to celebrate the 29th anniversary of the creation of the State, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Health Monitoring and member of the State taskforce on COVID-19, Dr. Michael Nwoko has described the journey so far as good and encouraging, adding that Deltans have cause to celebrate because of the melodramatic changes recorded in the State since Governor Okowa assumed office in 2015 saying that His Excellency’s records of achievement have surpassed those of his predecessors.
Dr Nwoko stated this while speaking on Delta Broadcasting Television Morning Ride Live Program Captioned Celebrates Delta at 29 anchored by Onome Tanu and Dew Wilson today August 27 2020.
Speaking on the journey so far since the creation of the State, Dr Nwoko started by taking the audience down the memory lane as he said, “looking at the journey so far, historically Delta State was carved out of the Defunct Bendel State on 27th August 1991 by General Ibrahim Babangida and this resulted following strong agitation from different ethnic groups in the State, the Urhobos, the IItsekiris , the Ijaws and the Anioma people.
Since creation, the State has been administered by 4 democratically elected Governors; late Olorogun Felix Ibru (1992),
Chief James Onanefe Ibori (1999 – 2007), Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Iduaghan (2007 – 2015) and of course His Excellency, Sen Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa 2015 till date. Talking about the achievement of the State since it’s creation, to me it has been so far so good. I want to believe that slow and steady win the race.
Right from the beginning we have followed a developmental pattern, as you are aware when Ibori came in he met serious security challenges and communal crisis in some parts of the State. He was able to apply needed political Will to resolve the issues before leaving office at the same time the foundation for the development of the State was laid and this foundation has been consolidated upon by His Excellency Sen Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa whom I describe as a political collosus who understands the dynamics of the polity of the State, this is demonstrated by his developmental strides which cuts across every part of the State. It will take days to outline the achievement of Governor Okowa since assumption of office because this has to be done with facts and figures. In his 100 days in office, Gov. Okowa had created over 17,000 private sector jobs. He consolidated on the peace initiatives of his predecessors. Today there is peace and security in the State. The list is endless as Gov. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa has impacted on every sector of the economy of the State which has helped to buffer the GDP of the State. In the health sector for instance, the Governor who is a medical professional and the only medical Doctor serving as Governor in Nigeria presently is very passionate about the health and well-being of all residents of the State and committed to ensuring that Delta State is ahead of other States of the Country by way of health indices. Immediately His Excellency was sworn in on, 29th May 2015, he swung into action immediately by sending 4 bills to the House of Assembly and one of the bills is for an Act for the establishment of the Delta State Contributory Health Commission to midwife the Delta Contributory Health Insurance Scheme. Then he appointed men and women of impeccable character to administer the Commission. I had the honor and privilege to serve as Special Assistant to the Governor(Special Duties) on Contributory Health Commission, in the first tenure of His Excellency.”
DR MICHAEL NWOKO IN A GROUP PHOTOGRAPH WITH THE ANCHORS OF THE PROGRAM .FROM RIGGHT DEW WILSON, DR MICHAEL NWOLO ONOME TANU AND VIVIAN NLECHIKA.
“You will agree with me that one thing that can change the dynamics of health care delivery all over the globe is Health Insurance.”
“Before now if you go to any Hospital, Private or Government owned, you are expected to pay to obtain a card and pay consultation fees before you see a Doctor who may recommend laboratory investigation and prescribe drugs which you have to pay for but as an enrollee of the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, you do not have to pay from your pocket to access health care and so the the health insurance scheme helps to remove out of pocket expenses and the barriers of accessible, affordable and quick health care service delivery.”
“So far, the scheme have captured the States work force under the formal sector plan.”
“many enrollees under the informal sector plan which includes, market women, farmers, barbers, plumbers, mechanics petty traders etc as well as pregnant women and Children under the age of 5 under the equity plan have been captured. Over 700,000 residents of the State have enrolled into the scheme.”
“Having created the demand side of the health care, the Governor recognise the fact that the supply side must be met to meet the Demand side. The Governor also recognise the fact that the Primary Health Care Facilities are critical and fundamental for achieving the Universal Health Coverage and to this end, His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State went on to revamp the Primary health care centres which is the foundation for health care delivery system. A policy called – Primary Health Care Under One Roof (PHCUOR), that is THREE IN ONE policy was implemented to bring the various healthcare delivery organs together under one roof, the integration of all PHC services under one authority, has provided adequate capacity to control services and resources.
the PHC policy of Delta State Government is to ensure that there is a Health facility for every 500 Deltans and especially to meet the demands of the health insurance enrollee at the primary level
The SSA noted that “every federal ward in the State, has at least one primary health care centre to meet the health needs of all Deltans.”
He further went on to State that “Gov. Okowa’s administration has renovated and equipped secondary and tertiary health facilities in the State for a more effective service delivery to the people of the State.
Dr Nwoko said that Gov. Okowa has revamped all the secondary heath facilities in the State and equipped them with modern state of the art medical equipment. These secondary health facilities included the Government Hospitals and the central Hospitals in all the local government areas in the State.”
Dr Nwoko made particular reference to Asaba Specialist Hospital which he “described as one of the best of its class in the Country.”
Dr Nwoko said that the only State own :”tertiary Health Facility which is the Delta State University Teaching Hospital, Oghara has been revamped and repositioned to render excellent medical services to the people of the State and also serves as a referral Point for neighbouring States”
The SSA equally noted that Gov. Okowa is also assisting the Federal Medical Centres FMC Asaba with the provisions of facilities to meet the demand of the Health insurance enrollees.”
“Based on what I have seen on ground, I want to state withou
ar of contradiction that His Excellency, Sen Dr Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State has surpassed the achievement of his predecessors.
On the issue of the relocation of multinational oil companies back to the Delta State, Dr Nwoko joined the call for the oil companies to come back to the State adding that there is sustainable peace and security in the State under Gov. Okowa informed that it is only Fair for the oil companies to relocate to their areas of operation to create jobs, increase industrialization pace of the State and help to improve the internal revenue generation.”
“Congratulations and Happy 29th Anniversary to all Deltans. Delta State is in a Safe hands.” Dr Nwoko concluded
The highlight of the occasion was when the SSA joined in the cutting of the Delta at 29 anniversary cake at the Delta Broadcasting Service, Asaba alongside Hon. Tim Owhefere the Majority leader Delta State House of Assembly, the Chief press secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifejika, the new General Manager of DBS Asaba, Mr Frankwhite Osaboghen and a host of other guests and staff.