GOV. OKOWA, BUILDING A STRONGER DELTA STATE – Dr Michael Nwoko
By Frank Iroroh
The Senior Special Assistant to Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa on Health Monitoring, Dr. Michael Nwoko has stated that the Governor is truly building a stronger Delta State.
Dr. Nwoko made this assertion while granting an interview to the press in his office, Asaba, Wednesday, 26th February, 2020.
In his words, “It is an undeniable fact that His Excellency, Sen. (Dr) Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the Governor of Delta State, mean business when it comes to building a stronger Delta State, having the necessary institutions, infrastructure and human capital, needed to launch the State into a pedestrian with requisite parameters to satisfy the yearnings and aspirations of her citizens in this 21st century”.
“The Governor’s handling of the State’s affairs transcends mundane comprehension. His achievement since assumption of office in 2015, does not just end with infrastructural development, which earned him the roadmaster synonym, but encompasses repositioning the organs and institutions of the State to enhance quality service delivery and optimal functioning of every sector of the economy of the State”.
Dr. Nwoko, when asked about his opinion in the realization of the Governor’s stronger Delta vision, continues “Itemising all that the Governor has done to build a stronger Delta State since mounting the driving seat of the State, is far beyond the scope of this interview. Suffice to say that there have been a massive and unprecedented levels of road construction across all the nooks and crannies of the State thus opening up a lot of rural communities, which were hitherto unaccessible. This has helped to link these communities to the rest of the State, increased communication and enhanced businesses in the State”. He emphasized.
Continuing, the eloquent SSA to the Governor posited, “Asaba, the State capital, as the entering point of the State, both for tourists and investors, is wearing a rejuvenated look. The extensive network of storm drainage channels constructed by the Governor around the city, have put to rest the eyesore perennial flooding the capital city used to be known for”.
“Asaba airport which was downgraded on the eve of Governor’s election, is now upgraded to international standard with capacity to handle international and cargo flights”.
Dr Nwoko further stated, ‘Stephen Keshi Stadium, the Pearl of the Niger is a masterpiece edifice, which has turned Delta State into a cynosure of national and international sporting meets. Little wonder, Delta State athletes have continued to dominate the national sports competitions.’
The SSA add, ‘Governor Okowa’s education roadmap for the State is that of quality and functional education policy. An educational program capable of producing young Deltans with the necessary skills and knowledge to function effectively within the economy on graduation and to produce young graduands with sound technical knowhow to drive the industrialization of the State”.
He went on to say, ‘having inherited high number of unemployed youths and with the figure burgeoning, with no basic skills to survive and live a fulfilled life, Governor Okowa, wasted no time to roll out the STEP and YAGEP programs. The programs are not just mere job creation programs but includes capacity building programs for raising entrepreneurs, who will become big time employers of labour.’
‘These programs are creating positive impacts on the State’s economy. Every community in the State is now bustling with increase in business activities, by these young entrepreneurs,’ he stated.
Further, Dr Nwoko said, “Peace and security is another area of concern to the State. The Governor’s proactive initiative of constituting a committee of eminent Deltans to oversea peace building in the State, has helped to sterm the tide of restiveness in the State”.
When asked about the Governor’s achievement in the Health sector, Dr Nwoko informed that Health is one area where our most charismatic Governor is breaking records in the Country.’ ‘Inspired by his professional background and having realised that health is wealth. Governor Okowa recognised that a strong society can only be made possible by healthy citizens.’
‘As a Senator representing the good people of Delta North Senatorial District from 2011 to 2015, he sponsored bills for the National Health Care Act, for the basic Health care provision funds and National Health Insurance Commission act.’
“As soon as he was sworn in as Governor of Delta State in 2015, he waisted no time in domesticating the health insurance scheme in the State.
This is because, he is very much aware of the fact that health insurance is the key to achieving a healthy society as enshrined under the global Universal Health coverage Policy. This entails the provision of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare service to the people.’ Dr Nwoko posited.
The SSA continues, “The measures taking by Governor Okowa to achieve this laudable goal in the State includes: the establishment of the State’s Contributory Health Commission, to effectively drive the Health Insurance Scheme; the restructuring of primary healthcare delivery service by bringing different stakeholders responsible for primary healthcare delivery at the grassroot under one roof, this policy, collapsed all primary healthcare structures in the State under one roof, for efficient supervision to guarantee effective healthcare delivery service at that level”.
Other measures taken by the Governor in pursuance of attainment of a stronger and healthier Delta State, according to the SSA, ‘includes: building of new hospitals, health centres with massive renovation of existing ones across the State; procurement of medical equipment and increase in manpower required to enhance the capacity of the State’s health facilities to perform optimally.’
“His Excellency, also, created the office of Senior Special Assistant on Health Monitoring, to monitor, evaluate and appraise performance in the health facilities, to enhance efficient and effective delivery of quality, accessible and affordable healthcare to Deltans and residents of Delta State.
On the health insurance scheme, Dr Nwoko said, “so far, over 650,000 residents of the State have enrolled and captured under the Contributory Health Scheme and this figure includes the equity plan, the informal and formal sector plans.’
‘Therefore, in summary and taking into cognisance all the programs and policies adopted by His Excellency, I am impressed to say that the stronger Delta vision of this administration under the able command of Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State is on course and Deltans are witnesses to these melodramatic changes in the State”. Dr. Michael Nwoko concluded.