GOV. OKOWA’S 5 YEARS REIGN HAS LIFTED DELTA STATE TO THE HIGHEST PEDESTRIAN OF SOCIOECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT IN RECENT TIME – DR MICHAEL NWOKO
It is no gain saying the fact that Gov. Okowa’s administration has brought about phenomenal transformation in Delta State since inauguration five years ago.
His phenomenal achievements have lifted Delta State to the highest pedestrian of socioeconomic development which is unmatched in recent history of the State.
Listing his numerous landmark achievement, will take pages but suffice to give us a brief flashback of his indelible signatures in the following areas:
PEACE AND SECURITY.
Delta State has witnessed sustainable peace and security since the Governor assumed the mantle of leadership of the State, thanks to the early warning peace building mechanism he put in place as soon as he assumed office. This has guaranteed enduring peace in the State, especially in the oil bearing communities of the State.
Most recently, the Governor responded to the cry of the people over the rising trends of insecurity in State brought about by heinous activities of some criminals, suspected to be cattle herdsmen. He constituted two committees to supervise the formation of Operation Delta Hawk,(ODH). Delta State’s security outfit to compliment the nation’s security apparatus to combat the rising criminal onslaught in our communities.
HEALTH CARE DELIVERY
In the health sector, Governor Okowa believes that a healthy society is a wealthy society and as an erudite medical practitioner prior to venturing into politics, his very first program was to change the dynamics of health care delivery system in the State by establishing the Delta State Contributory Health Commission and this is to ensure affordable, accessible and quality health care for all residents of the State.
Under the Contributory Health Scheme which has captured over 700,000 enrollees, free health services are administered to children from 0 – 5 years, pregnant women and widows.
The 05 initiative of the Governor’s wife, Dame Edith Okowa is another revolutionary concept of health service delivery of the Okowa administration. The Non Governmental organization which has built and equipped 13 Sickle Cell facilities across the State is performing magic in the lives of thousands of Deltans whom have been treated of varying degrees of eye problems and sight restored for many.
Many hospitals and health centres have been constructed, rehabilitated and equipped with modern medical supplies and personnel to deliver quality health services to Deltans.
The recent outbreak of the dreaded global coronavirus pandemic demonstrated the high premium the Governor placed on the health and wellbeing of Deltans.
Governor Okowa was first to put in measures to curtail and contain the deadly virus because as a Professional medical doctor, he understands the virulent nature of virus disease outbreak.
Today, Delta State has built enough capacity to contain the pandemic as residents of the State are being sensitized to adhere to safety precautions.
Governor Okowa is nicknamed the ROADMASTER, because of the high volume of roads his administration has constructed and rehabilitated over the past five years.
Today all the communities in the State are linked with well paved roads, thus opening up and providing vital communication links for communities and the people to transport goods and services (do businesses) with ease.
These good road networks has opened up many rural communities, thus enabling farmers to evacuate their Agricultural produce to urban centres for sale to make more profits and expand their farming businesses.
In the area of job creation, Governor Okowa has made thousands of young Deltans self employed and employers of labour through his STEP and YAGEP empowerment program. Today in Delta State, the new spirit among the youth is entrepreneurship and entrepreneurship. This new drive among the youth came about because of the new philosophy and orientation of self employment being inculcated amongst the people by the Okowa’s administration.
The is what is needed to rapidly industrialize the State, because, globally, the people are the driving force behind the industrialisation of nations while Government provides the infrastructural support base and enabling environment.
Talking about infrastructure, Governor Okowa, has recorded excellent points in this regard, the Asaba Airport has been upgraded to International Airport, infact, in 2018, the Airport recorded the first international flight, when a Boeing 747, took off from the Airport with Super Eagle’s players bound for South Africa for the African Nation’s Cup qualifier. Similarly, a Jambo jet carrying the Ugandan National football team landed at the Airport for a friendly encounter with their Nigerian counterpart.
So, it is safe to say that Asaba International Airport is now fully operational for international flight and in no distant time, Asaba by its vantage position to the South Eastern States will become an international business hub.
Similarly, the abandoned and dilapidated Stephen Keshi stadium was also touched by the Governor’s sleight hand and in a twinkle of an eye, the Stadium was transformed into a beautiful edifice on the Niger.
Today the Stadium has hosted;
The Confederation of African Athletics senior Championship, (CAA ASABA 2018).
The Nigeria and Uganda friendly match, the Enugu Rangers and Kano Pillars Aiteo Cup finals and the Zenith Bank/Delta State Principal’s Cup.
The performance of Governor Okowa in Sports development is quite legendary. In addition to the construction of a world class stadium, at the State capital, he has also invested heavily in sports development as a means to gainfully engage the youths and provide entertainment and leisure for Deltans.
Today, Delta remains the only State in the country that has three football clubs playing at the Nigerian league, the Warrior Wolves FC, Delta Force FC and Delta Queens FC are all playing at the nation’s elite league.
Delta State has also won the National Youth Games four times since the Governor assumed office, she won the 2016, 2017, 2018 and the 2019 editions of the Games, thus winning the coveted trophy for keeps. Delta State equally won the 2018 National Senior Sports Festival, Nigerian Olympics, with a record margin.
In the area of Education, Governor Okowa has revolutionized the sector in the State. He has constructed and renovated many Secondary and Primary Schools and upgraded five Technical Colleges in the State, with a promise to construct one in each of the remaining 20 LGAs. These Technical Colleges which were comatose before he assumed office, has now been repositioned to provide students with sound functional technical and vocational education.
The colleges are now in position to produce graduates with the necessary technical eduction needed to meet the technical and industrial growth of the State.
The vocational education program of the colleges are designed to ensure that graduands from the colleges become productive and functional in the society upon graduation.
ASABA STORM DRAINAGE CONTROL.
The perennial flood problems in the State capital that has been a nightmare for most residents over the years have been tackled by Gov. Okowa’s administration through a network of storm drainage control that is now being constructed in the State Capital. The flood which the city normally observe by this time of the year is now gone forever.
The capital city by itself is wearing a beautiful look expected of a modern State capital, courtesy of the Okowa’s administration’s urge to give Deltans a befitting State capital.
A multiple billion naira State Secretariat is nearing completion. When completed, the complex will accommodate all the State government offices, which were hitherto on hired apartments.
The Governor is also constructing a power generating plant to augment the power supply in the state capital.
Looking at the above landmark records of the Governor and many more which time and space may not permit me to State, it doubtless to say the prosperity for all Deltans have manifested in the State and indeed Governor Okowa has brought prosperity to Delta State.
Conclusively and in the light of the above, I have the firm belief that at the end of his second tenure, the legacies of His Excellency, Sen. Dr. Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, the Governor of Delta State will remain indelible in the annals of history of Delta State.
Dr Michael Nwoko
Senior Special Assistant
to Governor Okowa