I fulfilled campaign promises in Delta despite distractions from APC: Okowa
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta said his promises when he assumed office in 2015 have been largely fulfilled.
The governor stated this at a maiden press conference at the newly-inaugurated press centre at the Government House, Asaba.
He said that despite the many distractions by the opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, his administration’s achievements were in the media domain, adding that journalists, people of the state and civil servants, in particular, contributed to the success.
He said his first two years in office were so turbulent that it was difficult to pay workers’ salaries, but his administration weathered the storm.
“The peace existing in the state today could be attributed to God and the efforts of my administration to succeed.
“I want to thank the traditional rulers, royal fathers, youths and indeed religious leaders for their cooperation over these eight years that had ensured peace in the state,’’ he said.
Mr Okowa said his administration had constructed over 2,000 kilometres of roads and 1,000 drainages, and many bridges linking various communities, including riverine communities in the state.
According to him, the ravaging flood that flows from the Okpanam axis of the state capital to Asaba over the years has been stopped with stormwater drainage.
“This government also undertook a study of the situation in the Warri and Effurun areas of the state, with a drainage project targeted to gulp about N20 billion.
“The Warri drainage project is 70 per cent completed, and at its completion, it will be possible to build roads that could stand the test of time,” he said.
He said that his administration established four state universities to absorb students of the state origin, among others, who could not be absorbed in other universities, even when they met the qualification.
According to Mr Okowa, the students are not paying tuition fees but an appreciable amount to enable the universities to run internal administration while the government pays the teachers’ salaries.
“We do not charge fees in Delta universities, but running costs and our universities have been in sessions without hitches, but unfortunately, those in the states whose government kept at home for eight months are criticising the state,” he added.
He noted that the government built technical schools with state-of-the-art facilities to aid technical education and advocated the introduction of entrepreneurial skills in the state universities as the way to go.
He said that the State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme enrolled over one million people in the scheme, aimed at ensuring improved health for the people. Workers’ salaries and allowances are now paid as and when due.
“Recently, the opposition APC rumoured about Delta borrowing N850 billion, which is a lie from the pit of hell.
“I did explain that the federal government owed us about N217 billion as they owe several other states, and we said let us take a bridging finance of N150 billion, which was later pruned to N100 billion.”