Delta Economic Team Evolves Five Pillars

AS part of efforts by the Delta State Government to strengthen development and diversify the state’s economy, the Delta State Economic Advisory Team has evolved five pillars for driving the rapid transformation of the state’s economic landscape. The pillars are capacity building, entrepreneurship, infrastructure, policy and markets.
The goal of creating an industrialized Delta State will be driven by the public-private sector partnership with government creating a clement environment for investment, a task which the Economic Advisory Team will complement the role of the state’s under the theme “Delta Beyond Oil”.
Addressing journalists in Lagos after a stakeholders meeting attended by the members, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, chairman of the Team, said that it was the interest of the group to develop an economic roadmap which, according to him, will be used to evaluate and showcase some government’s initiatives which have not been very well articulated in the market place.
He noted that a lot of work had been done on in the state and stressed the need for the private sector to complement government’s efforts.
This, he said, will create a structure where both domestic and international investors will key into the development agenda and foster a multiplier effect for accelerated and sustained economic growth in the state.
According to Rewane who is also the managing director of Financial Derivatives, the team will unveil its framework by the end of the first quarter of the year as, according to him, no meaningful achievement will be made without a proper guideline, even as he disclosed that the team was going to engage the best minds within and outside the state as well as foreign resource persons and such other partners as Chevron, strategy consultants.
In his remarks at the meeting, Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, said oil is no longer adequate in meeting the developmental challenges of the state, hence the adoption of the theme “Delta beyond oil” in anchoring the economic roadmap.
He said many countries without oil or major natural resources have been able to develop their economies and are now better off than Nigeria through concerted planning and harnessing of available manpower and provision of value added services.
Governor Uduaghan noted that the Federal Government exerts almost total control over the development of infrastructure such as electricity that are critical to the provision of enabling environment for investment.
He urged the team to evolve ways to effectively engaging government at the centre with a view to creating an avenue for the state to scale the institutional and legal hurdles posed by extant laws that gave the Federal Government enormous powers to the detriment of states.
He said the team is made up of people who have distinguished themselves in the private sector, noting that they are not being paid for their services.
Explaining further, the Commissioner for Economic Planning who is also the Secretary to the Economic Advisory Team, Mr. Kenneth Okpara, noted that the first step is the institutionalization of the idea and the next is building of the capacity which, according to him, is on going.
He said the dashboard will enable the government and Economic Advisory Team assess which projects have failed or succeeded, adding that it will help measure and properly evaluate performance and enable government see what has been done as it has become a process of measuring performance.
Okpara stated that the dashboard will foster proactive measures towards the delivery of effective governance in the state as it will make for effective evaluation and monitoring given that it will be driven by the right kind of people.
The commissioner further disclosed that henceforth, each ministry will give account of what it has done in terms of physical progress and financial progress, stressing that it is going to be looking at actual results on ground.
Other members of the Economic Advisory Team present at the meeting are Mr. Albert Okumagba, Managing Director of BGL Limited; Mr. Dere Otubu, chairman, Starco Insurance Company; Mr. Nduka Obaigbena, publisher, ThisDay newspaper and Ms. Evelyn Oputu, Managing Director of Bank of Industry.
Others are Dr. (Mrs.) Ndidi Nolly Edozien, a strategic consultant; Lambert Koboye, Executive Director, Finance, at the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC); John Paul Odhomo, a financial consultant and Frederick Fawthrop, Managing Director of Chevron.
Also at the meeting were Comrade Ovuozourie Macaulay, Secretary to the State Government (SSG); Bernard Okumagba, Commissioner for Finance; Kingsley Emu, Commissioner for Commerce; Dr. Antonia Ashiedu, Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation and Chike C. Ogeah Esq, Commissioner for Information.
Others are Charles Ajuyah (SAN), Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice; Afam Obiago, Economic Adviser to the Governor and Mrs. Ann Chalokwu, Special Adviser to the Governor on Poverty Alleviation.

Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State (left), Comrade Ovuozuorie Macaulay, Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Benard Okumagba, Commissioner for Finance, and Mr. Kenneth Okpara, Commissioner for Economic Planning, during the State Executive Council meeting at Government House, Asaba