Asaba Capital Territory Development Initiative

AS a mark of clarity of vision in leadership and commitment to accelerated development of Delta State, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa within the first week in office initiated and submitted three executive bills to the State House of Assembly as part of the driving process of the administration’s readiness to bring prosperity to the doorsteps of every Deltan.
The three bills include Delta State Contributory Health Commission Bill 2015, Technical and Vocational Education Bill 2015 and Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency Bill 2015. Deltans have since been commending the initiative of the Governor as demonstrated in the three bills. Appreciating the historic import and developmental significance of the bills, the State House of Assembly gave them accelerated hearing and has long passed the bills into law.
It remains indeed a significant development that the Okowa administration has demonstrated an early commitment to the rapid development of the Delta State capital territory in line with the vision of the founding fathers of the state as encapsulated in the development master plan of the State Capital territory.
Asaba, a historic city along the eastern flank of River Niger, had served as the administrative headquarters of the colonial territory that was to become Nigeria. The historic monuments of the Lander Brothers’ anchorage and Mongo Park’s administrative building still stand as testimonial of the role Asaba had played in the political history of Nigeria.
By August 27, 2015, Asaba would have served as the capital of Delta State for some 24 years. The truth, however, remains that Asaba as the state capital has experienced insufficient attempts at development. The development efforts put in by previous administrations have neither been in tandem with the original master plan nor been a comprehensive approach to modern city development.
Some parts of the state capital territory currently stand the risk of degenerating into urban slumps with an uncoordinated approach to housing development. The road network and drainage for flood and erosion control have also been a far cry from what should be an organized approach to modern city development.
We, therefore, commend the leadership vision of the Okowa administration in setting up a Delta State Capital Development Agency saddled with the onerous responsibility of ensuring the accelerated development of Asaba in line with the worthwhile vision of the founding fathers of the state. We ask that considering the seriousness of the mandate of the Development Agency, the Governor should insist on competence and track record of committed delivery on assignments while considering the headship and personnel of the agency.
This is one assignment that should not be for political jobbers or untested administrators. There is also, no doubt, that the success to be recorded in this development drive of the state capital will form a significant part of the yardstick upon which the people of Delta State and lovers of democracy across the world will evaluate the impact of the SMART agenda of the Okowa administration.
It is also our expectation that considering the enormity of the task of the development of the capital city which is over 20 years behind the take-off time, enough funding will be made available for the running of the agency. The growth being witnessed in Asaba has translated into population growth as people are relocating in their hundreds and thousands from the troubled parts of the country.
With a higher level of planning and visionary development, this steady growth in population can be translated into sustained prosperity. As a state, we should be able to put an end to the era of failing roads, poorly executed public infrastructure and unplanned development of a state capital territory.
We congratulate the governor and Deltans both at home and in the diasporas on this rekindling of hope for the actualization of the cherished dream of the founding fathers of the state.