Okowa’s 2017 Performance Report Card

SCRIPTS BY MONDAY UWAGWU
With little room for sustainable argument to the contrary, the 2017 fiscal year was one of hyper activity for the Delta State and for its subsisting administration, under the watch of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa. This is on account of the fact that, just as in the preceding year, the Okowa administration had its hands full of measureable actions in legion sectors of the state’s economy-agriculture, information, tourism, housing, health, education, the environment, sports, road development, etc.
A clear attestation to the claim of stellar performance by the administration during the year under review is evidenced in the following sectors.
HOUSING SECTOR
In the housing sector, the Okowa administration, in the year under review, undertook some far-reaching actions, including the following:
(A) CONTRACT FOR NEW CENTRAL SECRETARIAT PROJECT
During the fiscal year 2017, the administration sealed a deal with a private interest for the construction of an ultra-modern central secretariat project for official accommodation for 28 ministries , departments and agencies (MDAs) still in rented apartments, more than 25 years after the state was created on August 27, 1991.
The benefits of the gigantic project-due for delivery in 24 months from point of take off-include that it would not only save the rent on accommodation, but also ensure a more proximate environment for all such ministries, departments and agencies affected to have greater cohesion and coordination in the course of their official assignments.
(B) CONCESSIONING OF DELTA TOWERS
The administration has also concessioned the impressive Delta Towers, Abuja, as part of efforts at attaining greater cost-efficiency in the management of the economic honey pot of a project for the greater good of the public purse and its virility.
THE ENVIRONMENT SECTOR
It goes without an iota of sustainable doubt that the environment is of great importance to man. And this fact was not to be lost on the Okowa administration, which has consequently taken a welter of actions in this regard.
These include:
(A) CLEARING AND OPENING OF NEW WATER CHANNELS
In the course of fiscal 2017, the administration opened up many existing water channels and drains, and created new ones, including the one in Ewulu in Aniocha South Local Government Area. The efforts of the government in this direction are tilted towards the attainment of many great goals, including the sustenance of the environment.
(B) NEWMAP INITIATIVE
The administration, during the fiscal year 2017, activated the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Programme (NEWMAP) by the payment ofN530m in counterpart fund and take-off grant.
Following this noble step, actual remediation work has started at the sites chosen for action in the first phase in Ukwunzu and Obomkpa in
Aniocha North Local Government Area; Ubulu-Uku in Aniocha South Local Government Area; Midomer Area of Owa in Ika North-East Local Government Area and Jesse in Ethiope West local government area.
The import of the actions of the Okowa administration in this direction is particularly appreciable against the backdrop of the fact that, in the face of the grinding economic recession that literally crippled Nigeria’s mono-economy, it was able to commit a whooping N530m into a project that many would not even prioritise, for reason of their insufficient appreciation of the strategic place of a healthy environment in the sustainable wholesome development of the society.
(C) ADEQUATE SLANT ON EIAs
As is all too well known now, the administration has sealed four power deals with some local and offshore interests, including Luxra Nigeria Limited,Yutai Li Nigeria Limited and Basanchury Nigeria Limited.
In order to ensure that there is adequate safeguard for the environment, the administration made an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) a precedent condition before the deals could be signed. The adequate slant on EIAs is laudable in the light of the fact that we are still in an age and time where insufficient quality attention is accorded environmental issues and their effects on the society’s wholesome development efforts and dreams.