David Diai




The Delta State Government has called on Delta employees affected by suspension placed on the recent employment by the Delta State Civil Service Commission, to be patient with the Okowa administration, assuring them that concerted effort has already been made to ensure they are adequately accommodated in the programmes of the new administration as soon as possible.

This call was made by the Chief Press Secretary to the Delta State Governor, Mr. Ehiedu Aniagwu, who equally urged young, unemployed Deltans to also key into the various skills acquisition and training programmes already unveiled by the Okowa administration, as part of the initiatives under the SMART agenda to deliver prosperity to all Deltans.

Mr. Aniagwu, who spoke against the backdrop of recent agitations by the employees affected by the suspension slammed on the last Delta State civil service recruitment exercise, challenged the wisdom of employing more people into the workforce, when new industries had not been established and the administration was even struggling to pay workers salaries, adding that the recruitment exercise itself had been flawed and the need to correct the anomalies to forestall future occurrences, became imperative for the new administration.

“A situation where an administration had to take bank overdraft for several months, to pay salaries of existing workers and then goes ahead to engage more workers at the end of its tenure, even where there were no vacancies, does not make economic sense. Did the state set up any new establishment that required more hands for take-off? Why the new employment?” he queried.

The media aide further stressed that it was not the intention of the Okowa administration to continue to deceive the people by giving them false promises and providing handouts when there were no existing amenities on ground to support such payments, adding that the practical way to address the situation was to initiate and implement self sustaining empowerment programmes that would eventually transform the beneficiaries into employers of labour themselves.

“The Okowa administration was not prepared to continue to deceive the people and sustaining that employment under the circumstances it was carried out, means deceiving the people. The objective of the administration is to ensure prosperity for all Deltans, but real prosperity cannot flow on the Alter of deception. That is why I am appealing to the suspended workers to see reason with Governor Okowa, to ensure that the right thing is done in the interest of all Deltans”, he said.

Quoting Section 14 (2b) of the Nigerian constitution, Aniagwu noted that it was the responsibility of the state government to provide for the security and welfare of its people and Governor Okowa understands this provision perfectly, which is why he has rolled out the Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurial programme, YAGEP and other training and skills acquisitions initiatives, as well as the initiatives which will be unfolded by the administration under the SMART agenda, to ensure that this is achieved.

“It is the intention of this administration to empower our unemployed youths and make them self sustaining employers of labour. The Agricultural and skills acquisition programmes have already been rolled out. About 6, 000 jobs will be created at the end of the programme and beneficiaries will be provided with starter packs to kick-start their own businesses and employ more people thus enhancing the private sector which will in turn drive the economy positively.

“A lot of construction work will be done in the urban renewal, industrial, infrastructural and other projects under the SAMRT agenda and it is Deltans that will be employed and engaged in the course of impelementing these projects, thus creating employment for our people. This will be a practical demonstration of Delta Beyond Oil at work and the Okowa administration is determined to deliver on its mandate to Deltans”, he said.

Appealing to the suspended employees to exercise patience with the Okowa administration, Aniagwu decried the sharp practices that attended the last employment process, and while noting that this had brought a dangerous and antithetical dimension to the programme, assured the employees that Governor Okowa believes the employment process should be fair and equitable, especially where real vacancies exist and their matter was receiving priority attention from the administration.

“The suspended employees are our brothers and sisters who voted massively for Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as their governor because they believed in him and his promise to bring prosperity to all Deltans. What happened with the employment issue was rather unfortunate but it was inevitable since we had to ensure that the right thing was done in the interest of all concerned. I urge them to be patient with the Okowa administration as they would soon have cause to smile.

Speaking further Mr. Anigwu said, “I appeal to them to be calm and not agitate themselves unduly as such actions will translate into a negation of that belief and support they had shown by voting so massively for Governor Okowa. The situation right now can be likened to a man who has gone to the market and bought ingredients to prepare a delicious pot of soup. Everything is ready for the cooking to commence but the people in the house are agitated with the time it is taking to prepare the food.

“It would have been a different story if nobody had gone to the market or if there were no ingredients to prepare the food. But I am happy to say that the ingredients have been arranged and the pot is already on the fire. I appeal to them to be patient with the cook, because very soon, the food will be ready and everyone will be served and we can all sit down and enjoy a sumptuous meal of prosperity for all Deltans. I see hope for a better and more prosperous Delta in the near future and I urge all of us to embrace that hope”, he enthused.

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