Delta State Commissioner for Information, Ogbueshi Patrick Ukah has given an account of his stewardship as one of the pillars of the SMART Agenda and expressed his unalloyed gratitude to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for the trust and confidence reposed in him to serve Deltans, even as he disclosed that his only regret as Commissioner for Information in the State, was his not being able to commission the State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) Secretariat.
The honourable Commissioner made the disclosure on May 15, in Asaba during the second edition of FRONTLINE, the Media Interaction and Participatory Program of the Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF).
Ukah who noted that the NUJ Secretariat can be used to change or add value to the facelift of Asaba, however assured of its readiness any moment from now since both parties in the dispute had resolved to settle the legal tussle out of court.
Commending DOPF for this program, he said the online publishing constituency needs to be regulated and it is through interactive sessions like this that the regulation can be achieved.
The Commissioner pledged the State Government’s continuous partnership with the online publishing group, assuring them that a solid platform has be laid down for whoever would take over the Information Ministry in the new dispensation.
Focusing on what has been achieved so far in his Ministry and what to expect in the forth coming dispensation, Ukah gave thanks to God and to Gov Okowa for the opportunity to serve the State and confessed that he had learnt a lot from the Governor, adding that the Okowa led administration came into office when funding was a difficult challenge, but with due diligence and focused commitment to deliver good governance, the administration has been able to stabilize and turn around the fortunes of the state for the better.
Ukah further noted that besides the poor working conditions of workers in the Ministry when he assumed office, there was limited provision for training for the staff, which compelled him to take their condition to Gov Okowa, who then approved weigh – in allowance for information personnel.
Ogbueshi Ukah equally disclosed that with training and registration of the Ministry staff for the Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations (NIPR), availability of WIFI at the Ministry for media practitioners to access, as well as provision of palm-top systems and other working devices for staff, the capacity of workers have improved greatly in the last four years.
The Commissioner noted that the training exposed many information officers to public relations, advertising and marketing for them to know that they were image makers of the State Government.
Still on his achievements, Ukah, who was flanked by the DOPF Chairman Comrade Emmanuel Enebeli and his SSA Media, Comrade Sammy Ijeh, stated that the State Broadcasting Service (DBS) was not really transmitting well when this government assumed office so they connected it to Startime cable provider, adding that the State Government also provided four cameras for the two DBS Stations in addition to the State Governor’s approval for relevant equipment to make the broadcasting stations digitally compliant.
While disclosing the State Government’s plan for the broadcasting house to go on five channels television which will promote the government and major languages in the State, Ukah gave the assurance of government’s plans to provide one Outside Broadcasting Van (OBVan) for the State.
The Delta State Information Commissioner, who was quick to debunk allegations that he was lobbying to be retained in the incoming Delta State cabinet, stressed that Governor Ifeanyi was an astute and very focused leader and administrator, who knows exactly what he wants and who he is convinced has the requisite capacity and acumen to deliver on any given responsibility, so it would be a total waste of time for anybody to try to lobby him for position.
He then pledged to continue to partner with Online publishers in the future and while maintaining that government was a continuum, assured that the platform has already been laid down for greater achievements in the Ministry of Information in the next four years.