David Diai

Delta State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has called on the press in the state to continue to partner with his administration, by ensuring accurate, unbiased reportage of his programmes, even as he reiterated his commitment to build a Stronger Delta for the interest of all Deltans and complete all on-going projects in the state, in his second term.

Governor Okowa stated this during the 2019 “Media Appreciation meeting”, on Thursday, June 6, 2019, tagged, “A Strong Delta” to appreciate the press for their partnership and good reportage in his first term and especially during and after the 2019 general elections.

He called on the press to continue to be a partner in progress even as he progresses with his second term, urging the media community to feel free to meet him directly, if there are things to clarify.

“I must thank Deltans in general and thank you (Journalists) for reporting our activities; at every point in time, before, during and after the campaigns, you were with us, even some of you who were afraid of water, were with us in the creeks.

“I appreciate the roles Journalists are playing in my government; we are partners in progress and that partnership should continue; ensure accurate reporting, if there is any issue that requires clarification, you can reach me, the Chief Press Secretary or any of the political appointees because, we have an open-door policy where all Journalists, every Deltan has the right to be contributors to good governance; as much as possible, I will be frank with our people,” Governor Okowa said.

The governor, who was accompanied by the newly seirn-in Delta SSG, Hon. Chiedu Ebie, confessed that it is not easy to govern a state like Delta state, pledged that he would continue the varied programmes that would bring economic development to the people, especially the wealth creation programme, adding that he would also double the effort of social investment, during his second term in office.

He said: “From our visits, it was obvious that our people in the creeks need a lot of government attention which will make them happy and we are determined as a government to provide infrastructure in the area for our people who are in those areas to be comfortable.”

Governor Okowa stated that while his administration did so much in the area of road construction, building of schools, skill acquisition and empowerment for Deltans in line with the prosperity agenda of his administration, in the next four years, more projects would be executed for a stronger Delta State to be achieved.

He further disclosed that the SMART agenda is the conveyor belt for a stronger Delta, assuring that such projects like the Central Secretariat, Ughelli/Asaba dual carriage way, storm drainage projects and numerous others would be completed as his desire is for those life-changing programmes to be completed while new ones that will also be initiated will be completed before the end of his tenure in 2023.

Governor Okowa who was impressed by the large turnout of Journalists for the meeting also, stated that the Oil and Gas Park, Agro-Industrial Park, among others would also, come on stream within his second tenure while spirited efforts are being made for the Asaba International Airport to attain its full potentials.

He equally used, the opportunity to call for appropriate measures to be taken to check population surge in the country, observing that it portends danger for the nation for the population to be growing at a very high rate while the economy is very slow in its growth.

On the issue of security, Governor Okowa stated that the matter was a national one that had been of concern to every Nigerian, even as he revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had called a meeting of governors to discuss the matter.

Highlighting his plan for the Health sector in the second term, the Delta Governor stated that his administration would take the issue of health care delivery very seriously, as he planned to establish primary health care in every ward in the state to give every Deltan access to health care facility.

Governor Okowa stressed his administration’s intention to establish technical schools in every local government, and while noting that nations like Germany, USA were developed by manpower provided by people who can use their hands and brains, promised to give special attention to the development of the girl child, saying that when you empower a woman you empower a whole nation.

On the issue of the new minimum wage, Governor Okowa affirmed that the state was poised to pay the new wage and was only waiting for the template from the federal government, to use for the payment.

The Chairman, Nigerian Union of Journalists, NUJ Delta State Council, Comrade Mike Ikeogwu, in his own comments, expressed gratitude to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for recognising the contributions of the media community to his administration, even as he promised that the press would continue to be a partner in progress with the Okowa administration.

Comr. Ikeogwu, who hailed Governor Okowa for the recent appointments in the state owned media establishment and the car gift to the NUJ National Vice President, South/South zone, Comrade Eddie Ogwude, equally appealed to the governor to use his good office to intervene in the protracted, contentious land dispute between the Union and a private indigenous investor, to which Governor Okowa responded favourable, assuring that positive efforts, involving all the parties, would be set in motion, to seek a satisfactory resolution and ensure that the NUJ Secretariat is delivered to the Journalists in the state.

Highlights of the appreciation meeting with the press, was the presentation of a self portrait to the Governor, by members of the Association of Community Newspapers Publishers of Nigeria, ACNPN, Delta state, as well as the customary Chief Executive’s handshake with Journalists after every media meeting, which Governor Okowa performed with great aplomb and all round good cheer.

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