– By Abel Johngold Orheruata
Delta State PDP leading Governorship aspirant, Olorogun David Edevbie, has revealed that his idea of producing a Development Plan for Delta State is what inspired the Government of Lagos State to also put up a plan for which Lagos is now admired as Centre of Excellence.
Pointing out that while Lagos has maintained their development plan through successive administrations to achieve enviable infrastructural, social and economic growth, he regretted that that of Delta State has been abandoned and assured that he will revive it when elected as Governor.
“When I first came in as Commissioner of Finance, I asked Chief James Ibori for the Development Plan of the state. There was none, so he asked me to draw up one. We then assembled a team of our local people and brought in some Lebanese who together drew up a 20 years Development Plan for Delta State,” Edevbie revealed.
“At a meeting with Chief Ibori and then Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Lagos, Ibori asked me a question on our plan and we discussed it briefly on the side. After the meeting, Tinubu called me back, said he heard us talking about development plan and asked me what the plan was about. I told him it was the 20-year development plan for our state.
“He was impressed but surprised that we already had a 20-year development plan early in the administration. He asked me how we did it and who did it for us and I referred him. He immediately took action to draw up their own development plan using the same persons along with other people. That is how Lagos State got their development plan.
“We have done well in Delta State but we would have gone far in development if we had been following the plan. The difference between us and Lagos State is that they have followed their plan through successive administrations while we have abandoned our own.
“By the grace of God, when I am elected Governor, I will bring back the development plan within the first six months. The plan will cover our three Senatorial Districts, various economic and social sectors and with medium and long term goals.
“It will be debated upon by public hearing and passed as legislation by the House of Assembly as a working document so that successive administrations do not deviate from it.
“This will help us organise and integrate our development process. All districts and communities will see what is in it for them, in the present and for the future and this will resolve the apprehension of various ethnic groups and communities about the development of their areas.
“I do not believe that development is achieved by putting all major projects in one’s backyards. We cannot achieve anything by developing one area and leaving others. That is not development. All areas have to grow together and connect with one another. That is the way to achieve even development, social balance and political stability.”