Okowa’s 2nd tenure: Expectations of enhanced Democracy dividend

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State.

By Nkem Osu

In most human endeavours, be it government and governance, private, corporate

or individual initiatives, the past is viewed in relation to the present and future vis-

a-vis achieving set goals.

The essence of these key inter-related factors go a long way in defining the

accomplishment of set target. In other words, the past situates the present just as

the present shapes the future.

Essentially, the original intents of governments through governance is to make

life more fulfilling to the citizens via the instrumentality of projects and services.

Arguably, it is therefore justifiable to posit that, believable past

achievements by any re-elected government, will naturally beget enhanced

bountiful harvest of democracy dividends during an encore.

Thus, it is gratifying to observe that, with the re-election of Senator Ifeanyi Okowa as

the governor of Delta state, there is no gainsaying that, the faithful

implementation of his SMART AGENDA, will bequeath Deltans plentiful fruitage

of democracy dividends, germane to the daily existence of the polity.

The above submission is anchored on the copious number of projects his(

Okowa’s) first tenure availed Deltans of in all spheres of endeavour ranging from –

education, health, information, infrastructure to sundry others.

One area he left indelible footprints on the sands of time is, the infrastructure

development across the state, irrespective of whether he initiated the project or

inherited it from the past administrations.

On assumption of office in 2015, his administration was beset with a catalogue of

uncompleted projects, such as the key government edifices like the Cabinet

office, the State Library Complex, the Stephen Keshi Stadium, the 1.882km

Maryam Babangida Way, the Maryam Babangida Memorial Building (Women

Development Centre) all sited in Asaba and of course, the Asaba-Ughelli road

dualization project which was awarded in December 2009 etc. The Asaba

Airport also comes into the category of uncompleted projects. Interestingly, within

the maiden four year span of his administration, he tackled this ugly trend

headlong by giving requisite attention culminating in their completion or close to

inauguration.

 

As a first step to proffering solutions to the myriad challenges facing his

government, especially the catalogue of abandoned projects, he synergized with

the state legislature to pass the Asaba Capital Territory Development Authority

into law, which galvanized him into addressing the situation for positive results.

And the result is manifest in the controlled flood menace in Asaba through an all-

inclusive blueprint, encompassing a functional storm water control drainage

system within the Asaba metropolis.

Similarly, the establishment of the Warri/Effurun Area Development Authority is in

the pipeline. It is conceptaulised to address the infrastructural and environmental

decay prevalent within that axis. In other words, when operational, the perennial

flooding of the area would be a thing of the past.

Another significant area of positive impact is the Delta State Information Ministry.

He ensured the refurbishing and inauguration of state printing press as a cost-

benefit venture, with the view to printing the state owned newspaper, The Pointer

in addition to the printing of state’s sensitive documents. It is equally pertinent to

mention that the state electronic outfit, Delta Broadcast Service (DBS) enjoyed

tremendous facelift even to the extent of providing necessary logistics for the

digitation and provision of digital video camera of the Television arm of the

establishment.

Even with the string of accomplishments in infrastructural development, the

Okowa administration never lost sight of manpower development, and

empowerment. He exhibited a resolute approach to workers and pensioners’

welfare by approving the release of funds to offset the lingering burden which

preceded his administration.

From the foregoing, it stands to reason that his re-election is a pointer to greater

expectations .This is borne out of the fact that his first has laid bare the sore

areas that need attention which are relevant to the welfare of the citizenry.

The Asaba Airport project to the ultra-modern state secretariat complex, the

Asaba-Osisa, Aradhe-Ughelli expanses of the Asaba-Ughelli road dualization are

indicative of the administration’s resolve to prioritize citizens’ welfare.

The sublime connotation of these projects is bed rocked on the expediency of the

judicious application of the state’s resources in impacting the economic life of

diverse segments of the citizenry. For example, the road network within the state

will boost economic activities in the state. Same applies to the Asaba Airport

project which on completion and inauguration would be concessioned; another

revenue yielding strategy. Also worthy of commendation is the state ultra-modern

state secretariat designed to accommodate all Ministries, Departments and

Agencies (MDA’s). The import of this is that it will save billions of naira for the

state in terms of annual rents paid to various real estate organisations. Again it

will engender administrative convenience as virtually all government transactions

will be seamless arising from proximity of the MDA’s. Undoubtedly, this will

maximise man-hour input as to the implementation of government policies, which

the hitherto style of deploying governance machinery to multiple locations did not

guarantee.

Governor Okowa having achieved this within his first years in steering

governance to stellar heights in Delta State has absolutely demonstrated that the

candid implementation of government’s policies beget a fulfilling life to the

populace.

Therefore, as he embraces the final four of an eight year constitutional

requirement, Deltans are hopeful of a harvest of democracy dividends.

  • Nkem Osu, a media consultant writes from Lagos

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