By Felix Ofou
Nigeria, like most African countries, also has her fair share of the problems of governance. However, one of the most troubling roadblocks to development at various tiers of government these days, is lack of continuity with projects and policies.
Unfortunately, project discontinuity has remained a major obstacle to development everywhere. It is a major challenge that has, in a baffling way, refused to go away. And this is ironic; after all, government is a continuum. As they say, they finish to begin. But here we are, tenure after tenure, season after season, trying to rationalize this strange phenomenon of new leaders, especially governors, who are usually not favourably disposed to the idea of continuing with the uncompleted projects of their predecessors.
I guess this is the reason Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori’s courage, vision and good example have resonated beyond Delta State. The governor is towing a different path. Moving away from a past characterized by abandonment of projects inherited from their predecessors, has now ended officially in Delta State. This is courtesy of one man with an eye on posterity, and he is determined to face all the inconveniences to make a mark.
The governor’s deviation from a past well-known for abandoned projects will definitely have an impressive multiplier effect, not just on Delta State’s politics, but everywhere because of the good it brings. Hopefully, it will lead to other states taking a cue from this audacious policy and thereby guarantee stability in the polity.
Naturally, many people have applauded this noble policy in Delta State. In their view, continuing with old projects is an indication of economic prudence, sustainability and transparency. And they believe that it is a good step forward.
Pastor Sunday Elueni, a former scribe of Isoko North Local Government of Delta State, noted with excitement that Governor Oborevwori is bold and courageous to embrace projects inherited from the past Government. “The truth is that Government should be a continuum. More so when it is the same political party in power. But we have examples in some states where this pattern was not followed. That’s why we are happy that Governor Oborevwori has shown leadership in this direction. It is a bold and courageous step that must be commended by all and sundry “, he stated.
For Madam Alice Ejikeme, a business woman, the Governor has demonstrated prudence and shown to the world that he abhors wastage. “Some governors don’t care how much has been spent on a project. Once it’s not from them, they simply abandon such projects. Governor Oborevwori is clearly different. The man does not like wastage and he is very prudent. That’s why he’s continuing projects that were inherited. He’s definitely a shining star”, she declared.
In less than five months, this uncommon governor is already setting high standards and clear expectation in the leadership of Delta State. The people of Delta State are undoubtedly very happy, and they could not have asked for a better governor.
Clearly, this amiable governor with knowledge and good parliamentary experience, understands the mood of the nation today. Nigerians are no longer willing to wait, and they are ready, anytime, to withdraw their love for any politician, and even sit in judgement against their leaders as they deem fit, especially when such politicians or leaders allow ego to take the better part of their time.
At a recent commissioning of projects, as part of activities to mark 100 days in office, Oborevwori spoke succinctly about this novel decision of continuity of projects. He noted that it was the duty of successive administrations to continue and complete projects initiated by their predecessors. “Government is a continuum and it is the duty of successive administrations to put the resources of the state to good use by ensuring that projects are completed in a timely manner”, he enthused.
On reasons for abandonment of projects, the Delta State Governor explained that: “One of the reasons for abandoned projects in our country is because of the failure or refusal of political leaders to continue with projects started by their predecessors. This is usually informed by the fear that their predecessors will get the credit. This should not be the case if the focus of the incumbent is on the collective good of all.”
Projects commissioned as part of the 100 days in office included some of those inherited and those initiated by the his administration. They include the inauguration of multi-billion naira projects at Dennis Osadebay University, Anwai-Asaba, a 500 seater and two 250-seater auditoriums; the furnishing and face lifting of Faculty of Agriculture, administrative building, Vice Chancellors lodge, entrance gate and main entrance access road to the university.
Of course, the governor also assured on that same occasion that, work was going on at an accelerated speed at the three newly established universities as well as the Delta State University, Abraka; the new polytechnic at Burutu, some of which were billed for commissioning in the coming days.
But more significantly is the Governor’s award of N78 billion to construction giant, Julius Berger, for the building of three new flyovers and repairs of federal roads in the state. Oborevwori also made quite an impression with the commissioning of a network of 29 roads with 31.45 line drains around Madonna College and Okpanam areas in Oshimili South and Oshimili North Local Government Areas.
The governor has expressed determination to see to the conclusion of the 22km trans-Ode Itsekiri Road with 18 bridges, major culverts and other contiguous bridges like the Beneku and Ayakoromo Bridges.
In spite of the difficult times the country is facing today, Governor Oborevwori’s approach portends hope in the horizon for Deltans under the current administration. Delta State is clearly in safe hands under the guidance of their governor. And it is gratifying to note that the man at the helm of affairs is not under any illusion about the task ahead of him.
In Governor Oborevwori, Deltans actually chose a worthy son, a man of integrity who has pledged to protect his peoples’ interests for as long as it pleases the Almighty. On this score, there is a meeting of mind among the majority.
*Ofou is Executive Assistant to Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, Governor of Delta State.