Victor Efeizomor writes that Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has raised the bar in governance
It is the wisdom of the ancient that an enterprising person attracts to himself more noble services to society as a mark of appreciation for his diligences. That is to say that when you work hard, you are given more work so that the community can benefit from more of your expertise.
This aptly explains why the people of Delta State turned out in large numbers in March 2019 to re-elect Senator Ifeanyi Okowa for another four years following what has been described as a successful first term, and having performed well during the lifespan of the first tenure.
The fact is that Okowa , who is popularly called ‘Ekweme’ and ‘ the Road Master ‘ , does not need to blow his trumpet as his sterling qualities of levelheadedness, courteousness, finesse , thoughtful calmness , civility and godliness, which has no place in Nigerian politics, are his driving force in delivering the much needed democracy values to his people.
His re-election has been hailed by many as affirmation of the people of his performance as envisioned in his five point agenda with the acronym, S.M.A.R.T
Having performed well on these policy directions , the people of Delta have chorused that the good things taking place in the state deserve continuity .
It will be recalled that not a few days after his inauguration on May 29, 2015, Okowa pleasantly surprised his people every day with avalanches of developmental projects.
With the construction of over 357 roads and 352.78 kilometer square of drains across the state , one can attest to the fact that the government of Okowa is truly one that God has used to bless the good people of Delta.
As a means of bringing development to the rural areas, he moved to the suburbs and opened up their narrow roads, giving them modern streets with light that link the highways.
In addition, Okowa has frontally tackled the perennial flood problem in the state, particularly in the state capital, Asaba, with the construction major storm water drainage, aimed at restoring the lost glory of the metropolis.
Okowa’s health and education initiative have equally been penetrating, profound and promising. He has established templates suggesting a progressive look into the future. The construction / rehabilitation of facilities in Delta State University , Oleh and Abraka campuses; construction of a number of projects in Delta State Polytechnic , Ogwashi Uku, Ozoro and Oghara, as well as the Collage of Education ,Agbor , Warri and Masogar.
The state , through the Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Board was able to pay the students bursary allowance to date.
Okowa has assured reconstruction, renovation and supply of medical equipment at the Primary Health Care Centers across the three senatorial district in the state, as well as giving financial support to the neglected tropical disease and malaria programmes. Also, doctors and nurses quarters have been constructed in major healthcare centers, Just as no fewer than 485,140 persons are currently enrolled into the state Universal Health Coverage.
Stakeholders say Okowa has put up what they describe as ‘’irreversible’’ achievements in his first tenure , just as he has done in pushing Delta State as a foremost player in the crusade for food security through its job creation project, which is anchored on Skill Training and Entrepreneurship programme(STEP), Youth Agricultural Entrepreneurs Programme(YAGEP) and Graduate Employment Enhancement Programme(GEEP).However, the success story is that over 20,334 persons have been trained and established in their choice enterprise.
The implication of this is that, there is a progressive mindset shift, among unemployed youths, from government (salary) employment to private sector entrepreneurship based self employment, and Delta youths are now imbibing the notion of finding gainful employment outside government or public services.
Expectedly, the areas of sports, public security, tourism and the judiciary have similarly received brilliant initiatives in the hands of Okowa , to emotionally endear him to the people of Delta State and to move the state to higher level.
In the area of sports , the recently completed Stephen Keshi Stadium in the state Capital , Asaba , by Governor Okowa, has not only boost the socio-economic and political development of the capital city but has equally turned the city into a sports haven in the country as the leading sports tourism destination in the nation. Many who bought into Okowa’s vision have realized that a completed stadium within the heartbeat of the capital city where economic activity are often high, is actually an added advantage.
It would amount to being economical with the truth not to mention that Deltans now sleep with their eyes closed, as sanity and security has returned to our state. This was made possible with Okowa’s regular interaction with security agencies in the state as well as the provision of necessary working tools like patrol vans and other financial aid.
Workers in the state Civil Service have never had it this good. There has been regular and prompt payment of salaries. Also, a befitting state secretariat is under construction.
Okowa’s administrative ingenuity gave rise to the introduction of a biometric system in the civil service which led to a sharp reduction in the hitherto over bloated work force, as ghost workers previously , accounted for about 30 percent of Delta State staff strength .
The digital governor also saw the need to keep pace with current happenings and developments in the fast-paced technological world, hence the need to digitalize the procurement of Certificate of Occupancy (CofO) in the state. With the FAST-TRACK. Tgis makes it possible for Deltans and non- Deltans alike to obtain the CofO at a reduced cost.
Okowa , who is described as a grassroots politician, has ensured that local government , which was previously a glorified third tier of government, has been given a comeback and they have joined in the implementation of government policies.
No doubt , better days await Deltans in the next four years.