- Earmarks N4.3bn for floating market in Warri
Omon-Julius Onabu in Asaba
The Delta State Executive Council meeting, which was presided over by the state Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, yesterday approved a total of N1.409 billion as the state government counterpart funds for various United Nations agencies projects across the state.
The state Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, who stated this at a post-EXCO meeting media briefing at the Government in Asaba, said the payment of the counterpart funds would open new windows of opportunity to the government in its ‘Stronger Delta’ development drive.
Specifically, Aniagwu said N600 million of the aforementioned amount would go into several projects under the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) schedule while the sum of N809 million would be towards completing various ongoing projects by the UNESCO and other international development agencies working in the state. The information commissioner noted that Delta State had benefited immensely from the prompt payment of such counterpart funds to UN development agencies in the past, hence the state government was keying into the different intervention programmes of the UN agencies and other international donor bodies. For instance, he said the Okowa administration was able to attract N6 billion into its various infrastructural projects in the education sector following the payment of N2 billion as counterpart funds.
The meeting also approved the engagement of two consultants to investigate and reconcile the books on payment of the 13 percent Derivation Fund to the state by the federal government, Aniagwu, who was flanked by the CPS to the governor, Mr. Olisa Ifeajika and media aide to the governor, Mr Nduka Omodon, said.
The commissioner said the decision to interrogate the payment of the 13 percent oil revenue fund to oil producing states was partly prompted by the observation that the federal government has allegedly been making subsidy payment to petroleum products marketers before the payment of the statutory Derivation Fund to the concerned states, including Delta, a situation that is unconstitutional if it is established to be the case.
“The state executive council has also approved the appointment of consultants to look at what the state is getting as 13 percent derivation,” he revealed, adding that “two consultants were engaged to ascertain if the state is receiving what it deserves or what is due to it as 13 percent derivation fund.”
Also at the Exco meeting yesterday, the sum of N4.3billion was approved for the completion of Ogheye Ultramodern Floating Market in Warri North Local Government Area which was started by the Governor James Ibori administration.
Justifying the huge financial outlay towards the project, he explained that the project would accommodate several facilities including commercial banks and 225KVA generating systems.
The state Exco also approved plans to expand its utilisation of the abundant water resources in the state through proper licencing of boats used for transportation in the riverside areas.