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Okowa: My Administration Inherited Bulk of Delta State Debts from Previous Govt

Okowa: My Administration Inherited Bulk of Delta State Debts from Previous Govt

•Says victory for Oborevwori will ensure continuity of PDP’s policies, good governance

Obinna Chima

Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa has said a substantial amount of the state’s present debts were inherited by his administration from previous governments.

Delta State’s domestic debt is presently at N154.6 billion while its foreign debt is at $61.4 million.

Speaking during an interview with Arise Television yesterday, Okowa, who also thanked the people of the state for voting the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the just concluded governorship election, said, “what we have done is to pay down that debt to a reasonable level.”

“By the time we came in, it was quite tough and we couldn’t pay salaries. What we did then, all governments in the country, restructured the debts of their states. We worked with the federal government and restructured those debts to about 30 years.

“So, that debt has over the past eight years has been paid down to where you have it at the moment and it has been going down remarkably and the next government is going to continue repaying. It was not done for Delta alone, it was done for all the states,” he explained.

Okowa also faulted some of the economic statistics about the state that were being bandied around, insisting that his government had taken a lot of youths out of the streets and unemployment through various technical and vocational programmes.

 The vice presidential candidate of the PDP in the just concluded presidential election thanked the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), all its officials and the security agencies for staying through to the promises made to ensure a free and fair elections last Saturday.

He said the victory was a confirmation that the PDP was in control of the state, even as he noted some unfortunate incidence that occurred during the election.

“In Ughelli North, one of our stronghold, voters were dispersed and injured and another ward, 11 units had to be cancelled in another of our stronghold. One of our agents was also shot death along with one of our party leaders in the PDP. Despite all these, the people came out and voted for the PDP.

“By and large, the electoral process was very fair. I think Deltans know what is right. In the last eight years, we have done our best considering the difficulties. All that we have done in terms of development, the roads, healthcare, free healthcare for mothers, schools and the fact that we inaugurated three universities, the people are quite excited, in addition to several entrepreneurial programmes to empower the youths, really touched the heart of the people.

“Now that we have victory, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, who is the incumbent Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly and understands our programme and knows the foundation of our policies, would continue to build on it and build on it and introduce new programmes.

“The main thing is that he is not going to learn on the job. So, he would seamlessly come into office and we shall continue to pray for him and pray that all that supported me would support him,” Okowa added.

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