Okowa to Deltans: I feel your pain, I am doing everything possible to bring succor

Posted by Grand News | 3 October 2017 | 986 times


Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa

ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, SENATOR DR. IFEANYI ARTHUR OKOWA, THE

GOVERNOR OF DELTA STATE, AT NIGERIA’S 57TH INDEPENDENCE ANNIVERSARY

CELEBRATION, AT THE CENOTAPH, ON SUNDAY, 01 OCTOBER, 2017

 

Today, we are gathered to celebrate this great national event, the

57th independence anniversary of our dear country. It is the day we

got freedom from British colonial rule. The freedom did not come on a

platter. It was a product of sustained struggle by the founding

fathers of this great country.

   Let us once again, salute those people who fought for the

independence of our country by rededicating ourselves to the service

of this great nation. In the last 57 years, our country has made

reasonable strides in all fields: technology, education, sports,

finance and various other fields, which were almost impossible before

our sovereign freedom.

   This day also reminds us not only of our freedom from colonial

rule but it     affords us opportunity to make a critical analysis of

our progress so far and to reinvigorate us to tackle new and unfolding

challenges by drawing lessons from both our strengths and weaknesses

including recognizing opportunities and threats. I therefore join

other Nigerians to rejoice with the President and Commander-in-Chief

of the armed forces of the Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, on

this 57th anniversary of our dear nation’s independence.

    The pride of belonging to an independent country where sovereign

power of deciding our destiny rests with us, imposes a huge

responsibility on us. We, particularly the elites in this society,

indeed have extra responsibility to dedicate our services and lives to

the progress of the nation for we shall be failing in our

responsibilities as citizens and leaders of an independent nation, if

we do not devote ourselves to the service of this country, with our

immense talents.

      As we celebrate, there is no doubt that we are weighed down by

the economic challenges in our dear country. The recent announcement

by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, of positive GDP growth in the

second quarter of this year, is a silver lining in the sky,  signaling

the end of the longest recession in our nation’s history. I know how

difficult things are and how tough life has become and it will take a

while for the impact of the end of the recession to be felt in our

households but I remain optimistic.  I am also conscious of the fact

that our people are making necessary sacrifices to cope with present

challenges.  By the special grace of God, such sacrifices will not be

in vain.

       Let me also assure all Deltans that I feel your pains and I am

doing everything under the current challenging circumstances, to bring

succour to you, my dear people. I

remain committed to ensuring prosperity for all and we have reformed

governance processes to ensure greater transparency and prudence in

the application of our resources. As a State, we remain undeterred by

the present circumstances as we are working hard to build solid

structures on which our people will stand to cultivate and harvest

good fortunes for their benefits and those of the State.

       The focus of this administration has been on job creation and

youth empowerment. That is why we embarked on the re- construction of

the State-owned technical colleges in Agbor, Ofagbe and Sapele. This

was in furtherance of government’s desire to promote technical and

vocational education, which is at the core of our educational policy

and the enhancement of human capital.

 

       This was followed by our empowerment programmes of youths

training under the Skills Training and Entrepreneurship Programme

(STEP) with provisions to support them to start their own businesses.

Another group of youths was trained under the Youth Agricultural

Entrepreneurs Programme (YAGEP). We also introduced Graduate

Employment Enhancement Programme (GEEP), designed to cater for

unemployed graduates.  In the last two years, 42, 000 new jobs has

been tracked as directly created from our government’s programmes and

projects. This, of course, excludes private sector jobs created

through investments arising from the conducive environment that we

have created. However, we will not rest on oars as we intensify

efforts to expand opportunities.

 

       As part of the faithful implementation of our SMART agenda,

this government has completed the construction/rehabilitation of

fifty-five critical inter and intra-city road projects, including

concrete-lined drains, while others are at various levels of

completion. In the health sector, this government is focused on

development of hospitals and primary healthcare centres, including the

procurement of drugs and cutting edge medical equipment in major

healthcare facilities in the three senatorial districts. The robust

foundation for our comprehensive healthcare delivery is hinged on the

State’s health insurance programme, which is aimed at providing

universal healthcare coverage for our people.  Government is also

paying attention to the teaching hospital at Oghara while the central

hospital here at Asaba, is near completion.

       This administration is working tenaciously to end the perennial

flooding of the State capital and other key towns and cities across

the State. While work is on-going to ensure storm water control in

Asaba, a comprehensive drainage master plan for the territory is

nearing completion. We are indeed determined to reduce the impact of

flooding in our cities.

    Let me use this opportunity to once again commend our gallant men

of the Armed Forces and Police for their commitment to bringing peace

and security including maintaining unity and territorial integrity of

the country, especially in the north eastern parts of the country. We

should also spare thoughts for our men and women on the frontlines,

including their dependants and those of the officers and men who paid

the supreme price in the service of our dear country.

     I also  commend the noble role of religious organizations,

traditional rulers, the media, civil society groups and a cross

section of well-meaning citizens for the immense contributions they

have continued to make to jealously guard  democratic institutions in

our country.  Their incisive criticisms and counsel have helped to

stabilise the polity and stay the hands of those who would have either

abused or exploited the unfettered freedom that democracy affords

citizens of every country that subscribes to it.

 

I must specially salute and commend all Deltans for their

patience, steadfastness and perseverance under the present economic

difficulties. I urge you to remain resilient. We should not be

consumed by our petty differences; rather, we should be united by our

common humanity, because we are stronger together. No part of the

State is more special than the other. Together, we can make progress

with our collective effort and work towards the Delta State where we

should all be proud to belong.

 

 Thank you and may God bless our dear State and country.


Source: Grand News

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