Advancing socio-economic development through Okowa’s SMART Initiatives (2)
In this respect Okowa said: “During my tenure as governor, at least, one city or urban settlement in each of the 10 federal constituencies will be designated for comprehensive renewal.”
In doing this, the governor-elect vowed to focus on creating and improving on the internal road networks, dualisation where necessary, drainage, construction of bridges and flyovers, erosion control, modern transportation facilities, and provision of electricity and other public utilities. “The development of roads, bridges and ancilliary infrastructure will not only ease commercial activities and consequently, enhance economic growth and personal well-being of Deltans, it will attract foreign investors to the state, and indirectly add advantage to the state’s revenue,” he affirmed.
Matching words with action, Okowa, a forthnight ago approved the dualisation of the Nnebisi /Cable roads in the state capital, and the construction of a modern market in Orerokpe, Okpe local government area, comprising 196 open shops, 28 lockup shops among other facilities, and rehabilitation of a 20 bed cattage hospital in Abavo.
DESOPADEC Just last week, Okowa signed into law Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) amendment bill.
According to the governor, the bill now signed into law is to give strength to the DESOPADEC by restructuring the board and management, in line with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) model.
Public service Having come to a good understanding of the progress and challenges in the management of service delivery in the state, Okowa has vowed to reposition public services in the state for better reward and performance. “I am determined to create a virile civil service whose full potentials will be developed through proper recruitment and focused capacity building. Integrity, hardwork and honesty will be rewarded,” he said.
Through this, he was sure, the civil servants will deliver effectively and the revenue base of the state will jack up without stress. Housing He has vowed to articulate and land management policies that will deliver sustainable housing programmes in the light of massive influx of Deltans and immigrants into the key cities of the state by fostering synergy among the activities of the Ministry of Housing, local government and related agencies such as Delta Development and Property Authority (DDPA) and DESOPADEC.
He has similarly said private sector will be encouraged to participate meaningfully in investment in housing through institutional incentives that will be put in place for the Master Plan that will be developed for the major towns and settlements within which programmes can be developed for residential, commercial and industrial real estate that will be generating income to the state.
Health Okowa has come to understand as a medical doctor-turned politician, that “ Health is wealth.”
He has therefore vowed to consolidate on the gains in this sector by his predecessor. Besides that he was deeply involved as a Senator in promoting necessary legislation to sustain and advance the course of health and medical practice, he has said his administration will vigourously pursue best practices, grow the institutions of health, advance the quality of health and medical practitioners.
He said his administration will pursue a legislation that will support and promote Universal Health Insurance Policy for the people of the state, and even take cognizance of the Teaching Hospital at Oghara, while other hospitals across the state shall be developed, equipped and staffed to promote specialist services in various fields of medicine.
To this end, he sent a bill to the State House of Assembly titled: ‘Delta State Contributory Health Commission Bill 2015, which is undergoing consideration.
He said his administration would also train existing health personnel and engage more community health extension workers and sanitary health workers to boost primary health care / sanitation.
According to him, proper inventory and internal visitations of all medical and health institutions shall be undertaken with a view to improving upon the existing ones and establishing new ones where necessary.
By this, the state, according to him, can be sure of healthy civil servants, living in good environment for better performance and achievement of organizational set goals. CONCLUDED • Prince Efeizomor is the Special Assistant to the Governor on Media (Print)