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Okowa appoints Ifeajika of NAN as CPS

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as his new Chief Press Secretary (CPS).

The appointment letter, which was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie, was issued to Ifeajika on Monday in Asaba.

Ifeajika would be succeeding the former CPS, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who has been elevated to the position of a Commissioner in the state.

Some journalists, while reacting to the appointment of Ifeajika, described it as a welcome development, saying that he knows what to do to maintain media relationship with the government.

Dr Ejike Obeta of NAN, Asaba office said that Ifeajika was a good choice, adding “he is a round peg in a round hole”.

“He (Ifeajika) has been a very tested journalist, he has all it takes to be a CPS having worked as journalists for over two decade in Delta and other parts of the country.

“I am optimistic that he will bring his wealth of experience in journalism to bear in his new post.

“I know that the governor considered all this before appointing him to be his CPS and I pray that God will be with him and give him the wisdom to deliver on his appointment.”

On his part, Mr Mike Ikeogwu, Chairman, State Chapter of Nigeria Union of Journalist (NUJ), while congratulating Ifeajika on his appointment, urged him to bring his wealth of experience to bear on his new position.

“It is a welcome development to have Ifeajika, a seasoned journalist as the CPS to the Governor. He has practiced in the state before now and knows what to do to raise the bar in journalism profession,” Ikeogwu said.

Also, Mr Paul Osuyi of the Sun and Chairman, Asaba Correspondents Chapel, said he was sure Ifeajika would uplift and uphold the tenets of the profession by ensuring that major stakeholders in the profession function better.

“We congratulate him and express confidence that he will sustain the media relationship between the journalists and the governor,” Osuyi said.

NAN reports that until Ifeajika’s appointment, he was a Deputy Editor-In-Chief (DEIC) NAN in Abuja.

He joined NAN in 1989 as a reporter; worked in Warri and Asaba as State Correspondent between 1998 and 2008.

He also worked in Cross River as State Correspondent from 2008 to 2010 before returning to Asaba as Head, Niger Delta Bureau from 2010 to 2013 before being deployed to Abuja.

Environment

Okowa pledges to connect Delta with roads, bridges for economic growth

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Thursday, pledged his administration’s resolve to connect the state with roads and bridges for economic growth.

The governor said this while speaking with newsmen after inspecting the Alihami-Agbor-Nta-Oki road in Ika South Local Government Area of the state.

Okowa, who also inspected the Owanta erosion control road project and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) Training School, Owa-Oyibu in Ika North East Local Government Area, said government would sustain roads development in spite of the coronavirus pandemic.

He said that the importance of roads connectivity to economic development could not be over emphasised, adding that the prevailing pandemic could not stop good governance and infrastructural development of the state.

According to him, connecting the state with roads and bridges will ensure economic growth of communities.

He assured the people of Delta of his administration’s commitment to executing projects that would impact on their lives.

Okowa, who was conducted round the projects by the Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba and his housing counterpart, Chief Festus Ochonogor said: “we will continue to execute programmes and projects that will make our people to be prosperous.’’

In spite of the COVID-19 and the slowdown of so many things we are doing as a state, there is need to go down and check the things that we intend to continue in the next few weeks.

“I first visited the Alihami-Agbor-Nta-Oki road; it was a surprise visit and the contractor himself was not on site but the workers were on site and it afforded me the opportunity to have first-hand knowledge of level of work being done.

“A lot of drainage work has been done and some sections of the road have been stone-based.

“That road is very important because when it is completed to Edo border, it means that those going to Jesse, Oghara and Sapele axis will have a much faster route.

“That is very good for us and our people because it connects Delta with a section of villages that are actually in Edo and then to the Jesse end.

“The road interconnectivity is good for commerce and economic development of the benefiting communities and we will continue to construct as many roads as our finances can enable us,” Okowa said.

The governor, who also inspected the Owanta gully erosion and road project, said that the place was terrible before now as several homes had been lost to the erosion, but expressed optimism that with the work being done now, several homes had been saved.

“It’s actually a project of Delta with the World Bank.

“This is one of the five sites in Delta and the contractor, Levante Construction is doing well.

“We are happy with the work being done and he has assured us that even through the rain they will continue working to ensure that a lot of homes are saved.

“We are in the process of awarding contracts for other erosion control projects in the state,’’ he said.

Okowa said the FRSC training school was a collaborative project between the state and the corps because “we believe that the school will have an impact on the economy of this area.’’

“We are providing the buildings; they will provide other needed infrastructure and provide the staffing to enable the school take off.

“Right from the lockdown, we allowed some contractors to return to site with strict adherence to the NCDC protocols and that is why we allowed the erosion control project to continue because it can have been very devastating impact.

“I am glad that the contractors are on course and they have assured me they will continue to work throughout the rains,’’ the governor said

The governor, however, revealed that the state had recorded 106 confirmed cases on COVID-19 to date.

He said that though the numbers were restricted to certain local government areas, the state had continued monitoring the development.

For us in Delta, we have 106 cases of COVID-19 now but they are actually restricted to certain local government areas at the moment.

“And we are monitoring the trend and whatever decisions we are going to take as we move into future is going to be based on the data that is available before us.

“This is to ensure that we are taking informed decisions and having a targeted approach; that is our intention and we hope that God willing, we will continue to do our best to combat the pandemic,” he said.


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Grace Yussuf (NAN)

 

 

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Okowa congratulates Gov. Diri at 61

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta, on Thursday, congratulated his Bayelsa counterpart, Sen. Douye Diri, on his  61st  birthday anniversary.

Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba, extolled Diri for his contributions through service to the development of his state and country.

According to Okowa, the sterling contributions of Diri to the development of Bayelsa and Nigeria as a former commissioner and lawmaker are remarkable.

He said that Diri had since assumption of office demonstrated determination and was doing everything possible to achieve his #GreaterBayelsa vision.

“Your selfless and impressive start as Governor of Bayelsa have already distinguished you as an emerging nationalist and one to look out for in future political development of our country.

“For the few months you have been in the saddle, the people of Bayelsa can attest to your doggedness, commitment and steadfastness in state craftsmanship as exemplified in the achievements being recorded by the government under your watch.

“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I congratulate a gentleman of honour and integrity, a promising leader of this generation and a consummate politician of our time, Senator Douye Diri, on his 61st birth anniversary.

“Indeed, your emergence as governor of Bayelsa was miraculous and I urge you to continue to work hard for the good of the people of your state because God gave you the position to render service to your people.

“On this auspicious occasion of your 61st birth anniversary, I join your family, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for your life which has been marked by God’s favour and outstanding accomplishments,” Okowa said..


Edited By: Chioma Ugboma/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

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Birthday: Delta Speaker felicitates with Dame Okowa

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Chief Sheriff Oborevwori, the Speaker of the Delta House of Assembly, has congratulated the wife of the state governor and founder of 05 Initiative, Dame Edith Okowa, as she celebrated her 59th birthday on Monday.

A statement by Mr Dennis Otu, the Chief Press Secretary to the Speaker in Asaba, quoted Oborevwori as describing the governor’s wife as an epitome of humility and one, who had positively impacted on the lives of Deltans through her pet project.

According to the Speaker, the establishment of sickle cell clinics across the Local Government Areas in the state by the wife of the governor through the 05 Initiative has helped Deltans greatly.

Oborevwori said that Dame Okowa had brought happiness to many disadvantaged individuals and families in the society.

”As a good wife, God-fearing and a caring mother, we celebrate her birthday today, it is my prayer that God will continue to protect her and give her the strength to continue to serve the people.

“On behalf of my family and constituents, I congratulate the wife of the governor and founder of the 05 initiative. May God continue to protect her life,” Oborevwori said.


Edited By: Joe Idika/Yemi Idris-Aduloju (NAN)

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Gov. Okowa congratulates new NMA President, Prof. Ujah

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has congratulated Prof. Innocent Ujah on his election as the President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

The governor’s felicitation was conveyed in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Sunday in Asaba.

Ujah, a Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, was the immediate past Director-General of the Nigerian Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos.

He was elected with 347 votes at the association’s Annual General Conference and Delegates Meeting held online on Saturday, to defeat his closest rival, Oguzie Jerry, who got 19 votes.

Okowa described Ujah as a “distinguished medical scholar and outstanding patriot.”

He said that Ujah had distinguished himself as a professional with proven progressive experience in National Maternal Health policy development in Nigeria.

He noted that the new NMA president was involved in national integrated planning, implementation, monitoring, and evaluation activities in the 36 states and Federal Capital Territory.

The governor further noted Ujah had contributed to the institution of safe motherhood activities in Nigeria since 1990.

Okowa urged Ujah to bring his wealth of experience to bear on his new task, saying that he should give prime attention to adherence to medical ethics by medical practitioners.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you, Professor Innocent Ujah, on your election as President of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).

“It is a thing of joy to note that you won the election with a very wide margin which indicated the overwhelming acceptance of your competence and ability to lead the professional body of medical doctors in Africa’s largest country.

While I congratulate you on this victory, let me remind you that the task ahead is daunting and onerous and you must bring your wealth of experience to bear in the discharge of your duties as president of the association.

“I, therefore, charge you to remain committed as you lead the NMA to promote universal health coverage and to ensure that Nigeria flattens the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic,” Okowa said.

Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ejike Obeta (NAN)

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Gov. Okowa mourns former NNPC GMD, Maikanti Baru

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Sunday expressed grief over the death of  Dr Maikanti Baru,the immediate past Group Managing Director of  the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).

Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Olise Ifeajika, described the late Baru as a renowned engineer, who brought his wealth of experience to bear all through the years he served at the  NNPC.

“As an astute petroleum engineer, Baru was a man of great wisdom and insight, who contributed immensely to the economic development of our country throughout his service at the NNPC.

“While serving as GMD he maintained oil production levels above two million barrels per day and increased crude oil production by NNPC flagship Upstream Company, Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC).

“He was also instrumental to the boosting of gas production which made NNPC the largest supplier of gas to power, and saving enormous financial resources through Direct Sale Direct Purchase (DSDP) scheme adopted for products import.

The NNPC under his watch reduced cost of crude oil production per barrel in the country from 27 dollars to 22 dollars and sustained petroleum products supply nationwide, thereby eliminating fuel scarcity in the country,” he said.

According to him, Baru will be sorely missed, especially for his outstanding accomplishments and innovations at the NNPC.

Okowa, who said the the news of Baru’s death came to him as a shock, expressed his condolences to the Baru’s family, Jama’are community, and Gov. Bala Mohammed of Bauchi State.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta State, I mourn the exit of a great statesman, Dr Maikanti Baru, who contributed immensely to the economic development of Nigeria when he held sway at the NNPC,” he said.

Baru, who hailed from Jama’are in Bauchi State, died on Friday, May 29, after a brief illness.

He was appointed the  18th NNPC’s  Group Managing Director on July 4th, 2016 and retired on July 7, 2019, at the age of 60..

Edited /Donald Ugwu

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Delta has witnessed unprecedented development under Okowa – Lawmakers

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Some members of the Delta House of Assembly have commended Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa for delivering good governance to the people of the state.
They also assured the people of the state of more dividends of democracy in years ahead.
Speaking in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Saturday in Asaba, the lawmakers said that the five years of Okowa as governor of the state had witnessed unprecedented development.
They attributed such development to the governor’s desire for good governance and excellence.
The Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Mr Christopher Ochor, said that the nickname of the governor as the ‘Road Master’ was not just for the fun of it.
He noted that it was in recognition of the strides recorded by his administration in road infrastructure, even in riverine communities.
Ochor called for more support of citizens for the Okowa-led administration.
Also, Mr Festus Okoh, Majority Whip of the Assembly, representing Ika South constituency, said that there was no local government area in the state without, at least, one development project executed by the present administration.
”Despite the economic recession and the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, the governor never stopped initiating programmes, geared toward enhancing the quality of lives in the state.
The lawmaker expressed optimism that greater development would be provided by the governor in the years ahead.
On his part, the Chairman, House Committee on Public Accounts, Mr Anthony Elekeokuri, described the five years of the Okowa-led administrationt as commendable.
Elekeokuri, representing Ika North East constituency, noted that the primary function of any government was to ensure the welfare and security of the people.
He said that the governor had done well in the two areas, and more importantly, in the area of poverty alleviation.
The lawmaker urged the people of the state to remain resolute in their confidence and prayers for the governor and his administration.
Elekeokuri, however, called on President Muhammadu Buhari to open up the economy for more meaningful development to thrive.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq

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Anniversary: Delta Speaker salutes Gov. Okowa 

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The Speaker of the Delta House of Assembly, Sheriff Oborevwori, on Saturday congratulated Gov.Ifeanyi Okowa on the first anniversary of his second term in office.

Oborevwori in statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Asaba described Gov. Okowa as a tested, trusted and visionary leader with much achievements.

“I wish to, on behalf of my family and constituents, congratulate our governor, who has done so much.

”The governor has justified the mandate given to him by the people with the enviable transformation of the state.Today, Delta has become first choice for investors.

“As we mark another anniversary of our visionary governor in office, it is my appeal to our people to continue to support his administration. Our people should continue to live in peace and harmony.

”We are one big family despite our different tongues and ethnic affiliations. I wish our governor a happy anniversary and God’s protection,” he said.

Oborevwori, who also described the governor as a grassroot politician, commended him for his giant strides in governance and provision of infrastructure in the state.

Edited /Ejike Obeta

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Economy

Anniversary: Okowa thanks God, seeks prayers for victory over COVID-19

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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta on Friday charged Christians to pray to God to take away the ravaging Coronavirus (COVID -19) pandemic and revive the state and nation’s economies.

The governor gave the charge at an interdenominational Thanksgiving Service to mark the first anniversary of his second term in office, at the Government House Chapel, Asaba.

He said that the COVID-19 had posed a major challenge to economies of the world, hence, the need to pray fervently to God for a solution to the scourge.

Okowa said that the global lockdown occasioned by the pandemic had led to slump in price of crude oil, which had remained Nigeria’s major source of revenue.

The governor, however, said that with God, there would be victory over the pandemic, urging the people to put their trust in Him.

He said that the thanksgiving was necessary because God made it possible for him and his deputy to emerge victorious in the last election.

“We thank God for making it possible for us to gather here today.

“If not for the season that we find ourselves, I am sure that by now we would have been at the Event Centre with many gospel artistes coming to perform for us, while we dance to glorify the name of God.

“I thank the Chaplain and his assistant for being able to arrange the Chapel in such a manner that we are able to obey the rules of the state, regarding COVID-19 protocols.

“It is unfortunate that all of us cannot worship the way we desire, but for those of us who are able to gather together and are able to call on the name of the Lord, He will answer us.

“For those who are at home praying and giving God glory for this day, as we celebrate our first year in the second term and the fifth year in office, we give God glory for their lives,” he said.

Quoting some verses in the Bible, the governor said:  “It is necessary that we continue to praise the name of the Lord our God, because when He fights for us, we shall hold our peace.

“In the last five years, the Lord has continued to fight for us, and I am a witness to all the things He has done, even for the challenge that we have at the moment, we will continue to trust in His name”.

Okowa acknowledged that God alone, would  approve and provide solution to the coronavirus pandemic.

“Everybody is rushing to find the vaccine, but it is only when God permits, that the vaccine will come, because He is the one that gives us power to have knowledge to solve life’s challenges.

The Lord has led us thus far these five years and we must recognise that it is the Lord that made it possible and I want to urge us to continue to call on the name of God, because He is ever faithful,” he said.

Okowa said that Nigeria’s economy was negatively impacted by the effect of the COVID-19 because of its dependence on oil revenue.

“We produce oil now and there is nobody to buy, and the prices have crashed because the world is sitting at home.

“The engines have stopped running and even vehicles have stopped moving. So, obviously it is a  big challenge globally,” he said.

The governor said his administration had some targets which had been negatively impacted by the pandemic.

He, however, expressed confidence that even in the face of the current economic challenge, the Lord would turn things around and the things lined up to be  done by the administration would be accomplished.

Okowa thanked God for a peaceful and united Delta under his watch in the last five years, especially among the various arms of government.

He said that though the state had recorded some security challenges, the new security outfit “Operation Delta Hawk” being established by the state government would stem the challenges.

The Assistant Chaplain of the Chapel, Pastor Matthew Ezedom, in his sermon, themed:  “I Know my Redeemer Liveth”, said that it was important to give God thanks, because  “it is God that protects all’’.

The pastor urged Christians to always put their trust in God.

“He alone can keep us away from all evil,” the cleric said.

Edited By: Chinyere Nwachukwu/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Gov Okowa’s wife donates food items to 5 correctional centres

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Ahead of her 59th birthday celebration on June 1, the wife of Delta Governor, Dame Edith Okowa, has donated food items to the inmates of five correctional centres in the state.
The items, which comprised bags of rice, beans, onion, vegetable oil and other essential cooking condiments, alongside cash donations, were done under the auspice of her pet project, O5 Initiative”.
The items were received by the representatives of the correctional centres on Thursday in Asaba.

The correctional centres are those in Sapele, Warri, Kwale, Agbor and Ogwasi-Uku.

Mrs Okowa said that the O5 Initiative, at its inception, had made a pledge to the correctional centres that come every June 1, the inmates would be fed and taken care of by the initiative.

By God’s grace, we have been consistent with keeping with that promise by ensuring that every year, we cook and distribute food to the inmates.

“There is, however, a slight variation in this year’s celebration because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“In order to keep up with the social distancing rule, we are rather than visiting the prisons, handing over the items to the representatives to help us reach them,” she said.

Okowa explained that arrangement had been made with the administrators of the various centres to ensure that the food items were prepared and given to the inmates.
She expressed the hope that they would do better than the team would have done by going there physically.

Receiving the items on behalf of Warri Correctional Centre, the Secretary to the Warri South Local Government, Mr Joseph Oribioye, said that the gesture proved that the benefactor was in touch with mankind.

“I must say that the charitable action of the governor’s wife is a laudable one. She has made it a point of duty to always reach out to the poor, an indication that she is in constant touch with the plight of the vulnerable.

“As she celebrates her birthday this year, it is our wish that she is blessed with all the good things of life and that her family is protected from evil,” he said.

Also, the Special Assistant to the Chairman, Sapele Local Government Council, Mr Felix Ayemideor, who received on behalf of Sapele correctional centre, said that he was not surprised by the gesture as the Initiative had always reached out to the inmates since its inception.

Edited By: Joe Idika/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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