Okowa Swears In Commissioners, To Tackle Corruption



WITH a firm assurance that his administration has zero tolerance for corruption in the management of government business, Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa yesterday in Asaba sworn in 12 new Commissioners and five Special Advisers.

The Commissioners are Barrister Mrs Mary Iyasere (Commerce and Industry), Mr. John Nani (Environment), Dr. Kingsley Emu (Economic Planning), Chief James Augoye (Works), Mr. Vincent Uduaghan (Transport), Mr. Newworld Safugha (Energy), and Mr. Joseph Ogeh (Housing).

Others are Mr. Fidelis Tilije (Water Resources Development), Rev. Mrs. Omashola Williams (Women Affairs), Mr. Austin Chikezie (Agriculture and Natural Resources), Mrs Joyce Overah (Science and Technology) and Mr. Chiedu Ebie (Basic and Secondary Education).

The Special Advisers are Emmanuel Ogidi (Rural Development and Peace Building), Sen. Emmanuel Aguariavwodo (Infrastructure and Housing Development), Rt. Hon. Martins Okonta (Land Resources and Legislative Matters), Hon. Pascal Adigwe (National Assembly Matters and Inter-governmental Liaison) and Comrade Mike Okeme (Labour Relations).

Okowa urged the commissioners to join him in the fight against corruption so as to retain the implicit confidence and trust the people repose in them.

He reminded the commissioners and special advisers that it is no longer business as usual in the management of government activities and urged them to be honest, diligent and responsible in the discharge of their duties.

“Corruption starves the state of valuable resources that could be used for infrastructural development, improve our educational system, boost our healthcare system and take care of the poor and needy. Even worse is that anywhere it is allowed to fester, the cost of doing business becomes prohibitive.

I want to seek the support and partnership of all public office holders to lead the fight against corruption in their respective offices. That is the only way to retain the trust and confidence the people have bestowed upon us,” he said.

As part of his resolve to curb wastefulness in government, Okowa directed all ministries, departments and agencies in the state not to use government funds to place adverts for him as he clocks 56 on July 8.

He also urged his friends and well-wishers who intend to do same to channel such funds to the empowerment of less privileged persons in their communities.

Okowa urged all political appointees in his administration to shun ethnic politics and sectionalism and regard the entire state as their constituency, while stressing that they must be fair to all Deltans.

He said: “I want to make it crystal clear that this administration has zero tolerance for sectionalism and nepotism. Given the pan-Delta mandate that brought us here, we cannot afford to do any less.

The horrible thing about ethnic politics is that it appeals to our worst instincts and fuels our greatest fears. As commissioners and special advisers, always remember that you have been appointed to serve the entire state.

Treat and give every citizen equal opportunity and the chance to realise his or her potentials and benefit from our programmes. People are looking up to see in you the qualities of fairness, equity and justice that are the articles of faith of this administration.”

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  • Eugene Okonkwo

    Some of those commissionership positions could be merged as they may not have enough critical roles to play / have enough tasks / jobs / works / projects to warrant being busy enough to justify a full commission. I am not able to see why Education cannot go with Technology and why Environment cannot absorb with Water resources. Transport could go with works and housing. Unless the commissioners and their close admin staff work p / time and or their pay and allowances cut in line with the Civil service structure, and based on hourly work rate(s), it will be to tenous and over bearing / encumbrous to our lyne resources given the state of our state’s finances indicated recently – NGN600b+ black hole. I am calling for a review of those appoinments, plus their conditions of engagement. Government machinery for work like cars, etc should be cut down drastically. Not all the positions require much travels. They can be given car loan to buy their own cars, mileage paid as certified on approved trips, etc. The situation I see is drastic and we need all savings to garner money for serious works + salaries. Above all, gov’t must stay away from the Pension’s Fund. Such funds do not belong to gov’t anymore but to current / future pensioner, as FUNDS. Thank u.

    • Una Pato

      I totally agree with you my brother. We do not need many commissioners because these ministries are inter-related as problems in one area usually affect other areas. Take ministry of Environment for example, there has been commissioners running this ministry since the creation of Delta State, but from my personal assessment of the Environmental conditions of the State when I visited Nigeria last year, It was clear that nothing has been done with all the billions allocated to that sector since the creation of the State. Honestly, I do not blame those past Commissioners they simply did not have ideas and technical-know-how to get to the root causes of some of the problems and how to mitigate them. Also, with due respect and for the information of His Excellency, Environment is defined as including land and water resources AND what affects the land ends up in the water, and when people drink from such water they get sick and they flood our hospitals and health facilities thereby putting pressure on government and individual finances. We need professionals who know what they are doing to take charge of certain key ministries. There is a say that it is good to put square pegs in square holes so that there will be a perfect match – in this case of skill and portfolios which will result in excellent performance. This is definitely not a time to appoint politicians who do not know anything about Environment, Health, Education etc into these ministries, just because they assisted the Governor to win the election in one way or the other. Delta State can save a lot of money and time by just doing the right thing, especially now that Deltans are waiting to see the change this government promised during their campaign that won them the peoples’ trust and vote. Remember, the next four years in just around the corner, hence need to deliver promptly.