Ifeanyi Okowa defends government over allegation of oil communities’ neglect
Deputy tasks firms on corporate social responsibility
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State has denied the allegation of neglect of oil-bearing communities credited to the Niger Delta Avengers (NDA).This followed the threat by the NDA to resume hostilities in the Niger Delta region.
Okowa, who spoke in Asaba yesterday, said his administration was working to develop the state without preference for any group.He explained that there had been a reduced allocation to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Commission (DESOPADEC) due to the dwindling economy.
He stressed that the state’s stability and payment of workers salaries were also affecting its finances.The governor said his government has due respect for the ethnic diversity in the state, as reflected in the three senatorial districts, 10 federal constituencies and the 25 local council areas.
He lamented that some persons were still threatening hostilities, rather than embracing due process and dialogue in resolving issues.He said: “I am interfacing with the people by holding regular town hall meetings after commissioning and inspecting projects in each of the local council areas. At such meetings, the people are given the latitude to contribute to how best the state could be governed.”
He absolved the media, civil society groups or the opposition of not living up to the people’s expectation as alleged by the militants. The governor explained that his administration was constructing some internal roads in Okerenkoko, Ogulagha and Burutu, some of which are 18 km roads.Also, the state Deputy Governor, Kingsley Burutu Otuaro, has tasked oil companies to speed up their corporate social responsibility to their host communities.
He said this was necessary to enhance revenue for the development of the state and the nation.He made the appeal when Jude Ukori led the Egbema Gbaramatu Communities Development Foundation (EGCDF), and officials of Chevron Nigeria Limited to his office yesterday.Otuaro urged the youths to embrace Okowa’s SMART agenda, which has STEP and YAGEP programme to make them to live productive lives rather than constitute sources of insecurity.
Meanwhile, the state Chief Judge, Justice Marshal Umukoro has warned judicial workers against corrupt practices, saying any worker found guilty of bribe-taking would be summarily dismissed.
Justice Umukoro stated this yesterday in Asaba while meeting with court registrars, assistant registrars and exhibit keepers in the Delta North Judicial Division.
While assuring members of the public of fair hearing, he urged judicial officials to be diligent, honest and hardworking to avoid being vulnerable to financial pressure and impropriety.