GOVERNOR Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa came into office three years ago with a burning desire and passion for service; good service to the people of Delta State.
In pursuance of his determination to add value to the lives of Deltans, he came up with the SMART Agenda, which today is like the driving force of his administration. He has made impacts in virtually every aspect of human needs in Delta State.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa as a grassroots politicians, is touching every community in the the State, including riverine communities. He has constructed a good number of township roads, schools, hospitals and others.
The seeming bad economic situation notwithstanding, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has also embarked on the reconstruction of the Asaba international airport runway and upgrade of some of the airport facilities to enable it host big aircrafts.
The runway is being expanded from 3 kilometers to 3. 4 kilometres with Airfield lighting system; Runway lights, Approach lights and Instrument Landing System being installed to enable aircrafts land even at night.
The Airport with the upgrade, would be used as operational hub by Airlines to pave way for early morning flights from Asaba and late flights into Asaba. Tank farm for refueling of aircrafts has been built in the airport.
Senior Special Adviser to Governor on policy, Prof Sylvester Monye said the Airport has been concensionized to Halcrow Infrastructure Consortium for 30 years after which, the airport would be returned back to the Delta State Government. He said with the concessioning, the Concesionaire will return the N42 billion the state government has put in back to Government.
Saying the state government was in touch with airline operators to use the Asaba international airport as a hub, he the Airport is the first brown field being concensionized in Africa.
He explained that the business park, Logistics centre, Airline operation, Hotel /Convention centre, Cargo Terminal, the Tank farm and MRO would be concensionized to seven companies, adding that Airport Management Company as the master Concessionaire will coordinate the investment activities of the sub-Concessionaires and be accountable to the State Government.
He said a team of Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA officials will be arriving Asaba on May 30th to assess the airport with a view to approving the landing of big aircrafts for the airport, adding that the upgrade work would be completed on the 28.
The Airport was downgraded by the NCAA early 2015 and the Governor for reasons best known to him, took Airport contract from ULO and re awarded it to Setraco. Today the Airport is near completion and would be the best owned State Government Airport in Nigeria.
The Stephen Keshi Stadium which could not be completed by successive past administrations, is near completion. The stadium which will be completed and commissioned soon, will host the 21 edition of the Senior African Athletics Championship tagged ‘Asaba 2018’ scheduled to hold from August 1st to 5th.
The hosting no doubt will boost the socio/economic lives of the people of the State. It will showcase the economic potentials of the state to investors. For the period it will last, the hosting of the championship will promote commerce within the Asaba Capital territory.
In the area of roads, the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration has awarded over 200 road projects across the state of which about 94 has been completed and 119 are ongoing. Riverine communities in the state are not left out in the building of roads. Internal roads are being constructed both urban and rural communities
For about the first time, internal roads are being built in the riverine communities of Okerenkoko, Sekebulo, Obotobo 1 and 2, Oproza, Ogidigben, Burutu, Obitonbon/ Elolo/Ajaokurugbo/Orubu road, thereby giving residents of the areas a sense of belonging.
The Governor has also done a lot of internal roads in Asaba, outside the over 200 roads earlier mentioned within the Asaba Capital territory through the Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency. Today, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is being referred to in some quarters as ‘Roadmaster’. He has turned the state to a construction site.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has also embarked on the construction of storm drainage project to address the flooding problem being witnessed in Asaba and its environs.
In the area of education, Okowa has upgraded Ofagbe Technical College, Isoko North Local Government Area, Agbor Technical College, Ika South Local Government Area and Sapele Technical College, Sapele, Sapele Local Government Area to cater for the vocational needs of the state.
Within this three years, Governor Okowa’s administration has also embarked on massive infrastructural upgrade of facilities across selected public primary and post-primary schools in the State.
The State Government has constructed over 560 classrooms and also renovated over 599. Over 59,267 classroom furniture and 7,884 teachers’ furniture have also provided by this administration as part of effort towards creating conducive learning environment pupils and students in public owned schools.
Four model secondary schools have been upgraded and given facelift, namely; Ogbemudein College, Agbor; Owa Model College, Boji Boji Owa; Alema College, Abigborodo, Warri; and Burutu College, Burutu. While work is ongoing in the following model schools: Government Secondary School, Ughelli (former St. Theresa); Emore College, Oleh; Ashaka Mixed Secondary School, Ashaka; Ogini Grammar School, Ogharefe. Twelve new Primary schools primary and 30 new secondary schools have also been established by the State Government within the period.
In the area of job creation, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa has trained and equipped 3, 059 in skills of their choice. Another 4, 000 youths were also trained in different vocational centres in the state. This effort no doubt is aimed at taking youths in the state off the streets.