ASABA/Nigeria: The Delta State government has paid the workers in the state to enable them celebrate the Christmas and New Year festivals without stress, despite the exclusion of the state from the recently released Paris Refund from the Federal government.
The State, along with Eight other states, could not get their shares of the refunds, due to some technical issues that needed to be resolved.
The State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa stated this in Asaba during the quarterly media Party in Asaba on Monday, December 18, 2017.
According to the Governor, his administration has consistently, paid the salaries of civil servants, noting that approval has also, been given for the release of the sum of N2 billion to pay for other deductions owed civil servants.
“We have approved the payment of December salary and I am confident that from tomorrow (Tuesday, 19/12/17), every worker in the state would have received his or her salary,” the Governor said, disclosing that money from the Paris Club refund was spent on salaries and the execution of projects.
On the 2018 edition of African Senior Athletic Championship, Governor Okowa said construction work at the Asaba Township Stadium will be completed in March 2018 in readiness for the hosting of the championship.
He observed that there are lots of benefits derivable from hosting such a tournament which will attract people from different parts of Africa to Asaba, the state capital.
“We are passionate about sports in Delta State, we have renowned sports men and women; we are excited that we are going to host the 2018 edition of ASAC and we are doing everything possible for the Asaba Township Stadium to be ready in the month of March next year,” he said.
The Governor assured that his administration was committed to Delta State remaining the number one state in sports development in the country, noting that within two years of his administration, Principal Cup championship have been revived in the state while the annual sports festival have been consistent as avenues to “catch them young.”
Governor Okowa also, disclosed that his administration has constructed more than 170 classrooms and established new schools, and ensured that schools in the state are well equipped to cater for the need of teachers and students.
He also, stated that hospitals in the state will be used for the Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, adding that work would be completed at the Asaba Central Hospital next year.
Throwing more light on the Health Insurance Scheme, the Governor stated those captured in the scheme would derive a lot of benefits from the scheme, asserting that the success story of the scheme in the state will make Nigerians know that such programme can be executed in the country to ensure a healthy nation.
Asaba International Airport to Be Completed Soon
meanwhile, aware of the importance of the Asaba International Airport to the socio-economic life of Deltans, the governor has said the early completion of the airport which is very important to his administration.
According to the Governor, his administration was committed to making the airport functional and of international standard, disclosing that the contractor handling the project, had failed to meet the contractual deadline of delivering the project within the period of four months before it withdrew from continuing with the execution of the project.”
“It is important that we realise that the state is bigger than any individual, we mounted a lot of pressure on the contractor handling the project, but, with all that, the work was still very slow; we did a 50 per cent mobilization and the prohect is supposed to be completed within a period of four months,” he said, adding, “we made the mobilization in October, 2015 but, the job is less than 25 per cent done and the contractor has pulled out.”
He continued, “we, as a government, have accepted the withdrawal of the contractor from executing the job, in few months’ time, the job will be re-awarded to a credible contractor with a track record of project delivery.”
The Governor also, disclosed that the Ministry of Works and that of Justice have invited the construction company, to a meeting to know the situation with that of Marian Babangida Way, stating that that road is important but, his administration has not been able to do much on it to avoid legal issues with the contractor who was awarded the project before his assumption of office as Governor.
He stated that his administration has done a lot in terms of road construction stating that more than 150 roads have been awarded with 60 completed and commissioned while several others are at different stages of completion.
“A lot has been done in terms of road development, 151 roads have been awarded by this administration and about 60 completed, we have commissioned some and others are awaiting commissioning,” the Governor said, noting that a lot of road projects were being executed in different parts of the state, especially, the riverine communities like Burutu, Bomadi, Oporoza, Patani, Okerenkoko, Ogulagha, Obotobo, Sokebolo, Yokri, among others.
He also, stated that the flooding in Asaba is being tackled through the construction of storm drains, disclosing that due to the multi-billion naira nature of the projects which will take away flood waters from DLA, Jesus Saves, DBS, Uwechue, and Okpanam roads, the projects will be executed in phases.
Governor Okowa used the occasion to express confidence in the ability of the state interventionist agency, the Direct Labour Agency in rehabilitating failed portions of roads in the state, saying that funds would be released to the agency for it to carry out its functions within the dry season.