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Okowa Will Ensure Speedy Development Of Oil Bearing Communities - Aniagwu

CHIEF Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, Mr Charles Aniagwu has said the Governor will not discriminate in ensuring speedy development of the state, especially, oil bearing communities.

While disclosing that Governor Okowa was not happy with the level of development in the creeks and riverine communities in the state, Mr Aniagwu stated, "the governor has a strong passion for the upliftment of standard of living of all Deltans and he is greatly disturbed that at this 21st century, people are still suffering the way they do in the creeks and riverine communities."

"Agreed that the communities have contributed immensely to the development of the country because of oil revenue and have little to show for it, we cannot lose sight of the fact that these communities can be tourists haven of the state and contribute greatly to the production of fish which can be for export if they are encouraged and the areas are developed," the CPS added.

Mr Aniagwu who was addressing members of the Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Warri on Wednesday (18/01/2017) continued, "over the years, there have been serious neglect and underdevelopment in the Niger Delta especially in the oil bearing communities and am glad that even Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo during his visit to Delta State on Monday, acknowledged that there is dearth of infrastructure in our oil bearing communities."

"The Okowa administration has taken steps to make life more meaningful for all Deltans, hence the 2017 budget was embedded with several infrastructural projects," the Governor's spokesman stated, adding, "no matter how beautiful and promising a budget will look like, without adequate revenues to fund the projected expenditures, it would be an exercise in futility, hence, we are intensifying efforts in pleading with our brothers agitating for better deal for our people to support the peace process already initiated by the Federal and State governments towards bringing a lasting peace and development to the troubled oil rich region."

He emphasized, "we are hoping that they will show understanding because when there is relative peace in the region, it will translate to more money from derivation which will make DESOPADEC and the State Government to function well."

Mr Aniagwu assured Deltans that the Governor Okowa led government will do more in 2017 in terms of infrastructural development as lots of projects will be executed across the state beyond what has been witnessed within the last one and half years.

He continued, "if you take a look at the Oil city, we have constructed several roads including the Okere Urhobo community roads, Ejinyere, Dederu streets as well as the PTI road rehabilitation which is currently ongoing and adequate provisions have been made for the reconstruction of the Effurun Sapele road, Ugbomro road; and for the first time in many years, efforts are being made to construct roads in our riverine communities of Okerenkoko, Oporoza, Ogulagha, Burutu, Ogidigben among others,"

The Governor's image maker said despite the challenges of an over bloated workforce with it's attendant huge wage cost, the Okowa administration has made the payment of salaries a top priority, observing that despite the downturn in the economy, the government has recorded huge success in executing projects that have great economic values to the people of the State.

He thanked journalists in the state for their support and promised to ensure quarterly press briefing with Governor Okowa and journalists in the state.

"I have had the privilege of interacting with members of the NUJ via the congress and other avenues, and i must thank my colleagues for the understanding and cooperation we have been receiving from journalists across the state." He said

Chairman of the Delta State Council of the NUJ, Comrade Norbert Chiazor described the CPS as a good ambassador of the union who has carried out his functions as a professional and assured that the NUJ will continue to partner with the state government in its developmental programmes.

Chairman of the Chapel, Comrade Michael Ikeogwu thanked the CPS for finding time to have interactive sessions with journalists, stating that such moves give room for issues to be clarified.

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