By Anthony Arugba
DELTA State Commissioner for Economic Planning, Dr. Kingsley Emu, yesterday, disclosed that 539 Cooperatives Societies, comprising 6,252 beneficiaries in the 25 Local Government Areas of the state have benefited from N835, 700, 000, disbursed from September 2015 till date.
Emu spoke in Abraka during the 2nd edition of the Sen. Okowa Online Coalition Convention with the theme,” Okwa’s 2 Years In Office: The Impact Of The SMART Agenda.
He said the commitment by the state government was in line with its promise to provide financial support to micro and small enterprises under its financial inclusion programme.
He stated that the enterprises covers traders, market women, artisans small-time farmers, adding that Deltans should expect continuous support from the state government in the months to come as it is committed to delivering dividends of democracy to Deltans.
The commissioner explained that despite myriads challenges on assumption of office at the wake of economic recession characterized by weak revenue base, decaying infrastructure, high expectation, rising youths unemployment, worsening crime rate and other social malaise, Governor Okowa has delivered on his SMART promises.
On salary/pensions, Emu said : ” We do not owe salaries to date and have supported local governments in their constitutional role of payment of salaries in excess of 3billion despite our tight financial position. We have also consistently made provision of N470 monthly towards payment of the state’s obligation to the Contributory Pension Scheme.”
On physical infrastructure, he said : ” In two years 698kms of road, 207.16kms of drains, 138 projects have been awarded, out of which 228.58kms of road and 48,21kms of drain have been completed.”
On schools, the commissioner stated : ” Delta State has 1,021 primary and 469 secondary schools with 443,813 and 332,760 pupils, respectively. This is about one of the largest in Nigeria. So far, several of these have been renovated and new ones built. So much efforts have been made to also furnish these schools and make them conducive for learning. Between SUBEB and Ministry of Basic Education, government has spent in excess of N16bn.”
Earlier, in his address, the Delta State Coordinator of Sen. Okowa Online Coalition, Comr. Godspower Asiuwhu, called for synergy between the coalition and information managers in the state, stressing that access to information was key to making its work easier and effective.
He said : ” Information gathering through an outline networking in partnership with relevant agencies like Ministry of Information, DOP, Chief Press Secretary, Directorate of Orientation and other communication outfits with the aim of disseminating same to the people who need to be aware of government policies and programmes is paramount.”
He called on government information mangers to be proactive in the discharge of their responsibilities, while maintaining a healthy relationship between, the government, media organizations and the people.
On his part, the Executive Director of Finance, Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (DESOPADEC) and member Board of Trustees of Sen. Okowa Online Coalition, Bashorun Askia Ogieh, commended the group for keeping members of the public abreast of government policies and programmes.
He charged the group not to relent in its quest to disseminate the achievements of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, assuring that the trustees would continue to provide the requisite information gadgets that would aid service delivery.
While commending the Delta State Governor for delivering on his campaign promises, Askia called on Deltans to continue to support the Okowa led-administration so as to continue to reap the dividends of democracy.