By Paul Olayemi
The Delta State Government yesterday said, it has not abandoned the multi-billion naira Independent Power Plant (IPP) project in Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state, adding that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration has taken steps that will ensure that the project comes to fruition for the improvement of power supply to all residents of the state.
Disclosing this at the Government House, Annex, Edjeba, Warri, on Monday, the State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, while addressing a cross-section of Journalists from Warri, Ughelli, Isoko and Sapele Correspondents Chapels held in Warri, said insinuations in some quarters that the project had been abandoned by the Okowa led administration was not true, insisting that the present administration understands the importance of the project when completed to the economy of the state.
Aniagwu said this administration was reviewing the project so as not to make hasty decisions that would scuttle the overall reason for setting up the project.
“We are not abandoning the Oghara IPP project. We are focusing on one issue at a time. We know that the IPP will make a huge difference in our economy when completed.
“What Okowa-led administration is doing is to look at the issues surrounding the project critical while also protecting the state interest. We haven’t abandoned it but we are being careful rushing into partnership with private investors.” he clarified
Aniagwu who was accompanied by Mr. Olisa Ifeajika, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, thanked journalists in the state for their support especially during the COVID-19 outbreak in the state.
He disclosed that the government is tackling the myriads of security challenges in the state with the establishment of Operation Delta Hawk not minding the fact that the governors of the South-South have also agreed to float a regional security outfit.
Aniagwu noted that Operation Delta Hawk will not undermine the regional security outfit establishment.
He added that the state government would soon send an executive bill to the State House of Assembly to give a legal framework to the creation of the new security outfit by the Okowa-led government in the state.
“We are here, first to show our appreciation for the enormous support the government has enjoyed from you in showcasing our modest achievements to our people and those in the diaspora about the activities of government from 2015 till date.
“As it concerns security, as a government, we have gone beyond the establishment of a regional security outfit to establish Operation Delta Hawk in the state because there are regional security threats and domestic security threats.
“We are committed to the setting up of the regional security outfit by the BRACED Commission and we are also, empowering and equipping the security agencies, even when they are federal agencies because they are protecting our people.
“We are aware of the importance of effective security on the socio-economic development of the State and we are aware that due to the successes recorded with the entrepreneurship programmes of Governor Okowa’s administration, the state is relatively enjoying social security.
“With security, the state has become number one oil producer in the country and more businesses are springing up with the multiplier benefits in the employment of labour which has also, led to the National Bureau of Statistics placing us as second in the standard of living in the country”, he added.
Aniagwu further posited that the state government was also taking advantage of the COVID-19 to scale-up the upgrade of hospitals and other health facilities across the state.
Aniagwu added, “The contributory health insurance policy is on and while we have more than 800, 000 Deltans who have enrolled, we desire full coverage for all Deltans so that our people who have health challenges should not suffer because they do not have immediate cash at hand.
“Our Governor is passionate about the health of Deltans and is also committed to meeting with his electoral promises and we can see what is going on with the Warri/Uvwie and Environs Development Agency.
“A lot of roads have been completed and a lot are still being constructed. Work has gone far on Section A, Section C1 and C2 of the Ughelli/Asaba road project; the Warri Trans Ode-Itsekiri bridge has also reached an advanced stage, with several others being constructed across the state.
“We are on course and as we approach 2023, the government will not be distracted and will continue to do those things it has promised to do”