By NORBERT CHIAZOR.
By the timeline of power, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa will leave office on May 29, 2023. Less than two years away from this Christmas. This foreshadows the finite transience of human position.
Gradually unstoppable, Okowa’s tenure is coming to an end. But somewhere at the heart of Asaba, there is glory waiting to outlive the Owa Alero – born politician. Glory fully dressed in ornate significance. The Delta state secretariat was built by the Okowa administration.
The building is named after the Asagba of Asaba HRM, Obi Professor Chike Edozien, whose reign saw the twin impact of peace and development in the state capital, crowned by the emergence of the first Delta governor of Anioma origin.
Standing in breath-taking awesomeness, the complex is a beauty to behold.
The secretariat is a sprawling spectacle of Olympian architecture rolling up to seven stairs at the peak, kissing the skyline of Asaba in amazing elegance. The dimension from the ground is wondrous, sitting on 65,000 square metres of space.
Viewed from its vintage location on Maryam Babangida way, it sits in delicate beauty like a colourful Peacock displaying its feathers in a pampered sanctuary.
It is the biggest and finest state secretariat in Nigeria, across the 36 states of the federation. Vice President Yemi Osibanjo is expected to commission the magnificent structure Monday 29th November 2021.
The dexterous engineering of the gigantic project is the expertise of a reputable firm, North China construction, Nigeria limited as major contractors while Contemporary Designs Associates led by globally acclaimed Nigerian Architect, Kester Ifeadi were the project developers and consultants.
The multi-billion Naira secretariat complex is a majestic mass of rocky concrete and solid metal moulded in lavish splendour. It is designed in five clusters to house 27 ministries and sundry departments and agencies of government as well as bank, clinic and crèche.
With the massive secretariat, commissioners, permanent secretaries, directors and other civil servants would work under one giant roof to deliver government business in seamless liaison. An initiative is unprecedented in history.
The new secretariat would offer the occupants the appetite to serve and contribute to good governance for the betterment of Delta.
There is also the happy optimism that the gigantic secretariat with its one-stop accommodation stands to boost the economic profile of the state by cutting off wastage of huge funds often spent on rent by many government establishments in the state capital.
Celebrating the palatial secretariat, Delta state commissioner for information Mr Charles Aniagwu who was among the first set of top cabinet members to move into the magnificent edifice along with excited civil servants commended governor Okowa for building world-class infrastructure.
Mr Aniagwu noted that the amazing secretariat complex has confirmed the governor’s determination to finish strong, expressing confidence that present and future generations of Deltans would remember his development vision and passion for excellence.
The commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Hon. Henry Sapara whose ministry played a pivotal role in the supervision of the sprawling secretariat described it as an “intelligence building” that stands unique in Nigeria. Chief Sapara explained that the secretariat bears the appellation because it is a highly sophisticated structure fitted with cutting-edge information and communication technology, anti-fire apparatus, close circuit security coverage and top-rate escalators, all powered by digitization and automation.
The grandeur and spectacular height of the building reenact the iconic civil service secretariat on Sapele Road, Benin city built by the late Samuel Ogbemudia in the old Bendel State.
The motivation of governor Okowa is understandable. Asaba as a state capital deserves a befitting status.
Governor Okowa has been greeted by criticisms. A leader will always attract knocks fair and unfair. Not a few however hold it that the governor merits a tender pat.
For the Delta secretariat particularly, the Olympian edifice raises timeless honour for Okowa. A gift even the blind will see, applause the deaf will hear!
CHIAZOR is Media Aide to Governor Okowa.