By Ovasa Ogaga,
Issues of dredging the Koko and Warri Ports took centre stage during Delta State Governor; Senator Dr Ifeanyi Okowa town hall meetings held at Warri North and Warri South, Local Government Areas.
At the town hall meetings which took place at Warri and Koko respectively, Governor Okowa disclosed that his administration was working with relevant authorities to see that Warri and Koko ports were dredged for them to function optimally.
Governor Okowa, who stated that his administration was committed to ensuring a state where facilities were functional, observed that making the sea ports active would bring a lot of benefits to the people, the state and Nigeria as a nation.
“The cost of dredging the Ports is alarming, but, we are exploring different opportunities for the Ports to be functional,” the Governor said.
He commended the people for their support for his administration, disclosing that the town hall meetings provided fora for him to tell the people what his administration was doing and also, get reactions from the people about the achievements of his administration and their expectations.
The Governor, who was accompanied by his Deputy, Barr Kingsley Otuaro and top government officials, assured the people that there would be consistent efforts for potable water to be distributed, and urged the people to embrace the compulsory health contributory scheme.
According to him, the health contributory scheme was designed for Deltans to have easy access to health facilities, assuring the people that the health centres in the areas would be made functional because of their importance to the people at the grassroots.
Governor Okowa also disclosed that his administration was constructing markets despite the fact that it was the function of local government councils because, the Councils do not have the capacity to construct such, saying, “We construct the markets and handover to the Councils to manage.”
He also explained that due to high cost of scholarship for Deltans wishing to go out for their post-graduate studies outside the country, his administration had worked out a model for such students to be given scholarship to study in the country as it was more cost-effective to do so.
Former Governor of Delta State, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, stated that it was important for the Ports to be made functional, noting, “While Koko has free trade status, it is deep but, the channel is shallow.”
Chairman of Warri South Local Government Area, Hon. Michael Tidi had during the town hall meeting in Warri, said, “The monumental Ode-Itsekiri Internal Roads network represents a watershed in the annals of the ancestral home of the Itsekiri people, a true marvel to behold, it stands as a prominent testament to the legendary resourcefulness with which you (Governor Okowa) approach governance; the Itsekiri people are very grateful for that unique insight of giving Ode-Itsekiri and environs vehicular civilization for the first time in our history, we appreciate His Excellency for your commitment to the Trans-Warri/Ode-Itsekiri Bridge that would link neighboring communities, amongst other growth catalysts.”
“It takes a man of courage and integrity to make promises, keep them and still come back to listen to more requests, we consider this Town Hall meeting to be a rare privilege, indeed and we most sincerely appreciate you, our Governor for providing such a veritable platform for our people and other critical stakeholders in the society to meet and interface with the number one citizen of the state,” Hon. Tidi added.
At each of the town hall meetings, people of all walks of life spoke freely, while most of them commended the Governor for his numerous achievements, others drew attention of the Governor to areas his administration needed to act on.