By Ovie Okpare
The Delta State Government says it has not abandoned the multi-billion naira Independent Power Plant (IPP) project in Oghara, Ethiope West Local Government Area of the state.
The state government stated that the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration is taking steps that will ensure that the project comes to fruition for the betterment and improvement of electricity to all Deltans.
State Commissioner for Information, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, disclosed this on Monday at the Government House, Annex, Edjeba, Warri, while answering questions from journalists from the Warri Correspondents Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ).
Aniagwu said insinuations in some quarters that the project had been abandoned by Governor Okowa were not true, adding that the present administration understands the importance of the project when completed to the economy of the state.
The commissioner said the Okowa-led administration was reviewing the project so as not to take hasty decisions that would hamper the overall reason for setting up the project.
He clarified that, “We are not abandoning the Oghara IPP project. We are focusing on one issue at a time. We know that the IPP will make 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.”
The Commissioner, who was accompanied by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, thanked journalists in the state for their support for the Okowa-led administration 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.
The commissioner pointed out that Operation Delta Hawk will not undermine the establishment of the regional security outfit.
He added that the state government would soon send an executive bill to the State House of Assembly to give 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 regional security outfit to establish the 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 employment of labour which has also, led to the National Bureau of Statistics placing us as second in 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 hospital 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 the Section A, Section C1 and C2 of the Ughelli/Asaba road project; the Warri Trans Ode-Itsekiri bridge has also reached advanced stage, with several others being constructed across the state.
“We are on course and as we approach 2023, government will not be distracted and will continue to do those things it has promised to achieve.”