The Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan-led administration in the oil rich Delta has been scored high, following his unsurpassed achievements in wealth creation, massive roads and infrastructure development across the state.
The score-card was unveiled at the ongoing mid-term reports by members of the Delta state Executive Council, where various commissioners are placed on the hot seat under the media watchdog.
In her report, the state Commissioner for Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Antonia Ashiedu revealed that the state government has been partnering with 27 micro finance banks as well as Bank of Industry (BoI) in driving the micro-credit scheme in realizing the ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ vision.
She said many reputable international organizations had indicated interest to partner with her ministry for industrial purposes in the state and attributed the successes recorded to deliberate efforts by the state government to detach the programme from any form of political coloration, saying, “DMCP is not a social welfare or a government hand-out”
“This programme has been structured to be non-political and unattractive to the rich because, programmes that are attractive to the rich will inevitably make the rich to crowd out the poor with their social connections.
“It is not a political settlement, it is not charity nor is it a safety net, the loan is 100 per cent interest free.”
She however reaffirmed the state government’s commitment to ensuring that poverty level in the state was reduced to the barest minimum and assured that the state government has put in place adequate machinery that would ensure the sustainability of the state Micro Credit Programme beyond the present administration.
She confirmed that the programme which has shot Delta state to international limelight is dear to the heart of Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan whom she said, would want to leave the programme as an enduring legacy.
Meanwhile, Delta State Commissioner for Works, Hon. Funkekeme Solomon has also disclosed that the state government has executed over 1,006 kilometres (km) of roads, since the inception of Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan’s administration, bringing the total length of all-weather roads to 3,236km.
Funkekeme said that out of the 418 projects (1,372km) valued at N133 billion inherited from Chief James Ibori ‘s administration, 60 percent of it, valued at N43.2 billion, and a total of 170km drainage channels have been completed by the present government.
According to him, out of 367 road projects, valued at N240.8 billion awarded by the state government since May 2007; 92 of the said projects valued at N15.2 billion have been completed, saying with the successful feat (3,236km), ‘’this translates to 67 percent of the ministry’s goal of attaining 5,000km all-weather roads by year 2020’’.
He further disclosed that the state government has embarked on Airport projects, to boost up transportation system in the state as well as enhance the state’s economic development, which necessitated the Asaba International Airport with its 3.4km runway and 60m wide asphaltic concrete, designed to handle well-bodied aircraft up to the range of Boeing 747 when fully operational and the international flights at Osubi Airport.
While asserting that Asaba is the fastest developing state capital in the country, he revealed that some contracts, especially that of Section ‘A’ of Asaba/Ughelli dualisation road and Jesus Saves Drains projects have been terminated and re-awarded to more committed contractors to ensure effectiveness and early completion.
“For effective urban/rural integration that will enhance socio-economic development in line with the state government’s ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ initiative, Trans-Warri/Ode-Itsekiri 24km road and bridges, 11.6km Sepele/Abigborodo/Arowon road, 7.2km Umeh (connecting remote communities through swampy terrain to Effurun/Warri-Port-Harcourt Federal highway),Udu/NEPA road, Koko/Uba-Egbelemeji road and Ekiugbo-Iyede/Olomoro road were being constructed”.
Others access roads designed to open up rural communities for effective evacuation of agricultural produce, according to him, are the Omadino Bridge to link Warri/Sapele expressway bye-pass and Illah coastal road among others.
To address traffic congestion in the urban areas, he said the state government has embarked on dualisation of Refinery road with spurs along NNPC Housing Estate road to Ekpan Roundabout, Effurun, PTI/Jakpa/Ekpan road, Ajaminmogha/Ekpan/Okere road and Bowen/Odion/Cemetery, Warri, Okumagba Avenue/ Deco, Ughelli Arterial road, Effurun-Osubi-Eku road and the newly approved Flyover projects in Asaba and Warri among others.