……Says Ogheye floating market biggest in Africa, IGR hits over N60b.
By Fred Latimore Oghenesivbe Esq #eacgovdelta
Chief Economic Adviser to Delta State Governor, Dr Kingsley Emu, has been speaking on the prudent management of the state resources between May 29, 2015 and December 2022, to justify the good governance strides and legacies of Okowa administration.
Prior to 2023 general elections, the opposition All Progressives Congress, APC, and her Governorship candidate, Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, deployed media propaganda and falsehood as key electioneering campaign tools, and lied about the state borrowings which he claimed to be over N850 billion. This figures, according to the State Governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa, was quoted from the “pit of hell” and not true at all.
Speaking to Arise News recently, Dr Emu, explained that the state borrowed to extensively develop infrastructure, human capital and other productive sectors of the state economy, including huge investments in Contributory Health Scheme, which has recorded over one million, two hundred thousand enrollees across major hospitals and standard health centres in the three Senatorial districts.
He said the massive Beneku bridge in Ndokwa, which is under construction has gulped huge funds and will upon completion open the area for businesses and expand frontiers of economic growth for the state.
Emu asserted that the non oil sector, especially Agriculture and services created job and wealth for the people, and that if not for the COVID-19 pandemic which rudely interrupted the Kwale Industrial Park project, Delta would have been earning huge revenue from commercial activities and other foreign direct investments, FDI. He assured that Kwale Park project will be completed in the next administration.
Delta, according to Dr Emu, doubled the size of her Gross Domestic Product, GDP, under Okowa administration from 2.9tn – N6.1tn, constructed six bridges, five other bridges in the works, constructed over 2,000 kilometres length of roads, 1,400 kilometres length of drains, completed and commissioned the Asaba bridge at the popular Ibusa junction, which completely put an end to the problem of persistent heavy traffic along Asaba-Onitsha federal highway.
Okowa’s Chief Economic Adviser disclosed that significant progress was also made in upscaling Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, to between N60 billion and N80 billion, and that Delta remained one of the major oil producing states with rising revenue profile for the Federal Government of Nigeria.
Dr Emu pointed out that the increase in IGR coupled with oil revenue earnings, as well as the massive infrastructure and human capacity development recorded so far, it’s safe to assert that the debt profile of the state is in good standing; from N154.64 billion in 2015 to N304.24 billion in 2022, considering the N240 billion owed Delta by the Federal Government.
He further disclosed that the recent N100 billion banks bridging facility accessed by the state government to complete some ongoing projects under this administration, was linked to the N240 billion debt owed the state by the federal government, adding that the state is also doing substantial investment in UTM and other related businesses, thereby expanding the frontiers of Delta economy like never before.
He posited that the Ogheye floating market that was built and commissioned by Okowa administration is obviously the largest in Africa. This magnificent sight to behold in the midst of the sprawling waters of Koko in Warri North Local Government Area of the state; is 80 meters by 70 meters with a landing jetty, 96 open shops, 80 lock-up shops, a security tower, a gate house, a canteen, an administrative building, a banking hall, a fish processing unit, a warehouse building, toilet facilities and a protective fence.
Delta State Government under Senator Okowa, also built and equipped a world class, 7 star State Secretariat at a cost of over N18 billion, solidly resting on a 45,000 square metres of land, accommodates 27 ministries, departments and agencies with banking halls, creche, medical centre, IPP, centralized internet facility, massive car park, et al., proving healthy and conducive work environment for civil and public servants in the state.
“Okowa administration also constructed and rehabilitated over 2,000 kilometre of roads, 1,400 kilometres of drains, six bridges, five other bridges in the works, and our IGR increased significantly.
“Delta is a major oil producing state, which has substantially increased our revenue earnings. Delta is owed over N240 billion by the Federal government, and from which we secured N100 billion banks bridging facility to complete some ongoing projects in the state.
“We have excelled in multifaceted projects and socioeconomic development in almost eight years. In 2017, Delta State was rated the best in human capital development, job and wealth creation in Nigeria by national competitiveness council of Nigeria a reputable not for profit organisation. We are still the best.
“In terms of borrowing, Delta State is in good standing, considering our enviable status as one of the major oil revenue earners, and this administration has done well in terms of prudent management of resources and overall development of the state.
“The solid foundation for sustainable socioeconomic and infrastructure development laid by this administration under the leadership of our governor, Senator Dr Ifeanyi Arthur, shall be built upon by the incoming administration which is to advance Delta, as encapsulated in the M.O.R.E agenda of the Governor-Elect, Rt Hon Sheriff Francis Oborevwori,” Emu assured.
Below is Dr Kingsley Emu’s interview with Arise News. Happy viewing: