Delta blossoming with age – Part 2
Continued from Friday
He modernised Nana College, St. Patrick’s College, Asaba, and other missionary schools, which he later handed over to the missionaries.
Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa succeeded Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan as governor. He has so far completed the construction of several roads across the three senatorial districts.
So far, he has constructed more than 1, 500 kilometres of roads across the State especially those, which have defied several administrations in the State.
The defiant flooding along the Asaba-Okpanam axis including the stubborn one in the Warri-Uvwie axis has virtually been tamed. Kefas Road in Oleh, Kwale-Ogume-Obiarukwu Road, Ekreravwe – Orhoakpor-Isiokolo Road, Abraka Township roads, Ughelli-Afiesere-Ofuoma road, Ikpide-Irri, Ofagbe, Owhelogbo, Nsukwa-Ndemili Road, Ukwunzu, Obomkpa, Idumuje Unor, Ubulu Uku roads among others across the three senatorial zones, have all been touched.
The roads became so many that Deltans nicknamed the governor Road Master. He was tactical in the choice of roads – those that connected rural communities to urban centres, agrarian communities including a most aggressive urban renewal programme, which has impacted several urban towns: Asaba, Sapele, Ughelli, Warri, Oleh, Agbor, Kwale, and numerous other urban centres.
Okowa has also raised the bar higher in the educational sector. In one fell swoop, he established three universities – the Dennis Osadebe University at Asaba, the University of Science and Technology at Ozoro and the Delta State University of Education, Agbor. The development of infrastructure at the three universities is phenomenal. He has also embarked on the renovation of secondary schools while partnering with the Universal Primary Education Board in upgrading primary schools.
The health sector has been buoyed by the visionary disposition of the governor who, in spite of being a first-time senator, was able to push through a contributory health insurance policy at the national assembly. Here in Delta State, more than 950,000 persons have enrolled in the scheme.
Asaba Specialist Hospital started under the Ibori administration has been completed and has been formally inaugurated taking the burden off the general hospital at Okwe, which was overburdened by pressure from women in neighbouring Anambra State who troop in to take advantage of Delta State’s free healthcare programme for pregnant women and children under the age of five. The specialist hospital is living up to its billing.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, he showed the characteristics of a medical doctor. He set up holding centres for patients and remained undaunted even after he, his wife and daughter, were diagnosed with the pandemic. His effective management of the pandemic earned applause both within and beyond the state.
Okowa has also set up a diagnostic centre at Owa-Alero and embarked on the construction, renovation, and equipment of several hospitals across the State.
At the administrative level, Okowa has just completed an ambitious project of housing almost all the ministries and agencies in one block. The gigantic new State Secretariat sits along Marian Babangida Road in the State capital. He also embarked on weeding out ghost workers, which was started by his predecessor.
In all, Delta State is gradually coming of age, especially with the fillip offered by the current governor, Ifeanyi Arthur Okowa.