18 Jan

Render service to humanity in God’s name, Okowa admonishes Nigerians

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged Nigerians to render service to humanity as a reflection of God’s wish for His children.

He made the call on Saturday at the wedding between Mr Daniel Omoghene and Miss Esther Ofou at Church of God Mission international, Asaba.

According to the governor, service to the people should be rendered selflessly and such service will never go unnoticed and it will be rewarded.

“When you work, when you render service, do it with all your heart; render service wherever you find yourself as if you are doing it for God.

“Do not engage in eye-service, because when you work hard, you will get your reward.

“Recall that among those in ‘Our Mata’ group, someone was moved from Special Assistant to Commissioner position in this state; it shows that selfless service will not go unnoticed,” he said.

He advised the couple to allow Jesus to preside over their home all the time “and everything will work according to His will.”

He said “My wife and I are already 33 years in marriage by God’s grace and I believe we have a lot of experience to share.

“Learn to read the Bible, study His words together; trust God at all times to provide for your family.

“Allow Jesus Christ and the word of God into your family because once you accept Jesus, everything works for good; we should know Christ and allow Him to reside in our homes and with Him, He will provide for us.

“I am convinced that this marriage will work.”

Okowa thanked the parents of the couple and the church for ensuring that the wedding was a success.

Earlier, in a sermon, Rev. Eric Nwachukwu, urged the couple to always share things together, avoid keeping secrets and not to also allow outside interference in their family.

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17 Jan

You Will Be Remembered By How You Touched The Lives Of Others – Okowa

Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa has said that people will be remembered by how they impacted on the lives of others, not by the number of years they lived.

Speaking on Friday at a funeral Mass held for Mr Anthony Obuh at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Agbor, the governor noted that it was important for Nigerians to touch lives with the way they live.

Mr Obuh, a retired Permanent Secretary was a governorship aspirant, a former Commissioner and was the Chairman, Bureau for State Pensions in Delta.

“We want to give God the glory for a life well spent by our brother and friend, Tony Obuh; it is not how long you lived but how you lived and we are here to bid farewell to someone each and everyone of us will remember for a very long time.

“The pains as a result of his passage will soften when you look at this church and see a huge number of persons gathered to bid him farewell; Tony lived a very good life “.

“He made a lot of impact on family and friends and did a lot for our state, Delta; we should have confidence that the family will continue to maintain the name Tony Obuh made while he was alive “.

“I want to encourage the family that we need to realise that the best we can do for our departed father is to maintain the kind of life that will give deep meaning to his life; it is time to stay strong and believe in God, your God that He trusted.

“He worked for the people; he believed in the people; Tony was humble, he was a generous man even on his dying bed”.

“It is my prayer that God will fill the gap and give the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss,” Governor Okowa said.

Catholic Bishop of Issele-Uku Diocese, Most Rev. Michael Elue had in a homily, said the passage of Obuh should “rekindle our faith in the risen Christ.
“We implore God’s mercy and commend the soul of our brother to the hand of God; it is important that we live a good life while on earth; death doesn’t terminate life, it ushers us into the life of immortality”.

“Our presence here today in this number is an indication of the type of life our brother, Tony Obuh lived; whenever we are burying someone, we use the opportunity to re-examine our own lives” .

“Our prayer today is for God to give us the strength to live according to our belief.”

The Bishop prayed for the repose of the soul of Tony Obuh at the Mass which was also attended by wife of the Governor, Dame Edith, Deputy Governor ,Burutu Otuaro; former Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan, former Deputy Governor Benjamin Elue; Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Mr Godwin Emefiele; Senator James Manager; Rt. Hon. Christopher Ochor; Mr Reginald Bayoko; Chief Kingsley Esiso; Dr Cairo Ojougbo among others.
An array of Priests attended the Holy Mass.

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15 Jan

Asaba airport records another milestone

The Asaba International Airport has recorded another milestone as Aero Contractors commences direct flights from Asaba to Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano with effect from Jan. 20.
A statement by the Delta State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu indicates that the Asaba to Kano flight is slated for 9.50am Mondays to Fridays and Sundays.
He noted that the growing business activities in the airport was as a result of the huge investments made by the Okowa administration to upgrade the airport.
“As part of the upgrade of the airport, the administration has concluded the airfield lightings and is about to concluding the final processes that will lead to the calibration of the Instrument Landing System (ILS).
“It would be recalled that the last quarter of 2019, AZMAN Air commenced operations at the Airport and since then sustained daily return flights from Asaba to Abuja and also Asaba to Lagos.
“I therefore urge air travellers and Deltans to take full advantage of the innovations and opportunities from the airport to enjoy world class air transport services to their various destinations.” Aniagwu stated

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13 Jan

Odutemu’s elevation to Archbishop, well-deserved – Okowa

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated Rt. Rev. Cyril Odutemu on his election as the Archbishop of Bendel Province of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.

Okowa said that Odutemu’s elevation was well-deserved given his antecedents as a firebrand preacher and outstanding administrator.

In a congratulatory message by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Monday in Asaba,

the governor said that the people of Ughelli Diocese, Deltans and Nigerians were proud of his elevation as

Archbishop of Bendel province.

He noted that the Bishop-elect emerged from a “highly competitive selection process’’, but said that he wasn’t surprised at his emergence to occupy the exalted office.

According to him, Odutemu’s emergence as Archbishop-elect of Bendel Province of the Anglican

Communion did not come to me as a surprise. It is divinely-earned, given his pedigree, including his great ways of preaching the gospel and deep administrative prowess.

The governor urged the Archbishop-elect to ensure that there was peace, growth and development in the Anglican Communion in Delta and Edo which made up the Bendel Province.

“On behalf of the government and people of Delta, I congratulate an illustrious Deltan, a man of unassailable integrity and an epitome of humility, Rt. Rev. Cyril Odutemu, on his elevation to the Archbishop of Bendel Province of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion.

“With your resounding intellect, great pastoral zeal and compassion, you have over the years risen above board by preaching the word of faith towards repentance.

“It is our prayer that in your new position, God uses you to counsel and move the entire Bendel Province, Anglican Communion in the direction in which you have been ordained to lead,’’ he said.

Until his emergence as Archbishop-elect, Odutemu was presiding Bishop of Ughelli Diocese of the Church and was recently inaugurated as Chairman, Delta State Pilgrims Welfare Board.

Okowa wished him God’s guidance and success at his new post.

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12 Jan

Okowa mourns renowned author, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, has commiserated with the Government and people of Anambra over the passing of renowned author, scholar and traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu Kingdom, Prof. Chukwuemeka Ike.

Ike who died on Thursday at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University

Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Anambra, after a brief illness, was 88 years.

He was Registrar of West African Examinations Council (WAEC) before joining the University of Ibadan where he rose to become a Professor.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, on Sunday in Asaba, the governor noted that the monarch was among the generation of African writers that emerged at the twilight of colonialism in the continent under the aegis of African Writers Series powered by Heineman Publishing Company.

He said “On behalf of the Government and people of Delta, I commiserate with the Government and people of Anambra over the passing of renowned author and traditional ruler of Ndikelionwu Kingdom, Prof. Vincent Chukwuemeka Ike.

“My last encounter with the renowned Professor and traditional ruler was in 2017 at the 57th Founder’s Day of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka, where he chaired the 2017 Dignity of Man Award conferred on me.

“Prof. Ike at the occasion went down memory lane and recalled that experience of Africans, discriminations in different forms caused the University of Nigeria to adopt ‘Restore the Dignity of Man’ as its motto.

“I am glad to note that he fought discriminations in his various books and he consistently called on Africans to be proud of what they have and reduce imbibing foreign culture.

“He will be fondly remembered for his novels ‘Toads for

Supper’, ‘The Naked Gods’, ‘The Chicken Chasers’, ‘The Bottled Leopard’, ‘The Potter’s Wheel,’ and ‘Sunset at Dawn’.”

Okowa prayed that the almighty God would grant the soul of the departed monarch eternal rest.

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12 Jan

Okowa salutes Lawan at 61

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Sunday congratulated Senate President, Alhaji Ahmed Lawan, as he turns 61 years, Jan 12.
Okowa said that Lawan had made remarkable contributions to the development of Nigeria and the Legislature as Chairman of the 9th National Assembly.
Lawan, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was first elected into the House of Representatives in 1999 and later elected as Senator representing Yobe North Senatorial district in 2007.
He was elected Senate Leader in 2015 and later as President of the Senate in 2019.
In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, the governor commended Lawan for his tremendous impact and outstanding accomplishments in the service of Nigeria over the years, as an outstanding and consistent lawmaker of 21 years standing.
He noted that the Senate under the leadership of Lawan had continued to devise ways to address critical sectors that included reviewing the Universal Basic Education Act; amendments to the Electoral Act and implementing initiatives that improved the quality of healthcare services in Nigeria.
The governor lauded the Senate President for ensuring provision for the one per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund allocated to the health sector in the 2019 budget to address issues of Universal Health Coverage in the country.
“The Senate under your leadership made huge progress by ensuring approval for the provision of the one per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund allocation to the health sector in the 2019 Budget which, to a great extent, has largely impacted access to universal health coverage in the country.
“I must commend the robust relationship between the Legislature and the Executive under your leadership as Chairman of the 9th National Assembly.
“Mr President of the Senate, under your leadership, the Red Chamber remains dedicated to the task of passing people-oriented laws which include the record-passing of the 2020 Appropriation Bill and its subsequent signing by President Muhammadu Bulgari before the end of year 2019.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I congratulate you, Dr Ahmed Ibrahim Lawan, President of the Senate on the occasion of your 61st birth anniversary.
“I join your family, political associates, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for your life which has been marked by outstanding accomplishments and enduring fulfillment.
“As you deservedly celebrate this anniversary, it is my prayer that Almighty God continues to bless you with robust health and many more years of happiness and contributions to nation building,” Okowa said.

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10 Jan

Delta Civil Servants To Receive Minimum Wage With January Salary

Workers in Delta will receive the new minimum wage in their January, 2020 salary as the state government and the organised labour have resolved to accept the template being used by the Federal Government for the implementation.

At a joint press conference where the agreement was signed in Asaba on Friday evening, the Secretary to the Delta State Government, Mr Chiedu Ebie stated that with the agreement, two months arrears would be paid to the workers.

“From the word go, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa made it clear that his administration will implement the new minimum wage in line with the template received from the Federal Government and  so we have not deviated from that; we just needed to agree on the final details which was done courtesy of the negotiations that started sometime in December 2019.

“The highlights are pretty simple and straightforward and going by the circular we received from the National Salary Based Income and Wages Commission in Abuja which highlighted the new minimum wage and the consequential adjustments, the state government has implemented same.

“Essentially, the salary structure is broken down in which ministry or area a civil servant falls into and we have adhered to what we received from Abuja.

“We will be implementing the minimum wage and paying two months arrears of the minimum wage effective from the 1st of November 2019 and we agreed that it will take a little time for the implementation so the actual payment will take effect from January 2020,” Mr Ebie said.

He disclosed that the new minimum wage would increase the state wage bill with about N700 million and urged the state workforce to always put in their best.

Chairman and Chief negotiator of the organised labour, Comrade Goodluck Oforbruku in his speech, said, “let me use this opportunity to thank Governor Okowa for keeping to his words and promises that he made that whatever the federal government agreed, that he will implement.

“At the end of January 2020, we will receive the new minimum wage with one month arrears and in the month of February, the remaining arrears will be paid.

“We want to assure the state government that workers in Delta will continue to support government programs and put in their best to ensure effective delivery of a stronger Delta.”

Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Martins Bolum,  stated, “we want to thank Governor Okowa for making it possible for Delta to be the first state in the whole of South East and South South to implement the minimum wage.

“As at yesterday, only 5 states have implemented and Delta is the 6th state to implement the minimum wage in the country; we got positive reactions and encouragement from the workers of Delta while the negotiation was on.”

At the signing of the agreement were the Head of Service Mr. Reginald Bayoko, Commissioner for Finance Mr. Fidelis Tilijie, representatives of different trade unions among others.

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10 Jan

Okowa salutes Tambuwal at 54

Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa, has congratulated his Sokoto State counterpart, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal, as his turns 54 years on Jan. 10.
Okowa, in a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr Olisa Ifeajika, in Asaba, extolled Tambuwal for his tremendous contributions and outstanding accomplishments in the service of his state and country.
According to him, the sterling contributions of Tambuwal to the development of Sokoto State and Nigeria are legendary and worthy of commendation.
Okowa noted that Tambuwal, a former Speaker of House of Representatives, had transformed Sokoto State with various developmental projects embarked upon by his administration, especially in the education sector.
“Your selfless and impressive political and developmental achievements in office has placed your name on the sands of time as an emerging nationalist and a man to look out for in the future political development of our country.
“The people of Sokoto State can attest to your doggedness, commitment and steadfastness in state craftsmanship as exemplified in the monumental achievements in infrastructural development of your state under your watch.
“On behalf of my family, the government and people of Delta, I congratulate a gentleman of honour and integrity, a leading light of this generation, a consummate politician of our time and a courageous democrat, Rt Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, on his 54th birth anniversary.
“In the contemporary politics of Nigeria, Tambuwal has become a household name as an emerging nationalist whose voice is heard across the land.
“On this auspicious occasion of your 54th birth anniversary, I join your family, friends and well-wishers to thank Almighty God for your life which has been marked by outstanding accomplishments and enduring fulfillment,” Okowa said.

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09 Jan

Delta commits N100m to fight HIV

Delta Governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, said the state government would commit N100 million to fight the spread of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV) in the state.

The governor made this known at the launch of HIV SURGE in Asaba on Thursday.

He urged that all hands must be on deck to check the HIV scourge, and warned that nobody should collect fees of any kind on HIV cases.

He also directed the state government-owned media houses not to collect any fee for HIV-related campaigns.

Okowa announced that laws against stigmatization and victimization of HIV patients would be promulgated in the state soon.

He said that HIV Testing Services should be given top priority, particularly in rural communities, saying that local areas were critical to the overall HIV/AIDS response and services.

“Let me assure all of you of my administration’s readiness to creating an enabling environment and support for all HIV/AIDS programmes.

“I am taking up the fight Against HIV/AIDS as one of my administration’s top priorities; we are committing the sum of N100 million to ensure that our people, especially those who are in the riverside communities are reached.

“We will treat unkindly anybody who charges users fee for HIV treatment both in the secondary and our primary health facilities.

“The Delta State Government has been offering free maternal services for all pregnant women and under-five children in the State through its equity plan in the Delta State Contributory Health Insurance Scheme, which includes free HIV test and counseling.

“Equally, the government has been making funds available to the State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, for the procurement of HIV test kits and consumables to fill in emerging gaps in some of our facilities and support to partners,” he said.

The governor added that Delta State Agency for the Control of HIV/AIDS, which was critical in all HIV/AIDS matters, had been repositioned to effectively coordinate all HIV/AIDS activities in the State.

According to him, we are working to ensure that the legislature makes law against the stigmatization and victimization of people living with the HIV.

“Media houses in the state should not collect money for any publication or materials for radio and television that will create more awareness for the HIV.

“I wish to reiterate my earlier call for more partners and stakeholders, including friends of the State, to join hands to make Delta State HIV-free and provide succour to those already living with the virus.

“More than ever before, this is the time to redouble our commitments to tackling the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the State,” he stated.

Okowa expressed gratitude to United States Government through her PEPFAR programme, the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), CARITAS Nigeria, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and Excellence Community Educational Welfare Scheme (ECWES).

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs), Faith Based Organizations (FBOs), Community Based Organizations (CBOs) for their collaboration, assistance and privileges extended to the State over the years towards eradicating and working to attain zero HIV.

Also commended were Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs), Faith-Based Organisations (FBOs) and Community-Based Organisations (CBOs).

“I call on all Deltans to massively make themselves available for HIV testing.

“For those that are HIV positive, they have the opportunity of being enrolled into treatment immediately because, you can live a normal and positive life with HIV and these services are free,” Okowa said.

The United States Government through its Embassy Deputy Chief of Mission, Kathleen FitzGibbon, called for sustained effort to identify and put People Living with HIV (PLHIV) on life-saving Anti-Retroviral Therapy (ART).

She said that it would ensure that PLHIV live a long, normal, productive, and healthy life and help in breaking the transmission of the virus.

FitzGibbon also pledged the U.S. Government’s support to the people of Delta, especially in the identification and provision of treatment to approximately 63,000 people living with HIV, in addition to the over 17,500 people already receiving such treatment through the PEPFAR program in the state to help in moving the state towards HIV epidemic control by September 2020.

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09 Jan

Okowa To Permanent Secretaries, Don’t Allow The Civil Service To Fail

The Governor of Delta, Senator (Dr.) Ifeanyi Okowa has urged Permanent Secretaries to ensure that the civil service does not fail as such would portend crises to the nation.

He made the call on Thursday in Asaba when he met with the state chapter of College of Permanent Secretaries.

“Government is all about service to our people and that the political class cannot deliver that service without a very strong input from the College of Permanent Secretaries and the entire bureaucracy; we must always stay in the consciousness of the fact that it is a partnership; a success story for us all.

“As a government, we realize the importance of the position that Permanent Secretaries occupy; that position is not just to display our egos but a position that we are able to impact the lives of the people; it is a position in which we must hold in high esteem because any failure in that position does not just destroy the service for the time that you will serve as permanent secretaries ,but it will also destroy the future of the civil service”.

“If we are going to find the right persons knowledgeable enough with the right commitment to be Permanent Secretaries in the future, then the current persons who sit as Permanent Secretaries or those in equivalent ranks must be ready to guide those working under them; they must be ready to train them; they must be ready to ensure that they have the moral standing to be able to hold these positions; if you fail in that duty then you have failed even if you have offered your best; inculcated the right values so that you will not destroy the service and it is my prayer that the service will not at any point in time lack the right minds with the commitment to be Permanent Secretaries.

“So, there is a lot of work to be done, let them realize that they stand a chance to make a mark in the service by building a solid foundation; direct them right and I hope that you will do that because being role models and mentors to the younger ones may be time consuming, but in time you will see that it was worth it.”

“The more they learn the more you will see that there will no longer be the need to worry about the state of the service,” the governor said.

He used the occasion to call for immediate implementation of the 2020 budget which has been signed into law, and urged the Ministries to map out quarterly programmes to ensure 100 per cent budget performance.

Head of Service in Delta, Mr Reginald Bayoko who led the Permanent Secretaries on the visit observed that Governor Okowa has done a lot for the people, stating that the visit was the traditional new year visit to wish him, his family and members of the State Executive Council a prosperous year.

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