As we approach the first anniversary of this administration, it is important that we articulate an official policy document that will serve as the anchor for all our decisions, actions and  budgetary  framework.  In an ideal situation, such a policy document would have been in place from day one of this administration, or worst case scenario, six months after inception.

However, the situation we found  ourselves  in  as  at  May  29, 2015, was far from ideal. The first six months of this administration was spent trying to stabilise the system, halt the imminent slide into bankruptcy, and right the ship of state. Notwithstanding the initial hiccups, we have    achieved substantial fiscal consolidation and gained traction in the implementation of our S.M.A.R.T agenda. But it has to be said that the instability in the global price of oil continues to be a problem.

Thankfully, and against the odds, we have almost  reached the finish line in adopting an official  policy  document  for the State. This two-day  workshop  is  expected to  finalise the template of the Delta State Medium Term Economic Development Plan. Based on the strategic imperatives of our S.M.A.R.T agenda and the Report of the Transition Committee, the team saddled with the generation of this policy document has done a great job of identifying a number of themes, values and factors that strengthen and boost our economic capacity for inclusive growth and sustainable economic development. It also articulates a clear vision for robust and dynamic good governance structures across all levels of government.

An official policy document such as we seek to validate and adopt today has many benefits. First, a coherent policy direction is the clearest indication of a focussed and visionary administration. You can’t know if you have reached your destination if you have no idea where you are going. Hence, MTEP will enable us to measure our progress as an administration based on established timelines and benchmarks for success.

Secondly, MTEP provides the enabling framework for effective engagement and dialogue with stakeholders public sector, private sector and the development community (domestic and international). MTEP also serves as a powerful tool for the mobilisation of domestic private investments, foreign direct investment and  international development assistance into the State.

Furthermore, and of great significance, MTEP will guide the allocation of funds for future projects and initiatives as we endeavour to build the Delta State of our dreams and leave a legacy of wealth and prosperity for current and future generations to enjoy.

Finally, it is our firm persuasion that MTEP will provide the pathway for us to deliver on the achievement of our strategic imperatives through good governance, strong leadership, community engagement, effective communication, inclusiveness and excellence in delivery.

It is our hope and expectation that this workshop will, through its decisions and actions, develop a unique template for Delta State to be a model for economic planning and wealth creation in the Nigerian Federation.

Remarks at the Validation Workshop of the Delta State Medium Term  Economic Plan (MTEP) at the Unity Hall, Old Government House, Asaba.