Okowa approves N1.5b UBEC counterpart fund, decries deplorable state of federal roads in Delta

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By Loveth Ojogun

Delta Executive Council on Tuesday, September 3, approved the release of N1.5 billion counterpart fund to Universal Basic Education Commission (UBEC) for funding of primary education in the state for 2019.

Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr Charles Aniagwu made this known in Asaba while briefing the media on the outcome of the council meeting presided by the state governor, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa.

Aniagwu, in a joint briefing with his Youths Development counterpart, Mr Ifeanyi Egwuyenga, said that Delta was one of the few states consistent with payment of the counterpart fund to UBEC.

He explained that the state government was consistent with the payment because of the premium it attached to education and resolve that Deltans should have the best of every positive development in the country.

According to him, “Delta is a peculiar state and our governor is passionate about education and as such, when the issue of counterpart-funding for UBEC was raised and deliberated on, it was approved by the Exco.

“This has made Delta the most consistent in paying of the counterpart fund.’’

The commissioner also stated that “because of influx of people to Delta, Asaba in particular, due to the peaceful and progressive nature of the state, Exco approved the establishment of one new primary school and another secondary school in Asaba metropolis.

“We know the importance of education to the lives of our people and we are also aware of the passion of the people when it has to do with education, so, we should expect more schools to be established in the future.

“We must give accolades to the administration of our governor, because a lot of schools were also established during his first tenure.

“It is also gladdening to note that a Project Monitoring Unit was approved by the Exco to ensure that projects executed in the state are done to specifications and delivered on schedule.

“The approval is in line with our governor’s desire to deliver projects that will touch the lives of people for a long time to come.’’

He added that Exco also approved the review of the cost for construction of Igbide-Irri internal roads.

Aniagwu decried the deplorable state of federal roads in the state, and urged the Federal Government to speedily intervene in the reconstruction of the roads.

He disclosed that in addition to other approvals, Exco also approved the 2020 Work-Plan for the Job Creation Office, and that all markets constructed by the state government had been handed over to local government councils for manage.

“The issue of job creation was also discussed and based on the need to ensure that more Deltans, especially the youths, are positively engaged in the next four years, the Directorate of Youths Development will collaborate with other Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to engage the youths.’’

On his part, Egwuyenga said, “our governor wants collaboration across MDAs to ensure the effectiveness and opening of more frontiers for the youths to be engaged.

“He wants that opportunity for youths to be employed and also be employable.

“Exco agreed that there was a need to expand other entrepreneurial opportunities and to look critically into the mindset and value orientation of youths, because it is clearly so desired.

“So, we have a direction and a value system where youths need to have a different perception as we currently have.

“We looked at value orientation for youths and the need to expand every opportunity that will ensure that youths fare better.”

Also at the well-attended briefing was the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr Olisa Ifeajika.