2020 budget will focus more on ongoing projects says Okowa
*Hands his successor to Providence
By Jon Egie
Due to global cut in oil output, the 2020 budget of Delta state may be contracted and consequently, focus may be concentrated more on ongoing projects rather than embarking on new ones.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa gave the insight during the quarterly media interaction with journalists in Asaba, Tuesday, Oct 8.
Responding to questions on the seeming substandard quality of job executed by contractors on the Ughelli/Asaba Road, the governor assured that a lot of work would be done on the various phases of the road: Ughelli/Oleh, Oleh/Osissa and Osissa Ogwashi-ukwu; before April 2020.
He said the state government decided to carry out remedial services on the Warri/Benin Road not because the state government had money but because the failed road which repair is the responsibility of the federal government was becoming a nuisance to Deltans and we couldn’t wait for the Federal Government adding that there was no contradiction on the issue as far as refund by the federal government on the cost of the remedial services was concerned.
He said the argument of the federal government was that the cost was not budgeted for and encouraged the federal government to regularly repair its roads especially those that have begun to fail.
Commenting on the reintroduction of toll gates across the country, Governor Okowa believed that toll gates were necessary to generate funds that would be ploughed back for continued maintenance of federal roads especially as the economy of the country was going down.
“The revenue generated and ploughed back for maintenance of the roads would go a long way in averting damage to cars and accidents” and therefore suggested a way to work out relationship for maintenance of the roads fearing that wrong hands may handle the project.
“Toll gates have economic advantages to the federal government and states and if nothing is done to the roads across the country, many states will be shut down.”
Asked his stand on the PDP governorship rotation arrangement which favours Delta central senatorial district in 2023, Governor Okowa said although he has his opinion on the issue, but at the end of the day, it is the will of God that will prevail.
“I am not God, I can’t choose who will be the next governor, I can make my view but only God knows who will be the next governor.”
Regarding the issue of punitive measure meted on one of his aides, Ossai Ovie Success and the public outcry for Gov Okowa to temper justice with mercy, the governor pleaded with members of the public to allow him use the rod to correct the said aide who he acknowledged as a son so that he would grow up a better person that would be useful to himself and society in future.