Okowa’s administration: a cursory look
What and what would be adjudged as landmark projects of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration as governor of Delta State?
As the curtain winds down on Ika-born politician’s reign, the above remains a recurring question in the mind of Deltans.
In this article, we highlight the landmark projects of the Okowa’s administration.
1. Ogheye Floating Market
Conceived by the Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan administration and started in 2019, the Ogheye Ultra-Modern Floating Market was constructed for N4.2 billion.
The state-of-the-art project is expected to positively impact the economy of the communities in Warri North Local Government Area, the state’s economy and beyond.
The project site can also serve as a tourist centre for holiday seekers giving its alluring aesthetics, especially at night.
This is aided by the provision of speed boats by the state government to ferry people off and on the platform.
The magnificent project was jointly executed by the Ministry of Works, Ministry of Housing and the Ministry of Trade and Investments, which took delivery of the edifice for management and for further have over to the Warri North Local Government.
A magnificent sight to behold in the midst of the sprawling waters, the floating platform is 80 meters by 70 meters with a landing jetty, 96 open shops, 80 lock-up shops, a security tower, a gate house, a canteen, an administrative building, a banking hall, a fish processing unit, a warehouse building, toilet facilities and a protective fence.
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Barring an outright misuse of the project’s facilities, the Ogheye Floating Market will surely standout among such projects the outgoing governor would be remembered for.
2. Ultra-modern State Secretariat
Okowa oversaw the construction of Nigeria’s biggest state secretariat in 2021.
The building named after the Asagba of Asaba HRM, Obi Professor Chike Edozien sits on a 65,000 square metre of space and is indeed a beauty to behold.
The multi-billion Naira secretariat complex is designed to house 27 ministries, sundry departments and agencies of the state government.
It also plays host to a bank, clinic and crèche.
According to Okowa, the secretariat will save the state billions of Naira annually that would have been spent on servicing rental spaces used by previous administrations.
While his time in office was greeted with many criticisms, the Prof. Chika Edozien Secretariat will surely long outlive his reign.
3. Mariam Babangida Leisure Park & Asaba Film Village
Unarguably another landmark project of the former Senator, the Leisure park comprises of state of the art facilities such as the zoo with different species of animals particularly, lion.
It also has an artificial lake, indoor games hall, a fun children’s park, swimming pool, an observation tower, a sit out for outdoor games, go-kart rides, restaurants and administrative building.
Adjoining the leisure park is the Film Village, a home for movie producers, with a well equipped and standard studio for various genres in movie production, an amphitheater, epic village set, guest houses, hostel facility, a clinic, staff quarters, eatery and forest setting for making of movies, among other facilities.
As the Governor himself puts it, the Mariam Babangida Leisure Park forms part of his administration’s attempts at boasting internally generated revenue of Delta State.
The Maryam Babangida Leisure Park & Film Village sits on a 152,000 square meter tourism and entertainment center that will solidify Delta State as the ‘Creative Capital of Nigeria.’
4. Koka Flyover Interchange
The Koka Flyover and Interchange is undoubtedly a calculated attempt by the Delta State Government to decongest an integral section of business activities in the state capital.
The bridge is a 160m long 8-span with dual carriage ways and two ramps of 137m and 133m heavily walled with drain networks and culverts.
Existing roads were also expanded with side traffic lanes on both sides together with the installation of solar street lights making it a beauty to behold at night.
Doing way more than reducing daily heavy traffic on the road, the Koka Flyover gives the state capital a different face-lift entirely.
A low admission rate for students caused the outgoing administration to approve the establishment of three new universities in Delta.
According to Okowa, the establishment of the University of Delta, Agbor; the Dennis Osadebay University, Anwai and the University of Science and Technology, Ozoro will help consolidate the educational system in our state.
The institutions were not only approved but fully constructed and well equipped for academic activities.
6. Asaba International Airport
The revival of the Asaba International Airport is undoubtedly a big score for Okowa’s administration.
The airport deteriorated greatly and almost went obsolete prior to his emergence as governor. That is not the case right now.
In fact, the concession of the airport to a private company for management has further moved it higher on the list of air travel routes with the most traffic and patronage in the country.
7. Skills and Entrepreneurial Empowerment
Perhaps the venture with the most spread of affected individuals, Okowa’s efforts towards empowering youths will not go unnoticed.
Through the RYSA, STEP, YAGEP, GEST, GEEP, and ICT-YEP initiatives, the Okowa administration trained and empowered over 75,000 youths with skills and starter packs.
Several programs of skills acquisition, entrepreneurship development, microcredit, enterprise grant and business support were implemented under Okowa’s leadership.
These programs have had lasting positive impacts in the lives and fortunes of youths, girl child, women, artisans, traders and widows.
Okowa is also accredited with the construction of 15 bridges and over 2,000 kilometres of roads across the state.
Other worthy mentions include renovation of the Stephen Keshi Stadium, hosting of the 2018 African Championships, and the 2022 National Sports Festival.
Though, many other projects are unnamed this list, the above will ring Okowa’s reign in the mind and lips of Deltans long after his handing over.