WITH HENRIETTA OYAKHILOME
ALSO as a man determined to give his best to the governance of the state in a manner surpassing what he achieved in the first four years, Governor
Okowa has at various occasions expressed the need for transparency among his appointees while also emphasising the need for prudent management of funds and zero tolerance for corruption in the discharge of their responsibilities, adding that top government functionaries should be mindful of any manifestation of graft, impropriety and corruption as his administration strives for a stronger Delta State.
He has also hammered on fairness, equity and justice as trademark of his administration that all political appointees must imbibe, emphasising that his administration has zero tolerance for sectionalism
and nepotism. While also mindful of the fact that the expectations of Deltans are high the governor has urged his political appointees to see themselves as people who are representing the entire Delta people in the cabinet, are there to serve their interests, as the task before them all is quite huge; his administration
having set the goal of building a Stronger Delta predicated on Prosperity, Peace and Progress.
Governor Okowa who was speaking to the first set of commissioner (eight in number) during their swearing in ceremony charged them thus; “Yes, it is true that each of you was nominated from a Local Government Area, but the moment you become a commissioner, the entire Delta becomes your constituency
and as such, you must be fair to all and be responsive to the needs and aspirations of all and sundry” and admonished them to embrace the concept of team leadership and collective responsibility,
while also emphasising, “You cannot operate in isolation or be a one-man riot squad; employ and deploy the knowledge, skill and experience of the civil service personnel that work with you; you will need them to succeed,” among many other counsels.
Speaking also at the inauguration of the boards of Delta State Capital Territory Development Agency and Warri, Uvwie and Environs Development Agency, yesterday in Asaba, Okowa urged political appointees to be transparent while carrying out their activities.
According to him; “Our vision of a strong Delta is aimed at transforming the state into an inter-connected and united entity; that means we have to work hard to bring development to our people, not only to enhance their general welfare, but as a way of building sustainable
peace. It is for these onerous tasks that this administration has articulated its focus for development,
“I, therefore, charge you to become conscious of your roles in the overall
achievement of the laudable vision of this administration. Let me warn against in-fighting amongst members of boards as the Delta State Government will not tolerate
anything that will bring about needless distractions and embarrassment,”
For a man who has not minced words in stating clearly that accountability
is an indispensable tool of management and hallmark of his administration,
coupled with his belief that all politicians are in leadership positions
and are expected to do the right things at all times, Governor Okowa has at every given opportunity charged all political appointees to embrace accountability,
stressing that lack of it had cost many public officers the respect and goodwill of the media and the public, it is obvious from the onset that transparency and openness is key all his appointees.
Governor Okowa’s words: “As appointees this administration, you must make it a point of duty to avail the public of your programmes
and actions. Let the people know what you are doing, why you are doing it the anticipated outcome of such actions because, it is easy to gain the goodwill and trust of the community once projects meet specifications, suitably priced and properly monitored.”
ensure that the communities are not left Governor Okowa had specifically charged members of the board of the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission DESOPADEC) to ensure that projects were executed according to the needs of the people.
He said, inter alia, “Do not exclude the locals from the process of project execution; I recognise
that quite a number of the board members
are proven grassroots politicians. I trust you will do the wise thing of involving the host communities in your decision-making process, because it is imperative for peace, cooperation and development, team work, discipline, mutual understanding and cooperation
are prerequisites for your success.
You must be fair, equitable and just, and me hasten to add that this administration not hesitate to sanction any erring board member in accordance with the provisions of law,” he added at that event.
The governor, who scored his administration
high in project delivery through DESOPADEC,
asserted that “after four years of the new regime, I believe that there has been better synergy in the management of the agency, quality representation on the board and responsiveness on the part of the agency to the developmental aspirations and environmental
concerns of the host communities.
“This is, because during the course of my first tenure, I inaugurated notable infrastructure
projects executed by DESOPADEC and I was impressed not only by the quality of these projects but by the fact that they were in tandem with the expectations of the host communities.”
To members of Local Government Service Commission the governor reminded them that their actions should be guided by the extant rules and regulations. He charged them to be transparent and fair at all times in dealing with staff matters.
Governor Okowa also revealed at the swearing in ceremony of the state auditor-general that his government has adopted the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS) platform and have also domesticated the National Chart of Accounts, to complement his administration’s goals of fiscal discipline, prudent management and judicious allocation of resources, urging him to ensure that governance and management systems are properly aligned with modern audit practices.
Speaking further at that ceremony, he added “It is your onerous responsibility to see that Ministries, Departments and Agencies
of Government fully comply with the approved regulations for greater efficiency in general administration and management of public finance.”
While swearing in the last batch of commissioners (17 in number), the governor urged political leaders to apply decorum in their utterances to avoid heating up the polity.
“Fellow Deltans, as many of you can imagine, sifting through the long list of potential appointees, most of who are eminently qualified, can be quite exacting and draining and it took weeks of broad-based consultations, geo-political considerations, rigorous scrutiny and quiet contemplation to come up with this second and final list of commissioners,” the governor said, adding, “We may not have satisfied everybody, to be honest and I don’t think we can; but, I dare say the choices largely mirror the wishes and aspirations
of a broad spectrum of leaders, relevant stakeholders and the populace in the various local government areas as we did our best to carry everybody along as has been our approach to governance since the first tenure of this administration.”
Governor Okowa who congratulated the commissioners urged them “Not to succumb to such negative emotions as complaining, grumbling and murmuring,
as this administration will strive to ensure that all who have laboured in the past and especially during our electioneering campaigns will be rewarded
one way or the other, if not by appointment but through some other means and I plead with Deltans to be patient with us as we navigate our way through this process.
“As a Commissioner, be humble because,
being a commissioner does not mean you are better than others; also, it is a call to higher responsibility as you must resist the temptation to look down on others or be brash with those around you, especially your peers and contemporaries; be a unifier because, as a commissioner, you have to rise above petty sentiments and divisive tendencies; it is your mandate and responsibility
to rally all together for the sake of unity, progress and you must exercise good judgment, show tenacity
of purpose and be willing to stoop to conquer for the greater good of all.”