Delta State government and the Deputy Senate President, Ovie Omo-Agege, have in recent times engaged in war of words over the allocation of federal resources and development of the state in the past seven years.
While the deputy Senate President accused the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration of not accounting for the over N700 billion it received in the last seven years, the government said by his assertion, Omo-Agege seemed not to understand how governance runs.
Shortly after he was elected unopposed as the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Senator Omo-Agege lamented that the state had experienced gross failure in the past seven years
“In the last seven and half years, Delta State has been misruled. We have had close to N900 billion but what is on ground is not commensurate.
“Our infrastructure is decaying, our youths are unemployed, our teachers are unpaid and pensioners who have suffered to offer their services to the state are not paid their dues.
“Government has rather focused on things that do not add value to the lives of the people. The bad governance in the state is impacting on all irrespective of party affiliation.
“As we go into the campaigns, we have one thing in mind to rescue the state. We are going to focus on providing good governance, enduring peace and security that is what Deltans craving for.
“As we seek to achieve this, it is not going to be a tea-party. All hands must be on deck. Okowa has failed and has therefore chosen someone to continue that failure of perpetuity in office but they will not succeed,” Omo-Agege said.
While reacting, the government through the state Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu at a press conference in Asaba, maintained that Omo–Agege’s expression was inconsistent with reality as he was ignorant of the development across the state.
He said: “I read somewhere, where he was mentioning that we have received over N700 billion in the last seven years and that we couldn’t account for that and I begin to wonder N700 billion received as what.
“It shows that he does not understand how governance runs because the data that are available shows that we have received more than that.
“I say so because he thinks that what we use to run government alone in a year is N100 billion; our wage bill alone, that is, the recurrent side of the budget, is more than what he was mentioning.
“As a government we have been able to show transparently in the last seven years, the many projects and programmes that we have embarked upon.
“We embark on many programmes that we used different platforms to empower our youths and other people in the state.
“Policies such as the ones that affect the livelihoods of our people and indeed projects that are quite outstanding such as the New State Secretariat, upgrade and concessioning of the Asaba airport that has made our airport quite outstanding among the comity of airports in the country.
“We have performed significantly in the capital side of the budget with many outstanding accomplishments in infrastructural development.
“As a government we have added value to the people of Delta whether they live in the creeks or in the upland. So, for Omo-Agege to say that N700 billion is not accounted for, you begin to wonder whether he understands the issues of governance.
“I thought that as a member of the National Assembly he should be able to do some calculations because there has never been any year where we drew up a budget that is less than N360 billion.
“If in all our budgets we have performed 100 per cent in the recurrent part of the budget which is why we are always ensuring that salaries are paid as and when due and that we have also performed significantly on the capital side of the budget.
“All these projects have led to the many milestones we have recorded in road construction, building of schools, bridges and other infrastructure such as the storm water drainage here in Asaba and Warri.”