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Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta said on Wednesday that the Federal Government’s approval for the dredging of the Escravos Bay to open up Warri Port would greatly benefit the people of the state.

Okowa said this while fielding questions from journalists at the state government’s quarterly media briefing in Asaba.

“The award of contract for the dredging of the Excravos Bar is of economic importance and is good for all Deltans and for the common man.

“So I don’t hope that any youth will truncate the process,” he said.

The governor’s reaction is at the heels of reported skirmishes by some Ilaje youths allegedly aimed at stalling the project.

He said that the state government would engage all stakeholders to ensure a peaceful take-off and completion of the project, expected to benefit the state economically.

Okowa said that his administration had in the last three years done a lot to improve the lives of the people despite “paucity” of funds.

He said: “We are hoping that the last tranche of the Paris Club refund will be made and it will help us settle most outstanding debts, including local government workers’ salaries.”

He said that there had been relative peace in the state since he assumed office and thanked the leaders of the communities and all the stakeholders who made it possible.

The governor said that the administration had evenly distributed infrastructure across the state.

According to him, government has approved the rehabilitation of 107 primary healthcare facilities across the state.

He said that as part of the state job creation strategy, more than 745 women and youths had been employed, in partnership with the World Bank.

The governor said that his administration had approved the 4th circle training and empowerment programme to benefit 1,470 persons.

Okowa said that education remained the most delight of the people of the state, adding that the infrastructural need for the over 1,100 primary schools and 474 secondary schools was huge.

“We have so far supplied over 70,000 desks to the 1,100 primary and 474 secondary schools across the state.

“To meet the need for the education infrastructure, we shall scale up the budget on education in 2019,” he said.

He said that government was also intensifying effort to complete the Asaba Central Hospital project by the end of July.

On transportation, the governor said that the Asaba Airport runway project and other ancillary work were nearing completion.

He said: “Also, we are partnering with a private transport operator to run and restructure the Delta Line Transport Service Limited for result.

“We have paid the backlog of salaries of the workers and have approved the settlement of the disengagement benefits of the workers.

“Only 120 persons are to be re-engaged after the restructuring; so in the next few months the company will be transformed and it will be decent and fully operational.”

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