The Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE) has commended Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, for his giant strides in infrastructural development, particularly in road construction and erosion control measures.
National Chairman of the Institution, Mr Jang Tanko, gave the commendation on Tuesday, when he led a delegation of the body on a courtesy visit on the Governor at Government House, Asaba.
He commended the governor for his courage and commitment in building an enduring culture of good corporate governance and ethics in the administration and management of affairs in the state.
Tanko disclosed that the delegation was in Asaba to inform the governor that Delta would host the 19th International Conference and Annual General Meeting of the Institution in Asaba between the 13th and 15th October, 2021.
“As a professional body with the onerous task of ensuring the provision of safe and sustainable infrastructure in Nigeria, we have been observing the antecedents of Governor Okowa, particularly in the areas of road infrastructural development and erosion control in the state.
“One thing I find soothing about the governor is that he says something and he keeps to it which is a rare development these days in political circles.
“This is evident from the accomplished numerous road projects which his administration had embarked upon right from inception, which has earned him the accolade of `road master’.
“The unprecedented achievements of the governor in the delivery of massive bridges and road networks, connecting major districts and communities which were inaccessible in the past in the state, attest to the fact that Governor Okowa is indeed a road master,” he said.
The chairman disclosed that in recognition of the sterling accomplishments of the governor, the Institution would confer its 2021 “Most Performing Governor in Civil Infrastructure Development in Nigeria Award” on the governor for his exemplary performance in infrastructural development and erosion control.
He added that the governor would also be given award as Honorary Fellow of the Institution on October 15, 2021 during its conference in Asaba.
In his remarks, Okowa thanked the engineers for the recognition and assured that his administration would continue to do its best for people of the state.
He said that due to the huge infrastructural gap in the country, it had become very imperative for anyone in government to tackle them.
The governor challenged the civil engineers to use the October conference to recommend ways to fix road infrastructure at lesser cost going into the future.
“I welcome you and your team to Delta and I must thank you for the very kind words you spoke concerning our state.
“Unfortunately there is a lot of gap in terms of infrastructure, particularly road infrastructure in our nation today and therefore, any person who finds himself in government at this time has no choice than to try to attend to the road infrastructure.
“When the roads are not in good shape, it creates a lot of problem; it creates a lot of economic issues because the cost of transportation will be up, vehicles get bad and there is a lot of time spent on the road when ordinarily they would have spent less time.
“Here in Delta, we have paid a lot of attention to construction of more roads even though previous administrations also did their best but we feel the need to have a greater interconnectivity of our people.
“When the people are able to move on well paved roads, the likelihood is that it will improve commerce and create a more enabling environment for businesses to thrive,” he said.
He pointed out that Delta was largely riverside, and that his administration had taken steps to take road construction deep into the coastal areas because there were many communities living there.
“It is very expensive to do that but we are convinced that it is the right thing to do, more so when a lot of the oil produced today which is the mainstay of our economy as at today, is actually produced from these riverside areas.”
On flooding and erosion in the state, the governor thanked engineers in the state for their support and cooperation in the execution of key projects.
“We thank God for the engineers in the state and the support they gave to us both those in the MDAS and those we engaged as consultants to try to save the flooding situation in parts of the state.
“We have engaged in several flood control projects and we have been able to control it largely and we are also replicating same in Warri, a major economic hub of the state.
“It is very capital intensive but we believe that until we are able to control the flooding that we have in some of these cities, whatever you do in terms of road pavement may just be a total waste.
“As a government, we have done over 1,500 kilometers of road and we are still doing quite a lot, including the big attempt to complete the construction of the dualisation from Asaba to Ughelli which is a total of 141kilometres.
“We want to be as impactful as we can to our people so that when our tenure is finished, we can proudly say `yes, we have been able to contribute our quota in improving the lives of the people,” the governor stated.