By Simon Akwu
Asaba – Governor of Delta State, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa has urged political appointees in his administration with ambition to contest in the 2023 elections to resign now.
The governor spoke at the closing of a two-day retreat organised for top government functionaries on Thursday, in Asaba.
He said that his administration was committed to leaving lasting legacies by embarking on projects with direct impact on the lives of the people of the state.
The governor said he did not want to be distracted in the last days in office.
He called on top government officials in charge of policy formulation and implementation to remain focused in the discharge of their duties.
Okowa said that the politics of year 2023 would not derail his development efforts for the people.
He urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to offer suggestions that would keep the state in tandem with modern trend in terms of sustainable development.
According to him, the call has become necessary, as it will go a long way in enabling his administration finish strong in delivering dividends of democracy to the people.
“Anybody in the cabinet with political ambition should resign so as not to derail the government from meeting its set developmental targets for people of Delta.
“A lot of people are already being distracted because of politics, there is no doubt as to that. Some of us are resigning to go and run elections and l wish everybody well.
“But for those of us who are not resigning, we must understand that we need to stay focused. They should stay with the tide of governance.
“I want to advise us that we must understand that as long as we are in government, we should remain focused on achieving the goal to the end and try to ensure the success of the administration that we are working in; that must be our priority.
“Politics is supposed to be secondary. So, we must be cautious of what we do.
“I am not insisting that everybody must work along with me, but in the governance process, you must stay focused, otherwise, you also have the right to turn in your paper that you may not be able to go along with me, and l will gladly receive it,” he said.
The governor lauded the wealth creation office for toeing the policy direction of his administration and promised to do more in skills development and empowerment.
He charged the project monitoring office to sustain its efforts to enable the state government to finish all ongoing projects before embarking on new ones.
In his remarks, the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Chief Patrick Ukah, said the retreat was primarily organised to remind top government functionaries of their responsibilities.
He said it was also to remind them on the need to assist in the finishing strong agenda of the Okowa-led administration.
In his presentation during the retreat, former Minister of Information, Mr. Frank Nweke (Jnr.), said policies must be people-centred.
He said that government should leverage the use of technology to positively impact on the socio-economic well-being of the people.
In his paper titled, “Plan Development And Implementation In Nigeria,” Prof. Sylvester Monye, Senior Policy Adviser to Okowa, said the only way sustainable development could be achieved was through effective planning.
He said that policy implementation was more important in the planning process.
“For you to have a successful plan, the people you are planning for must be involved in the planning.
“Nigeria has never embarked on a culture of performance management.
“I find the idea of this retreat very important. Every thing that we have done in this administration is a product of effective planning,” he added.
The Commissioner for Lands and Survey, Mrs. Kate Onianwa, and her counterpart in Culture and Tourism, Mr. Lawrence Ejiofor, both participants, described the retreat as timely.
They both promised to put in their best in the finishing strong agenda of the state government.(NAN)