By Nick Ovuakporie
Corruption results in grave violations of socio-economic rights, condemns people to extreme levels of poverty and often leads to devastating consequences. Therefore, curbing corruption is critical to the achievement of good governance and the rule of law which is sadly lacking in the current PDP administration of Delta State.
The deleterious effects of corruption and corrupt practices in Delta State has reached an ignoble height owing to its attendant negative effects on execution of government projects – a development that is attributable to corrupt practices in an administration where kickbacks has almost become a state policy, thereby increasing the menace of shoddy job execution across the State. Contract inflation, bribes and the demand for 10 percent kickback or even more, by agents of the administration has been identified as one of the factors hindering the development of Delta State – a nasty situation which only a Progressive APC administration can salvage.
The dominant effect of corruption has led to substandard project execution in virtually all parts of the State due to alleged government’s tacit for extortionate racketeering, leading to numerous failed jobs execution even after billions of Naira had been released to incompetent contracting companies.
Incontrovertible manifestations of this malady abound as sad reminders of kickbacks by ten percenters to wit; Asaba storm water drainage, a distinctly obvious failed project as the State still gets flooded whenever it rains. This is in spite of the over 40 billion Naira earnmarked for the project.
Then, there is the N18 billion Warri/Uvwie storm drainage, the 16 billion 8.5 megawatts Asaba Integrated Power Project awarded to Bastanchury Power Solutions Limited, the defective crossover bridge along Benin-Asaba expressway by summit junction, and the Asaba International stadium where an entire section once collapsed owing to the prevalent shoddy project implementation across Delta State. Yet these are mere examples out of numerous cases.
Undoubtedly, the resultant consequences of the obsession with kickbacks by official ten percenters promotes shoddy job execution and it has remained an existential threat to development. It is a major reason why Delta State under the current PDP regime has failed to achieve any meaningful development in the past six years.
It has therefore become incumbent for all Deltans, to actualize a progressive APC administration that is development driven, a government that will work assiduously to correct the failures and ills of the PDP administration to build an enviable State that is apar with its contemporaries. As repeatedly emphasized, corruption and corrupt practices remain the greatest challenge in the governance of the State where the pursuit of lucre has been elevated into a directive principle of state policy and it must be stopped through the ballot in 2023.
This ugly menace may have further influenced the hurriedly done purported concessioning or sale of the over N45 billion state-funded Asaba International Airport and the questionable sale of Delta Transport Service Company Limited (Delta line). Delta Line was a wholly state-owned transport company before it was partially and questionably sold to God is Good Transport Company Limited (GIGM), a private transport and logistics company in 2018 by the PDP government for pecuniary gains.
The sale which the in-coming APC Progressive administration of His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege will reverse for the benefits of all Deltans, has left Delta State with a 40% minority stake of it’s own company, and God is Good Motors Limited, 60 percent. Since its establishment over 30 years ago, Delta Line has undergone multiple phases of overhauling, including its rebranding in 1991 to improve mobility services to Deltans and other commuters across Nigeria until it’s audacious sale by the current PDP regime.
Today, corruption is being celebrated and institutionalized, state-owned assets and investments which could help improve the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), are being sold in controversial circumstances by a PDP administration determined to impoverish Deltans. It is safe to say that the current PDP administration is lacking in foresight, leading to the unfortunate and questionable sale of Delta line, despite the State owned company’s massive strategically located assets of over 30 terminals across the country and about 1,400 units of modern buses. Yet it was sold to a much younger, less promising God is Good transport company limited (GIGM), for a paltry N160 million as against the N2 Billion offered by the Delta State council of the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreation Services Employees (AUPCTRE),a body under Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). It is a transaction that has further reinforced our suspicion of an undercurrent deal promoted by the PDP government.
By and large, flowing from the uneventful defective governance structure of the present PDP administration which has exhibited gross incompetence in the governance of a heterogeneous State like Delta, it is expedient for the electorate to elect a Progressive APC administration under a governor whose technical know-how has been tested locally and nationally, an administrator with legislative and legal expertise to turnaround the dwindling fortunes of a blessed State like ours.
Delta State needs the leadership qualities and innovative developmental politics approach of His Excellency, Distinguished Senator Ovie Omo-Agege, Deputy President of the Senate, Federal Republic of Nigeria which he has deployed into the attraction of legacy projects in addition to his exceptional legislative indelible footprints in the legislative architecture at the Senate.
It is time to rework the defective governance structure instituted by the PDP administration and rebuild the socioeconomic fabric of Delta State using *Agegenomics* revitalization model of massive infrastructural development, employment creation, pension reform, civil service reform, investment in human capital development, youths and women inclusiveness in governance, diversification of the current mono-oil economy, security and Agriculture.
Delta 2023, let’s go together!