As the administration of Rt Hon Sheriff Oborevwori heads towards its first year in office, the Delta State Commissioner for Works, Rural and Riverine Roads, Mr Charles Aniagwu, has described the commitment of the Governor towards the completion of inherited projects from previous administrations as a major contribution to the development of the state.

Aniagwu also hailed the Governor as quintessentially detribalised and Pan-Delta for his fair distribution of projects across the three Senatorial Districts of the state.

The commissioner made the declarations recently in a chat with journalists against the backdrop of suggestions from some critics that the Governor should have focused more on initiating new projects to project himself, rather than giving attention to the various uncompleted projects inherited from previous administrations.

“On whether he is spending so much time dealing with old projects than initiating new ones, the best thing Oborevwori has done for the people of Delta is to continue ongoing projects that he inherited, even as he is initiating new ones,” Aniagwu reasoned.

“Why do I say so? Those projects were initiated with Delta State money as part of the efforts of the immediate past administration to reach out to our people.

“The last administration was in office for eight years and within that eight years, several projects were initiated, a number of them were completed, and a number of them are still ongoing. If you abandon the ongoing projects you met because you want to do new ones, it is the state, not the previous administration, that will be losing.

“This is because those projects are for the people and they are looking forward to them being completed, and Oborevwori is giving them hope that, yes, it is no longer the previous administration that is in power, but in us, your projects and expectations are projected for completion.

“While he is doing that, he is also looking at areas where they need new projects and he has been able to initiate them. There are many across the three Senatorial Districts which Oborevwori initiated and is pursuing vigorously, even with the same zest that he is using to tackle the ongoing, inherited projects.

“There are a lot of ongoing projects. When we did our 100 days in office, we saw that within 100 days in power, he commissioned a lot of projects. So, it is a good thing that he is vigorously pursuing ongoing projects, even as he is taking very seriously the new ones that he has initiated and the new ones we are also initiating.

“As I speak with you, we are already looking at the 25 Local Government Areas to bring out some kilometres of roads that we are also going to award between now and the next couple of weeks.

“That is because the Governor’s directive is, please, you people should submit the list of roads that have been sent to you from the different Local Government Areas, let us do some value analysis.

“What do I mean by value analysis? The Governor has said this is no longer the time you just say because this is the road that leads to one big man’s house, and it is only the big man’s house that is there, you just go and do it, and you ignore the road that goes to the market place where everybody goes to. Or leave the community road where everybody passes and you say there is one big man and you just carry the road and dash the big man, meanwhile, the community is suffering.

“What Oborevwori is doing now is what we want to continue to do. It is to award roads that touch the lives of the majority of our people and give value to our communities so that when you talk of urban renewal, it would be tied to the people’s renewal. That is what we are doing.

“I can speak authoritatively because I am involved. He has a map of the 25 Local Government Areas right on his table, that he looks at to say, what are we doing here? What are we going to do here? What do we want to do here?”

On the distribution and spread of the projects, Aniagwu informed that it has been fair and based on value analysis.

“Projects in the state are spread fairly. You do not talk about equity in road distribution because the amount of earth roads in one local government is not the same in another local government.

“Who do you build the roads for? Where you have five people and where you have 400 people, are you expecting them to have the same amount of roads? Is the population of the state evenly distributed?

“If you come to Asaba, for instance, the number of streets is high, because it is the capital, which means many people have left their local governments to the place.

“This is the reason we may have uneven distribution of road projects because the population is not evenly distributed.

“When you hear the Governor talk about Warri, it is an area that is very densely populated. And you know that Warri is a term that is used loosely.

“What do I mean by loosely? Because there are other environs within Warri, because of the conurbation, in the form of cities joining other cities, and all becoming a mega city, but people described all as Warri.

“A number of the areas people describe as Warri are even in Uvwie, in Udu, some of them in Okpe, but because of development, the Governor has been very very proactive in reaching out to the different groups.

“Today, even people who live in Okpanam, if you ask them where they are going, they will say that they are going to Asaba, but we all know that Asaba and Okpanam are not even in the same Local Government Area. I am from Ika, but most people will ask me, “Are you from Agbor?” They forget that there are other communities in Ika.

“So, it is not true that projects are being concentrated in some places.

“If you look at the spread of the portfolios, you can see a man who has love for the entire state. There is no ethnic group, federal constituency or geographical divide that can say they are shortchanged in terms of distribution of portfolio.

“For me, every ministry is Grade A. Every ministry is as important as the other. It is just like the human body. You cannot just wake up and say you prefer your ear to your leg. Let them cut off the leg and let’s see how the ear will be carrying you about.”

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