…Hails Governor Okowa’s Commitment to Deltans, Speaks on Next Dispensation.
The Delta State Commissioner for Information, Chief Patrick Ukah has highlighted some of his achievements and regret within the first tenure of the Governor Okowa led administration.
Chief Ukah who was a guest at the the second edition of FRONTLINE, a Media Interaction and Participatory Programme of the Delta Online Publishers Forum (DOPF), disclosed that his only regret as Commissioner for Information was not been able to commission the State Secretariat of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Delta State council.
The honourable Commissioner who noted that the NUJ Secretariat can be used to add value to the facelift of Asaba, however assured of its immediate completion since parties involved in the legal tussle of the landed property had resolved to settle out of court.
Reeling out his achievements so far in the Ministry of Information and what to expect in the forth coming dispensation, Ukah gave special thanks to God and to the state Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa for the opportunity to serve the State and confessed that he had learnt a lot from the Governor, adding that the Okowa led administration came into office when funding was a difficult challenge, but with due diligence and focused commitment to deliver good governance, the administration has been able to stabilize and turn around the fortunes of the state for the better.
The Information Commissioner further noted that besides the poor working conditions of workers in the Ministry when he assumed office, there was limited provision for training for the staff, which compelled him to take their condition to Governor Okowa, who then approved weigh – in allowance for information personnel.
Chief Ukah equally disclosed that with training and registration of the Ministry staff for the Nigerian Institute Of Public Relations (NIPR), availability of WIFI at the Ministry for media practitioners to access, as well as provision of palm-top systems and other working devices for staff, the capacity of workers have improved greatly in the last four years.
The Commissioner noted that the training exposed many information officers to public relations, advertising and marketing for them to know that they were image makers of the State Government.
Still on his achievements, Ukah stated that the State Broadcasting Service (DBS) was not really transmitting well when this government assumed office so they connected it to StarTimes cable provider, adding that the State Government also provided four cameras for the two DBS Stations in addition to the State Governor’s approval for relevant equipment to make the broadcasting stations digitally compliant.
While disclosing the State Government’s plan for the broadcasting house to go on five channels television which will promote the government and major languages in the State, Ukah gave the assurance of government’s plans to provide one Outside Broadcasting Van (OBVan) for the State.
In assessing Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, Chief Patrick Ukah said that there was need to critically look at the concrete things that Governor Okowa had done across the state, citing the feat of constructing solid roads in the riverine areas, an achievement he said, had never been attempted previously, adding that the Governor was God sent to salvage the state.
The Delta State Information Commissioner, who was quick to debunk allegations that he was lobbying to be retained in the incoming Delta State cabinet, stressed that Governor Ifeanyi is an astute and very focused leader and administrator, who knows exactly what he wants and who he is convinced has the requisite capacity and acumen to deliver on any given responsibility, so it would be a total waste of time for anybody to try to lobby him for position.
While commending DOPF for the FRONTLINE programme, he said the online publishing constituency needs to be regulated and it is through interactive sessions like this that the regulation can be achieved.
He then pledged to continue to partner with Online Publishers in the future and while maintaining that government was a continuum, assured that the platform has already been laid down for greater achievements in the Ministry of Information in the next four years.