Recent events have again exposed the real reasons Delta State has continued to trail other states in development despite huge allocations from the federal government, THE WITNESS reports.
And it is the fact that those handling the finances of the state are either reckless in their spending or are not setting their priorities right.
Or how can one describe a situation where contract for minor renovation or furnishing would set the state back by millions of naira when in reality a few millions could do the job.
More shocking is the new findings that several millions of naira were spent to organize a seminar.
Delta State governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa, was made to approve a whopping N53,708,000 for the orientation/induction programme for 251 ‘Peace Ambassadors’ in the state.
In a memo obtained by THE WITNESS with file number: SDG.1013/7/2-3, by Hon. Festus Ovie Agas, the immediate-past secretary to the State Government (SSG) and now chief strategist to Governor Okowa, said that the 251 ‘Peace Ambassadors’ were selected and appointed from various communities within the state to promote co-existence and support peace building efforts across communities in the state.
However, checks by THE WITNESS revealed that organizing such a seminar should not have cost more than N15 million. This newspaper further learnt that the appointments were terminated before the end of the first term of the state government.
Recall, THE WITNESS reported a similar project for the provision of furniture and equipment for the office of the state governor’s wife, Dame Edith, being over-inflated to the tune of N32,912,548.88. A market research for the items listed in the memo, some of which included executive sofa, conference table and chairs, amongst others should not cost more than N6 million.
All these come at a time the people of Delta are grappling with poverty and inadequate infrastructures in the state.
In THE WITNESS fact-finding mission, our reporter contacted Hon. Agas for his angle to the development but he did not reply our calls and text messages as at press time.
Also, calls and messages placed across to the chief press secretary to the state governor, Olisa Ifeajika and Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, were not responded to as at press time.