Governor Okowa (2nd right) Akwa Ibom state governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel(1st right) Governor of Rivers state, Barr. Nyesom Wike (3rd from right) and Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo state (left) during a meeting of BRACED Commission in Delta state recently.

By Ovedhe Hezekiah

Delta state governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, says the state’s contributory health programme has been successful, claiming that Delta is now a model for other states seeking to do similar programme.

Okowa made self-appraisal of the health programme saying that 660,000 people have signed on to the programme.

Addressing journalists at its quarterly press briefing in Asaba on Thursday, the Governor urged Deltans to en
enrol for the contributory health programme.

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“We have become a role model as a state and other states are coming to copy what is going on in the health insurance programme; though, we are leading the way, it still does not mean we have gotten to where we ought to be.

“At the moment, we have set the ball rolling and we are very hopeful that we continue to be very impactful on our people as over 660,000 people have already enrolled in the programme and we will continue to urge Deltans to avail themselves to be in the scheme.”

The contributory health programme is for children under the age of five and pregnant women.

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Okowa said government is hoping to give consideration to widows, elderly and the persons with disabilities under the health programme.

He said his administration is focused on the improvement and empowerment of youths and women, and was trying to do more for them through job creation office, ministry of youths development and women affairs.

Speaking on security, the Governor hinted that the government’s peace and security efforts had been successful.

“We are doing our best but, we have continued to have issues with the farmers/herdsmen clashes and unfortunately even when we are doing our best, we have continued to see the issue of kidnapping.

“We are doing all that we can to ensure that Delta remains peaceful enough for our people to live in but there is a lot to be done in security measures.

“Recently the South-South governors have taken the decision that there was a need to collaborate for us to have a regional security outfit that will work with the security agencies to ensure that our regions are properly secured.

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“The reason is because we have shared facilities – roads, waterways that connect us and therefore, there is need to protect our people and quickly intervene in any criminal activity.

“We have found that if the youths are properly engaged, they will not fall into criminal activities; so, we hope that with the reintroduction of the BRACED Commission and the support from the state governments, we will be able to tackle some challenges facing this region.”

Okowa said his administration is working to increase the number of youths who are skilled, hence it has approved contract for the construction of nine technical colleges.

“We are also focused on skill acquisition and we are trying to increase the number of technical colleges to enable our children have more opportunities to acquire vocational education while undergoing their basic secondary education.

“In the course of this quarter, we have already awarded contracts for nine technical colleges and I can confirm that contractors are on site as it will create better opportunities for our children to acquire secondary school education with technical skills which will further empower them to have greater future”, the Governor added.