Strengthening security and enhancing economic growth of the Niger Delta region have been the focus of a meeting between Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State and his Edo State counterpart, Godwin Obaseki.
The meeting, which was held in Asana, the Delta State capital in Nigeria’s Delta region also focused on strategies to increase synergy with other States in the region for socioeconomic growth.
Goverrnor Obaseki, who arrived Government House, Asaba in company of members of his executive council held a closed door session with Governor Okowa for nearly an hour before entertaining questions from journalists.
Okowa, in a remark, described the session as “a meeting between brothers, friends, who are Governors and that belonged to the old Bendel State. He came with ideas that will move the two States forward.”
He asserted, “we want to leverage on our strong ties as members of old Bendel State to better the lot of our people.”
Also speaking, Governor Obaseki stated that it was important for the two Governors discuss the issues of common interests such as economy, security, energy, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and other matters, noting “our states share the longest boundary and historical background”.
According to him: “I am here to congratulate my friend and brother on his victory at the polls and successful inauguration for a second term. We came from the legacy Bendel State and we discussed economic cooperation between our two states.”
“Today, Edo and Delta States could be the main power house of the country giving our energy and agricultural potentials. We looked into how to strengthen our economic ties and our participation in Bayelsa, Rivers, Akwa Ibom, Cross Rivers, Edo and Delta (BRACED) Commission,” he said.
Obaseki stated: “We also looked at insecurity in our common borders, especially, communal clashes and general insecurity and we have agreed to ask the Assistant Inspector-General of Police and the Commissioners of Police to come up with a plan to restore security in our states.”
“We also agreed to ask for the inauguration of the NDDC advisory committee of Governors and also to work with our colleagues to improve governance in the Commission. We are of the view that based on the resources the Commission receives, there is need for improvement in project conception, siting and execution because nothing stops the Commission from using 50 per cent of its resources to solve the energy problem of the region.
“Also, a regional Master Plan is necessary for implementation by the NDDC and we also looked at the area of energy as Delta, Edo, Ondo and Ekiti States are major stakeholders in BEDEC, so, we need to be proactive to strengthen BEDEC to provide electricity to our people and restructure the company so as to make it work efficiently for the region,” Obaseki added.