Paul Osuyi, Asaba and Ben Dunno, Warri
Concerned over the growing rates of insecurity, particularly kidnaping and hostage-taking in the country, President Muhammed Buhari, has summoned all state governors for an emergency meeting today, in Abuja.
Governor Ifeanyi Okowa made this disclosure, yesterday, when he briefed newsmen during his quarterly media chat tagged: ‘2019 Media Appreciation Meeting’, at the Government House, Asaba.
The governor, who was reacting to the issue of threats to lives of citizens as a result of criminal activities masterminded by suspected Fulani herders, said the the meeting is to seek ways to tackle rising crime waves in the country.
While admitting that security challenges presently confronting the nation had been on the increase, he said it was borne out of the concern that prompted the president’s decision to summon the meeting of all stakeholders, including the governors in Abuja today.
“As I speak to you, the president has summoned all the 36 state governors to an emergency meeting in Abuja to examine ways the various security challenges across the country can be tackled.
“We are already aware of the area where these crimes are committed in the state and we are also working out ways to tackle that problem there. But you will agree with me that these security challenges are not peculiar to this state alone.
“It has become a trends across all the states of the federation and that’s why the president has summoned all governors to a meeting in Abuja to seek ways to end this criminality, especially the aspects of kidnapping and that of the invading Fulani herdsmen.
“We are very optimistic that at the end of this meeting with the president some far-reaching decisions would have been made on how best to checkmate this growing menace in our society,” he said.
Meanwhile, Governor Okowa said his administration is still waiting for a template for the N30,000 minimum wage recently approved by the Federal Government before it can commence its implementation.
Okowa said as soon as the template is received, negotiations with the various workers’ unions will commence to finetune modalities for the payment of the new wage to workers.
He restated his administration’s commitment to the implementation of the new wage while the struggle by the organised labour was on.
Okowa said his administration was being careful about embarking on new projects, saying economic implication of the new wage had to be determined before any new project can be started.
He said the hallmark of a good administrator is first and foremost the ability to pay workers’ wages before other considerations, noting, however, that efforts will be made to complete all ongoing projects.
The governor expressed concerns about the high growth of population in the country, noting that the economy was growing at a very low pace, a situation, he submitted, could be a recipe for crisis, if nothing urgent was not done to reverse the trend.
He confessed that governance is difficult particularly now that there are lots of issues such as insecurity, minimum wage and the slow rate of growth of the economy.
He thanked the media for being critical in their reportage before and during the elections, and urged them to remain partners in progress.
“We hope to be partners in progress by reporting facts and reaching out to hear from us and to advise us appropriately.
“It is not easy to govern a state like Delta, particularly now that there are lots of issues of insecurity, minimum wage and the economy slow growth with population growing at higher rate.
“With the rate at which our population is growing, it is a point of worry and can trigger off crisis. So, at best, we have to plan to deal with our population,” Okowa said.
He said his administration would strengthen the education sector to make more impact through technical eduction in order to equip youths to use their brains and hands after training.