Paul Osuyi, Asaba
The Delta State Government has assured that the teething problem bedeviling the construction of a befitting secretariat complex for the state council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), in Asaba, will soon be a thing of the past.
Commissioner for Information in the state, Mr. Patrick Ukah who gave the assurance during a media briefing on the activities of his ministry, said the present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa is irrevocably committed to the welfare of practicing journalists in the state.
The union has been engaged in a legal battle over the land upon which the secretariat complex is being constructed, a development that has been delaying execution of the project in the last five years.
But Ukah assured media practitioners that the legal tussle which was inherited will be resolved any moment from now, disclosing that a quantum amount of money has been approved and released to the leadership of the union in the state for the completion of the project.
According to Ukah, “The construction of a modern secretariat complex for the NUJ, Delta State council is already at a high level of completion. The governor has shown much commitment to the welfare of journalists in the state.
“Approval has been given for the variation in the cost of construction and the funds have been released to the union to continue the project. The governor has also stepped into the land dispute that resulted in a court injunction and the dispute would soon be resolved.”
Ukah pledged the ministry’s commitment to the effective gathering and dissemination of the programmes of the state government to keep Deltans abreast of the implementation of the campaign promises of Governor Okowa as enunciated in the S.M.A.R.T. Agenda.
He said the ministry has rolled out different strategies over the past three years to get the populace to be in tune with the agenda of the present administration, adding that the projects of all the MDAs were articulated with the objective of propelling the people towards a common goal of prosperity for all Deltans.
Ukah said the ministry is presently making arrangement to revitalise the Government Printing Press and repair all the essential machines to ensure that it operates at optimal capacity and enable it print the Pointer Newspapers, all government documents and operate commercially.
“All MDAs would be required to patronise the Government Printing Press for all printing jobs. The Press would also be in position to print the state’s yearly Calendar, Christmas Greeting Cards and Diaries which were hitherto carried out through contracts.
“The Press would be in a position to take up printing of documents from the general public, all MDAs including the State Polytechnics, the State University, Primary and Secondary Schools across the State. The plan is to facilitate the generation of funds by the Press as it would be commercialised,” he said.
On the state owned broadcasting outfits, Ukah said a number of interventions had been made to improve on the performance of the television and radio stations in Asaba and Warri, adding specifically that the television stations were still operating on the terrestrial.
“Though the digital switch over program is on, it may take another one to three years to completely get the populace to key in and for the National Broadcasting Commission to shut down transmission on the Ultra High Frequency (UHF).
“It is important to note here that majority of Deltans still depend on signals from the Ultra High Frequency (UHF). The ministry therefore wants to keep up broadcasting on the terrestrial to ensure that government activities are effectively communicated to Deltans,” he added.