Uduaghan: The Man Gearing for Niger Delta Development

Image

By Julius Akpovire Enyeh

There are politicians and there are politicians. In Delta State, they also abound in different shades and characters, so much so that if awards were to be doled out today, there would be a lot of pretenders amongst them as far as the development of the Big Heart State is concerned. Inversely, a few contenders would line up for the awards based on their selfless contributions which have made the state worthy of being counted among the ‘big’ states.

The immediate-past governor of Delta State, Dr. Emmanuel Eweta Uduaghan, is arguably one of the most successful politicians the Niger Delta has produced in recent times. His influence and popularity were not earned through a walk in the park, rather by the dint of his determination to make his people happy. His story is a very loaded one, his development efforts also extended to the Niger Delta region even though he was the governor of a state. He was deeply involved in negotiations with Niger Delta agitators and militants alike which let to peace in the region. Of course, where there is peace, there is development.

If one counts every infrastructure dotted all over the state, a greater percentage of them would definitely bear his finger of approval.

That is the lot of a man who was trusted enough by the former governor of the state, Chief James Onanefe Ibori, a big fish in all ramifications, to wear his big shoes as the governor of the state after the former had governed for eight years.

A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Uduaghan set the sail of healthcare revolution in the state when he took over. Deltans will not forget Uduaghan in a hurry for instituting a special project to finance medical assistance to them. To date, the sum of N1.4 billion has been expended on the project and it has been worth the while.

He also embarked on health programmes as the Free Under-Five health programme where all the children within the age bracket of 0-5years were taken care of irrespective of the ailment. The Free Maternal Health programme which enabled government hospitals attend to pregnant and expectant mothers from conception to the period of delivery free of charge remains in their memory till date. It was once reported that the antenatal care unit of each hospital was recording up to 200 to 400 attendants on daily basis. The hospitals were made to handle serious advocacy issues on care during pregnancy aimed at reducing maternal and infant mortality.

On the Free Rural Health Scheme programme, the government of Delta State under Uguaghan attended to the rural people in all parts of the state, treating various health needs of the people irrespective of the nature of the ailment free of charge. The scheme cut across all ages and sexes as issues bordering on fibroid, hymenia, partial blindness and other sundry health challenges were tackled by health care professionals.

This magnanimous gesture of his government brought succour to people who ordinarily would not have been able to access the needed medical attention.

If Uduaghan did well in health care delivery, he scored higher in the educational sector.  Aside from ensuring the fees of all students sitting for the secondary school final examinations were paid full, a policy he underpinned by the observation that some students even after going through the free school programme, were unable to pay the fees required before they could sit for NECO and WASC examinations, he blazed the trail with the state government’s First Class Scholarship Scheme under which indigenes of the state, paternally or maternally, who made first class in any university were offered an annual N5 million scholarship to study for higher degrees up to PhD anywhere in the world. In four years, his government provided scholarships to 1,760 students in different categories. His government also approved scholarship for 792 students in all the categories and inaugurated the Delta Education Marshall (Edu Marshall) to eradicate ‘street culture’ and pave way for ‘learning culture’

Fully aware of his target in the education sector Uduaghan had said the huge investment in education had a lot to do with the ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ initiative of his administration. For anything to succeed, he had said, the bedrock is education, and one cannot be talking about ‘Delta Beyond Oil’ the populace was not educated.  Under Uduaghan, primary and secondary schools witnessed a new lease of life in the state with the construction or rehabilitation of over 200 primary and secondary schools.

There is no argument that Dr. Uduaghan achieved so much in the area of infrastructure, housing scheme, roads construction, street lights and provision of modern transport facilities and hospitals, a phenomenon which has made Delta catapult into an enviable state.

What has, however baffled a lot of political watchers within the country and beyond, was why an achiever like Dr. Uduaghan went into hibernation after serving out a meritorious gubernatorial period despite pressure from his people when a lot of his under-achieving colleagues found themselves in the chambers of the National Assembly Complex, Abuja. When he addressed pressmen recently, the Itsekiri-born politician answered the question. He had said he took that option in the interest of peace in the state.

Delta South Senatorial District boasts of equally great minds like the ex-governor, one which is the incumbent senator who has represented the senatorial district through four terms of four years each.

By 2019, the senator, James Manager would have served a total of 16 years in the house. In 2015, when he indicated his intention to return to the senate, the ex-governor had rested his ambition to pave way for Mr. Manager to continue. Now, the pressure has again mounted on Dr. Uduaghan to gun for the senatorial seat and he has said he is ready. Surprisingly, support has poured in from the whole Delta South and beyond.

According to Dr. Uduaghan, his senatorial ambition is born out of his desire to pursue quality legislation that will lead to the end of crisis and development in the Niger Delta region.

In his words: “I’m not going to the Senate because I am Itsekiri. My aspiration is not ethnic but knowledge and capacity based.”

“We need to look at laws that’ll improve income accruing to oil-bearing communities. There should be a law that compels every company operating in the Niger Delta region to contribute a percentage to the host communities. This is done in Arizona and the Netherlands. Ours, here, should not be an exception.”

“And to ensure a near absolute peace and security in the Niger Delta, local youths should be engaged to assist security men in intelligence gathering; through this, we’ll be able to reduce a lot of criminal activities in the creeks.” Uduaghan noted.

As the 2019 elections draw closer and closer, all eyes are on the man with excellent track records who thinks, sleeps and wakes up with the peace and development of the Niger Delta in his mind.

Julius Akpovire Enyeh, a Delta-born journalist, writes from Lagos, Nigeria and may be reached via his email, [email protected]

Share
Related Stories
Image
20-February-2024

Navigating the Complexities of Media Monitoring: Strategies for Effective Brand Media Intelligence Gathering

By Philip Odiakose In today’s media landscape, the ability to monitor and analyze media coverage is crucial for brands seeking to stay ahead of the competition and maintain their reputation. However, the sheer volume and diversity of media sources, coupled with the ever-evolving nature of communication channels, present significant challenges for effective media monitoring. As the Chief Media Analyst at P+ Measurement Services, a leading Media Monitoring and Intelligence consultancy, I have firsthand experience in navigating these complexities. In this article, I will share key strategies for successfully gathering brand media intelligence amidst the intricacies of modern media environments. 1. Define

Image
16-February-2024

BRICS and the Global South Cooperation

By Professors Abdullahi Y. Shehu and Maurice Okoli Introduction Since the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1992 ‘the tectonic plates of geopolitics have been shifting’ and with current geopolitical tensions, including the Russian-Ukrainian conflict, the Israeli-Hamas war, new alliances and potential rivalry among world powers seeking for influence in Africa and other regions of the world, ‘we may see the world becoming more multipolar’. Despite the plethora of multilateral institutions, multipolarity has become a cliché as member states forge new alliances to address perceived injustices in the existing system. BRICS emerged from the Russia-India-China strategic triangle called RIC. The group

Image
29-February-2024

Africa Beyond Russia’s Grains Partnerships

By Kestér Kenn Klomegâh Until sustainable food security is established through modernizing agriculture and ensuring adequate support for local farmers, Russia’s grain supply would be a soft geostrategic bait (i) to reinforce the existing time-tested relationships with Africa and (ii) to solicit an endorsement for the unprovoked war in Ukraine. In a speech delivered on March 20, 2023, during the interparliamentary conference ‘Russia-Africa’ held in Moscow, President Vladimir Putin described six African countries as the least developed and poorest in the world that are urgently in need grains, alternatively referred to as humanitarian aid, to feed its population. The beneficiary

Image
06-February-2024

Creating Jobs and Developing Skills is Vital to Sustaining Livelihoods of Communities

By Kuda Mukova Despite the immense developmental gains that sub-Saharan Africa has seen over the past few decades, there is no doubt that much work remains to be done. According to the 2023 Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) released by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHI) at the University of Oxford, some 534 million people live in poverty across the region. We still fall behind on other developmental indices too. Data from the World Bank shows that nearly half the region’s population doesn’t have access to electricity and, according to the World

More Stories
Image
05-August-2017

Shell Shuts Down Pipeline in Ogoniland

By Dipo Olowookere A key crude supply pipeline in Ogoniland, Nigeria, has been shut down by Shell, a subsidiary of Shell Petroleum Development Corporation of Nigeria Ltd (SPDC). In a statement issued by the firm this week, it was explained that the pipeline was shut down on July 21 at B-Dere in Ogoniland due to a leak. The facility feeds the Bonny Light export terminal, which has a production capacity of 225,000 barrels per day of oil. But “efforts are ongoing for a joint investigation visit to determine the cause of the leak and repair of the pipeline,” the Anglo-Dutch

Image
05-August-2020

Power Generation Hits 18-Month High of 5,377 MegaWatts – TCN

By Adedapo Adesanya Nigeria electricity generation hit 18-month high as the power grid peaked at 5,377 megawatts (MW) over the weekend, a feat that was last recorded early in 2019. This was disclosed by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), which noted that such was last recorded on February 7, 2019, when the national power grid reached 5,375MW peak generation, with improved electricity to many places and distribution networks nationwide. It said the enhanced record occurred at 9.30 pm on Saturday, August 1. This indicated that the latest records surpassed that of 2019 with about 2.8 MW, the TCN said,

Image
07-March-2019

T-Bills Yield Gain 0.26% on Absence of OMO Sale

By Dipo Olowookere Average treasury bills yields appreciated on Wednesday by 0.26 percent on the back of sustained bearish sentiment at the market, Business Post is reporting. During the midweek trading session, investors embarked on slight selloff on some short tenor bills, but with sustained interests on the longer end of the curve. This pushed the average yields upward to 13.52 percent in the absence of the sale of OMO bills by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). Apart from the 12-month bill which marginally dropped 0.01 percent to settle at 15.12 percent, yields on other tenors appreciated yesterday. The

Image
29-August-2023

China Gives Afreximbank $400m Loan for African SMEs

By Adedapo Adesanya The African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) and the China Development Bank (CDB) have signed a development-focused agreement that will support the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) across Africa with a $400-million term loan facility. The agreement was signed by Mr Tan Jiong, President of CDB, and Mr Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Afreximbank, at the Afreximbank headquarters in Cairo. In a statement seen by Business Post, this agreement allows Afreximbank to deploy the facility to support African SMEs involved in extra- and intra-African trade and those engaged in the productive

Image
01-June-2020

Playfre Expands Music Streaming to 54 African Countries

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Music streaming service provider, Playfre, has expanded its operations to the entire 54 countries in Africa just a year of its establishment. The music streaming service hit profitability in December 2019 owing to revenues generated from its music distribution arm, Songroute. A statement from the firm stated that its services will now be available in 54 African countries. Before now, music streaming on Playfre was limited to only 18 African countries and before that, only to 5 African countries. “We just crossed the milestone of 20,000 registered users and 10 million streams, so we felt it was

Image
12-October-2021

Carbon to Scale Digital Offerings to Africa, Middle East

By Adedapo Adesanya Pan-African fintech startup and digital bank, Carbon, has partnered with Network International, the leading enabler of digital commerce across Africa and the Middle East, as part of its plan to boost its digital payment offering. Under the agreement, Network International will issue and process physical Visa debit cards on behalf of Carbon, enhancing the bank’s offering to customers. According to a statement, the collaboration will support financial inclusion among the unbanked and underbanked in Nigeria is part of Carbon’s mission to empower all people with the financial access they need to pursue a life of dignity and

Image
07-December-2021

NGX Index Sheds 0.38% as HNIs, Institutional Investors Dominate Market

By Dipo Olowookere It was a poor start to the week on the floor of the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited on Monday as the market closed the session 0.38 per cent lower. Sustained selloff by investors waned on the local bourse, though high-net-worth individuals (HNIs) and institutional investors pushed the level of transactions higher. Business Post observed that despite the decline suffered by the market yesterday, the activity chart was bullish and this was mainly from the cross deals witnessed during the session which came from FBN Holdings, GTCO and Lafarge Africa. At the close of business, a total of

Image
31-July-2023

All You Need to Know About the 2023 Women’s World Cup Coverage

The 2023 FIFA Women’s World Cup kicked off in Australia and New Zealand on July 20. The tournament has 32 teams in eight groups contesting for the world title. The final will be held at the Sydney Olympic Stadium in Australia on August 20. Here are important facts about the coverage of the tournament for the African continent: Exclusive to SuperSport: Africa’s leading entertainment company, MultiChoice, has exclusive broadcast rights for the Women’s World Cup in Africa. All the matches will be available on SuperSport channels as part of the ‘Here For Her’ campaign, aimed at celebrating the success and

Ad
Ad
Recent Stories
Image
02-March-2024

MTF Class of 2023 to Premiere Her Dark Past, Grown

By Modupe Gbadeyanka Two feature films will be premiered this weekend exclusively on the Africa Magic Showcase channel 151 and Africa Magic Urban channel 153 by the students of the MultiChoice Talent Factory (MTF). The two pieces of art titled Grown and Her Dark Past are the final projects of the MTF Class of 2023 students, a statement from the organisation said. The MTF is a leading film school in West Africa for young, talented and passionate filmmakers. It was established by the media platform to grow the region’s creative industry. Grown premieres on Africa Magic Showcase at 8.30 pm

Image
02-March-2024

Mandela’s Heirs Lose Power in South Africa

By Alexander Braterskiy South African authorities warn that if the opposition wins the parliamentary elections, the country may change course and leave the informal BRICS economic bloc, which includes Russia. The position of the African National Congress party, which has been in power since the collapse of apartheid, is indeed not the best, as shown by the municipal elections held earlier in the country. The opposition accuses the president of corruption and abuse of power, as well as an inability to cope with the country’s energy crisis. The ANC crisis occurred on the 30th anniversary of the first free elections

Image
02-March-2024

CAA Reaffirms Commitment to Climate Innovation for Sustainable Future

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A leading social enterprise focused on environmental sustainability, Climate Action Africa (CAA), has reaffirmed its commitment to being at the forefront of driving climate innovation for a sustainable future. The organization, which is a key participant at the four-day Omniverse Summit 2024 in Lagos, emphasised the need to integrate environmental sustainability models, technology, and community-driven innovation to address climate change challenges. It promised to foster an inclusive climate action ecosystem through innovation, which it said can be used to identify and scale solutions to address the imminent climate crisis in Nigeria and Africa as a whole, The

Image
02-March-2024

Endosurvivors Foundation Set For Another Endometriosis Awareness

By Adedapo Adesanya EndoSurvivors International Foundation (ESIF), an NGO championing endometriosis awareness in Nigeria, has announced its upcoming events in commemoration of the Global Endometriosis Advocacy Month in March, fondly tagged March4Endo by advocates all over the world.  Endometriosis is a chronic and inflammatory condition that affects approximately 1 in 10 girls and women in Nigeria and on a global scale. This sums up to about 190 million affected girls/women around the world, about the population of Nigeria in 2018.  The World Health Organisation (WHO) recognizes that endometriosis has significant social, public health, and economic implications leading to a decrease

Image
02-March-2024

CSCS, FrieslandCampina Lift NASD OTC Bourse by 0.31%

By Adedapo Adesanya The NASD Over-the-Counter (OTC) Securities Exchange returned to the positive territory after it gained 0.31 per cent on Friday, March 1, thanks to the duo of Central Securities Clearing System (CSCS) Plc and FrieslandCampina Wamco Nigeria Plc. CSCS Plc added 81 Kobo to its value to sell for N19.46 per unit compared with the preceding day’s N18.65 per unit, and FrieslandCampina improved by N1.15 to settle at N71.4o per share, in contrast to Thursday’s closing price of N70.25 per share. However, Aradel Holdings Plc continued its price depreciation yesterday as it shed N6.75 to sell at N2,395.00

Image
02-March-2024

Naira Now N1,548.25 at Official Market, N1,560/$1 at Black Market

By Adedapo Adesanya The Naira sustained its gradual recovery against the US Dollar in the Nigerian Autonomous Foreign Exchange Market (NAFEM) on Friday, March 1, appreciating by 2.94 per cent or N46.86 to sell at N1,548.25/$1, in contrast to the N1,595.11/$1 it was traded on Thursday. Also, in the spot market, the Nigerian currency improved its value against the Pound Sterling during the trading day by N90.13 to close at N1,956.06/£1 versus the previous day’s N2,046.19/£1 and against the Euro, it gained N76.39 to trade at N1,675.25/€1, in contrast to the N1,751.64/€1 it closed a day earlier. The supply of

Image
02-March-2024

Crude Oil Jumps 2% as Traders Sight Possible OPEC+ Cuts

By Adedapo Adesanya Crude oil appreciated by about 2 per cent on Friday as traders awaited a decision from the Organisation of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and allies (OPEC+) on supply agreements for the second quarter. Yesterday, the price of Brent futures went up by $1.64 or 2 per cent to $83.55 per barrel and the US West Texas Intermediate (WTI) futures rose by $1.71 or 2.19 per cent to $79.97 a barrel. For the week, Brent added around 2.4 per cent while WTI gained more than 4.5 per cent. Analysts noted that the expectation that OPEC+ is going to

Image
02-March-2024

NGX Indices Nosedive by 1.23% as Traders Resume Profit-Taking

By Dipo Olowookere The bears made a quick return to the Nigerian Exchange (NGX) Limited after leaving the stage for the bulls for a day as investors reassessed the impact of the hike in the benchmark interest rate by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) on Tuesday on their investments. On Friday, the key performance indicators of the bourse closed lower by 1.23 per cent as a result of renewed selling pressure, especially in the energy and industrial goods sectors. Business Post reports that at the close of transactions on the first trading session of March 2024, the industrial goods

Image
01-March-2024

CBN Revokes Operational Licences of 4,173 BDC Operators [FULL LIST]

By Aduragbemi Omiyale The operational licences of 4,173 Bureaux De Change (BDC) operators have been revoked by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). A statement signed by the acting Director of the Corporate Communications Department of the apex bank, Mrs Hakama Sidi Ali, on Friday disclosed that the action was taken because the affected BDCs did not adhere to regulatory provisions. The central bank said the BDCs did not pay all necessary fees, including licence renewal, within the stipulated period in line with guidelines. It also said they failed to give account of returns in line with the guidelines, and

Image
01-March-2024

BREAKING: Popular Yoruba Comic Actor Sisi Quadri Dies

By Modupe Gbadeyanka A popular Yoruba comic actor, Mr Tolani Quadri Oyebamiji, otherwise known as Sisi Quadri, has died, according to reports. However, the cause of his death is still unclear as of the time of filing this report. There are speculations that he briefly fell ill before his passing, though he was seen publicly some months ago with a fellow comic actor, Sanusi Izihaq, who is well-known as Apa or Apankufor. Sisi Quadri, who died at the age of 44, was recently gaining fresh public attention with his comic act with Apa and others. His demise has hit the