Monday, 18 February 2013

‘Onne sea port will take the lead in sea transportation’- Labaran Maku

Labaran Maku
By Chioma Andy
Federal Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said that Onne Sea Port in Rivers State would take the lead in sea transportation when completed.
The minister said this when his team, the National Good Governance Tour Team visited the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, at the state’s Government House, in Port Harcourt recently.
Maku said that the Federal Government was carrying out people oriented projects in the Federal, State and Local Government of the country.
He said that the good governance tour was in the state to inspect projects going on in the Health, Public infrastructure, Water supply, and every aspect of governance, including projects embarked upon by local government councils to the people at the grassroots.
He also mentioned that reconstruction work was on-going at the Port Harcourt International Airport, while the cargo terminal was also under construction to increase the industrial and commercial capacity of Port Harcourt. click on read more below to continue

The minister said that the Good Governance tour was non-partisan and not about political parties and politicking, even as opposition party states in the federation are included in the assessment tour.
“As we all agreed, the National Good Governance tour is non-partisan, is not about political parties, we even monitor states with opposition groups. We went to CPC states, APGA states, and I am sure your colleagues (Governors) may have communicated to you about this team, we are very neutral, and non-partisan in assessing the projects that we see in each state, it is to project what democracy is doing in the country”, Maku said.

Still emphasizing on the tour been non-partisan, “Because of our non-partisan, you know democracy is about competition for power,  citizens are unable to distinguish between the quarrels among politicians and the work on ground, and when politicians disagree they take all the headlines and development suffers, looking for space to expand in the daily reports by the Media. But this time, we agreed together to discuss development and the idea is to ensure that democracy takes the front seat, because it is all about development, is about progress, and all about the people’s participation, so the unique part of the tour is about the Federal, state and local government to answer questions from citizens”.

Maku mentioned that the team was carrying out the same tour in all the 36 states, while commending the government of Rivers State on their support.

“We are also going to look at private sector projects, in some states visited, I think in the South East, Abia and Enugu States, we had the privileges to look at the Private Sector projects, yesterday, we were at the Calabar Trade free Zone, and we took a look at a number of projects and factories, you know, Government is about Public-Private participation in the process of development”, Maku said.

“This Partnership which you (Amaechi) has given support is the clearest example of how local, state and the federal government work together to deliver dividends of democracy, in spite of the differences, I want to thank you (Amaechi) for this support”, Maku stated.
“Let me say that, Rivers State is not a strange land to us, it has been the headquarters of the South-South geopolitical zone, it is a place that, we are all familiar with due to its history and because of what it stands for, especially, both in terms of economy and politics of Nigeria”, he added.

Regarding the railway project in Aba, Maku said, “The railway project is coming from Aba, when we visited Abia State, we went there and saw the projects still ongoing, so it has been a lot of work, going round, to look at what the federal, state and local governments are doing for the progress of the people in the different state.”

Welcoming the Minister and his team, Amaechi said that his administration is set to finalise all the projects that it promised to complete in 2012, especially in the power sector. He said that he faced some challenges in approval of power distribution form federal government but that all is set in motion to achieve that by September, 2013.

“We promised our people uninterrupted power Supply by December, 2012, but, we have not been able to do so, we have only started achieving that from January this year, zone by zone, until we go round all the zones in Port Harcourt, I have agreed that in March this year, I will set up a Desk to take advertorial, asking people to make comments on the level of job done so far in their various zones. This will be done so that those not enjoying power supply can speak out. We are doing this, to say to Rivers people and Nigerians that power supply is not Rocket science but because of bureaucracy on distributing of power or not”, Amaechi said.

Continuing, he said, “When we sort the approval of power distribution from the federal government to allow us participate in power supply, they reused and wrote us that they will not. But in my usual way, I went ahead without approval of the federal government to give our people power, knowing that, at the end of the day, they may acquire the equipment but the power belong to our people” he added.

Speaking on health, he said, “One way to solve the problem of health is the setting up of primary health centres, so you will be seeing 120 primary health centres out of the 160 we promised Rivers people. So far we have employed 200 doctors, I have asked for the employment of another 200 doctors”.
Governor Amaechi also spoke about Agric fish farm project in four communities, (Opobo, Andoni, Buguma and Ubima) to create employment opportunities. 

He also mentioned the new 38,000 seater sports complex at Greater Port Harcourt city, and others and equally commended the National Good Governance Tour team on the development made so far.

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