As criticisms trailing the National Good Governance Tour continues to swell, Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, has said members of his team will not lose focus nor be distracted by skeptics from the overall objectives scheme.
Maku, who made the observation at the weekend in Asaba, Delta State capital, during a Town Hall Meeting with stakeholders, refuted allegations that the team was collecting money from state governments.
He said the tour was designed to engage the people of the country in interactive sessions especially on projects embarked upon by both federal, state and local governments and not to collect money from anybody.
He said no state government had so far given any member of the team money and they were out to give objective appraisal of both federal, state and local government projects.
The minister regretted insinuation from some quarters that the team was out to extort money from states even as he disclosed that the tour was a programme designed by the Federal Government and approved by all state governors.
He said: "I wish to state categorically that the Federal Executive Council discussed and approved the National Good Governance Tour. Besides, the programme was taken to state governors and the Nigerian Governors Forum where it was also discussed and approved. So, l am surprised over the criticisms from some quarters trailing the tour."
Maku explained that the tour would promote effective feedback from the people and at the same time equip both federal and state governments with adequate information to attend to the wishes and aspirations of the governed.
He further stated it was unfortunate that people, who were knowledgeable about the programme were reneging on their commitments and passing bucks and promised that the tour would continue irrespective of negative comments coming from certain quarters.
The minister, who was full of praise for the Uduaghan's administration described some of the projects in the state as show pieces.
While describing Asaba as a sleepy town at state creation, he said, Asaba has developed into an ultra-modern city comparable to most of the older cities in the country.
He singled out the Asaba International Airport, which he described as one of the best in West Africa even as, he said, that the local content used in the construction of the Airport was a demonstration of the governor's belief in indigenous capability.
The minister, however, enjoined the governor to promote Human Capital Development and build more infrastructure at the primary and secondary school levels to promote academic excellence in the state, asserting that the state was shoulder high among other states of the federation in Micro-Credit, Health Care Delivery as well as in Environmental issues.
Maku said the phenomenal infrastructural growth in the state would have ripple effects on other States of the federation and declared "when a State moves forward, others will enjoy the benefits of the growth and move forward as well and the burden on the Federal Government will reduce."
He announced that the Federal Government would create about 30,000 new jobs per state in the next three years through the SURE-P programme.
The minister disclosed that the Federal Government would fulfil its promise on power supply in the country just as he said that the IPP in Sapele was already supplying more than 500 megawatts of electricity to the National Grid promising that the Jonathan's administration would intensify efforts to ensure that the epileptic power supply was remedied.
In his remarks, President, Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mallam Mohammed Garba, commended Delta State for the beautiful infrastructure constructed in the State especially in Education, Health and Transportation Sector. He said that in spite of the difficult terrain in the State, Dr. Uduaghan has moved the State beyond his imagination in the economic development.
Garba enjoined other South-south States to emulate the depth of development in the state asserting that so far the governor has justified the resources received in the State.
Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, announced that he has released more than N160 billion to the Delta State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission to improve infrastructure in the State especially in the Oil Producing Communities.
He explained that Delta State was the first to establish this type of commission to cater for the oil producing area and assured Deltans that he would continue to fund the Commission because according to him "DESOPADEC is a channel through which most rural communities will be transformed."
He said the Warri/Effurun Water Scheme, would soon be completed and made functional within the next two months.