Senior Special Assistant, SSA, to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa on Youth Development, Hope George, said despite the appointment of several politicians into boards and other positions in the state, Okowa is mindful of the current economic downturn and is cutting down on recurrent expenditure.
George, a former Secretary, Warri South Local Government and current Chairman, Delta State Youth Council, stated that payment for 28-day hotel accommodation and reduction of monthly impress were among the areas that Governor Okowa has already pruned down the cost of governance.
The governor’s aide, who spoke in an interview with journalists in Asaba, said the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Delta State was not threatened with the disquiet among its fold, particularly in Warri area, stressing that the party is one family and those reportedly defecting to rival political parties “will not find it easy where they are going”.
While noting that the governor is working hard to shore up its Internally Generated Revenue, IGR, George opined that Okowa’s appointments were not over and called on members of the PDP who feel left out to be patient, just as he noted that the people of Warri area have so far gotten more appointments compared to previous administrations.
He explained that the state PDP has set up a reconciliation committee headed by a former Deputy Governor, Sir Benjamin Elue, with Funkekeme Solomon as Secretary with a view to assuaging aggrieved members and ensure that the party remains one big family.
On efforts to tackle the growing unemployment rate in the state, he berated the APC-led federal government for “having nothing to show in eight months”, and declared that through Okowa’s SMART agenda, which is targeted at strategic wealth provision of jobs for all Deltans, Over 1,000 youths recently concluded training in YAGEP and STEP Programmes.
He explained that the successful participants have been given starter packs with the necessary take-off equipment and provision for payment for shop accommodation for a year, noting that the second batch of the training programme will likely take off in April.
George disclosed that graduands of the programmes who successfully take up their ventures will be given soft loans by the State Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurship Scheme aside the three months upfront monthly stipend given to successful participants.

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