Oborevwori tasks DIDA on investment drive

2024-05-11 18:37:05

Nigerian Observer

Delta State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, at the weekend, charged the Board of Delta State Investment and Development Agency (DIDA) to draw up a functional template that would attract credible investments to the state.

Governor Oborevwori gave the charge at the swearing-in and inauguration of chairmen and members of the Civil Service Commission and the Boards of Government's institutions and agencies held at the Unity Hall, Government House, Asaba.

The DIDA board has Chief Lucky Oghene-Omoru as Chairman, while Hon. Anthony Elekeokwuri is Director-General.

He said DIDA is a professional organisation, adding that the agency had a pivotal role to play in enhancing the business competitiveness of the state. According to him, DIDA, which was designed as a one-stop investment shop, has the responsibility of marketing the state to investors, while playing the role of midwife for Private /Public Partnerships in the state.

The Governor noted that a major challenge of the state's economy was that it remained largely driven by the public sector, which, he said, made it highly vulnerable to external shocks.

"As it stands today, the organised private sector in the state is weak and underdeveloped, accounting for only nine per cent of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) as at 2022. I am counting on the new leadership of DIDA to change this narrative by initiating steps that will enhance the ease of doing business in the state.

"This will enable Delta to recapture its former glory days when such industries as AT&P, Delta Glass Factory, Asaba Textile Mills, and Delta Steel Company, Aladja, were the major growth drivers and employers of labour.

"Towards this end, I expect the new Board to draw up a functional template that will attract investments. Strictly speaking, DIDA is a professional organisation. Hence, the new Board must prospect personnel who are versed in project appraisal, development, and management.

"We must bear in mind that all the states in the federation are competing for investors, and these investors will only go where they are treated fairly and profitability is assured," he said.

In a related development, the Governor implored the new Board of Delta State Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (DEMSMA) headed by Chief Henry Sakpra as Chairman and Dr Godwin Adolor Executive Secretary, to strive to lift Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) in the state to higher levels of operational capacity, viability and sustainability.

He noted that the current operating economic environment was very harsh as many enterprises were struggling to stay afloat; pointing out that the Board had a responsibility to scope the environment and devise means for these MSMEs to respond appropriately to the current challenges.

"It is my considered view that Delta State Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises Development Agency (DEMSMA) should prioritise post- establishment training, especially for beneficiaries of our entrepreneurship development programmes.

"It should also consider the prospects of establishing cluster enterprises to enable access to shared facilities and inputs as a way of cost management for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

"Of course, it must strengthen its traditional roles of market development, financial support and establishing linkages between MSMEs and market operators," the Governor said.

Meanwhile, Governor Oborevwori, speaking on the last local government party primaries in the state, said where a male chairmanship candidate emerged, the vice chairman must be a woman for gender balancing, and also directed that, at least three female councillors must emerge from each of the local governments across the state.

The Governor handed down the directive at a meeting of leaders, elders and stakeholders of the People's Democratic Party (PDP), Delta North Senatorial District held in Asaba.

The Governor, who expressed appreciation to the leaders and other stakeholders of the party in Delta North Senatorial District, commended them for always showing good examples, as well as for its significant contributions to the party's winning streak.

The Delta North Senatorial District gave him 100 percent votes because he won in all the local government areas in the district, he said.

On the forthcoming local government elections in the state, Governor Oborevwori said: "I have promised Deltans that I am going to do more; so, where a male aspirant emerges as Chairmanship candidate of the party, the Vice Chairmanship candidate must be a woman.

"So, tell the women to remain strong because, in some places you look for women you will not see them, but this time around, I am optimistic that we will find good women for the Vice-chairmanship position.

"In each of the local governments, we must ensure that we have, at least, three female councillors; so, if any local government brings their list without inclusion of, at least, three female councillors, we will reject such lists."

Also at the meeting, Governor Oborevwori commended his predecessor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, for being a good leader and for his wise counsel at all times, describing him "as a very good adviser who wants my administration to succeed."

2024-05-11 News