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We Started Well, Finishing Much Stronger – Ethiope East LG Boss, Ofobrukueta

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We Started Well, Finishing Much Stronger - Ethiope East LG Boss, Ofobrukueta

Says Being Maternally Abraka, Deserves Re-Election

 Hon. (Pharm) Victor Ofobrukueta, who is paternally from Okpara, Agbon Kingdom and maternally from Abraka Kingdom, both in Ethiope East local government area of Delta state is the Executive Chairman, Ethiope East Local Government Council, Delta state.

 In an exclusive chat with Oasis Magazine on his journey so far, Hon. (Pharm) Victor Ofobrukueta bares his mind on variety of issues ranging from when he assumed office as Ethiope East Chairman, the challenges and achievements and further highlighted on the good work of his bosses, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the immediate past governor and Rt. Hon. Elder Sheriff Oborevwori in just Eight months of his government and the local government re-election.

Excerpts:

How would you describe the journey since you assumed office as Ethiope East Council Chairman?

Very well, it has been a great one too, not by my power but God Almighty and my immediate past Governor, Sen. Dr. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa, the Ekweme of Africa and my amiable Governor Elder Sheriff Oborevwori, the Ukodo 1, whom through their supports l can confidently say on behalf of my councilors, members of my executives and with the full support of my staff, we have been doing very well and finishing very much stronger to the glory of God.

What will you say were the major achievements your administration recorded in the past years?

When we started our campaign manifesto in Ethiope East, it was anchored on laying a foundation for a very strong and robust local government. We came with a blueprint of the ‘Vision 2040’ for Ethiope East.

In achieving this, we brought Ethiope East people together both the intellectuals, farmers, market women, including the youths and we came up with a document, which our people in Ethiope East adopted as blueprint for the next 20 years because of what it contained.

We also promised the people of Ethiope East that we will carry out some skill acquisition training across the local government which we did. So far, we have been able to train over 1,000 people across the local government with two training centres, Abraka and in Isiokolo where we trained people in tailoring, catering, hairdressing etc and  at the end of the training, we gave them starter packs to start their own small micro businesses.

We also embarked on our educational programmes which in the section of this administration, we have been encouraging our pupils across the 62 primary schools in Ethiope East. Every year, we assist parents to procure writing materials for our pupils and this we have done for about three years that we hve been in office.

On healthcare, we have also renovated some of our healthcare facilities across the local government. You will agree with me that with the paucity of funds, because what is coming from the federation account to the local government cannot take care of salaries and other eventualities,

But, we have been able to utilize it judiciously for the benefit of the people, though, we have also embarked on a number of infrastructural development like the Isokolo roundabout that was reconstructed and now giving the local government headquarters a befitting look.

We also relocated a good number of markets across the local government and have also embarked on the construction of a 750-seater-capacity civic centre in Okpara which is near completion and we expect that before the end of this year, the civic centre will be commissioned to the glory of God and a number of other things that we have done.

In this month of January, as part of our programme for the economic development of Ethiope East, we are have organised an agricultural summit where farmers across the state apart from those from Ethiope East attended as it was it officially opened by His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Elder Sheriff Oborevwori through the Commissioner for Commerce and Investments that was held at the local government pavilion in Isiokolo.

We embarked on this summit because government is continuity, no stop, so it is not about whether am rounding up my first tenure, by the grace of God, my second tenure is knocking at the door, so the objective of the summit is for us to bring together the farmers across the local government to come and showcase their farm produce for people to see what they have been doing and also to attract investment.

This has enabled us to see what our farmers have been producing and how investors can key into it. Some of them are into subsistence farming and which l hope attracted some investors who probably will partner with them and see how they can attract some industries that can bring about cassava mills, rice mills and others to the local government area and also to see how government can partner with them to increase their production.

When you look at all of these that we have done with the limited resources that have been available to us as a local government, you will agree with me that we have done very well and we have done our best to improve the lives of our people and we hope to do more by the grace of God.

You talked about limited funds, how were you able to raise funds to achieve these projects and the challenges you have been going through for the past years?

Let me start by thanking my amiable Governors, Sen. Arthur Ifeanyi Okowa and Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori, if not for both of them that have been augmenting for Ethiope East, I can tell you that the local government would have been owing salaries of workers. But whenever there is deficit from what is coming from the federation account, the state government augments to enable us pay wages and that is why we do not owe salaries as a local government. So the state has always come to our rescue and that is why we have been able to pay salaries up to date.

Election for council Chairmen will be coming up soon, are you going for a re-election?

Well, we cannot say. This administration is still running. Once the day for local government elections is announced by DSIEC, we will be able to come out to tell our people what our intentions are. But for now, since my administration still has some months, let’s focus on achieving our goals.

Sir, would you say you have fulfilled your campaign promises to deserve second term?

Well, only the electorate can speak on that but to the best of our knowledge, we will say yes of course, we have fulfilled our campaign promises. Most especially within what we told the people of Ethiope East we will do.

Today, we have a developmental blueprint for the local government.

It was the fulcrum of our campaign to the people of Ethiope East that we will be able to draw a road map for the development of the local government which we have fulfilled.

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We said within our first 100 days in office, we will convoke an economic summit which we did. We promised our people that there will be skills acquisition where we will train people on different skills which we have done. On the education sector, we told our people that we will support our parents in sending our children to school; which we have also done.

We also have other projects that we have been able to attract to the local government like the roundabout and some roads across the local government that were graded with our very limited resources that were available to us as a local government. I can boldly say that we have impacted the lives of our people and we have done excellently.

There is a rumour making the round that the chairman should go to Abraka because Agbon has had it too many times?

The truth is that every son and daughter of Ethiope East is eminently qualified to run for any elective position whether council Chairman or House of Assembly, and truth is that if you remember vividly when you interviewed me before, I came on board, I have always said that I represent Ethiope East. My father is from Agbon and my mother is from Abraka. So, if Abraka is entitled to become chairman of council, I am a true born of both Agbon and Abraka kingdoms.

And by the grace of God, today, I am a true son that has my blood flowing from the two areas of Ethiope East and I think that I am eminently qualified to represent the Agbor and Abraka people.

 Would you like to mention some of the projects that will commence in Ethiope East?

Unless I go back to the budget…but I know that in the course of preparing the budget, we put a lot of things in the budget through our representative In the House of Assembly, the Deputy Speaker, Commissioners and all of that. So we have a lot in the budget but I cannot start listing them.

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