NIGERIA: Royal Father Supports Delta-Beyond-oil Initiative

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 An Urhobo traditional ruler, His Royal Majesty, Emmanuel Sideso, Abe I, the Ovie of Uvwie Kingdom, has urged Delta people at home and abroad to work towards the success of Delta-beyond-oil vision of the Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan administration.

He noted that since oil was an exhaustible resource, the vision of Governor Uduaghan to build a sustainable local economy that was independent of oil proceeds should be supported.

The Ovie of Uvwie, who spoke when members of the Delta State Board of Internal Revenue (DBIR) visited him at his Palace in Effurun, advised the people to "key into the vision" as a matter of urgency.

“Uduaghan is showing wisdom by initiating programmes that were not thought of when Nigeria experienced boom in the oil and gas industry but failed to look beyond the boom,” he said.

Abe I, who restated his full support for the Uduaghan's administration, said he was particularly impressed by the obvious determination of the governor to lay a solid foundation for a diversified economy in Delta State.

He congratulated the Chairman of the DBIR, Hon. Joel Onowakpo-Thomas, for initiatives that have yielded unprecedented results in internal revenue generation.

The royal father said, "When you mention Delta State Beyond Oil, which is very good and I think these are the areas we left or never thought of when oil boom started. We neglected agriculture and some of the things we ought to use for revenue generation.

"It is not only in Delta State but all over the country. But now that we are thinking better because oil can dry up one day, which we don't pray for but it will happen. Delta State Beyond Oil is a welcome venture, a welcome project. And I think we will all support and make sure that our people benefit.

"The other area which I would like also to mention is accountability. Yes, we are ready to ensure that taxes are paid, but there are certain infrastructures to be in place to reflect our contribution. Such things like security, light, roads, hospitals, these are areas the common man will benefit immensely without stress which you know very well. Now that your "company" is growing, remember us when you are employing. We will continue to give you our support."

Earlier, the DBIR chairman said the governor was pleased with the support of the Uvwie monarch for his administration, urging him to sustain the prevailing atmosphere of peace that has engendered a faster pace of development in Uvwie.

He noted that increase in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) would make it possible for the vision of Delta State Beyond Oil, and expressed happiness that monthly IGR in the state had increased to N5.74 billion in January this year, from N1.2 billion when he assumed office several years ago.

Onowakpo-Thomas said, "What the state government is doing is to raise critical infrastructures to support Delta Beyond Oil. I know that it is difficult to achieve this. Your Royal Majesty, I want to assure you that the ground work is set to create sustainable development in Delta State."

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