Why Uduaghan's Delta Beyond Oil initiative is gaining global acclaim -Ogeah

By The Citizen

With the global drive towards green economy and the need to de-emphasize wholesale reliance on the exploitation of natural deposits, the initiative by Delta State Government to adopt a wholistic approach to development has become a template not just for the rest of the country, but beyond.

Known as Delta Beyond Oil, it is an initiative enunciated by Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan, the governor, to effect a paradigm shift from the nearly 100 per cent reliance on revenue from crude oil in driving the state's economy. Its aim is to harness other resources to create a vibrant economy away from oil which is a finite resource.

This was stated by the state Commissioner for Information, Chike Ogeah.

Speaking in Lagos at the weekend on ChannelsTelevision's Sunrise programme, he said the areas of emphasis in weaning Delta State from dependence on oil are agriculture, information and communication technology (ICT), developing other natural resources, including solid minerals, developing the huge manpower base, and creating a clement environment for investment and private enterprise to thrive.

'The vision entails the development of a strong infrastructural base viz modern roads, efficient water transportation, efficient healthcare system, a world class educational system.

Delta Beyond Oil is not a physical structure in terms of a building, but an enduring vision to prepare the state for the inevitable drying up of hydro-carbon deposits. In effect, the vision does not come with any cost.

'The vision recognises the fact that despite a relatively significant revenue from oil, Delta is faced with huge challenges, especially in the cost of developing critical infrastructure due to its tough terrain,' Ogeah stated.

'The game changing initiative and the accomplishments recorded so far attracted a medley of recognitions and awards by reputable local and international media houses and other  organizations,' the commissioner said.

Among the awards recently conferred on Dr. Uduaghan are the Man of the Year 2013 by three mainstream newspapers, including The Sun,Vanguard, Leadership and Nigerian Pilot. From Dublin, Republic of Ireland, came theInternational Outstanding  

Leadership Award by  Metro Eireann, the country's multi-cultural newspaper.

On the successful kidney transplant accomplished at the state University Teaching Hospital (DELSUTH), Oghara, on Monday, January 13, 2014, he said the stage is now set for the state to become Nigeria's medical tourism destination.

The kidney transplant, the first of its kind in the country, followed the successful knee cap and hip replacement surgeries earlier undertaken in the hospital last year.