Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, has shed light on why he and other Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governors declined to implement the Treasury Single Account, TSA, in their states, despite the clear stand of the Federal Government on it.
The governor, who made the statement while delivering his first year performance report in Asaba, cleared the air on the increase in his expenditure approval limit to N250 million against the N50 million provision in the previous regimes of ex- governors James Ibori and Emmanuel Uduanghan.
Okowa washed his hands off any underhand dealings in the state-government-owned Independent Power Project, IPP, project, Oghara, which government had expended over N19 billion with the project still uncompleted.
Confessing that he has had sleepless nights governing the state because of the challenges, he said he was happy that despite the economic recession, government has provided over 17,000 jobs for the unemployed, built at least 54 roads and distributed N564 million to over 3,000 person as loans to the underprivileged. He threw a jab at his Edo State counterpart, Mr Adams Oshiomhole, who recently boasted that he would defeat him (Okowa) in an electoral contest in Delta State, saying that his (Oshiomhole) comment was pointless.
“In the first instance, there are so many states of the All Progressives Congress, APC that have not embraced TSA. This is something that we have been studying, it is not just enough, we have to study it so that we do not make any mistakes, we are aware that there are many gains in the TSA, we are also aware that we need to also apply it wisely.
“We need to understudy it and the Commissioner of Finance is still understudying it. By the grace of God, a very good aspect of it, we will adopt, so we may likely be going into a modified TSA that will not impact negatively on our commercial banks,” he said.
On the IPP, the governor stated, “Yes, I was SSG when the project was awarded, but I was not directly involved in the award of the project. I was neither Commissioner for Energy nor was I directly involved in anything that concerns the project. I can pride myself that I did not receive one kobo for the project and that is why I can speak authoritatively and with a very clear conscience concerning the IPP project.”