Osinbajo visits monarch, inaugurates projects in Delta

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Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo on Friday in Asaba, Delta State, paid a courtesy visit to the Asagba of Asaba, Prof. Chike Edozien, as part of his one-day working visit to the state.
The vice president was accompanied to the palace of the traditional ruler by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta.
Edozien, who broke kolanuts and offered prayers for Osinbajo, congratulated him over re-election as vice president.
He said that being a scholar and a pastor was a fine combination for a vice president of Nigeria.
The monarch, however, said that Asaba was not properly factored in the construction of the second Niger Bridge and sought federal government’s intervention.
He also appealed to the vice president to look into the epileptic power supply in the town.
Edozien reminded the vice president of an earlier request made to the Federal Government for the establishment of a federal university in Asaba.
In his response, Osinbajo pledged to look into the requests and address them accordingly.
He said: “I have listened carefully at all the very important requests that you have made beginning with the 2nd Niger Bridge and how it is that Asaba may not have been given a fair share of the activities going on there.
“I will find out what it is that have been agreed to be done and you can be sure that we will do what is fair and just.
“I want to say that the 2nd Niger Bridge project is a very important one for the Federal Government.
“The president in particular not only negotiated the facilities that we are using to build it but is paying special attention to it.”
On power supply, Osinbajo said that as of 2005 when the privatisation of the power sector took place, both generation and distribution went to the private sector.
He regretted that those to whom the assets were given were not necessarily companies or individuals who had the resources to provide power; to meter and to maintain the assets.
Osinbajo said that the private sector, having taken over distribution assets and generation assets had been unable to deliver in the way expected of them.
He said that upon assumption of office, the present administration had so far invested in terms of support facilities, N700 billion payment assurance guarantee and an earlier N200 billion.
He said: “We are in the process of investing another N600 billion but the president has decided that we have to take a second look at the sector because one of the critical reasons why we have a problem is because each of the DisCos controls territories.
“So what we are now saying is that anybody who can provide power; any power company that can provide power end to end should be able to take over a territory such as this and provide power to the people.
“And once that is done and we are able to break some of the existing monopolies, whether the power is on grid or off grid, it will serve the people well.
“So, we need to open up the sector, which is one of the reasons the president has asked that we take a second look at how the sector is structured.
“We have tried that in a few places for example in Sabon Gari market and Ariaria market and also Sura in Lagos.”
On request for a federal university in Asaba, Osinbajo said that such could only come through an Act of the Parliament and advised the state’s legislators in the National Assembly to come with a bill to that effect.
The vice president afterwards inaugurated the Affordable Housing Project at Issele-Azagba, Delta State.
The project is part of Federal Government’s special housing intervention programme.
The estate which comprises 650 housing units for low-income earners was developed by the Family Homes Funds in partnership with Delta State Government.
Osinbajo had earlier visited Ogulagha Kingdom, an oil producing community where he inaugurated a 20 kilometre Obotobo Road constructed by Okowa.
He also met with N-Power beneficiaries, Harriet Azurundu and Mary James, who used their monthly stipends to equip the Otokutu Primary Health Care Centre in Ughelli South with a laboratory worth N100,000.