Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta has urged players in the private sector in the country to partner the state government in the pursuit of sustainable development.
Okowa made the call on Thursday during the inauguration of the “Youth Sport Athletes Development Project”, (YSADP) at Government College, Ughelli in Ughelli North Local Government Area.
Our correspondent reports that the project was sponsored by the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), in collaboration with the Africare, an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).
The project, which has five schools across the state benefiting, was estimated to cost N534 million.
Mr Chiedu Ebie, the Delta State Commissioner for Basic and Secondary Education, represented the governor at the event.
He said that the state would continue to provide the right environment for private sector to operate.
Okowa said that the private sector was critical to any society aspiring to attain sustainable development, and urged it to identify with the needs of the Delta people.
“Government alone cannot attend to the needs of the people; there are many avenues through which the private sector and NGOs can partner to bring development to the people.
“No sacrifice is too much for any organisation in addressing the needs of the people. We will continue to provide the right environment for the private sector to operate,” he said.
Okowa described the project as a major turning point in the life of the students, and appealed to the users on good maintenance culture.
“I commend SPDC for the choice of project; it is a major turning point in the life of the students and the neighbouring communities.
“There is no doubt that the facility will increase the seriousness and athletic capacity of the students,” he said.
Mr Igo Weli, the General Manager, External Relations of SPDC, said that the level of social investment projects of the company would depend on uninterrupted production.
Weli was represented by Mr Emmanuel Ekpeyong, the Manager, SPDC Social Investment.
He said it was time for people to speak against crude oil theft, pipeline vandalism and other attendant damages to the environment.
“The survival and expansion of many social investment projects and programmes of Shell in Nigeria are dependent on sustained and an uninterrupted production.
“Our corporate commitment remains to deliver energy safely and responsibly to our people,’’ he said.