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Delta 2023: The MORE Agenda’s Promise of Realistic Reforms…(ii)

By Paul Odili

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MORE Agenda

Previously we looked at the {E} component— Enhance Peace and Security – of the More Agenda, an overview of PDP’s Governorship candidate Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborevwori’s administration programme on peace and security, when elected into office next year. This second installment of the MORE agenda, looks at its reform programme, the {R} component termed, Realistic Reforms.

No two Governments are alike. That is to say that while the MORE programme have similar profiles, promises, and projections – even a continuum of previous Governments’ programmes, since 1999, it is not necessarily an incarnation of its predecessor administrations. As is often the case, life is not static, the dynamism of things continues to evolve on a daily basis, sometimes imperceptibly even to the knowledge of the expert, astute, observer.

In this context, the desire to have a reform programme as a key plank of what the Oborevwori’s administration seeks to do is a welcome one and should be acknowledged as such.  The reform roadmap looks at a range of areas and sectors that can be adjudged as possible critical success factors of any administration and these are: governance, civil service, human capital, finance, communication/mass mobilization, investor reforms, industrialization, sustainable agriculture, etc.

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Indeed, the preamble of the Realistic Reforms package adumbrates, the forgoing point, that while: “Consolidating the work done by the current administration in moving Delta forward, my Government will implement realistic reforms that will produce long-lasting results, good governance, and excellent service delivery.” In other words, this will be a Government of incremental changes.

And the engines that will drive this reform programme are: leadership, character, and total commitment. This is an obvious cliché but it bears pointing out that the extent to which the administration when voted into office is able to deliberately and systematically implement this programme will make all the difference. The truth is that Deltans love their State and would like to support a Government that shows sincerity and will. And so it is up to the incoming administration to attract, encourage, motivate and position those with these essential qualities and characteristics that will make this agenda a success.

The MORE Agenda further highlights interesting and two exciting components amongst others: “strengthening statistical capacity to improve data collection and management mechanism for evidence-based planning and performance evaluation” and secondly “strengthening monitoring and evaluation teams to ensure due diligence in the execution of projects”, is for me a game-changer if executed with the focused discipline these two undertakings demands.  

Funding your data acquisition adequately and thus getting it right is extremely vital, and then subjecting it to periodic review, integrating it seriously in your forecasting, budgeting and planning will have a very major impact and a surefire guarantee of high-quality deliverables. If this is done as I believe Rt.Hon. Oborevwori is determined to, Deltans are going to be surprised how quickly they begin to see changes in their lives, when followed with robust monitoring and evaluation programme, governed by transparent reporting, will make the incoming administration’s life much easier. The truth is that combined together they make the implementation of projects, programmes, and interventions more targeted, robust, and impactful.

In terms of financial reforms, the MORE Agenda amongst other promises seeks to “review existing IGR sub-heads for viability; create new ones given the dynamism in the operating environment, especially with the increasing strategy of International Oil Companies (IOCs) outsourcing a lot of their contracts. We shall track and legislate on them,” it said. This should be music to the ears of a lot of contractors and small-scale entrepreneurs in the area of operations of IOCs. This will be a Government that will pay close attention to what is happening in the gas and oil sub-sector.

One key item that caught the eye in the agriculture reform programme is the “promotion of market-oriented agricultural production systems and sustainable linkages between agriculture and industry.”  This is laudable and is an important indication of what can expand and grow the agriculture sub-sector in making a greater contribution to the economy of the State.

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Overall this summary of the {R} component of the MORE agenda has skirted so many other details. There are two central objectives of this analysis, to present a high-level overview of the governing agenda of the Delta Speaker’s vision as he mounts the campaign trail seeking public support for his platform to govern Delta State from next year.

The second objective is to stimulate public interest to pick up the document and study it for themselves. There is no doubt that this is a well-structured agenda, if implemented with the commitment, leadership, and competence, should completely transform the State – Deltans expect this from the incoming PDP administration led by Rt. Hon. Oborevwori. He has a workable document, the energy, ambition, and drive to do it. There’s hope for Delta State.

© Paul Odili is a member of the Delta State PDP Campaign Council

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