Director-General of Warri and Effurun Development Agency, Chief Ovuozorie Macaulay, on Thursday said that his first assignment as he resumed at the agency will be to clear the city of Warri of filth littering the nooks and crannies of the city and change the landscape of the oil-rich city.
Macaulay, who was sworn in with the Director-General of Asaba Capital Territory Development Agency, Mrs. Joan Mrakpor, said for the new agency to achieve its objective of changing the narrative and ensuring the emergence of a beautiful city, the agency will, of necessity, step on toes and many will make sacrifices for the expected dream to materialise.
The former secretary to Delta state government, who addressed journalists in his sprawling residence in Asaba, noted: “I know the sensitivity of the people of the area. I’m going there with an open mind.
“Warri is full of kiosks and caravans. First, we must clear Warri to become a clean environment. And in making it a clean environment, we are going to step on toes.
“You cannot put a beautiful edifice without destroying the bad one that was there. So, we must step on toes and people must be ready to make that sacrifice for Warri to be clean.
“For Warri to be that kind of city we are looking forward to, we must eliminate all those street trading, roadside trading, all those caravans must go and we must clean the environment of the dirt before we talk of drainage. That, by the grace of God, will be our first assignment.”
Macaulay, who battled Warri crisis during the administration of former Governor James Ibori, insisted that being a pioneer Director-General of the agency was no big deal to him as he has pioneered different bodies in the state where he made huge progress.
As the commissioner for conflict resolution in the government of Chief James Ibori, he championed the fight against the historic Warri crisis and he brought it to a standstill.
He said the expectation of Warri people will be met just as he pleaded with the people and youths to pray for the state, noting that it is only in the atmosphere of peace will the needed development be achieved.
He said: “Let them pray for the state because first, we must ensure that there is peace. We call on the leaders of the area and the youths, in particular, to give me and the agency the necessary environment to carry out our functions
“Two, we plead with our youths of the Niger Delta to reduce restiveness if not eliminate it so that the state can get money.
“The source of money for the whole of this country is from the oil. And once that oil is not flowing from your area, of course, your revenue decreases.
“Because of the restiveness of the Niger Delta, particularly the Delta part of it, Delta state went to number four but today by the grace of God, it’s gone up to number one.
“So we need not only to sustain that number one but to increase production because if the governor does not get enough money, you will not expect him to put money into the agency.
“It is the more money he gets that will encourage him to fund that agency adequately but if the agency is not adequately funded because there is no money, there is no magic anybody is going to do.
“So, for the miracles we are expecting to happen the agency has to be properly funded and for the agency to be properly funded, the governor has to get more money from the federal allocation. And for him to get more money from the federal allocation there must be peace in the oil-bearing communities.”