Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barr George Ariolu has bagged the 2022 Port Harcourt Magazine Local Government Chairman of the Year Award.
The award was formally presented to the No.1 Citizen of Obio/Akpor during an event held at the Autograph Event Centre, Abacha Road, to recognise efforts of Nigerians, particularly political leaders, entrepreneurs and brands who have influenced, motivated and contributed immensely to the growth and development of the society.
The organisers of the Port Harcourt Magazine Award said the recognition was given to Ariolu because of his accomplishments in human capacity development, infrastructure and prudent management of scarce resources.
Presenting the Award to the Chairman on Sunday at the Autograph Event Centre, Abacha Road, veteran seafarer, Admiral O. P Fingesi (Rtd) praised the Chairman for his efforts in transforming the Local Government into an investment hub.
He commended the Chairman for his commitment to the development of youths, urging him to sustain the pace.
Speaking after receiving the PHMA Awards, Ariolu described the award as a call to continue in his service to the LGA, state and Nigeria to the best of his ability.
He said, “Let me thank the organisers of this award very specially. I’m not an award person, people who know me, know me very well, I’ve rejected so many, but this particular award, I couldn’t resist accepting it and I think what you have done to me and the entire Obio/Akpor people is to tell us that what we are doing, you are seeing. The little we are doing, you are also applauding.”
“I think by this award today, its going to spur us more. For those of you that are not aware of the little we have done, we are more into human capacity development”, he continued.
Ariolu dedicated the award to members of his cabinet and the good people of Obio/Akpor, saying that their support for his administration made it possible for him to work assiduously towards the improvement of the LGA.
The Chairman also thanked his wife and children for the sacrifices they make to enable him serve the people.
He said while recounting some of his administration’s achievements that the Local Government has entrenched good governance through the delivery of projects and programmes that improve the living condition of the people, enthroned transparency and accountability as well as worked within the ambit of the law.
Ariolu said, “If you check through your media space, you will know that Obio/Akpor Local Government Area under my watch have given scholarship to fifty indigines of Obio/Akpor to do their Ph.D, we have also given scholarship to fifty of our wards to do their masters degree. We have finished paying them their scholarship money, we are not owing any of them”.
“Those of them that are doing their masters, so many have graduated, the ones in the Ph.D are rounding up as it stands and we believe that we are going to take the next tranche of it by this September, we are going to call for more applications to train another fifty Ph.D and another fifty Masters degree”, he added.
The Council boss who explained further, reiterated his desires to ensure human capacity development is promoted amongst youths in the area.
According to Ariolu, his administration in September 2022 will commence the training of more youths in various vocational skills acquisition to enable them remain independent amidst the harsh state of the Nigerian economy.
“We also have nine of our wards that we are training in Charkin Maritime Academy and training in that school is highly capital intensive but we are doing it, we are training nine of them. Its taking us four point two million to train one person and we are training nine as it stands”, Ariolu stated.
“The cache in all of these is that you are aware that Obio/Akpor is cosmopolitan, we don’t only have indigenous population. In all of these persons we have given these grants and awards, we also have the non-indigenes benefitting, non-indigenes that are not from Obio/Akpor and those of them that are not from Rivers State and we desire to do more.”
“In the area of physical infrastructure, if you come to Obio/Akpor, you will see that it is no longer what it used to be and for us, we believe and stand strongly that governance is all about service and adding value to the individual person for the prosperity of tomorrow”, he concluded.
Other award recipients are; Chief Whip and Member of Rivers State House of Assembly representing Ogu/Bolo Constituency who was honoured with the Legislator of the Year award and On-Air-Personality, Olalekan Da ‘Osquare of Love 97.7 fm, Port Harcourt as OAP