Cross River Signs N3.2 billion Water Project With Chinese Company

Water2The Cross River State government has signed its last phase of contract for the construction and extension of water production and distribution system in the state as part of efforts to improve the living standard as well as the sanitary conditions of its citizenry.

Upon conclusion, the Obubura Urban Renewal Project which is the last to be executed by the present administration is expected to be of benefit to over two million of its urban settlers across the state.

Deputy Governor of the state, Efiok Cobham, disclosed at the signing of the contract between the state government and a Chinese firm, which will handle the N3.2 billion project.

Reemphasising the importance of portable water to the Obubura community, he charged the contracting firm to bring its over 20 years of experience in the sector to bear, by delivering high quality service.

He noted that meeting the needs of the rural populace has been the desire of the present administration.

The completion of all the water projects already signed, he added, will place Cross River State as one the few states in the country to meet the Millennium Development Goals next year.

Commissioner for Water Resources, Elemi Etowa affirmed that all the necessary facilities in terms of funding needed to actualize the water projects have been secured from donor agencies and government is working towards the full implementation within the shortest possible time.

The Contract according to him which is funded by the World Bank is in fulfillment of the Governor Liyel Imoke-led administration strategy drive of providing hygienic and safe drinking water for all residents in Cross River State.

The contractor handling the project, Ye Shuijim promised adequate delivering of the project according to specification and on time.

FEC Approves Construction Contracts For 17 Roads And Bridges

FECThe Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved  contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 17 roads and bridges across the country to the tune of N470 billion.

Briefing State House correspondents after the council meeting, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolemeimen, who joined the Supervising Minister of Information, Nurudeen Mohammed, in the briefing said that the construction of the roads and bridges would generate employment for Nigerian engineers, technicians, artisans, and unskilled labour workers.

He also said that after their completion, the roads and bridges would improve the socioeconomic activities within the affected communities, reduce operating costs, travel time and accidents on the roads.

The 17 contracts are spread across the country including Borno, Yobe, Gombe, Rivers, Bayelsa, Delta, Enugu, Nasarawa, Abia, Niger, Kogi, Cross-River, Lagos and Kaduna states.

Also approved by FEC is the variation cost on the contract for the Gbaregolor-Ogriagbene road in Delta State and the Oron-Calabar East-West road phase one in Cross River State.

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan.

Oshiomhole Marks 6th Anniversary Of Inauguration As Governor

adams_oshiomoleEdo State governor, Adams Oshiomhole on Wednesday recounted his administration’s achievements in the past 6 years, at an event which held at the Samuel Ogbemudia Stadium in Benin.

Elders in the All Progressives Congress, including two presidential aspirants – Atiku Abubakar and Muhammadu Buhari, Audu Ogbeh, Imo Governor – Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Sokoto state – Aliyu Wamakko, Bola Tinubu as well as the Deputy governor of Edo, Oba of Benin, Dr Pius Odubu, Edo State APC Chairman, Barr Anselm Ojezua and Edo Chief of Staff, Hon. Patrick Obahiaghon.

Party supporters, market women, civil society groups were also present.

Addressing the crowd, Atiku, who spoke on behalf of himself and Buhari, noted that “six years ago, Edo State was liberated.

“Today we can see true transformation on the ground”, he said, casting a shade on the PDP’s transformation agenda, which he said was merely being carried out on the media.

“Go to any APC State, you will see true transformation” he said, noting that reports heard in PDP states were “all lies”.

He further campaigned for support for the forth coming elections, asking the crowd to vote in APC in all states of the federation.

Recounting his achievements in his 6th year as governor, Oshiomhole said “we are here to mark six years of revolutionary changes in Edo state”

According to him, the state was on “cloud minus zero” when he became governor but noted that his administration had brought change to the state. He stressed on his administration’s efforts regarding infrastructure, water resources and health.

His speech was partly a comparison between PDP and APC administration in the state, as well as preparing the people for the forthcoming elections.

“APC will defeat the president in Bayelsa,” he said adding that the opposition will defeat the PDP in Rivers, Cross River, Delta States.

On the 2015 general election, he said “by February next year, we will not vote on the basis of tribalism. We will vote on the basis of who provides power”.

He maintained that “for as long as PDP is in power, Nigeria people will be out of power”.

Dame Patience Urges Women To Aspire For Leadership Positions

Patience JonathanNigeria’s First Lady, Dame Patience Jonathan has urged Nigerian women to always aspire for leadership positions in order to contribute to the overall development of the country.

Dame Patience made the call in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital while launching the state chapter of her non-governmental organization, Women for Change and Development Initiative (W4CDI).

She also distributed empowerment materials and foodstuffs to womenfolk in the state.

She said gone are the days when women were believed not to have capabilities to hold higher posts or be saddled with higher responsibilities, adding that women appointees under President Jonathan have proved the cynics wrong.

Dame Patience who distributed bags of foodstuff and working materials like hair dryers and sewing machines to women across the 16 local governments of the state urged them to continue supporting the Jonathan administration for more dividends of democracy.

The wives of the governors of Kogi, Benue and Cross River also lauded the initiative of the wife of the president which they said has positively touched the lives of millions of women in the country.

Cross River Govt. Unveils 2014 Carnival Calabar Theme

Calabar carnivalThe Carnival Calabar often referred to as Africa’s biggest street party has become for Cross River State and its people, an ideal tool for tourism and ultimately Socio-economic development.

Ten years after it was introduced into the state by the former governor, Donald Duke, the private sector has now taken its full ownership for onward sustainability.

According to the state’s Deputy Governor, Efiok Cobham, while unveiling the 2014 Carnival theme which is ‘’Celebration Time’’ at the Millennium’s Park in Calabar the Cross River State capital, ownership by the private sector would open more window of opportunities for all sectors of the economy.

He also used the occasion to flag off the first dry run ahead of the main event scheduled for December.

The unveiling was followed by three mock rehearsals on different occasions along a 12km route to get the floats ready and in shape for the mega show.

According to tourists who frequent the city at this period, the Carnival Calabar is always a time they look forward to for originality and content which is usually displayed by five competitive bands; The Bayside Band (Blue), Passion Four (Green), Seagulls Band (Red), Master Blasta (Orange) and Freedom Band (Yellow).

The bands are expected to work hard to interpret the theme of the carnival come December 27, 2014, through their dance, float, and costumes as it affects the people of the state.

Marking its 10th year anniversary and the last carnival to be witnessed by the present administration while in office, the State Government has promised that the 2014 Carnival Calabar would leave participants and viewers across the world with many surprises.

Group Launches “Colors of the Land” To Celebrate Nigeria’s Historical Landmarks

Colours of the LandCultural, Historical Art group “ASIRI” has launched its Colors of the Land” Art Project to Celebrate the 10 UNESCO Cultural Landmarks in Nigeria in celebration of September 27th World Tourism Day.

Asiri prides itself as being a preserver of Nigeria’s cultural heritage, history values and lifestyle.

The founder, Damola Ogundele, explained that the essence of the new project “is to use art as a medium to make Nigeria and its Tourism agencies all around the country appreciate the essence of our cultural and historical landmarks and also use this as pointers that these landmarks can be preserved and used as a major source of income for the country via the Tourism Industry and also encourage the use of art as a medium of change and a tool for positive enlightenment”.

Some of these historical landmarks include:

1) Sukur cultural landscape Adamawa; located on top of the plains on the Mandara Mountains in a place called Madagali, Adamawa state. The Sukur Cultural Landscape is Nigeria’s first landmark to be inscribed on UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1999.

2) Oshun-Oshogbo Groove; Located a few miles from ile-ife, the cradle of Yoruba civilisation, the Oshun Oshogbo groove is the mysterious and scared groove for the Oshun goddess one of the wives of the 4th Alaafin of Oyo, Sango, who defied death and became a god. The groove speaks of the essence of Yoruba culture with its different works of art in carvings and sculptures. The groove was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2005.

3) Oban hills, Cross River; Established in 1988 as a part of the Cross River National park , the Oban hills is a natural habitat for wildlife and plants of unknown species. Breath taking beauty, the Oban hills speaks of the great unspeakable beauty of Nigeria’s forestry.

4) Kano Walls Built in the 14th Century, the Great Walls of Kano is a clear testimony of undefined Sophistication and rare specialisation of the Nigerian people in ancient times, built to protect and control trade in the ancient city of Kano. The 14km radius earth monument stands apart like the Great Walls of China as they were built in the same century. The Walls was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2007.

5) Oke idanre hills Ondo; Mysterious in look, the real natives of the Hills over the years speak of the mysterious and powerful powers that lies in the great Idanre Hills in Ondo state, blessed with magnificent stones that is about 3,000 feet above the sea level. It was listed in 2007 on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage sites.

6) Ogbumike Caves Anambra; Known as one of the greatest wonder of the East, the Ogbumike Caves according to legend was discovered by a hunter called “Ukwa”. It is associated with spiritual and historical significance and listed in 2007 on the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The caves can be descended in a 317 steps.

7) Alok Ikom Monoliths Cross Rivers; Over time, the mystery of how the Alok Ikom Monoliths came into existence has been a subject of debate and many mysterious tales by the natives of the area. 300 carved stones that are upright with heights that varies and grouped in circles, each facing one another. The size and markings on the stones has been dated to about centuries ago and still a subject of study by Historians. in 2008, it was added to the tentative list of the UNESCO World Heritage Site.

8) Gashaka-Gimpti National Park Taraba; Situated within the Mountain of Death, Chappal Wadi and Mountain of Wind, Chappal Hendu. The Gashaka-Gimpti National Park is a home to the rarest species of primates and houses giant forest hogs, chimpanzees, leopard, lion, hippopotamus, yellow-backed ducker, hartebeest and buffalo and birds.

9) Arochukwu Long juju Slave route Abia; Said to be the home of the shrine of Ibin Ukpabi with a domineering cult statute of Kamalu-‘The Ancient Warrior god’ still standing. It contains an altar, a water fall and there is a six foot gully that leads people to this cave temple. The mysterious stories and myth surrounding this cave can be told over a long course of a life time and all stories considered true. The cave was listed in 2007 on the tentative list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. There is a famous feature the Iyi-Eke which was an outlet for slaves to be transported to Calabar.

10) Surame Cultural Lands Sokoto; Surame is an ancient city in Sokoto State, created in the 16th Century by Muhammadu Kanta Sarkin Kebbi and abandoned in the `1700. It is regarded as one of the world’s wonders of the human civilisation, ingenuity and creativity. It’s wall is made of massive stones and has a Palace of the Hidi; the Chief of the village. It was declared as an ancient Nigeria’s National Monument in 1964 and added in the Cultural and Natural category of the UNESCO World Heritage Tentative List in 2007.

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INEC Extends Phase 2 Of Voters’ Registration In 12 States


The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has extended the phase two of the Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise for seven days in 12 states, starting from Monday at their different Local Government Areas

INEC is extending phase two of the exercise to allow those who are yet to register partake in the execersie.

The commission, however, said it was impressed by the large turnout of eligible voters but regretted that the heavy rains during the period of the exercise, from August 20 to 25, did not allow much people to take part in the exercise.

Meanwhile, the extension which begins on September 22 and ends on September 28, INEC said, would start at 8.00am and end at 4.00pm each day.

The states in this phase include; Anambra, Bauchi, Cross River, Delta , Ebonyi and the Federal Capital Territory.

Others are Jigawa, Kwara, Ondo, Oyo, Sokoto and Yobe States.

2015 Election: Jonathan Gets South-south Governors’ Endorsement

south south2

Governors and leaders of the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in the South-south have endorsed President Goodluck Jonathan as the party’s presidential candidate in the 2015 general elections.

The endorsement came at the party’s stakeholder’s meeting called by the national chairman of the PDP, Mr Ahmadu Mua’zu as part of his zonal tour on South-south.

At the meeting, it became clear that, although President Jonathan has not declared his intention of running in the election, his endorsement was enough to motivate him to run in the presidential  election.

The leaders of the region in a communique read at the end of the meeting by former Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative, Honourable Chibudom Nwuche, hinged their endorsement of the President on the giant strides recorded by his administration across all sectors.

The meeting was held at the main bowl of the cultural centre in calabar, the Cross River State capital.

Thousands of party faithful, including their leaders gathered in the hall to throw their support for the re-election of the President Jonathan as president for a second term in office come 2015.

It is the first zonal meeting of the South-south for this cause since  Mr Mua’zu became the national chairman of the party.

One after the other, representatives of the region as well as other supporters pledged their unalloyed and unwavering support in pursuing his transformation Agenda.

While urging Nigerians to keep identifying with the PDP, Mr Mua’zu asked party members to guard against conducts that would lead to division in the party.

The communique was signed by Governors Godswill Akpabio of Akwa Ibom State, Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State, Liyel Imoke of Cross River State and Emmanuel Uduaghan of Delta State.

Those in attendance beside the governors were Mr Tony Anenih, the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the PDP, Gombe State Governor, Mr Ibrahim Dakwambo, the South-south in the National Assembly and the state chairmen of the party from the six South-south states amongst others.

2015 Elections: INEC To Commence PVC Distribution In August 15

Mike-Igini2Ahead of the 2015 elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it will begin the distribution of Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) in Cross River State from August 15 to 25 across the 18 Local Government Areas.

At a stakeholder’s forum on CVR and PVC distribution held at the INEC office in Calabar, the Cross River State capital, the Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mike Igini, said that the forum was meant to sensitise stakeholders who will in turn educate the masses on the importance of the exercise.

Representative of different political parties, religious and traditional organisations, security agencies, media representatives and the civil society are all represented in the gathering to get first-hand knowledge of the Permanent Voters Cards and the Continuous Voter Registration.

Addressing the gathering, the INEC boss averred that, the PVCs would be distributed across all the polling units in the state, starting from Friday, August 15 to 17, while the CVR would commence on the 20 to 25 of August.

“The CVR is an exercise for Nigerians who have attained the age of 18, those who did not register in 2011 and those whose names are not on the Electronic Register and not issued PVCs after the distribution exercise.

“The masses are at the registration centres expected to present birth certificate, national identity card, passport or any credible document to prove identity, age and nationality of self, an old Temporary Voters Card and the thumbprint would be taken again as evidence of collection,” Mr Igini  explained.

Some stakeholders pledged their support in ensuring a hitch free exercise. The Bakassi representatives also urged INEC to reconcile issues that may hinder them in exercising their franchise in the coming elections.

The commission reminded the participants that offenders caught for selling or buying PVCs as well as denying the holder the right to vote would be liable to two years imprisonment.

Group Blames Judiciary For Indulging Corrupt Public Officers

JUDICIAL COURT STRIKEThe Technical Unit on Government and Anti-Corruption Reforms (TUGAR) has identified corruption and weak judicial system as the reason why mismanagement of public finances continue to thrive in Nigeria.

TUGAR made this declaration in Abuja during the public presentation of a report on GAP analysis of anti-corruption initiatives in public finance management system in Nigeria.

The survey, which was the third phase of similar exercise by the agency, covers ten Nigerian states, including Cross River, Jigawa, Nasarawa and Katsina.

The report says that fiscal indiscipline was prevalent in the states and attributes the mismanagement in the states to weak judicial system.

A Professor of Criminology and Sociology of Law, Etannibi Alemika, while reviewing the report, noted that legal regulations practice and implementation of anti-corruption measures in public finance management were weak in most states of the federation.

Past and present administrations in states and federal levels have set up various anti-corruption initiatives to fight corruption and public finance mismanagement. However, these efforts were deemed not to have yielded much result.

The Executive Secretary of Nigeria Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (NEITI), Zainab Ahmed, advised that citizens must take advantage of such initiatives and reports like TUGAR’s to put more pressure on government for a change.

As a way of finding solution to financial corruption in public offices, the report recommends among others, that anti-corruption agencies should use audit reports regarding affairs of government at all levels to prosecute infringements on due processes.

NSCDC Seeks Collaboration To Curb Insecurity In Nigeria

ben 2The Cross River State Commandant of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) Dr Benito Eze has said that security agencies will hand over victory to terrorists carrying out series of attacks in the northeast.

At a Security Summit organised for officers of the command as well as representatives various security agencies and members of the public, Dr Eze said that despite the incessant attacks by suspected member of the Boko Haram terrorist group, security agents would continue to evolve new strategies to checkmate their activities until the issue of terrorism was completely a thing of the past in Nigeria.

The NSCDC senior official explained that the summit was meant to seek a way forward in the counter-terrorism operation in Nigeria by the state command of NSCDC.

According to him, Insecurity is a global menace that requires intelligence and information gathering against the attackers.

He also advocated for a strong collaboration among the various security agencies and members of the public for an efficient and effective security service delivery which is part of why the summit was held.

The State Security Adviser to the Cross River State government, Rekpene Bassey, enjoined the summit to review tactical and operational strategies of field workers who are at the thick of the security situation in order to come out with operational guide.


INEC Announces New Dates For Phase 2 Of PVC Distribution, CVR

INEC bannerThe Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has rescheduled the second phase of its programme of distribution of Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) and Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) involving 12 states.

In a statement by the Chief Press Secretary to INEC Chairman, Kayode Robert Idowu, the PVCs would now be distributed at the polling unit level in the affected states from Friday, August 15, 2014 to Sunday, August 17, 2014; instead of July 18 to July 20 as was earlier scheduled.

At the end of the polling unit level distribution, uncollected PVCs would be taken to respective local government offices of the Commission for subsequent distribution.

CVR in the affected states would also be from Wednesday, August 20, 2014, to Monday, August 25, 2014; instead of July 23 to July 27 as was earlier scheduled.

The states involved in the second phase of the programme are Yobe, Bauchi (North East), Jigawa, Sokoto (North West), FCT, Kwara (North Central), Anambra, Ebonyi (South East), Ondo, Oyo (South West) and Delta, Cross River (South South).

With the rescheduling of Phase 2 of the programme, new dates would be announced later for Phase 3 involving Adamawa, Borno, Kaduna, Katsina, Kano, Plateau, Nasarawa, Niger, Imo, Lagos, Ogun, Edo and Rivers states.