Africa To Get More Space In FIFA Competitions – Pinnick

pinnickPresident of the Nigeria Football Federation, Mr Amaju Pinnick, says plans are ongoing to get more space for African teams in FIFA competitions.

The newly elected executive member of the Confederation of African Football (CAF) confirmed that the number of teams in CAF competitions would also be increased.

On the development of football in Nigeria, he gave assurance that Nigerian referees would be given their pride of place in the comity of nations during his tenure.

Mr Pinnick made the remarks when he visited the Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, in Asaba, the state’s capital.

He thanked Governor Okowa for his support in the development of human resources in the state, south-south Nigeria.

“l am in the state to say a big thank you to you and the people of the state for your encouragement and support for my election,” the NFF President said.

Governor Okowa, on his part assured Pinnick that his administration remains committed to the development of human resources and sports infrastructure in Nigeria.

He congratulated the NFF President on his election into the CAF Executive Committee, and his appointment into the FIFA Organising Committee.

“We give glory to God for your success in your election. I believe that when God has blessed a process to be, no one can stop it. I want to urge you to continue to look up to God and stay committed to your duty as you move on.

“We as a state look forward to greater things that will come your way but be rest assured that we will continually give the best of our support. We are confident in your ability and understanding of the game of football and we believe that you will perform very well.

“Always look up to God and stay committed as you move up in sports administration. We pray that God will guide you to remain focused in carrying out your new functions; when you progress, Delta State is progressing,” he said.

Okowa Goes Tough On Cultists In Delta State

Ifeanyi Okowa, Delta State, CultistsDelta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has vowed that there will be no hiding place for cultists and anyone involved in the act of terrorism in the state.

The Governor validated his vow as he signed six bills, including the Delta State Anti-Cultism and Anti-Terrorism Bill 2016 into law.

Others bills presented for assent by the Speaker of the Delta State House of Assembly, Honourable Monday Igbuya, and Clerk of the Legislature, Mrs Lyna Ochulor include: Delta State Bursary and Scholarship Bill 2016, Delta State Public Procurement Commission Bill 2016, Delta State Signage and Advertisement Agency Bill 2016, Delta State School of Nursing and Midwifery Bill 2016 and the Delta State Traditional Rulers and Chieftaincy (Amendment) Bill 2016.

Governor Okowa, while lauding the legislature for their diligence and cooperation towards having an egalitarian society where there is law and order, emphasised the importance of the bills he signed into law.

He expressed optimism that the laws would improve the peace, security as well as socio-economic life of the people and the environment in the state.

The Governor stressed that the Delta State Anti-Cultism and Anti-Terrorism law is important for the security of life and property in the state.

“Our youths should know that government will not take likely any breach of security, especially people who partake in cultism and terrorism.

“I want to caution our youths to shun all forms of cultism and terrorism this yuletide period because if they are caught, the law will take its cause, no matter the position of the person.”

Dr. Okowa revealed further that the Delta State Signage and Advertisement Agency law 2016 would also bring about smarter cities with proper signage regulations.

He observed that the Schools of Nursing located in different areas of the state do not have laws backing up their setup until recently, adding that the Delta State Public Procurement Commission 2015 would help improve government procurement process.

Honourable Igbuya explained that the presentation of the bills were in line with the constitutional duties of making laws that would impart positively on the people of Delta State.

He said the bills passed through rigorous process before they were passed by the legislature.

The event was also attended by the Deputy Speaker of the Assembly, Honourable Friday Osanebi and other principal members of the state legislature.

The Secretary to the Delta State Government, Honourable Festus Ovie-Agas, the Head of Service, Mr Reginald Bayoko and the Attorney-General, Mr Peter Mrakpor, among others also witnessed the event

Obiano Discusses Inter-state Partnership With Okowa

Willie Obiano, Ifeanyi Okowa, Inter-state CollaborationAnambra State Governor, Willie Obiano, has visited his Delta State counterpart, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, to discuss issues of inter-state security, economy and road safety ahead of the yuletide.

Governor Obiano said that the visit was in the bid to strengthen the mutual relationship existing between the two states.

The meeting held on Wednesday at the Delta State Government House in Asaba, south-south Nigeria.

It had in attendance, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi, whose attention was called to the area of road safety, especially at the Bridge Head axis where traffic gridlock is always experienced.

Addressing the press at the end of the closed-door meeting, Governor Obiano said some of the issues discussed touch upon strengthening inter-state partnership.

He listed the areas of focus to include security, economy and supporting the FRSC to ensure free flow of traffic during the Christmas period.

empowerment scheme, Okowa, Delta State, Knowledge-Based DevelopmentDr. Okowa, on his part, expressed confidence that the cooperation of the two states, which he said was the best way to go, would yield positive results for the two sister states in the area of security.

In his response, Mr Oyeyemi assured the governors of immediate dismantling of road blocks, removal of obstruction and reduction of the strength of both military and police check points.

Okowa Assures Delta State Residents Of Business Opportunities

Ifeanyi Okowa, Niger DeltaThe Delta State Governor, Ifeanyi Okowa has assured citizens of the state that business opportunities will abound, through the high return of investments and international investors.

The governor made this known while delivering a lecture titled, “Public policy & governance in Delta State: opportunities & challenges” at a ‘dialogue with Public Policy Makers’ Programme organized by the Lagos Business School and Nigerian Economic Summit Group.

According to GDP rebase of 2013, Delta State has an economy size of $24.6b making it the fourth largest economy in the country

Unemployment, underemployment, stands at 27.2 per cent in 2014 and that’s also according to the National Bureau of Statistics

The essence of the lecture is a bid to address the economic challenges of the state, majorly caused by the fall in the price of oil.

Governor Okowa says his administration has come up with policies that provides the road map to drive rapid infrastructural development; ensure and sustain inclusive economic growth and sustainable development; reduce the worrisome high level of youth unemployment and pervasive poverty

The governor also added that as the state moves to reduce its dependence on crude oil, his administration would build on the efforts of the past administration to strengthen the enabling environment for investments to thrive in the agriculture and other sectors of the state economy

Representing the Dean, Lagos Business School, Dr. Chris Ogbechie reiterates the commitment of the Lagos Business school in partnership with the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, to continue to engage with Public Sector Policy Makers in proffering solutions to developmental challenges in a growing economy like Nigeria.

Okowa Responds To Claims He Plans To Disrupt Edo Elections

okowa, oshiomhole, edo electionsThe Governor of Delta State, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has refuted claims allegedly made by his Edo State counterpart, that he planned to deploy militants to Edo State to disrupt the now postponed governorship election.

The electoral body had shifted the election which was initially scheduled to hold on September 10 to September 28.

In a statement issued by the governor’s office, he described the allegation as baseless, unfounded, spurious and tendentious.

“We vehemently reject this accusation as alarmist, reckless and false in facts,” the Governor stated.

The statement pointed out the Governor Okowa was a peace-loving Nigerian who had never and would not engage in any activity inimical to law and order.

It further noted that he had committed himself to raising the standard of governance in all ramifications.

The Governor’s office further highlighted that the exalted office of the Governor, was one that demanded decorum and maturity, emphasising that “those who are privileged to occupy such offices need to exercise restraint in their public conduct and utterances”.

U.S. Officials Meet With Stakeholders In Niger Delta To Resolve Crisis

Niger Delta, US GovernmentOfficials of the American Embassy, led by the Deputy Chief of Mission, Mr David Young, are in Delta State in Nigeria’s south-south for an all-embracing dialogue involving all stakeholders in the Niger Delta region.

At a meeting with the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, held in Asaba, the capital of the State, Mr Young said that their visit was part of measures toward finding lasting solutions to the crisis in the region which had crippled oil production.

Addressing reporters after the visit to the Delta State government, Mr Young said that the U.S. government believed that dialogue was very important in resolving grievances and there is a need to encourage Nigerians to exploit mechanisms for dialogue in moving forward.

The Governor of Delta State suggested the creation of an environment that would foster peace and tranquility, adding that the state government have also made efforts to forestall peace in the delta region.

The Niger Delta region encompasses about 8% of Nigeria’s landmass and with oil drilling in the region, the nation’s economy was stimulated.

Numerous multinational corporations also established oil operations in the region with very high stakes.

The activities of the oil companies have caused several environmental and economic issues in the region, leading to militancy in the past.

In recent times, there has been a resurgence of militant activities in the region with new groups taking up arms and attacking oil installations in the region.

A militant group known as Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for the recent attacks on oil-producing facilities causing the shutdown of oil terminals and a fall in Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level.

Burutai Asks Niger Delta Militants To Speak With One Voice

Army, Tukur Buratai, Niger Delta MilitantsThe Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Burutai, has asked militants in the Niger Delta area of Nigeria to speak with one voice, if they expect to be taken seriously.

The Army Chief made the call on Monday on the side-line of a closed door meeting with security heads including the police, Department of State Services and representatives of oil companies in south-south Nigeria.

He told journalists in Rivers State that the proliferation of groups, who claim to be Niger Delta militants, do not come across as a genuine move for peace.

General Burutai stated that the “Exercise Crocodile Smile” should not be mistaken for an invasion in the region.

However, he maintained that the army would not hesitate to clamp down on any action that threatens the peace of the Niger Delta.

The call is coming barely two weeks after the Nigerian Army formally launched the new military exercise in the Niger Delta region.

The exercise has a mandate to provide adequate security for residents as well as critical national economic assets in the region.

General Buratai, who flagged-off the exercise in Sapele, Delta State, had urged military personnel to respect the rights of law abiding citizens in their areas of operation whom he said were critical to the success of the exercise.

Nigerian Army Launches ‘Operation Crocodile Smile’ In Niger Delta

Tukur-Buratai-Chief-of-Army-Staff-Lieutenant-GeneralThe Nigerian Army has formally launched a new military exercise in the Niger Delta code named “Exercise Crocodile Smile”.

It has a mandate to provide adequate security for residents as well as critical national economic assets in the region.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Tukur Buratai, flagged-off the exercise on Saturday in Sapele, Delta State.

Addressing the troops, he urged them to respect the rights of law abiding citizens in their areas of operation whom he said were critical to the success of the exercise.

“We are in Warri to flag-off this exercise in order to get our troops prepared for any eventuality .

“We need to keep our country safe. We need to get our economy going without any interruption,” he said.

Increase In Militant Activities

The Chief of Army Staff and his entourage had earlier in separate courtesy visits to the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa and the Olu of Warri, Godfrey Ikenwoli Emiko, briefed them on the exercise.

After the meeting with the Governor, Lieutenant General Buratai expressed hopes that at the end of the exercise that security would be achieved in the south-south region.

“We hope that the economy will come up again and the facilities and the infrastructures in terms of the oil and gas will be protected and the people around will go about their  normal  businesses without fear of any attack.

“We hope that this will other investors to come around and that those companies that have already declared force majeure,” he told reporters.

The decision to set up the force in the Niger Delta region is not unconnected with  recent increase in militant activities, with a wave of attacks on oil installations.

A group that calls itself the Niger Delta Avengers has claimed responsibility for most of the recent attacks that has forced some oil companies to declare force majeure.

The group has, however, said it has agreed to a ceasefire and was open for negotiation with the Federal Government.

It is the second operation in the region after the Operation Delta Safe was set up to also quell the resurgence of militancy.

Nigeria’s Economy Should Be Built To Adapt To Current Trends – Osinbajo

Yemi Osinbajo on NigeriaNigeria’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, says there is need to ensure that the economy of the nation is built to adapt to the physical, social and technological trends of the present generation.

Professor Osinbajo made the statement on Friday during a two-day economic and investment summit in Delta State, south-south Nigeria.

He further stressed the need for Nigerian leaders to build relationships based on trust with the citizenry.

“Truth on the part of a leader, plays a critical role in the development and prosperity of Nigeria,” he stated.

The summit was organised by the Delta State government, as part of the activities to mark the 25th anniversary since Delta State was created.

Speaking to delegates at the event, the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, emphasised the need to build a strong, robust and resilient economy.

Present at the summit are the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun and a former Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, Professor Charles Soludo among others.

Stakeholders Meet To Resolve Niger Delta Crisis

Niger Delta MilitantsMajor stakeholders in the Niger Delta have met to curtail the continued militant attacks on Nigeria’s oil facilities in the region.

The stakeholders converged on Delta State, south-south Nigeria to hold an all-inclusive Niger Delta Coastal States Stakeholders’ Consultative meeting to further curtail the recent tension that has gripped the region.

The convener of the meeting and elder statesman, Dr. Edwin Clark, stressed the importance of the meeting.

He said it would enable concerned parties air their views on issues affecting the security of oil and gas facilities in the oil-rich region.

Dr. Clark further stated that efforts to bring the destruction of pipelines to a halt gave rise to the meeting held at the Petroleum Training Institute (PTI), Effurun which was attended by many delegates from different state of the region, including the Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa.

Okowa, Delta State, Knowledge-Based Development
Delta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa

In his remark at the meeting held on Friday, Governor Okowa emphasised the need to work in synergy in the selection of representatives to ensure they speak in one voice at any discussion or dialogue with the Federal Government.

Various participants at the meeting also said it was imperative for the militants to channel their grievances to the government, rather than engaging in the destruction of facilities.

However, they called for the implementation of the recommendations at the last National Conference, the commencement of the Maritime University at Okerenkoko and the adequate funding of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) among others.

In spite of efforts to stop militants’ activities, two pipelines operated by the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC) were attacked by suspected militants on Friday.

The attacks were said to have occurred in Owhrode community which was about 20 kilometres from the venue of the stakeholders’ meeting.

A technical team of the NPDC and security officials have been deployed to the area to prevent the spread of crude to other communities.

Okowa Proposes Intelligence Sharing To Resolve Niger Delta Crisis

Ifeanyi Okowa, Niger Delta Delta State Governor, Dr Ifeanyi Okowa, has recommended intelligence sharing as the best way to tackle the security issues in the Niger Delta region.

Governor Okowa made this observation on Friday at the Government House in Asaba when he received the Commander of Operation Delta Safe, Rear Admiral Joseph Okojie.

He expressed sadness over the activities of militants in the creeks affecting revenues accruable to the government at both federal and state levels.

On his part, Rear Admiral Okojie said that they had the mandate of President Muhammadu Buhari to secure the waters in the Niger Delta region against security and economic threats.

He explained further that the directive covers some parts of Ondo, Edo and Akwa Ibom states, as well as the entire Delta, Bayelsa and Rivers states.

The Naval officer assured the Governor that the Operation Delta Safe is prepared to tackle any criminal action within the Nigerian maritime area.

He also urged the militants within the region to shun acts of economic sabotage and dialogue with the Federal Government.

Delta Governor Inspects Ongoing Road Projects

DeltaDelta State Governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa, has inspected some ongoing road construction projects in the state, Nigeria’s southern region.

Speaking during the inspection visit to road projects in Isoko North and South, Uvwie, Ughelli North and Warri South Local Government Areas (LGAs), Governor Okowa expressed satisfaction at the pace of work and the construction firms, keeping to project schedule and specifications.

He said his administration was poised to take advantage of the dry season in order to construct and rehabilitate roads in the oil-rich state.

The Governor explained that most of the road projects he inspected were awarded by his administration in December 2015 and would be completed before the end of his tenure.

He began the inspection tour with the 1.94 kilometers old Oleh/Emede/Olomoro road in Isoko South LGA where the contractors on site were busy with the construction work.

Governor Okowa subsequently moved to the 7.3 meters new side lanes along the 49 kilometers Sector A Ughelli/Asaba dualisation in Ughelli North LGA.

In Oteri community, the residents welcomed the Governor and his entourage singing and dancing in appreciation for the ongoing construction of the 2.05 kilometers township road in their community.

Other inspected roads were the 8.5 kilometers Ughelli/Afiesere/Ofuoma road, the Dederu/Ejiyere Street and nine other link roads in Okere/Urhobo, Warri South LGA.