Bayelsa Governor Appoints Commissioners To Push Tourism, Others

Bayelsa Signs MOU For Management of HospitalGovernor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State on Friday expanded his cabinet with five new commissioners to push the state’s drive of promoting tourism and other sectors.

They have been charged to align themselves to the ideals and vision of the restoration agenda, towards delivering quality services to the people.

The Governor while swearing in the commissioners at the new Executive Council Chambers of the Government House in Yenagoa, called on the appointees to exhibit a high sense of dedication and loyalty in the discharge of their duties.

The commissioners are, Professor Ebitimitula Etebu for the Ministry of Health, Mr Austin Dressman is in charge of the Ministry of Ijaw National Affairs and Culture, Mrs Ebiere Ajuwa Musa was assigned the portfolio of Ministry of Tourism Development, Mrs Martha Jenakumo for the Ministry of Women Affairs while Mr Tamunobere Oguoh heads the Special Duties, West Senatorial district.

Describing the Commissioner for Health as a thoroughbred medical personnel, Governor Dickson said, his antecedents were exemplary and urged him to streamline all the massive investments made in the sector.

According to him, the state has put in place world class health facilities, including the diagnostic centre equipped with a forensic unit and by next year, the government will construct and equip health centres in each of the 105 wards to take healthcare delivery closer to the rural dwellers.

“We want to have the best facilities in all spheres. Very soon, we are going to be number one in agriculture, sports, education and now we want to be number one in medical tourism, with the facilities that we are going to put in place.

“We will have a situation where no Bayelsan will need to travel out to receive healthcare.

“Not only that; we want all Nigerians and people from other places to come to Bayelsa for healthcare services. Your duty will be to harmonize all of these. We have the forensic unit at the Diagnostic centre which is 90% set.

“Knowing you as a thoroughbred professional, you have been brought into government at this time to put your seal of professionalism to all these initiatives and you have on ground, a team of competent medical personnel ready to work with you. I have no doubt that the team working under your leadership, our vision of making Bayelsa number one in the area of tourism and healthcare delivery will be achieved,” he told the appointees.

Governor Dickson also charged the commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs and Culture to mobilise the Ijaw nation for a positive national development, urging him to bring his wealth of experience as an activist to bear on his new assignment.

FG To Launch National Campaign Against Child Marriage

Child MarriageThe Federal Government has announced plans to launch a national campaign to end child marriage in 2016.

The Director of Women and Gender Affairs at the Ministry of Women Affairs, Mrs Esther Mshelia, said this at a meeting organised by the Ministry to sensitize those responsible for child protection at the state level.

She said that the launch will help mobilize support to end the upsurge in early child marriages and also address barriers to prosecution of culprits.

Deliberating on how the menace of child marriage can be put to an end, officials of the Federal Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development said that they do not want a re-occurrence of the ugly incident of the abduction of Ese Oruru and several other young girls.

Discussions at the meeting also focused on how to work with key players in ensuring that the rights of the girl child is not violated as statistics from the ministry shows that Nigeria has a high prevalence of child marriage with the north eastern region ranking highest with 26%.

While early child marriage exposes the girl child to diseases and population explosion, health experts believe the menace also causes Nigeria a huge economic burden.

One key decision made at the meeting is that cases of early marriage must be reported and culprits appropriately sanctioned to serve as a deterrent to others.

Vice President Osinbajo Visits IDP Camp In Kano State

OsinbajoNigeria’s Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, says the Federal Government (FG) would look into the possibility of incorporating the Kano-adopted Borno children into the presidential initiative for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDP).

Prof. Osinbajo made this declaration during a visit to the 100 children adopted by the Kano State Government, where he stated that the FG would not relent in its effort to assist the victims of Boko Haram insurgency in the country.

According to him, the Federal Government, having already set up a presidential funds initiative for the IDPs, headed by General TY Danjuma, would among other things ensure that the victims of Boko Haram attacks in various parts of the country are well assisted.

The VP commended the Kano State Government for taking the giant step of adopting the children.

Receiving the Vice President, the Deputy Governor, Professor Hafizu Abubakar, said that his state had already transformed the IDP camps into a full boarding primary school to be managed by the state’s Ministries of Women Affairs and Education respectively.

The school was first commissioned by the administration of the former governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso on April 20, to train mostly the children adopted from Borno State by the state government.

On assuming office, Governor Abdullahi Ganduje transformed it into a full boarding primary school and named it ‘Kano-Borno Boarding Primary School’.

Yobe State Governor Cuts Down Ministries From 22 to 15

yobe state-on-new-ministriesThe Yobe State Governor, Ibrahim Gaidam has approved the restructuring of ministries in the state from 22 to 15.

A statement signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Baba Mallam Wali and made available to newsmen in Damaturu, the state capital, listed the ministries scrapped to include; Ministry of Animal and Fisheries Development, Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Integrated Rural Development, Ministry of Transport and Energy, Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Sports.

The statement listed the new ministries to include; Ministry of Works and Transport, Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Youth, Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Community Development.

The new ministries also include Ministry of Land and Housing, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Health and Justice, Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs, Ministry of Information and Culture, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Ministry of Women Affairs, Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industry and Tourism and Ministry of Water Resources.

The statement said, “The restructuring is aimed at making the ministries more effective in the discharge of their functions and avoidance of unnecessary overlaps and bureaucracy for effective service delivery as well as cutting the cost of governance.”

The statement urged units removed from the defunct ministries to ensure smooth transition to their new mother ministries.

Kaduna Employs 2,550 Youths, Women Under SURE-P

KadunaThe Kaduna State Government has employed a total of 2,550 youths under the Youth Employment Development Programme of Subsidy Reinvestment Programme (SURE-P).

Addressing the beneficiaries during the flag off of the programme on Wednesday, Governor Mukhtar Yero, urged them to make use of the opportunity to add values to their lives and become self dependent, rather than relying on government for assistance.

The Governor stated that the government’s efforts was geared towards ensuring that youths were gainfully employed in order to encourage productivity and prevent them from involving themselves in social vices such as drug abuse, armed robbery among others.

Governor Yero said that the Kaduna State Government has also deposited the sum of 2billion naira with the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) and Bank of Industry (BOI) for disbursement to small scale entrepreneurs.

This, he explained, was geared towards creating more jobs and reducing poverty in the state.

The State Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Everton Yari, said that over 5,000 indigenes of the state have also been given employment through the SURE-P and therefore thanked the Governor for providing such opportunities to the youths and women.

He also admonished the beneficiaries to make good use of the opportunity to better their lives.

The Commissioner for Special Duties added that the Governor has directed the  Ministry of Youth and Sport, as well as Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Development to be in charge of the programme in order to ensure a smooth and transparent implementation of the exercise.


Imo Baby Factory: There Are More In Nigeria – Police Boss

The Imo State Commissioner for Information, Mr Theodore Okwu Ejike Ekechi has described the growing baby factory business as a national phenomenon which Imo State is most likely, just a branch of.

On Channels Television’s programme, ‘Sunrise’, Mr Ekechi said that the revelations gotten from the state own personal interrogation and through the Ministry of Women Affairs and the revelations that have come out from the Police’ own interrogations show very clearly that the business was headquartered in states like Ebonyi, Edo Plateau, Lagos, Rivers, Benue and Abia.

He claimed that the commitment of the Imo State Government to fighting crime in the state was the reason behind the crime being uncovered in the state, stressing that there is also need to emulate the efforts of the Imo State Government at the national level.

The State Assistant Commissioner of Police in charge of Operations, Mr Olatoye Durosimi, who was also on the programme, credited the success of the Police in uncovering the crime to the strategic partners who are both government and non-government actors in the state through its intelligence policies, which Ekechi describe as Police-Government Synergy.

Mentioning roles like the hawks that snatch the babies from their mothers; the hawkers, who take the babies from the hawks to sell, he went on to share some of the discoveries of the Police. He described the criminals mode of operation and the structure of their personnel as a cartel.

The commissioner while describing how the government had used community leaders in its strategies reassured the public of the state and the Police commitment to ensuring that the state was ridded of all such places, which he said were still in existence.

Also part of the panel of analysts was a Human Rights Activist, Laila St Matthew Daniel, who explain the motive behind such crimes and blamed the unfortunate development on poverty and the financial disempowerment of Nigerians.

Referring to a certain Dr. James Ezuma, whom she alleged was hiding behind the cover of running an NGO and a clinic to also commit the crime, she stressed the disconnect between stories told by the victims as a proof that parents of the young girls being used to rear the babies knew about the crime being committed against their children.

She also revealed that many of the babies are also being used for different kinds of rituals.

FEC Approves Printing Of Voters Cards At N2billion

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the printing of 33.5 million additional voters cards for the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at the cost of N2.117 billion for elections in the next ten years.

Briefing state house correspondents after the council meeting on Wednesday, the Minister of Information and communications, Mr Labaran Maku, dashed any hopes of using permanent voters card for the 2015 general elections when he stated that the voters cards that will be printed will expire in 2019.

He  further explained that it is expected that subsequent elections will be carried out with the national identity cards.

The new card will be ready in six months time, said Mr Maku.

Meanwhile, the information minister said it was the turn of the Ministry of Women Affairs to present its score card for 2012 and the Minister in charge; Hajia Zainab Maina, told the council that one major achievement of her ministry was the gender responsive budgeting  which sets aside the sum of N3billion to empower Nigerian women.

Council also approved a new national vocational qualifications frame work for Nigeria.

The Minister of Education; Professor Ruquyattu Rufai said that the new approval will address the high level of unemployment gap amongst the nation’s graduates who have skills outside the school system.