Akwa Ibom Govt. Commends Niger Delta Leaders

Gov. Emmanuel Promises More Support For Akwa-Ibom Youths
Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel.

The Akwa Ibom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has commended the Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) for spearheading a national discourse on issues of neglect, underdevelopment, restiveness and environmental despoliation which have been the lot of the Niger Delta region to enable the present administration proffer solutions.

Governor Emmanuel gave the commendation at the General Assembly of Pan Niger Delta Forum (PANDEF) held in Uyo, the state capital.

He said, “The forum which comprises of statesmen and resourceful women, represent the voice of the Niger Delta people in the articulation of issues and concerns of the region, to ensure the realization and implementation of the 16 point agenda which the forum had earlier agreed with the Federal Government.

“This August, eminent group of leaders gathered to bring the issues and concerns of the region to the Nigerian State with a view to ensuring that the 16 Point Agenda that was earlier agreed upon will be met and implemented by the Nigerian Government”.

The Governor pointed out that Niger Delta which is the economic life wire of the nation has not received the corresponding prosperity it has brought to the Nigerian State, adding that, neglect, despoliation of the environment, disruption of aquatic life and high handed military operations have been the reward for the blessing nature which was generously given to the region.

Governor Emmanuel noted that the tour of Niger Delta region undertaken by Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Ogoni cleanup was aimed at addressing the problem of the region and enlisted the support of all to enable the Federal government achieve its goal.

“The tour of the region undertaken by the then Acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo to our region deserves our commendation.

“I know and believe that President Mohammadu Buhari genuinely wants to address the problems of the area once and for all, and he deserves our support”, the governor stated.

He further emphasized the need for Niger Delta region to collaborate in the establishment of Petrochemical Industries and embark on ventures that could generate income to sustain the region.

Earlier, the Coordinator, Local Organizing Committee, Uyo Chapter of the Pan Niger Delta Forum, Mr Otuekong Idongesit Nkanga, identified dialogue as key to sustainable peace, development and security in the Niger Delta region.

He advised youths to refrain from using violence to register their grievance and applauded Governor Emmanuel for assisting the forum to achieve its goals.

In a welcome address, the leader and Convener of the Forum, Mr Edwin Clark, stated that, “The gathering was necessitated by the need to appraise activities of PANDEF and deliberate on issues affecting the Niger Delta region and the country at large”.

He emphasized that the issue of restructuring was the panacea to the problems of the country and commended the Vice President, Prof. Osinbajo, for visiting the Niger Delta states to get a firsthand information on the deplorable state of the area.

Mr Clark used the occasion to commend President Buhari for taking steps to address issues which are detrimental to the region saying that the gesture would foster peace, development and unity in the country.

Herdsmen Invade Obio Usiere Community In Cross River

Herdsmen Kill One, Injure Three In Adamawa StateSuspected Herdsmen have invaded Obio Usiere community in Odukpani Local Government Area of Cross River state.

One person was reportedly killed while several other persons are missing including children.

The community is still reeling from the effects of the recent attack on their community by the Fulani herdsmen.

Meanwhile, residents of the community said over 100 Fulani Herdsmen invaded the community.

They are appealing to the Federal Government to beef up security in the country.

According to Channels Television correspondent who visited the community reports that the people are living in fear of another invasion by the herdsmen.

Ogun Govt. Raises Alarm Over Impending Floods

ogun-rainThe Ogun State Government, has raised alarm over an impending flooding in various places in the state as predicted by the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) in its 2017 seasonal rainfall prediction.

Briefing journalists in Abeokuta, the state capital, the state Commissioner for Environment, Mr Bolaji Oyeleye said areas to be affected by the flood include Abeokuta, Ewekoro, Ijebu Igbo, Ijebu Ode, Ikenne, Ota among other towns in the state.

While asking residents to maintain a high level of personal hygiene, the Commissioner, however, warned them against indiscriminate dumping of refuse in canal, and water in the state.

“The 2017 seasonal rainfall prediction by the NIMET showed floods may occur in some states in the north and west even as a shorter length of rain is predicted in most part of the country, rainfall amount is predicted to be above normal in and around Sokota, Zamfara, Niger, Kwara, Ogun and Adamawa”, he said.

He further noted that, “NIMET predicts the earliest onset date to be February 25, over the coastal region of the Niger Delta, Sokoto, Zamfara, Katsina, Plateau, Rivers, Bayelsa, Ogun and Oyo states are predicted to record early onset dates by about, three to seven days range from their 30 years normal.

“NIMET also predicted that many Nigerians would likely experience “Above danger heat stress” this year, due to combination of heat and humidity, this impact is that exposure to excessive heat for too long could cause heat stress, which may in turn lead to severe illness collectively called “Hyperthermia”.

“We are appealing to residents not to block drainage channels, either natural or constructed, refrain from dumping waste into drainage channels and rivers or stream flow course” he concluded.

Gov. Bello Orders Contractor To Fix Minna Water Works

Niger State, Abubakar Bello,
Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello

The Niger State governor, Abubakar Bello, has ordered the management of the state Water Board and the contractor handling the repairs of Chanchaga Water Works, Minna, to fix it.

He gave the order after inspecting four electric motors imported from Germany to boost water supply to Minna, the state capital, at the premises of the water facility in Chanchaga.

The governor directed the water board and the contractor to double their efforts, work all round the clock and ensure taps are running with water without further delay.

“We have no time to waste. We must fix this water plant and I am not ready to take any excuse from anybody for further delay in fixing this place.

“We must ensure regular and adequate water supply in the state. With the delivery of these electric motors and the locally refurbished high and low lift pumps, the contractor and his men must work 24/7 and fix this place.

“I am taking this water issue personal and I will be coming here to inspect progress made, even at an odd time.

“So anybody that has a problem with fixing this place is permitted to go. We must fix this water plant”, the governor reassured.

He then assured residents of other major cities in the state that the government was committed to ensuring that all the water works are functional and are meeting the need of the people.

“We are moving to Bida, Kontagora and Suleja very soon. So we are going to expedite work on this Minna Water Works to enable us move to other towns”, the governor assured.

Earlier, the contractor handling the project, Mr. Outare Kokobissi, assured the governor that with the arrival of the electric motors and the refurbished pumps and residents of Minna will soon be relieved of lack of portable water.

He promised to work round the clock to ensure delivery.

Ivanka Trump Named Assistant To President

Courtesy: www.news.com.au
Courtesy: www.news.com.au

The White House has announced that Ivanka Trump is officially joining her father’s administration as an unpaid employee with the title of Assistant to the President.

Ivanka reportedly bowed to pressure following an outcry from ethics experts at her initial plans to serve in a more informal capacity.

The 35-year-old said she has “heard the concerns some have with her advising the President in her personal capacity”.

Meanwhile, her husband, Jared Kushner, is a Senior Adviser to President Donald Trump.

Judge Extends Hold On Trump’s Travel Ban

President Trump Proposes Massive Aid CutsU.S. President Donald Trump’s travel ban has suffered another setback as a Federal Judge in Hawaii has indefinitely extended the suspension of the new executive order.

Judge Derrick Watson’s ruling means Mr Trump will be barred from enforcing the ban on Muslim nations while it is contested in court.

In a lawsuit, the U.S. State said the ban would harm tourism and the ability to recruit foreign students and workers.

But President Trump said his revised travel ban seeks to prevent terrorists from entering the United States.

President Trump’s executive order signed on March 6, would have placed a 90 day ban on people from Iran, Syria, Libya, Somalia, Sudan and Yemen and a 120 day ban on refugees.

JAMB Introduces New Rules, Guidelines For 2017 UTME

JAMB Warns Against Fake Application Forms In CirculationThe Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), has introduced new rules and guidelines that may eliminate fraudulent practices in the system ahead of the 2017 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME).

The JAMB Registrar, Professor Isiaq Oloyede, disclosed this in Kaduna state at a Strategic Planning Retreat on Monitoring and Supervision of the 2017 UTME organised for stakeholders that would be taking part in the examination.

He explained that unlike in the previous years, major players with requisite integrity, intelligence and appropriate knowledge of the assessment would be fully engaged in the supervision of the 2017 UTME examination to ensure a better outcome.

In attendance at the retreat were stakeholders from JAMB, tertiary institutions, civil society organisations, students union bodies, security agencies and the media.

The aim was to adopt an all-inclusive mode of supervision and evaluation that will guarantee transparent UTME in Nigeria.

The Registrar identified the new rules and guidelines to include, the adoption of CCTV cameras for all the Computer-based Training (CBT) centres, adoption of a single hall containing 250 functional desktop or laptop computer systems with extra 25 as backups, affirmative inclusiveness for blind candidates, adoption of PIN Vending System, inclusion of candidates with awaiting results.

Other guidelines were the adoption of cubicles with minimum length of 26 by 18 inches, adequate security with minimum of five technical personnel and a network engineer on site among others.

“In February, 2017 we held a retreat in Abeokuta, Ogun state capital where we were hosted by former President Olusegun Obasanjo, who was Head of State in 1977 promulgated the enabling law of this Board and gave birth to the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board.

“At the retreat, we looked at the processes of registration and admission, we reviewed them and we adopted new strategies in tandem with new thinking and new challenges.

“It is therefore, in our stride and continuation at bringing all stakeholders on board, our inclusive train that we have organised this retreat to take another look at the Board’s supervision and evaluation of its conduct of the UTME”, Prof. Oloyede stated.

PIN VENDING SYSTEM

Emerging from the retreat at Abeokuta, the Board has innovated a contemporary sale of application method, which has led to the elimination of scratch cards.

The Board has also adopted a cost saving procedure PIN Vending System. It is a secured system which has redressed the sharp practices associated with the use of scratch cards.

Some of the participants including the President of Women Arise for Change, Dr. Joe Okei-Odumakin and Senate President of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS) commended JAMB for reviewing its guidelines as well as suggesting on some grey areas which they would want the board to look into before the election.

Some of them include the security of candidates and officials that would be posted to volatile areas , the number of examination hours and the collection of 10, 500 levy by JAMB which they note amounts to exploiting the candidates.

Foreigner, Accomplice Arrested Over Illegal Mining In Ogun

Two More Suspects Arrested Over Tulip School KidnapThe Ogun state government says it has arrested a Syrian and a Nigerian for allegedly engaging in illegal mining activities along the industrial corridor of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mr Bimbo Ashiru, who disclosed this while leading an enforcement team to the illegal mining site at Boun Village, Shimawa, behind Redemption Camp in Obafemi Owode Local Government Area of the State, said that the culprits would be made to face the full wrath of the law.

He stated that illicit activities of miners had wrecked serious havoc to lives and property as well degraded the environment, warning that the present administration in the state frowns at the unlawful acts of making profit at the detriment of residents of the State.

“It is good to sound this note of warning to unscrupulous elements that are in the illegal business of destroying the environment in the name of mining.

“As a government, we will do our best to curb illegal mining because the lives of residents are precious to us.

“Unfortunately, the people involved make money at the detriment of law abiding residents. I can assure you that we will take holistic approach to end these activities and whoever is caught engaging in it would face the full weight of the law. For instance, this Syrian and his accomplice will not go unpunished”. he said.

The commissioner noted that the monitoring activities would continue until illegal mining was nipped in the bud towards forestalling environmental hazards.

Bayelsa Gov. Signs Education Bills Into Law

Environmental Sanitation
Bayelsa State Governor,  Seriake Dickson,

The Bayelsa State Governor, Seriake Dickson, has signed the Higher Education Students’ Loan and Education Development Trust Fund bills into law, targeted at building the manpower base of the state.

Assenting to the two bills in Government House, Yenagoa, governor Dickson described the laws as the most revolutionary intervention in the education sector, as they would provide unique opportunities for the Bayelsa youths to advance their educational career.

The Governor, noted that, “The education sector has continued to receive priority attention, since my administration’s inception in 2012, the educational laws would provide a mechanism for sustainable development in the sector.

“The new legislation will go a long way in checking the issue of school drop-outs, due to financial constraints as provision is made for indigent students to draw from the Higher Education loan facility”.

Commenting on the Education Development Trust Fund, governor Dickson said “It was mandatory for all Bayelsans working in the public service, government officials as well as the private sector to contribute to the fund in addition to the 10 percent of the state’s Internally Generated Revenue in support of the fund on a monthly basis”.

To this end, he called on the organized labour and the people of the State to support rather than politicise the new educational policy, as the initiative would be beneficial to the average Bayelsan.

The Governor also noted that 50billion Naira has so far been invested into the education sector with the establishment of 25 constituency compulsory free boarding secondary schools, in addition to 15 model secondary schools, including the Ijaw National Academy, which has taken off.

Dickson, who announced the appointment of Prof. Turner Isoun, as the pioneer chairman of the State Education Development Trust Fund, said, the two boards will oversee the new educational schemes which will be established in due course.

Presenting the two bills for the Governor’s assent, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Hon. Konbowei Benson said the Bayelsa State Higher Education Students Loan Bill was forwarded to the House on August 10, 2016, while the Education Development Trust Fund bill was presented on July 19, 2016 and passed on February 13, 2017.

Edo Govt. To Settle Outstanding Pension Allowances

Governor Obaseki Flags Off NIPDS In Edo State
Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki

The Edo state government has restated its commitment to improving the welfare of retired workers in the state.

The Edo state governor, Godwin Obaseki, gave the assurance when he received a team from the Nigerian Union of Pensioners, Edo state chapter at the Government House in Benin City, the state capital.

Obaseki said the state government will ensure a long lasting solution to all the pension related disputes, adding that all outstanding allowances owed the retired workers will be cleared before the end of 2017.

“Where are those who already earn pension, we have them. What are they earning is it realistic, that is what we call harmonisation, which we have to deal with.

“But more importantly where are those who have worked and have not gotten even pension or gratuity, shouldn’t we deal with those ones first.

“2015, 2014, 2013 to 2012, I am hoping that by the end of this year I will be current”, he said.

The governor also insisted that local government pensioners are not included in the bailout package.

“I cannot run local government by bailout, money that comes from Abuja, yes we use it to pay teachers. How much is generated as revenues, government revenues can only be collected by government officials so that we can account for.

“Those revenues are what we use to pay salaries, pay pension and do the work of the local government”, he stated.

Gov. Ayade locks Out Employees For Lateness

CSOs, Ben Ayade, Man Of The YearPolitical Appointees and Staff of the Governor’s office in Calabar who resumed late to work on Wednesday were locked out of the Government House, following orders by Governor Ben Ayade.

The action according to the Senior Special Assistant and Chief Press Secretary to governor, Mr Christian Ita said is a way of instilling discipline on the State’s work force, which he has since his assumption into office given adequate concern to their welfare.

Speaking to Channels Television on the issue, the CPS said, even senior appointees who came late were not spared.

Ita noted that, “The action is just to instill discipline, Governor Ben Ayade has done a lot to make the work force happy and he feels that, what they owe the administration in return is to be at their duty post when they should be at their duty post to reciprocate the gesture.

“No appointee was spared from the punishment irrespective of position.

“Status does not matter, what matters is, doing the right thing at the right time, the CPS concluded”.

This is the third time, the governor is ordering that, the gates be locked out to staff who do not come early to work.