Education is widely acknowledged as a vital instrument of change national development and a catalyst for economic development and it also believe that it is only when people are equipped with skills, abilities and competencies that they could catalyze development in all its ramification.
This might not be unconnected to the fact why nations around the world are investing seriously in education to enhance their political consciousness, socio-economic engineering and national integration.
But developing countries like Nigeria according to a university don with Niger Delta University, Dr. Idumange Agreen is not investing up to 13 percent of its budget into education hence the challenges and problems facing the country.
The university don who spoke in Port Harcourt recently at an occasion organised by Empowerment support Initiative (ESI) to mark the 2009 International Literacy day said for education to take its pride in driving the country’s economy, the government must invest in education.
Agreen at the event noted that the crusade against illiteracy in Nigeria has gone a long way as he pointed out that the New National Policy on Education (2004) has made provision for adult literacy and non-formal education .
He disclosed that the introduction of Universal Primary Education scheme in 1976 was another attempt to bringing mass literacy to the country but he however regretted that the projects failed due to mismanagement and poor implementation which was occasioned by shortage of funds.
Research also revealed that 776 million adult lack minimum literacy skills, a good proportion of the figure are women while 75 million children are out of school but precisely 11 million Nigerians are out of school.
Some of them are street vendors, beggars, scavengers, car washers and pure water sellers in an unhealthy environment.
Investigations also revealed that such exposure (child labour) affects the acquisition of basic education as it affects the ability of children to attend school and tap the benefit of schooling but rather such children usually end up becoming armed robbers and criminals in the society thereby constituting problems for the government.
According to Agreen, “ working children hardly have time, money and energy to attend school, in Nigeria over eight million children combine schooling and work; this category of children work to pay their fees and often skip classes because of the demands of their drudgery”.
He added, “Children participation as manifested in school enrolment has declined from 86.2 percent in 1993 to 70.3% in 2000 and drop out rate is estimated at 15%.Statistics show that only 64 % of students make it to basic 5 while 43.5% continue to basic 9 while children from rural areas and urban poor live without quality education hence they continue to wallow in the vicious circle of poverty”.
Piqued by these anomalies, the wife of the Rivers State Governor, Mrs. Judith Amaechi has moved to establish 319 nursery schools to be built in all designated wards in the state.
The target according to the governor’s wife was to make available high quality start-up education for children in the rural areas who ordinarily would have access to low quality education or no education at all.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 2009 International Literacy day organised by ESI , a non- governmental organisation initiated by the governor’s wife to provide practical assistance in development and welfare of women and children, the ESI’s administrator, Mr. Nowa Omorogbe explained that the school would be provided with requisite infrastructures and trained teachers .
Omorogbe disclosed that already 300 children have been admitted in the first phase of the school founded by the governor’s wife.
He added that organisation’s vision was to reverse economic disadvantages of the rural poor, put food on their table and increase productivity by sharpening their skills which will bring development in the society.
While interacting with various NGO’s , civil Liberties Organisation and scholars at the event, The Special Media Assistant to the Governor’s wife, Mr. Dike Bekwele,urged the NGO’s to work hard and come out with their best to assist in making literacy available for all.
Rivers Monarchs Begin Another Round Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Today
Members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers will, today, begin another round of COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the state as part of the state government’s policy of ensuring that all Rivers people and residents of the state get fully vaccinated from the pandemic.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the council, Dr. Ogwuokwa Jonah, and made available to The Tide, last Monday, invited all government recognised traditional rulers to turn up at the council’s secretariat in Port Harcourt, for the crucial exercise.
The statement reads in part, “I am directed to invite you to take part in the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination exercise scheduled for Wednesday,January 19 through Friday, January 21, 2022, at the council’s secretariat.
“Vaccination begins at 10.00am each day. Please, note that there are other free medical examinations that have been arranged for you during the period.
“You are entitled to 15 persons either from your family or area/district council. Kindly attend during the turn of your LGA”, the statement added.
According to the statement, Abua/Odual, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny and Degemawould receive their vaccinations today.
To be vaccinated tomorrow are traditional rulers and members of their families from Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gokana, Khana, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Oyigbo local government areas.
However, monarchs and their families from Opobo/Nkoro, Ogu/Bolo, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Okrika, Omuma, Port Harcourt and Tailocal government areas are due to get their shots on Friday.
The statement appealed to all affected traditional rulers to take the exercise seriously, and come along with the required number of persons to enable government reach as many Rivers people as possible.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
PDP’ll Surely Produce Next President -Ayu
The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the party as it was poised to produce the next president of the country.
He maintained that the current inept rule of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, which has pulled the country backwards economically, has to be changed.
Ayu gave the assurance at the gala night hosted by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for PDP governors at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Sunday night.
The PDP national chairman emphasised that the APC leadership has been unable to harness the rich diversity of Nigerians into better fortunes that should strengthen the bond of brotherhood and promote peaceful coexistence.
“Unfortunately, a very poor leadership has presented Nigeria at home and abroad as an extremely divided country.
“We must change this narrative, and the only way to change this narrative and harness not just the culture, but the environment and the richness therein, is to back the Peoples Democratic Party which is determined to produce a new leadership for this country.”
Ayu also enthused that Nigeria would bounce back again with the PDP at the saddle because the project of rescuing the country and making it great was realisable.
The PDP national chairman stated that the expected leadership they would offer at the national level would change the negative characteristics associated with the APC that have been used to deepen the divide among Nigerians in the country.
“The PDP will definitely produce the next president and take the country back to the days when we were in power, when we cleared all foreign debts, when we were developing this country at reasonable speed.
“At a time, we became the richest country on the African continent. But today, we are the poverty capital of the world. All that will change”, he said.
In his welcome address, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said the gala night was a pride to the usual meeting of PDP governors, adding that it was rotational.
He stated that such meetings have always been used to discuss salient issues of economy, politics and others that bother on how to chart a virile Nigerian society.
“It has been ritual for PDP governors to gather and meet and discuss about the welfare of the party. And this has been rotating from one state to the other.”
On his part, the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said the PDP governors and other party leaders were already working in synergy towards rebuilding the party.
He said the focus was to rescue Nigeria, which would also require all Nigerians of goodwill to join forces with the PDP to achieve that goal.
“All Nigerians of goodwill who believe in this country, who believe Nigeria is going the wrong direction, ought to join us.
“And like I always say, there are two divides in Nigeria today. Those who are happy with the confusion because they are benefiting from what is happening at the centre, and those of us who are truly patriotic enough to disagree with the way our country is being governed and being run.
“I appeal and beseech every Nigerian, even those in APC that are patriotic enough, to join hands with us as we continue to march towards rescuing Nigeria together.
“I believe it is our responsibility to do so, not for ourselves but for our younger ones and generations unborn.”
Governors present at the gala night were, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Mohammed Bala (Bauchi); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Also in attendance were the deputy governors of Rivers and Zamfara, Dr Ipalibo HarryBanigo; and Aliyu Gusau; PDP National Secretary, Senator Sam Anyanwu; and several other dignitaries.
UPTH Begins Transplant Procedures In 2023 …Launches Five-Year Strategic Dev Plan
The management of University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) has said that the hospital would begin transplant procedures in 2023.
The UPTH said it was its desire and dreams to transform the hospital to a five-star hospital in the region.
The management said the infrastructure for the transplant procedures and Cardiac Unit would be completed soon.
The Chief Medical Director (CMD), UPTH, Prof. Henry Arinze Ugboma stated this during the official Hospital Strategic Development Plan Implementation Workshop and Roll Out held in the hospital Auditorium, in Choba, near Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital.
Ugboma said the Amenity Ward project was also mapped out in its five year strategic plan, which began from June, 2021 to 2026.
He noted that the hospital was ready to begin the transplant procedures as arrangements had been concluded for its take off next year.
Ugboma said as part of the commencement of the project, the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Limited had donated $500,000 to support the hospital.
“Transplant procedures are an important area we need to invest, as a hospital, such will be beneficial to the hospital and the society”.
The CMD said, as part of its capital projects in 2022, the hospital would change its aesthetics and make the hospital more beautiful.
“We shall change the aesthetics of the hospital to attract investors and beautify the environment”.
On the problems faced by the hospital, Ugboma said workers’ poor attitude to duty was a great challenge to the management.
“Work ethics, relationship to patients and visitors are not encouraging and must improve for a better hospital.
“If workers change, UPTH will grow faster.People come to work whenever they like and leave whenever they also like”, Ugboma said.
“You look for files, you will not see, most of our consultants are not always on duty call, there is no handover note amongst them”, he lamented.
He also said that part of the plan was to build residential quarters for staff of the hospital to enhance efficiency and productivity.
Earlier, the Board Chairman, UPTH, Muktar Anka, had appealed to the staff of the hospital to be diligent to duty and shun truancy.
Anka noted that a change in the attitude to work would enhance productivity and efficiency in the hospital.
The chairman insisted that idleness and truancy on duty promote bad attitudinal behaviours and tarnish the corporate image of the organisation.
By: Chinedu Wosu
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