Delta State Government is to actively participate in the Global Climate Change Programme to ensure meaningful and sustained development in the State.
The State governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan announced this when he declared open a two-day meeting of the 11th Zonal Network for Children, organised by United Nations International Children Emergency Fund ( UNICEF) in Asaba.
He explained that the state was taking the issue of climate change very important as pollution was dealing fatal blow on the environment.
Speaking further, he noted that Delta State has been officially chosen by United Nations Development Programm ( UNDP) as one of the ten states in the world to propagate climate change program, adding that his administration would vigorously pursue this course.
His words “ As a state, we are taking the issue of environment important especially on climate change. We are going to pursue vigorously the issue of gas flaring, which is polluting our environment, to clean up our polluted water and re-generate our soil to enhance development.”
The governor advised Unicef to introduce the use of statistics in the collation of data’s for national development and commended Oyo State for already using the method in their local government councils for efficient planning.
According to him” l advise Unicef to introduce the use of statistics not only in the collation of health indices but on other areas because without it you cannot plan. In our nation we need statistics for efficient planning.
He commended Unicef for her contributions to the education and health sectors in the state and informed it of the programmes put in place to develop human capital and ensure the survival of children and women in that state.
Governor Uduaghan informed the participant that the state would commission the best equiped hospital with I.C.T Scan in the country next month in Oghara for improved health care delivery.
In a welcome address, the Chief of Field Office Unicef in Lagos , Mr. Karim Akadiri explained that Unicef is supporting the zone in the preparation of the State Strategic Health Development Framework to help reduce child and maternal death.
He explained that Unicef is committed to achieving the Millennium Development Goal ( MDG) to impart on the socio- economic and health care of women and children in the world.
Mr. Akadiri commended Delta State Governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan for signing the 2009 Programm Implementation Assessment( PIA) to develop and complete the 10 year strategic education plan to introduce the mentoring system of education.
In a brief remark, the Delta SSG, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa stated that the state would continue to partner with Unicef, since it’s objectives are in line with the state government’s three point agenda, adding that the state has shown it’s commitment through the payment of the counterpart funding of 2008/2009.
He explained that the zone consist of eight states- Oyo, Osun, Ondo,Ogun,Ekiti,Edo and Delta of which Delta is already implementing the Child Right Law.
Highpoint of the meeting was a presentation on the eight MDG by students of Graceville School and presentation on the importance of hand wash by pupils of Uzoigwe Primary School in Asaba.
In another development, the state governor, Dr. Emmanuel Uduaghan has assured Third World Organisation for Women in Science (TWOWS) of his administration’s commitment to develop science and technology.
Dr. Uduaghan who announced this when members of the organisation paid him a courtesy visit in Asaba explained that the state would partner with TWOWS to assist on developing information communication technology(ICT) in the state.
He noted that women have a lot of potentials to move the country forward if given the opportunity to exercise their talent and called on the men folk to stop oppressing women.
His words” Women play critical role in the development of the nation, l know and believe women can do well but they are been oppressed by the men. l do not under estimate women, l know what they are capable of doing if given the opportunity, men please allow our women to prove themselves.”
Headcount: NPC Commences Update Of Database In C’River
The National Population Commission (NPC) says it has commenced an update on Enumeration Area Demarcation (EAD) in Calabar Municipality of Cross River State, in preparation for the national headcount which could come up in the first quater of 2022.
Federal Commissioner representing the State on the Board of the NPC, Navy Captain Charles Ongwa, in a press conference in Calabar, said pre-census trial test conducted by the commission threw up some issues in Calabar Municipality, partly because the methods used during the initial phase of the EAD were manual.
He explained that satellite imagery platforms, geo-referencing and other latest applications for data and population capturing would be used this time around and that the exercise is scheduled between July 28 and the last week of August, 28 days to be precise.
“We are doing an update of the EAD in Calabar Municipality. The Commission undertook a pre-census trial test and it brought out Calabar Municipality as the only LGA in Cross River State which we should conduct updates.
“What informed the choice of that LGA is because when the EAD was done in Calabar Municipality, it was manual. The pre-test was to see whether the manual method used and the new scientific method would align and be effective during the census proper.
“The Commission decided that all the phases which were done manually in Calabar Municipality will run and be updated scientifically so that we would not have the challenge recorded during the pre-test. It is not a fresh enumeration. Other States are doing similar thing in those LGAs which the pre-test threw up,” he said.
The Commissioner disclosed that after the completion of the EAD and updates in some LGAs across the country, what would be left would be for President Muhammadu Buhari to make a proclamation for the census to be conducted.
He said the international communities, including the United Nations, were mounting pressures on the country to conduct a head count since the last census was done 16 years ago as against the internationally recommended ten years period for new census to ascertain the true population of a country.
Also speaking, the State Director of the NPC, Mr Billy Bassey Eteng, believed that when the exercise is completed, the country would be happy for it.
He therefore, solicited cooperation from residents of Calabar Municipality and indeed all Nigerians to support the exercise to succeed.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
Police Retirees Decry Poor Management Of Pension Scheme
Retired police officers under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have faulted the poor and inefficient management of the retirement programme in the country.
They disclosed this in a release made available in Calabar and signed by its 16 states Chapter Chairmen alongside four others.
Titled “Retired Police Officers Under Contributory Pension Scheme Applauded No One,” the group noted that Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) has denied police retirees of periodic increment of their monthly pension.
The retirees explained that the recently announced consequential adjustment of pension allowance by the federal government in line with section 173(3) of the constitution of the Federal Government of Nigeria (as amended) did not include police retirees under CPS.
The release read in part: “No police retiree under CPS who has been exposed to the highest level of frustration and abandonment after suffering to keep the peace of this nation, will ever applaud those who have seized their terminal benefits to run a private profit making business in which the owners of the money (police retirees) are not stakeholders.
“It is unthinkable that police officers who enlisted into the force under Defined Benefits Scheme (DBS) and had served this nation up to pensionable years before the introduction of CPS could be coerced into a system that has robbed them of their entitlements.
“The group wondered why “Service Chiefs in other Agencies and the leadership of other organisations are working to better the living standard of their serving and retired personnel, while the police leadership is conspiring with the NPF Pensions Limited to cheat police retirees.”
”The approval of 2.5 percent by the President is not a favour done to anybody as it is the entitlement of the employee that is due the employee following the review of employer and the employee rate of contribution,” adding that, “the propaganda of 300 percent special gratuity for retired police officers awaiting the President’s approval is too old a story to be repeated after four years.”
They also frowned at the denial of the 300 percent annual basic salary and the 80 percent monthly basic salary as gratuity and monthly pension on retirement.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
Alleged N3bn Diversion: Absence Of Defence Counsel Stalls Whistle Blower’s Trial
The absence of defence counsel to a former General Manager of Radio Bayelsa, John Idumange, who raised an alarm over alleged diversion of N3 billion Agric loan by government officials was yesterday stalled at a Bayelsa High Court.
When the case was called for hearing, the prosecution led by Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Bayelsa, Mrs Iyobosa Apulu, noted that the bench warrant issued on the defendant, Idumange, ought to be issued against his surety.
She urged the court to issue another bench warrant on the defendant’s surety, to produce his client in court.
“We do not know the whereabouts of the defendant, who was previously on bail before the case was transfered to this court.
“But his surety can be traced and that is why we want the bench warrant be issued against the surety, to prevail on him to produce the defendant in court,” Iyobosa said.
The court had on July 19 issued a bench warrant authorising the arrest of Idumange, whose counsel, Ebikebuna Aluzu, had informed the court that the defendant was involved in an accident and was hospitalised.
Justice Iniekenimi Uzakah subsequently adjourned the matter until September 10.
The Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice in Bayelsa, Biriyai Sambo, (SAN) had filed a suit against Idumange for misdemeanour and seditious publications against government officials.
Reports had it that a Magistrates’ Court had on March 11 in Yenagoa, ordered Idumange’s detention for 30 days, pending police investigation.
Idumange, who alleged that officials of Bayelsa government had diverted a N3 billion Agric loan and subsequently submitted a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, was arrested on March 10.
Some officials of the state government had reported to the police that Idumange had made seditious publications that maligned their persons in his claims.
However, the State High Court, Sagbama Division, granted bail to Idumange, who was also an aide on Research and Documentation and later Social Media to former Bayelsa Governor, Seriake Dickson.
The Tide reports that the case, earlier assigned to Justice Ebiyerin Omukoro, was reassigned to Justice Uzakah.
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