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FG Recovers N21bn Budget Surplus …Plans Climate Change Campaign For N’ Delta



Former Nigerian Bar Association, National President, Chief O.C.J Okocha,(SAN) (2nd left), cutting the tape during the opening ceremony of the Library Port (Reading Bridges Magazine).With him are Dr Gabriel Okara, former Commissioner for Information in old Rivers State (3rd right), and Mrs Mina Margaret Ogbanga, Country Director/CEO of Library Port Bridges Magazine  at Elekahia Housing Estate, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

Former Nigerian Bar Association, National President, Chief O.C.J Okocha,(SAN) (2nd left), cutting the tape during the opening ceremony of the Library Port (Reading Bridges Magazine).With him are Dr Gabriel Okara, former Commissioner for Information in old Rivers State (3rd right), and Mrs Mina Margaret Ogbanga, Country Director/CEO of Library Port Bridges Magazine at Elekahia Housing Estate, Port Harcourt, yesterday. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

The Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has recovered more than N21 billion as “operating surplus” from 18 corporate organisations last year.

The Commissioner for Strategic Communications, Mr Adewunmi Abitoye, made the announcement yesterday in Kaduna shortly after officials of the commission paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Namadi Sambo.

He said the amount was immediately remitted to the Federal Government’s consolidated account.

Abitoye said that “ operating surplus” was the funds generated by corporate agencies outside the budgeted amount for a particular year.

The commissioner, who represents the west geo-political zone on the commission, said the agencies were expected to remit 80 per cent of such fund to the federation account.

He said the funds were recovered after the agencies failed to remit the excess funds to the federation account.

The Chairman of the Commission, Alhaji Aliyu Yelwa, said the commission members were in the state to sensitise government officials on the need to imbibe best practices to fast-track the socio-economic development of the area.

“We were established by an Act in 2007 to ensure standard practices for greater efficiency in allocation and management of public expenditure,” he added.

Yelwa said six state governments, including those of Lagos, Kebbi, Bauchi, Gombe, Abia and Imo were already implementing the fiscal responsibility policy to enhance productivity and transparency in their ministries.

He said the policy, if effectively implemented, would enhance equity in the distribution and application of economic resources.

Responding, Sambo said the state government had adopted various policies, including the Procurement Act, to ensure prudence in its fiscal applications.

Sambo, represented by Mr Waje Yayok, Secretary to the State Government, said government was collaborating with the World Bank and other institutions to ensure transparency in allocation of funds.

In another development, the Federal Ministry of Environment said it was set to commence “massive” awareness programme on climate change in the nine erosion prone states in the Niger Delta region.

Mr Yerima Tarfa, an Assistant Director, Climate Change Unit, of the ministry, told newsmen, Tuesday, in Abuja that the programme would take place in Calabar towards end of April.

Tarfa said that the programme would enlighten the people in the area about the threat and impact of the global phenomenon.

According to him, the programme wouldl witness the participation of people at the grassroots.

He said that another sensitisation programmme that would bring together people at the grassroots and stakeholders among others, would also hold in Gombe in May.

The assistant director said the ministry had organised several awareness programmes to educate the people about the implication of climate change, incliuding jingles and dramas.

“ We have done a lot in the area of creating awareness on the impact of climate change, through jingles on television, radio and drama among others.

“These are the channels through which we have been able to disseminate the information,” he said.

He, however, said that some stakeholders and NGOs, such as the Nigeria Climate Action Network (NigeriaCan) and Henrich Boll Foundation, were partnering with the ministry to create awareness at the grassroots.

“For the past three years, the Henrich Boll Foundation, one of our partners, had supported the unit in creating awareness on climate change especially at the frontline desert prone states,” Tarfa added.

Tarfa said that the government was driving a private public partnership programme to produce a National Adaptation Strategy and Plan of Action (NASPA), adding that the climate change unit had provided a secretariat for the NASPA.

Members of NASPA were NGOs and other stakeholders, he said, adding that the objective of the group was to create awareness about climate change and other related issues at the grassroots.

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Governor Wike Releases N450M To 2019 Presidential Election Violence Victims In Abonnema



The State Chief Executive Nyesom Ezenwo Wike has released the sum of Four hundred and fifty million naira to the victims of the 2019 Presidential election violence in Abonnema.
Speaking during  a meeting preparatory to giving out the cash, Governor Wike  said the gesture is in fulfilment of his promise to the people of Abonnema  at the Church service to honour those who lost their lives, the injured and those who lost properties during the crisis.
Represented by the Secretary to the State Government Dr. Tammy Wenike  Danagogo, Governor Wike said no amount of money could adequately compensate the people for the harrowing experience they suffered in the hands of the Nigerian Army, stating that he appreciates the support and commitment of the People of  Akuku Toru Local Government Area before, during and after the elections. He said he would continue to execute programmes that would positively impact on the lives of the people of the  Area.
He assured them that the second phase of the Abonnema ring road would be commissioned before the end of June, stressing that the contractor has been fully paid.
According to him in the face of the Covid 19 Pandemic he has continued to stand by the People of the State by taking practical steps not only to protect Rivers People but to also provide palliatives to bring succour to the vulnerable and less privileged unlike the   selfish politicians in other political  parties who only visit the people to solicit for votes during elections but do not have the interest of the people at heart.
In his remarks the Amayanabo of Abonnema King Disrael  Gbobo Bobmanuel thanked  Governor Wike for fulfilling his promise to the Abonnema People, noting that the Governor has proven over the years that his word is his bond.
According to him the Governor is a man worthy of trust and support because he has fulfilled all his promises to the Abonnema People. He Advised beneficiaries to make judicious use of the Money the Governor has graciously given to them.
Earlier the Chairman of Akuku Toru Local Government Area Hon. Roland Sekibo who said he is still traumatized by the events that took place during the Presidential election in 2019 expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for his kind gesture, stressing that the People of his Local Government Area would continue to support the Governor in his quest to improve the lives of Rivers People.
Also speaking one of the beneficiaries Mr  Minamiango Romeo  who sustained gunshot injuries  expressed gratitude to Governor Wike for not abandoning them in their time of need and promised to continue to support his Administration and the leaders of the Local Government Area.
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PROBE: EFCC Should Stop Media Trial – Rivers State Government



The Rivers State Government says its attention has been drawn to a fresh wave of media trial by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) against the officials of the state.

According  to a statement issued by the state Commissioner for information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, “the latest attempt contained in today’s edition( May 24,2020)of The Nation Newspaper alleged that the State Government has refused to release top officials for interrogation in connection to the withdrawal of N118 billion in cash between 2015 and 2018.


“We have repeatedly said that the State Government will not release its officials to the EFCC for investigations until the commission approaches the Court  to set aside Subsisting orders of perpetual  injunction granted by various courts of competent jurisdiction restraining the EFCC from investigating or inquiring into the financial transactions of the Rivers  State Government including its ministries, departments and  agencies.


“In view of these  Subsisting judgments, it would amount  to an act of brazen  illegality for the EFCC to  insist  on  interrogating  any official OF the Rivers State Government.
For the avoidance of doubt, no official of the Rivers State Government would appear before the EFCC until the subsisting judgments in favour of the Rivers State Government are set aside on appeal.

“Resorting to the Media can only be described as cheap blackmail and witch-hunt to turn away public attention from the development strides in the State.

“This media trial that they engage in all the time will not take the place of our extant laws no matter how hard they try.

“The EFCC should stop playing to the gallery and pursue its war against corruption within the ambits of the law.


“Rivers State Government is committed to the Rule of Law and cannot be intimidated by the EFCC.

“Those who want to use the EFCC to promote their political agenda in the State will fail because we know their antics.

“Targeting Rivers State for this occasional media trial should be seen by the public for what it is, “political witch-hunt,” the statement said.

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Rivers Records 27 New Coronavirus Cases …Manager Of Prodest Hotel Among The New Cases



Rivers State has recorded 27 new positive coronavirus  cases.

A statement signed by the Rivers state Ministry of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, disclosed that the Manager of Prodest Hotel, Eleme is among the new positive cases.

According to the statement, the latest development validates the State Government’s proactive approach towards the fight against COVID-19.

Recall that Prodest Hotel was demolished two weeks ago because the owners violated Executive Order 7 which banned the operation of hotels.

The COVID-19 Taskforce members from the Local Government who went to enforce the Executive Order were brutalized and dehumanised leading to the death of one of them.

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