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Amaechi Commissions Ultra Modern ICT Centre … Rates Zenith Bank High

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The Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi says the establishment of Information, Communications and Technology (ICT) centre in Port Harcourt would help to increase business activities in the state.

Governor Amaechi stated this Wednesday in Port Harcourt at the official Commissioning of the Ultra-Modern Information, Communications and Technology Centre, donated by Zenith Bank Plc, to the state government, saying that the idea behind the establishment of the centre was completely that of the Managing Director of the Bank, Jim Ovia.

He expressed the hope that ICT, beyond its negative uses in Nigeria where some persons use it to perpetrate fraud, was an avenue to interact globally, and could serve as a place for people to go and study computer or ICT in the state.

The State Chief Executive, who expressed confidence in the relationship between the state government and Zenith Bank, said the government would discuss with the bank to see if they can partner in the management of the centre.

Governor Amaechi noted that the people of Rivers State were grateful to the Bank for her contributions towards the growth of the economy of the state, adding that their friendship with the state government would continue.

Earlier, the Deputy Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Godwin Emefiele, who represented the Group Managing Director, Mr Jim Ovia, said the fully equipped Information Communications and Technology (ICT) centre was donated by the Bank to the Rivers State Government as part of its social responsibility programme, as well as its cardinal policy to show gratitude to the Rivers Community for providing an enabling environment for business to strive in the state,

Mr Emefiele said the establishment of the centre was anchored on Governor Amaechi’s vision for the development of the state, based on active corporate involvement under Public Private Partnership (PPP) Scheme.

He also said the centre is aimed at enhancing government’s development aspirations since ICT is development, and assured the Governor of their commitment to continue the  partnership.

Meanwhile, Zenith Bank Plc has been placed on “B” rating for its high level of transparency in its partnership with the Rivers State Government.

Making the pronouncement, midweek, at the official commissioning of the information, communication and Technology (ICT) centre in Port Harcourt, the state Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi said by this feat, the bank has earned being awarded mega developmental projects.

According to the governor, in addition to the commissioned ICT centre donated by the bank, the finance institution is partnering with the state government in some on-going projects in the state.

In appreciation of the donation of ICT centre, Amaechi promise that the government would take care of the paying of salaries to employees of the centre.

He also promised the bank plots of land along Omagwa and Isiokpo area of the state as part of the state government’s contribution for a modern school promised by the bank to support government’s effort in restoring the standard of education in the state.

Governor Amaechi called on other banks and organizations in the private sector in the state to emulate Zenith Bank Plc in its partnership with government to develop the state.

In his keynote address, the Deputy Managing Director of the bank, Mr Godwin Emefiele thanked Governor Amaechi for providing the platform and stirring the interest of the private sector to contribute to improve the lives of the people in the state.

Mr Emefiele also thanked governor Amaechi and the entire people of the state for their unalloyed support and unwavering confidence on the private sector over their years of operation in the state.

He said the support was instrumental to the donation of the fully equipped (ICT) centre to the government and the good people of Rivers State.

According to him, the project is part of the bank’s cardinal policies to show gratitude to the community that has provided an enabling environment for the bank to render services.

Enoch Epelle

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11m Benefitted From $415m World Bank Supported CSDP  – FG

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The Federal Government has disclosed that 11 million Nigerians benefited from $415 million World Bank-supported Community and Social Development Project (CSDP) programme.
Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Hajiya Umar Farouq, disclosed this in an opening address during the close out ceremony of the CSDP programme.
According to Farouq, 11 million direct beneficiaries with an estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries across 29 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were reached between 2009 and 2021 when the CSDP programme was being implemented.
She also described the project as highly successful and highlighted sectors the project focused on including health, education, transportation, electrification, community housing, and others.
She said: “The Project became effective in 2009, has had two additional financing, all totaling USD415 million. In its over 11 years of existence, the CSDP has evolved into one of the strong pillars for the implementation of the Social Protection Programmes of the Federal Government under the supervision of my Ministry through the National Social Safety Nets Coordinating Office (NASSCO).
“The CSDP operates with the core principle of Community Driven Development (CDD) Approach.  This is a development paradigm that focuses on the needs of the poor and vulnerable and empowering them with development resources to address their peculiar needs.
“Using this unique approach, the CSDP has implemented micro projects in poor communities across the 543 Local Government Areas of 29 States and the Federal Capital Territory.
“This represents about 70 per cent of the total number of Local Governments in Nigeria.  The poor communities are identified specifically through the use of Poverty Maps agreed to by each participating State and FCT.
“The Project has made substantial impact on improving access of the poor and vulnerable to social and natural resources infrastructure across the benefiting communities.  The total number of beneficiaries of CSDP stands at 11 million direct beneficiaries across the 29 states, with estimated 25 million indirect beneficiaries.
“Specifically, the CSDP has achieved the following: Successful completion of 16,166 micro-projects in 5,664 communities and 934 vulnerable groups.  These micro-projects cut across eight sectors of intervention namely education, health, water, transportation, electrification, socio-economic, environment and community housing; 5,764 classrooms, 1,323 health centres and 4,442 water micro projects were constructed and or rehabilitated.

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Cooking Gas Use Campaign Begins In 12 States

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The Federal Government in collaboration with the Nigerian Energy Support Programme has kicked off the national sensitisation and awareness campaign for the use of Liquefied Petroleum Gas in Nigeria beginning with 12 pilot states.
The states include Sokoto, Katsina, Bauchi, Gombe, Enugu, Ebonyi, Delta, Bayelsa, Lagos, Ogun, Niger and the Federal Capital Territory.
The government said the campaign to ensure increased usage of LPG, popularly called cooking gas, was in line with its ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative, adding that its socioeconomic and health benefits far outweighed the use of kerosene and firewood.
Speaking at the inaugural campaign in Abuja, Tuesday the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said there was no excuse for Nigeria not to be able to develop its gas sector considering the huge gas reserves in-country.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Programme Manager, National LPG Expansion Plan, Office of the Vice President, Dayo Adeshina, said the use of LPG would help in cutting down gas flaring in Nigeria.
He said the government was working to ensure that Nigeria achieved the five million metric tons LPG consumption target, adding that efforts were being made to ensure the provision of cylinders at affordable rates to Nigerians.
“Our gas reserves in this country are enormous and we have every reason to develop the gas sector and ensure that our citizens use LPG,” the Vice President said.
He added, “The use of LPG is good for our health and has better socioeconomic benefits and this is in line with the ‘Decade of Gas’ initiative of government.”
Recently, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, said over 120 million Nigerians were experiencing energy poverty despite the huge natural gas resources across the country.
Participants at the awareness campaign also called for adequate penetration of LPG usage in Nigeria, as they pledged to support the government in achieving this target.

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Rail Transport Suffers 38% Decline In Q1 2021 – NBS

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Rail transportation suffered a 38 per cent, year-on-year average decline in passenger and cargo travel in the first quarter of the year 2021 (Q1’21).
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) disclosed this yesterday in its Rail Transport Data for Q1’21, which  showed that passenger travel fell by 34.4 per cent, year-on-year, to 424,460 passengers   in Q1’21 from 647,055 passengers recorded in Q1’2020.
Similarly, cargo travel fell by 43.13 per cent, year-on-year, to 10,511 tons in Q1’21 from 18,484 recorded in Q1 2020.
The NBS stated: The rail transportation data for Q1 2021 reflected that a total of 424,460 passengers travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 647,055 passenger recorded in Q1 2020 and 134,817 in Q4 2020 representing -34.40 per cent decline year-on-year and +214.84 per cent growth QoQ respectively.
“Similarly, a total of 10,511 tons of volume of goods/cargo travelled via the rail system in Q1 2021 as against 18,484 recorded in Q1 2020 and 35,736 in Q4 2020 representing -43.13 per cent decline year-on-year and -70.59 per cent decline QoQ respectively.
Revenue generated from passengers in Q1 2021 was put at N892,467,526 as against N398,999,290 in Q4 2020. 
Similarly,revenue generated from goods/cargo in Q1 2021 was put at N26.19 million as against N82.57 million in Q4 2020.

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