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Niger Delta

FG To Tackle Coastal States’ Problems

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The Federal Government has assured that it would address the environmental problems militating against the socio-economic development of the coastal states of the country.

Mohammed Bashar, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, gave the assurance

recently at the Mangrove/NYPA Palm sensitisation and training workshop in Yenagoa, Bayelsa.

He said, “This workshop should be considered as one of the series of capacity building efforts of the ministry. “To ensure that communities are positively engaged in our fight against environmental degradation,” he said.

Bashar explained that the objective of the workshop was to address the issues of hunger, poverty and food insecurity as well as ensure sustainable development of the people in the coastal region.

The permanent secretary also revealed that the coastal environment consisted of diverse ecosystem and rich natural resources such as tin, columbine, oil and gas.

He added that the ecosystem had renewable resources such as fish, reptiles, marine mammals and the mangrove.

Bashar disclosed that Nigeria’s mangrove stock was the highest in Africa as it ranked as the third largest in the world.

He said that about 7,000 sq. km out of Africa’s total stock of 9,730 sq.km was found in the Niger Delta region of the country.

The permanent secretary stressed that mangrove biodiversity was an important source of livelihood for communities within and beyond the coastal areas.

He noted that mangrove species could be used to derive coal, poles for building flooring of houses, foundation pilling, scaffolding, as firewood, and as fishing stakes, among others.

Bashar expressed regret that the mangrove forests of the coastal states had been degraded and depleted significantly, due to overexploitation and pollution.

According to him, that has made it difficult for the ecosystem to fulfill its numerous functions. In her keynote address, Mrs Victoria Denenu, the Bayelsa Commissioner for Environment, said the state mangrove ecosystem covered four out of the eight local government areas of Brass, Nembe, Southern Ijaw and Ekeremor.

She advised stakeholders to conserve the mangrove ecosystem with a view to restoring the forests and biodiversity to their pristine position.

The commissioner also appealed to the Federal Ministry of Environment to involve the state government in project planning before awarding contracts related to the ecosystem.

The Tide’s source reports that participants were drawn from the eight local government areas of the state.

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Niger Delta

Diri Charges Security Agencies On Intelligence Gathering

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Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State has urged security agencies to invest more time and resources in intelligence gathering in their effort to overcome banditry, insurgency and other securty challenges confronting the country.
He made the call at a retirement party organized by the state government in honour of the outgoing state Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, in Yenagoa.
Represented by his deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, the Governor emphasized the need for security agencies to adopt a holistic approach that will encourage the active participation of civilians in their campaign against insecurity.
According to Senator Diri, until security is seen as everyone’s business in society, the use of kinetic approach to addressing security challenges will yield little or no meaningful result.
While calling on the police and other security outfits to be above board in the performance of their duties, he urged people of the state to always volunteer information that could lead to the arrest and prosecution of criminals in the state.
“Security is everybody’s business, but more often than not it is seen as nobody’s responsibility. Sometimes we want somebody to do something about security, and nobody does anything about it, and at the end of the day security is not taken seriously.
“But somebody has to do something about security. We should all do something about security so that our state can be safe.I will like our security agencies to be more proactive and preemptive in carrying out their duties because it is cheaper to be preventive. They have to make more effort in the area of intelligence gathering from the civil populace”, he said.
Describing CP Mike Okoli as a refined product with an unblemished record throughout his service in the Nigeria Police, Governor Diri said society had a lot to learn from the wealth of experience of the retiring Commissioner of Police.
He acknowledged the sacrifices being made by security personnel, noting that some of them get killed or become paralyzed in the course of securing lives and property, and therefore, must be appreciated in society.
“We need to learn a lot from the experiences of CP Mike Okoli. He had good cooperation with his colleagues in the state. No wonder, Bayelsa State had a decline in crime during their service in this state. As a government, we are very grateful. We know what these people (security agents) pass through. As civilians, we sleep at the risk of their breath, spine and throat.
“When you are sleeping and a crime is being committed, the Commissioner of Police and other service commanders would rush out because there is something going on.We are praying for CP Mike Okoli that as you are going into your retirement… from the Nigerian Police, we thank God on your behalf for being who you are and who you are going to be”, he added.
Earlier in their separate goodwill messages, the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, His Royal Majesty King Alfred Diete-Spiff, and the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, Assistant Inspector General, Don Awunah, acknowledged CP Okoli’s contributions to the relative peace and security in the state.
They described him as an outstanding and accomplished officer with an unblemished track record in the Nigerian Police and wished him the best in his future endeavours.
Responding, the Bayelsa State Commissioner of Police, CP Mike Okoli, thanked Governor Douye Diri, and his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, for honouring him by hosting his retirement thanksgiving reception.
Okoli also thanked the service commanders and everyone who made out time to attend the event, especially the Commandant of Police Staff College, Jos, A.I.G Don Awunah, and prayed God to bless them.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Delta Commissioner Urges Students To Study Hard

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Commissioner for Secondary Education in Delta State, Mrs Rose Ezewu, has urged Nigerian students to always study hard to excel in their examinations to become productive adults.
Ezewu made the plea yesterday, while monitoring the ongoing third term promotion examinations in some schools across the state.
According to her, this is one way for students to broaden their minds, knowledge and become successful individuals, problem solvers, employers and wealth creators in the society.
The commissioner described teachers as critical stakeholders in the development of any society, especially in the area of building and shaping the orientation of children.
“Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa’s administration is committed to transforming the education sector by ensuring a conducive teaching and learning environment for students and teachers in the state.
“Teachers should reciprocate government’s huge investment in the education sector by being more committed to their duties,’’ she said.
Some of the schools monitored by the commissioner and her team included Okeme Secondary School, Okuokoko in Okpe Local Government Area and Ogbe Secondary School, Effurun.
Others are Alegbon Secondary School, Ekpan, both in Uvwie Local Government Area, and Edjeba College in Warri South Local Government Area.

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Niger Delta

Don Advocates Balance Between Demand, Supply Of Teachers

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Prof. Ebele Egwunyenga of the Delta State University, Abraka, yesterday advocated an equilibrium between the demand for and supply of teachers in the school system
Egwunyenga made the assertion in a paper she presented at the 7th Quadrennial 8th State Delegates Conference of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Delta State Chapter, in Asaba.
She said that adequate personnel is essential in the sustainability of Nigeria’s educational system.
According to her, adequacy is not limited to the number of personnel as it includes equitable distribution of teachers according to areas of specialisation.
“I recommend that government should ensure that there is equilibrium between teachers’ demand and supply in the school system.
“Government should improve on social amenities, particularly in rural areas. This will encourage teachers posted to the area.
“Government should provide modern technology for both teaching and learning. School facilities should be made attractive by government such that teachers would wish to be in school daily.”
Egwunyenga, who underscored the importance of education in nation building, said that education remained the vehicle for sustainable socio-economic development of any nation.

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