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Niger Delta

Dickson Signs Appropriation Bill Into Law

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Hon. Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa State has signed into law, the state’s 2013 appropriation bill ofN304.05billion. According to the law as passed by the State House of Assembly, recurrent expenditure stood at N142.1billion while N161.9billion is for capital expenditure.

Governor Dickson had in December 2012 presented a budgetary proposal of N285.9billion to the State House of Assembly for approval. However, after sectoral review, the Assembly increased the budget by N19billion before passing it into law.  However, after sectoral review, the Assembly increased the budget by N19bn before passing it into law.

Singing  the bill into law, the Governor attributed the delay in its presentation to last year’s flooding that ravaged the entire communities in the state and the ill-fated Helicopter crash that claimed the lives of the former National Security Adviser, General Owoye Azazi and late Governor of Kaduna State, Sir Patrick Yakowa.

He commended the efforts of the lawmakers for their commitment towards the actualisation of the Restoration Agenda, saying that his economic team would soon commence the preparation of the 2014 Appropriation bill, adding that this would ensure its early presentation and passage in line with the Fiscal Responsibility Law.

According to him, ‘we are not only going to partner with the House of Assembly as we have always done but also specifically (on this issue of appropriation) work to ensure that by the grace of God, we comply with the fiscal responsibility law which obliges us to submit an appropriation bill earlier than we did last year. ‘

On the implementation of the newly signed appropriation bill, the governor said, ‘on our part, we intend to follow this budget scrupulously. We intend to implement it to the latter as you have passed it. Where there are difficulties and  shortfalls or any area we need to work with the Assembly, we will not hesitate to bring that to your notice because (after all) a budget is only a statement of intent, it is a broad policy financial document.”

“I want to request you and members of your House to also support Government as you have always done by exercising the full ambit of your oversight powers over all Ministries, Departments and Agencies, so that we can all work together to ensure that set goals and targets are achieved to enable us bring prosperity, development and security to the good people of this state, he added.

Earlier, the Speaker of the House of Assembly; Rt. Hon. Friday Kombowei Benson attributed the increment in the budget to the present administration’s drive for development.

“The increase is because of your (Governor) ambitious drive for project and well-being of the people of Bayelsa state,’ the Speaker said.          .

Meanwhile, a former President of Christian Association of Nigeria AN),Bishop Mike Okonkwo has said that for the society to grow, both the church and government should act in unionism in fight societal norms.

Bishop Okonkwo who is also the General Overseer and Bishop of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM), stated this in Government House, Yenagoa when he paid courtsy call on the Bayelsa State governor, Hon Seriake

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Niger Delta

Abducted NLC Chairman Regains Freedom In C’River

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The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Cross River State chapter, Comrade Ben Ukpepi, who was kidnapped three months ago, has regained his freedom.
Our correspondent reports that Ukpepi was kidnapped from his house at CROSPIL in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the State on March 21, 2021.
The Vice Chairman, NLC, Cross River State, Comrade Lawrence Achuta, said the victim was released on Monday by 3.30pm.
In a statement, he said, “Recall that Ben Ukpepi was kidnapped from his CROSPIL estate residence in Akpabuyo on the 21st of March 2021.
“We are very glad, and thankful to God Almighty for his safe release by the Kidnappers.
“I use this opportunity to thank the Organised Labour family in the State, particularly the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Medical and Health Workers Union and some members of his family.
“He is undergoing some routine medical checks at the moment. Once again, I thank all who stood by us throughout this difficult moment,” he quipped.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Set To Inaugurate Environment Vanguard

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The Bayelsa State Government is set to establish a new body charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment from degradation and other environment related causes.
This was made known to newsmen, Tuesday during the celebration of the 2021World Environment Day by the state government in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The Tide gathered that the United Nations had declared 5th June every year as World Environment Day, necessitating the Bayelsa State government to commemorate the 2021 Environment Day Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 following other activities which had earlier caused its postponement penultimate week by the state government.
Giving approvals to demands made by the State Commissioner for Environment, Iselema Gbaranbiri, as contained in his welcome address for the occasion, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, restated government’s commitment towards protecting the state’s ecosystems and all matters relating to the environment within the available resources of the state.
Diri noted that following his willingness to promote policies and make decisions aimed at protecting the state’s Ecosystems from further degradation, the state government recently had made approvals for the shore protection work of Obogoro community in the Yenagoa council area of the state.
He promised to do same subsequently for other affected communities of the state, assuring that government would soon work on an executive bill to set up the state ‘Environment Vanguard’.
“The prosperity government shall soon work on a legislation to set up the state Environment Vanguard”, he said.
“This vanguard, when established would work with the ministry of environment and other relevant stakeholders in the environment sector to protect our Ecosystems and environment from continuous degradation”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Honourable Gbaranbiri, has said the ministry of environment intends to deal decisively with those who were in the habit of flagrantly disrespecting nvironmental safety rules and guidelines in the state.
Gbaranbiri cautioned people to desist forthwith from ecosystem and unfriendly environmental phenomena, just as he stated that the ministry of environment had recently apprehended some persons,(names withheld) whom he said were involved in some unfriendly activities on the environment.
He commended Governor Diri for making funds available to the ministry for the execution of various environmental functions, pleading that the governor shore up the financial provisions made available to the ministry due to rising environmental challenges.
“ I commend the executive governor, his excellency, Governor Douye Diri, for making funds available for the ministry of environment, for the execution of its functions and programmes. But I also want to plead that you increase the funding coming to the ministry, because of the increasing environmental challenges”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the theme of the 2021 world Environment Day was tagged: ‘Join the Campaign to Restore our Ecosystem’
Similarly, guest lecturer for the occasion and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, professor, Ibaba, S. Ibaba has called on government to implement guidelines and rules governing the environment to the letter, noting that the lack of political will by state actors in managing the environment was the bane of a clean, healthy and safe environment for all.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Balyesa, United Nigeria Airline Sign MoU On Flight Operations

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The United Nigeria Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bayelsa State Government for the commencement of direct scheduled flight operations into and out of Bayelsa International Airport.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, confirmed the agreement in a statement in Lagos yesterday.
Uchegbu explained that according to the terms of the agreement, United Nigeria would operate four daily flights in and out of the airport.
“United Nigeria will service the Bayelsa International Airport daily from the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MM2) in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“With the MoU, the airline will commence direct flight operations to Bayelsa International Airport in July,” he said.
Uchegbu said that the MoU was signed in the presence of Gov. Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State and the state’s executive council.
Speaking, Diri noted that with the signing of the MoU, Bayelsans would begin to reap the benefits of the government’s investment in infrastructure.
The governor said that the venture would open Bayelsa, the resource base of Nigeria to the world.
Diri said the airline was chosen as partner because of its quality of service and efficiency.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO), United Nigeria Airline, Mr Osita Okonkwo, thanked the government and people of the state for choosing it.
He gave assurance that the airline would continue to offer the quality service that the airline was known for.

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