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Dickson Approves N10bn For Investment Corporation’s Take Off

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Bayelsa State Governor, Hon. Seriake Dickson has inaugurated the Bayelsa State Development and Investment Corporation (BDIC) with an initial take off grant of N10 billion, saying that the gesture was to enable the state diversify from oil and gas sector of the economy.

Disclosing this at the Inaugural Board Retreat of BDIC held at the weekend in Yenagoa, Governor Dickson said this would assist the corporation in performing its statutory functions, which include attracting local and foreign investors to the state, boosting its economic profile and providing an economic blueprint for the state.

Governor Dickson stressed the importance of the board members of the BDIC to participate in the present administration’s efforts to turn the economy of the state around, adding that it has become imperative for the state to diversify from the oil and gas sector of the economy in view of the non renewable natural resource and emerging global economic market trends.

According to him, “the new Bayelsa that we all crave for, the new Bayelsa that we actually deserve, that new Bayelsa can only be founded on prosperity and security. Government is building roads and bridges, schools and so on, but in vain do we do all of this, if these activities do not translate to economic prosperity and opportunities for our people”.

Stressing the need for active involvement of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) in the development process of the state, Hon. Dickson said government should have little or no business in running commercial enterprise, adding that his administration believes in free enterprise.

“Our government is a believer in  free enterprise. It believes that the private sector is best suited to promoting enterprise, creating wealth, sustaining development. Government should, therefore, have very little business in running businesses”, he said.

On the expected role of the BDIC, the governor pointed out that the corporation was to serve as a catalyst for economic growth and prosperity, and not to usurp the functions of the ministries, departments and other agencies of the government.

He submitted, the BDIC is not intended to take the place of the ministries in this state. It is not a body that is higher than the ministries and government of this state. The BDIC’s role is not policy formulation. That will continue to reside in the State government and its formal organs. However, it will be the duty of the BDIC to drive those activities that are investment related.

“It is the instrument for driving investment; attracting investment and, directly investing. Also, because it is a creation of our laws, there will always be necessary collaboration with other organs of government”, he added.

In his bid to strengthen the economic base of the state and place it on a higher pedestal, Governor Dickson urged the management of BDIC to bring their wealth of experience to bear on the corporation’s mission, especially in the area of building a formidable conglomerate.

“We have instances of Odua Group of Companies and other similar bodies within this country. Outside the shores of the country, we have sovereign entities like Investment Development Corporation, (IDC), South Africa, and that of Rwanda and so many others.

“These models exist and that is the level we want to take our state to. Let me emphasise that going forward, all capital investment that have business elements will be undertaken by the BDIC”.

On the issue of funding, the governor disclosed, that “the BDIC will enjoy from now till the end of the current budget year, a capital injection of between N5billion-N10billin from the Government of Bayelsa State. This is to enable the BDIC perform effectively”.

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Niger Delta

Edo Varsity Donates Health Centre To Community

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The Edo State University, Uzairue has donated a primary health centre to Ivioghe community in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the project was inaugurated by the Deputy Governor of Edo, Philip Shaibu, on Tuesday.
Shaibu, who was represented by the Acting Chairman, Etsako East Local Government, Dr Samuel Mathew, praised the institution for initiating and funding the project.
“I am always overwhelmed when I see such gestures, an indication that the institution is thinking about the welfare of others,” he said.
The Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Emmanuel Aluyor, said the comprehensive health centre is made up of consulting rooms, wards and other medical facilities to cater for patients.
“The medical and dental council, as part of the condition for the training of our medical students, stipulated that we establish a comprehensive health centre to be used for rural posting of our medical science students.
“This singular fact necessitated the establishment of this health centre today.
“I want to especially thank the host community and the Ivioghe community for donating the vast land this health centre is sited,” he said.
The VC disclosed that with the inauguration of the centre, the institution had commenced one week free medical care to take care of minor surgeries and treat patients from the host community and its environs.
“It gladdens my heart that the comprehensive heath centre recorded its first delivery of a bouncing baby just yesterday,” he said.
The President-General of Oghe Okughe Development Union, Dr Sunny Akhamiokhor, thanked the university for the gesture.
“I want to thank the management of Edo University Uzairue for the wise decision to site the health centre in our town.
“I want to assure you that our people shall give their maximum support and cooperation to staff and students that will be posted to the health centre,” he said.
He, however, called on the state government to deploy more teachers to the primary and secondary schools in the community.
Akhamiokhor assured that the community would continue to cooperate with the institution and the state government in order to attract more development to the community.

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Group Lauds Emmanuel For Entrenching Peace

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The National Chairman, Maintain Peace Movement (MPM), Mr Emmanuel Enoidem, has commended Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom for entrenching the peace culture in the state since he assumed office.
Enoidem made the commendation at the inauguration of the Steering Committee of the Federal Capital Territory Chapter of the group, held at Akwa Ibom House, on Monday in Abuja.
According to Enoidem, there is no fear of kidnappings, unlawful killings and other security challenges in the state.
“There is no gainsaying the fact that Gov. Emmanuel Udom has entrenched peace in Akwa Ibom and we will continue to support him by promoting peaceful coexistence in the state.”
He also applauded the governor for transforming the state from a Civil Service state to an industrial and economically viable entity.
Enoidem said the the governor, since assumption of office in 2015, initiated laudable projects that enhanced the infrastructure of state and encouraged the setting up of many industries.
Similarly, he hailed the governor for establishing the state-owned airline which had been defined in the nation’s aviation industry.
Earlier, the Liaison Officer, Akwa Ibom State, Abuja, Mr Edwin James, said Akwa Ibom under Gov. Emmanuel is enjoying so much peace, a condition that leads to sustainable development anywhere, anytime.
“I feel proud to see that Akwa lbom indigenes even in the diaspora also share the sentiment of Gov. Emmanuel in building a peaceful and united Akwa Ibom where development and investment can thrive and flourish.”
On his part, Mr Emmanuel Inyang, Special Assistant to Akwa Ibom Governor on Grassroots mobilisation in Abuja and 19 Northern States, said that the Governor, since assumption of office, has ensured that there is no discrimination in every segment of the state.
“So everybody now has that sense of belonging. He assented to a law which will treat anyone caught involved in any illegal group will be treated as a criminal.”
Also, the newly-inaugurated Coordinator of the FCT Chapter of MPM, Mr Usenekong Akpan, assured that the chapter would strive to promote the philosophy of the movement with a sense of commitment and total loyalty.
“It is expressly clear, that we have embraced the MPM philosophy with awesome joy and we are set to carry into our future this precious light of peace with common belief, purpose, passion, dedication and enthusiasm.”

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Niger Delta

Edo NMA Appeals To Agrieved Health Workers To Assume Duty At Stella Obasanjo Hospital

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The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Edo State branch, has appealed to health workers in Central Hospital, Benin, who are temporarily relocated to Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin, to assume duty there.
The Chairman of the branch, Dr Harrison Omokhu, made the appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Monday.
The Edo State Government has said that it has “relocated” and not “demolished” the over 100-year-old Central Hospital Benin, with a view to transforming it.
The affected health care workers have however kicked against their relocation to Stella Obasanjo Hospital, Benin.
Omokhu urged the affected workers to be patient with and partner the state government, pending when plans were made to build a new hospital.
“The siting of central hospital is strategic; the Executive Governor is well aware of these important facts.
“So I do not think His Excellency is moving the central hospital on a permanent basis.
“I think it’s a temporary thing to enable him to put more befitting structures on ground.
“Those buildings are very old and dilapidated and need urgent attention which I think the governor is doing,” he said.
Omokhua said that there was no new central hospital as speculated in some quarters, adding that the staff were only being relocated temporarily for work to be done in the hospital.
“I believe after that, they will be returned back. Not all the staff of the central hospital have been relocated.
“Departments like Obstetrics and Gynecology were not moved.
“Others have been relocated temporarily to the new hospital beside the central hospital – Edo Specialist Hospital and Stella Obasanjo Hospital – located off Sapele road,” he added.

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