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Agency Spends N474m On 106 Micro Projects In Imo

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The Imo State Agency for Community and Social Development on Tuesday said it spent N474 million on 106 projects between 2010 and 2013.

The agency’s General Manger, Mr Amah Uwalaka, said this when he received a federal monitoring team in Owerri to inspect the agency’s projects in the state.

The agency was established as part of a World Bank-assisted programme to reduce poverty and to improve access to services for human development.

“The project is currently intervening in 84 communities out of the 435 communities that have so far applied for assistance.

“The sum of N474 million has been disbursed to beneficiary communities for implementation of micro projects contained in their community development plans.

” About 106 micro-projects have been completed in various sectors while 58 micro projects are ongoing; total number of funded micro-projects is 164,” he said.

Uwalaka said nine micro projects were completed in the education sector, 14 in health, 11 in water, 31 in rural electrification, 11 in transportation, 25 in socio-economic and five in environment.

He listed building of classroom blocks, health centres, construction of boreholes, town halls and market stalls as some of the projects undertaken by the communities under the supervision of the agency.

The manager further said that a recent project outcome study conducted in participating communities showed a 35 per cent reduction in the average distance to health centres.

“Attendance to ante-natal and post-natal clinics increased by 95 per cent from 215 to 420 attendance while access to immunisation service has also increased by 318 per cent from 1,019 to 4,825.

“Number of vehicles plying rehabilitated roads increased by 33 per cent per week.

“Travel time on rehabilitated roads reduced by 38 per cent thus reducing the cost of transportation by 42 per cent in the communities of our intervention,’’ he said.

Uwalaka said that not less than 7,304 square metres erosion and flood sites had been reclaimed in two local government areas through the programme.

Meanwhile, Uwalaka said that the communities affected by erosion in Ahiazu Mbaise and Ideato South Local Government Areas had approached the agency for assistance.

He mentioned Otulu Ahiara and Umuaghobe as some of the communities where the land reclamation took place.

“Land in these communities have been reclaimed and protected from erosion and flood through our communities’ efforts.

“The number of households connected to public power supply increased from 1,356 to 5,725, while the number of small scale businesses increased from 51 to 129, an increase of 153 per cent,” he said.

The General manager, however, listed the challenges of the agency to include inadequate funds to intervene in more communities which have indicated interest in the programme.

Another was the delay by the state government in paying its annual counterpart funding for the programme, which hindered resource availability.

He also mentioned the absence of a governing board to enhance linkage between the agency and the state government.

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Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority

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The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja. 
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years. 
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage   – NEITI

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Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)   has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.

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Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains. 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives. 
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area. 
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.

By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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