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RSG Posts 13,000 Teachers Soon …Partners UNITAR On Floods

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The Rivers State Government would soon deploy the newly recruited 13,201 teachers to various schools across the state for the commencement of their teaching careers.
Indication to this emerged on Monday during the induction of the teachers, 50 of whom are physically challenged.
Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Lawrence-Nemi, while declaring open the programme, said that the recruitment would guarantee that every public school enjoyed the services of good teachers.
Dame Lawrence-Nemi described the programme with the theme: “Teachers of Distinction”, as part of government efforts in building a culture of excellence in education, saying that the training would improve talent  and create good relationship among stakeholders.
She urged the teachers to take advantage of the opportunity to further improve  their competence and skill and directed those yet to get their appointment letters to  see the Board chairman.
Chairman of BRACED, professor Jose Aisuku who described the programme as a land mark achievement said that with the progress made, the state will soon see quality education  in all ramifications, worthy of emulation by other states.
Chairman of the Rivers State Advisory Council and former Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt, Prof Nimi Briggs likened Governor Amaechi  to the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, who laid the foundation for education revolution in Western Nigeria.
Prof Briggs also said that the innovation will transform education in the state, stressing that the programme will go a long way in character moulding in schools and also help improve educational opportunities for the subsequent generation of Rivers children.
Also speaking, the chairman, Rivers State House of Assembly Committee on Education, Hon Augustine Ngo said that the Rivers State House of Assembly will support every effort by the government to improve the quality of education in the state.
A cross section of the new teachers who spoke to The Tide described the ceremony as a welcome development, noting that it will put them in the right perspective to perform their task better.
The ceremony, which would last for four weeks is taking place at Model Girls Secondary School, Rumuene, Government Girls Secondary School, Rumuokwuta and Government Girls Secondary School Oromenike.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has entered into a partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR) to tackle the challenges for flood disaster in the state.
The Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon Chibuike Amaechi who disclosed this in Port Harcourt, said the partnership will help in addressing issues of perennial flooding and cushion the devastating effects through adroit mitigating measures and training of personnel on flood disaster management.
The governor, who declared open a 10-day special training programme on flood risk management orgainsed by the ministry of Special Duties and UNITAR in Port Harcourt, yesterday, enjoined the participants to take seriously the lesson learnt from the training to improve their expertise in flood management.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Energy, Chief Okey Amadi, attributed most causes of flood to improper disposal of wastes as well as building along water channels and cautioned against such practices.
Speaking at the training event held under the theme: ‘capacity building in flood management in Rivers State, Commissioner for Special Duties, Barrister Dickson Umunakwe, explained that the training was aimed at stepping up measures to avert a recurrence of the devastating flood recorded in the state.
The commissioner said participants  at the training were drawn from line ministries including, environment, health, power and other relevant agencies  and stakeholders, who are expected to bring their experiences to bear in handling issues of flooding in the disaster prone LGAs.
According to the commissioner, the training will afford participants the opportunity to explore better ways of doing things and be exposed to more discernible experiences and methodologies in flood disaster management.
On his part, resident representative of UNITAR in Nigeria, Dr Larry Boms said the training was a milestone in the UNITAR/ Rivers State Government partnership on  flooding, and expressed confidence that the programme will empower the participants with the requisite skills to be more effective in addressing today’s growing development challenges in flooding.
He pointed out that Rivers State, by its location in the Niger Delta region, remains one of the most susceptible to flooding in Nigeria.
Some of the participants, who spoke with The Tide, thanked the Ministry of Special Duties for the programme, and assured that the experience will be put into practices in the state.

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Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road

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No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.

By: Taneh Beemene

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Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank

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The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.

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Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms

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Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.

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