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Body Supports C’River Communities On Farming

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The Global Environment
Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) has supported eight communities in the Obanliku local government area (LGA) of Cross River on improved methods of planting and preserving vegetables.
The programme also gave support to two women associations.
The eight communities are Ablesang, Utuhu, Busi, Bebi, Shikpeche, Buya, Amanga and Bishiri, while the women associations are Work with Faith Club and Women of Hope Association.
The beneficiaries were trained on Sustainable Land Management (SLM), including drip irrigation.
They were also trained in the use of solar dryers to dry vegetables and package them for local and international markets, among others.
Our correspondents  reports that over 50 farmers benefited directly from the project tagged, “Sustainable Resources Use through Improved Vegetable Technologies’’.
The project’s indirect beneficiaries are estimated to be over 540,000 people.
The indirect beneficiaries include transporters, middlemen, local tax collectors, and the communities which can buy vegetables throughout the year and at affordable prices.
The Vice-President of Rural Infrastructure Services for Under-Served Population (RISE-UP), Mr Niyi Adegun,  a non-governmental organisation (NGO), said the project has alleviated the suffering of the beneficiaries.
Adegun told the GEF-SGP team on a Monitoring and Evaluation exercise to Obudu that the project has helped to build the capability of the small scale farmers in those communities.
He said the project was an upgrade from the earlier one supported by GEF-SGP, where community dwellers were trained on the propagation of the vegetable popularly known as “Afang’’.
“The vegetable is fast disappearing because of unsustainable exploitation,’’ the NGO official said.
In his remarks, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Desk Officer at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Eguaoje Festus urged the beneficiaries to improve on their productivity.
“If you do more, you will get more assistance and even if the assistance is not coming forth again, you will be able to sustain what you have done.
“If you can produce enough to feed yourselves, then you have alleviated the greatest element of poverty, which is the shortage of food,’’ he said.
Earlier, GEF-SGP’s National Co-ordinator, Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, said the programme currently supports some NGOs to implement environmental initiatives in 22 states across the country.
“GEF-SGP is implementing over 113 projects in those 22 states,’’ she said.

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Niger Delta

Eastern Obolos, A’Ibom Bicker Over 56 Oil Wells

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At least 17 local communities of Eastern Obolo Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State have vowed to resist the state government over its alleged redesigning of the state map which completely denies them the host status of more than 56 oil wells situated in their lands and waters.
At a press conference by the apex socio-cultural and political organisation of the Eastern Obolo people, called Ilima Obolo, held in their common town hall, President and General Secretary, Uye-awaji Zephenaih and Dr Amah Williams, respectively said the purported alteration and adjustment of the original Akwa Ibom State map is a vain imagination of both the state legislature and executive that will never be allowed to hold sway.
They alleged that the state governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel, who hails from Onna LGA of the state, is the finger behind the state House of Assembly’s speedy move to redraw the map in order to also make Mkpat Enin, Ikot Abasi as well as his own Onna, littoral LGAs access to the Atlantic Ocean where these wells are situated.
President Muhammadu Buhari finally assented to the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) a few weeks ago. The Bill, now a law, allows oil-bearing communities in Nigeria to benefit from 3% oil derivations.
On 16 September 2021, a member of Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly representing Eket State constituency sponsored a motion, which made the assembly direct the state surveyor-general to urgently redraw a ‘generally accepted’ map of the state.
The assembly also ordered that all other enactments relating to any old maps must be jettisoned and abrogated, urging the state governor to cause the new map so drawn by the state surveyor-general to gazette it.
Williams who addressed the press on behalf of the group said “The purported readjustment of the boundaries of Eastern Obolo and Ibeno LGAs which hitherto were the only two that had access to the Atlantic Ocean is a pointer and a further confirmation of the grand plot towards the extinction of their minority people in the state.”

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Niger Delta

Organised Labour Resumes Indefinite Strike In C’River

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The organised labour under the auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress, as well as the state Joint Public Negotiation Council in Cross River State have asked workers to begin an indefinite strike to press home their 14-point demands.
In a bulletin issued by the labour unions on Monday in Calabar, all state and local government workers were asked to “down tools to press home our demands.”
According to the bulletin titled ‘Commencement of strike action’, the workers’ union leaders stated, “Dear comrades, whereas an enlarged Congress of organised labour, met on Wednesday, 6th October, 2021 at Nigerian Civil Service Union (NCSU) Secretariat, to deliberate on the many issues troubling the workers of Cross River State; whereas the Congress, after extensive deliberation, resolved that all the workers in the state and local government should down tools to press home our grievances.
“Workers are hereby called upon to stay at home, from Tuesday 12th October, 2021. Comrades stay at home until you hear from us.”
At their October 7, 2021 Congress, the workers had summed up a total of 14-point demands as contained in a statement issued after the congress and jointly signed by the state Chairman of the NLC, Ben Ukpepi and the state Trade Union Congress Chairman, Monday Ogbodum, and four other officials.
The demands and grievances of the workers include implementation of promotions of both state and local government workers, non remittance of deductions from workers’ salaries, full implementation of minimum wage to both state and local government workers, and non implementation of full 27.5 per cent teachers’ enhancement allowance.
Others include, stoppage of tax exemption and allowance for teachers, payment of hazard allowances for medical and health workers, inclusion of all staff employed but not yet payrolled by the state, reinstatement of pensioners wrongly removed from payroll, nonpayment of gratuities to both state and local government workers, among other demands.

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Niger Delta

Edo Warns Against ‘Fake’ Nursing Schools Admission

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The Edo State Government has alerted residents on the activities of fraudsters selling fake hard copy admission forms into Edo State College of Nursing Sciences.
Permanent Secretary, Edo State Ministry of Health, Dr. Osamwonyi Irowa, said there are no physical forms for admissions into the College, noting that all forms must be obtained from the official College’s portal.
Irowa reiterated the need for “applicants to avoid dealing with any person purportedly acting as an agent of Edo College of Nursing Sciences in respect of the sales of admission forms into the College, as anyone who elects to deal with such persons, does so at his/her own risk.”
The statement reads: “The attention of the Edo State Government has been drawn to the activities of some fraudsters, who in a bid to defraud unsuspecting members of the public, have resorted to the sales of fake hard copy admission forms into Edo State College of Nursing Sciences.
“We state unequivocally that there are no physical forms for admissions into the College. All forms must be bought from the official College’s portal.
“It is also imperative to inform members of the public that the state government has not appointed any agent, neither is it considering appointing an agent to liaise with applicants on its behalf.”
Irowa further stated that “the government has alerted security agencies to the nefarious activities of these fraudsters and will spare no resources in ensuring that they are fished out and made to face the full wrath of the law.”
“Applicants are however advised to visit the College’s portal or call 08104797237 and 0803 530 4611 for clarifications and further information, as those are the only official channels of communication for the sales of admission forms into the Edo College of Nursing Sciences,” he added.

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