Managing Director of the Nigeria Liq
uefied Natural Gas (NLNG), Babs
Omotowa raised an uncommon hope on the Bodo-Bonny Road recently when he said his company was prepared to contribute N60bn for the construction of the road.
According to Omotowa, if the Federal Government was willing to complete the road, NLNG will provide N60 billion which represents half of the contract sum. The Bodo-Bonny Road is a major Federal Road in Rivers State that successive governments lacked the political will to complete.
The Managing Director said at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Niger Delta Affairs in Abuja that the project, when completed, would help improve infrastructure in the Niger Delta. The road links five Local Government Areas; including Khana (Ogoni), Okrika, Eleme, Andoni and Bonny.
Omotowa said, “we said we are willing to offer 50 per cent on the road between Bodo to Bonny which has been outstanding since the 1970’s, and that contribution is N60 billion and we think that these are the kind of projects the NDDC can work with us.”
Omotowa, however, stated that the NLNG’s offer to provide 50 percent of the funding for the road would be activated, provided the partnership is accepted and matched by the Federal Government’s counterpart funding.
The Tide welcomes the offer, particularly against the backdrop that the Bodo-Bonny Road project has been one of the failed projects that underscore the long standing neglect of Rivers State in particular and the Niger Delta in general by successive Nigerian governments. Indeed, the importance of the road cannot be over-emphasised.
Apart from its importance to the enhancement of the economic base of the nation, the road will also connect the mainland Rivers State to a sizeable section of the riverine part of the State, in fact, one of the most difficult terrains in the Niger Delta. Here, the influence of the Atlantic Ocean is real.
It is, indeed, disturbing to note that, added to the perennial cries of the communities in that axis, is the accessibility burden on the foremost gas company in West Africa, NLNG, and its ancillary firms. This should have placed on the conscience of the nation an avoidable guilt.
While we commend the NLNG for the offer, we expect that the Federal Government will quickly accept it and work in concert with the company to finally actualise the construction of this all important road. This ancient city of Bonny and its environs need to be fully accessible. The Federal Government should accept this challenge and build the remaining 50 percent of the funding into the 2016 budget.
The Tide believes that the inclusion of the Federal Government’s quota of N60 billion in the budget and the exercise of the needed political will to ensure availability of fund for prompt execution of the project, can guarantee the realisation of the project during the life of the present administration.
If the present government at the federal level wants to break the jinx and actualise the promise for change, it must also start dealing with all other issues that can stand in the way of the realisation of the project.
In that wise, the Federal Government must ensure that initial land and compensation matters are perfected. Indeed, affected communities should be taken along, while the security needs of the project should be facilitated to avoid interferences of any kind.
It should be noted that the NLNG did not make the offer for fun, like the communities, the NLNG has its own share of stories on the near impossible condition of the route to their business site. NLNG must have come to terms with the fact that ‘if the road was not done, not only would the life of its staff and contractors continue to be threatened, their interest may also be at stake.
It is a fact that provision of the road will go a long way to avert the frequent loss of lives on the high sea, eliminate piracy and promote business in the area. Even huge is the tourist potential of the area that this can harness, while alleviating the sufferings of the Ibanis.
As earnings from gas become significant, it is only imperative that the Federal Government will rise to the occasion. Indeed, the government that is able to provide this road will go down in history as the one that conquered the odds and made the difference that mattered most.
Centre Wants Govts To Update School Curriculum
The Centre for Distance Learning, Modibbo Adama University, Yola, has urged governments at all levels to update school curriculum in tune, with the realities of the new normal.
A Deputy Director in the University, Dr Abdullahi Bashir, made the call at the National Teachers Conference organised by Maltina Teacher of the year, on Friday, in Yola, with the theme: ”Classroom Without Border; The New Normal.”
Bashir said that the current school curriculum needed to be revisited in the light of current developments in the education sector caused by technology and current global realities.
He said this would help to improve the standard of education in the country and enable students compete with their peers around the world.
Bashir also stated the need for governments to look into teachers’ welfare with a view to align their remuneration with doctors, engineers and other professions.
In her remarks, Adamawa Commissioner for Education,Mrs Wilbina Jackson, appreciated the efforts of the organizsers for their contributions to education development in the country.
Jackson, who was represented by Executive Secretary, Post Primary Education Management Board,Mrs Maryam Abubakar, charged teachers to impact positively on the life of their students to succeed in future.
According to her, the world is moving towards technology, hence the need to encourage students to embrace it in order to succeed.
Mrs Christable Malachia, who spoke on behalf of the participants, said the conference was timely, as they had learnt a lot, having been exposed to how to relate well with the students, parents and other staff, as well as how to be good mentors.
Admission: College Begs JAMB For Waiver On Technical Courses
The Federal College of Education (Technical), Akoka Lagos, has requested the Joint Admission and Matriculation Board (JAMB), to grant it a waiver in technical courses.
The Provost of the institution, Dr. Wahab Azeez, who disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Saturday in Lagos said that such waiver would attract more prospective students to the college.
Azeez was speaking against the backdrop of the poor enrolment of students in the college.
He explained that the idea was to create openings to attract school certificate holders to the college and build a career in technical education.
“Enrollment has not been encouraging and we are not silent on it.
“So, what we did was to approach JAMB to give us a wave in certain technical and vocational courses.
“We are hopeful that our request will get positive response from JAMB and it will throw opportunity for more students to register for technical or vocational courses in our college.
“Technical and vocational education is where the money is.
“Students who finish from the college may not necessarily look for a paid job because of the training they have acquired,’’ he expressed.
According to him, part of efforts to project the image of the college, was to reach out to the ministry of education with the purpose of having direct access to technical Secondary Schools.
Azeez explains that the college teaches related vocational subjects, which serve as foundation for students, who may want to settle in the field.
“Five technical schools are here in Lagos, including our FCE, Technical, which prompted our visit to the Lagos Commissioner for Education.
“The focus is more on technical teaching, where our seasoned lecturers take them through oral, practical rudiments of vocational education and inculcate in them, self reliance,’’ he said.
Azeez said that infrastructural developments, researches, academics, welfare, administration and social activities would continue to be prioritised, in order to make the learning environment conducive for students and staff.
According to him, construction of buildings for lectures, programmes and staffroom are ongoing, as part of measures to upgrade and bring the institution to an amiable state.
He said that under his administration, the science complex was being constructed and would be equipped with modern laboratory materials for the teaching of sciences and computer studies.
“Also, part of the ongoing constructions in the college is a technical workshop.’’
The management has equally taken steps to address issues of security water projects, he added.
The provost expressed optimism that the ongoing amendment bill on the Act that established the college, now at the National Assembly, would lead to the upgrade of the institution to a Federal University of Technical Education.
CEAPoly: Governing Council Chairman Lauds Members, Rector On Commitment
The Governing Council of the Captain Elechi Amadi Polytechnic (CEAPOLY) has been described as one of the best in the comity of governing councils in the various institutions Rivers State.
Chairman of the council, Senator Lee Maeba, stated this during at the ground breaking ceremony for the construction of the two storey governing council building complex at the insititution in PortHarcourt, recently.
Maeba, who noted that the governing council of the institution was committed to the progress of the institution, said it remained unwavered even in the faces of the challenge of a building for members’ meetings and deliberations.
Describing the members of the council as steadfast and lovers of the institution, Maeba expressed joy over the cordial relationship that existed among members, maintaining that their zeal and forthrightness would take the polytechnic to greater heights.
He said, “This governing council is one of the best governing councils in the schools in the state. I want to thank members of the council for their forthrightness and love for the school. These are members who spend their money to come to school on private visit to see to the welfare of the school. There is no friction between governing council and members and our meetings have always ended cordially. I am happy to be associated with these cream of members”.
While assuring that the polytechnic would witness flagoff of other constructions on campus, Maeba averred that the destruction of the former governing council building by the wildwind was a deliberate act to bring about a modern and beffiting complex in the institution.
“This auditorium was blown off by wildwind sometimes in May 2018. The sole purpose of the wind was to blow off a building that was no longer befitting for the school and the aim of the wind is actualised today”, he said.
The CEAPOLY governing council chairman further lauded the Rector of the institution, Dr Samuel B Kalagbor for his dedication towards the growth of the institution.
In his words”the Rector is committed as he wants to move the school forward. We have passed a vote of confidence on him twice. First as a provost and then seeing his dedication, it was on us to convert his duty as a provost to a rector and that was done seamlessly because he deserves it.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
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