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Bayelsa Gets More Commissioners

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Bishop, Diocese of Okrika/Synod President, Rt. Revd. Tubokosemie R. Abere (middle), reading a presidential address, during the 1st session of the 5th Synod at Bethel Anglican Church, Amadi-Ama, Okrika North Archdeaconry recently. With him are the Chancellor, Diocese of Okrika, His Lordship Justice Sika Henry Aprioku (left) and the wife of the Bishop, Diocese of Okrika, Mrs Zipporah T. Abere Photo: Egberi A. Sampson

Bishop, Diocese of Okrika/Synod President, Rt. Revd. Tubokosemie R. Abere (middle), reading a presidential address, during the 1st session of the 5th Synod at Bethel Anglican Church, Amadi-Ama, Okrika North Archdeaconry recently. With him are the Chancellor, Diocese of Okrika, His Lordship Justice Sika Henry Aprioku (left) and the wife of the Bishop, Diocese of Okrika, Mrs Zipporah T. Abere Photo: Egberi A. Sampson

Bayelsa State Governor,
Henry Seriake Dickson, has sworn-in two more commissioners, bringing the total number of his cabinet members to 16.
The two commissioners are Deacon Markson Fefegha who takes charge of  the Ministry of Education and Chief Collins Cocodia, who was assigned to the Ministry of Youth Development.
Addressing the new commissioners, Governor Dickson urged Fefegha to restructure the education sector by collaborating with stakeholders  and streamline efforts made in the sector on the last four years.
He called on Fefegha to expedite action in the completion of the model secondary schools to enable the boarding schools commence academic work by September
Dickson said the major focus of his second term would be on the completion and consolidation of all the programmes and policies, especially in the area of education, where the government had made substantial investments.
He said efforts made in the sector were already yielding the desired results, as Bayelsa State now ranks about fifth position  in major national and international examinations in the country, stressing the need to make more investments in education.
The governor also stated that the secondary school students who were on the government’s scholarship programme across the country have been withdrawn to enjoy facilities at the demonstration school of the State Teachers Training Academy, with an enrolment of over 300 students.
“The huge investments made in the education sector in the last 4 years, have started paying off. Our state that was occupying about 20th position in the ranking of performance in major national and international examinations is now number 5 in such examinations. Already, one of our first boarding schools has kicked off in the demonstration school of the State Teachers Training Academy, with the enrolment of over 300 students from top schools across the country, who have been brought back to enjoy the facilities there.”
Governor Dickson also urged the new commissioner for youth development to strive hard, in mobilising the youths and channeling their energies in the agricultural sector to achieve self-empowerment.
“I count on you to mobilize the youths for positive development so that they will not fall prey to failed politicians. The energies of the youths must be channeled to agriculture. I want you to spread the message of self-reliance. I want to see youths owning farms and government would provide land in all the local government areas for that purpose”, he said.
Until his appointment, Deacon Markson Fefegha was the Principal Executive Secretary, Government House, while Chief Collins Cocodia retained his portfolio in the Ministry of Youth Development.

 

Fyneface Aaron, Yenagoa

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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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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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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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