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RSG Plans Big For Education …Unveils Immunization Task Force

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The Rivers State Government has promised to invest more in the education sector, saying it is the fastest way to empower the youths of a state.
The promise was announced in a statement by Mr Simon Nwakaudu, the Special Assistant to
Governor Nyesom Wike,yesterday in Port Harcourt.
Wike made the promise on Saturday at the 33rd and 34th combined convocation of the Ignatius Ajuri University of Education, Port Harcourt.
Represented by the Rivers State Education Commissioner, Prof. Kaniye Ebeku, the governor also said that the state government would increase funding in the next fiscal year to enable the university to overcome some of its critical challenges in infrastructure, staff development and students’ welfare.
Wike added that “the state government alone cannot meet the funding needs of its tertiary institutions; we, therefore, expect the university to explore alternative sources of funding to augment the funding gaps.
“This is because investment in the education sector has led to sustained improvement in learning and infrastructure across the state.”
Wike commended the management of the university for working to secure accreditation of its courses and improving critical infrastructure.
The governor said “besides achieving full accreditation for all programmes of the university with
National Universities Commission, (NUC) the present management had ensured industrial harmony and
delivered key infrastructure projects among several other achievements.
“We are quite happy with the developmental strides and ongoing improvements in the university. The management has lived up to the expectations of stakeholders, including the staff and students.”
He urged the fresh graduates to put the knowledge gained in the course of their academic pursuit to good use.
“Remember that things usually have a way of working out for those who strive. You must take your destiny in your hands and become the architects of your future by finding your ways into viable ventures and career paths in the public and private spheres or in self-employment”, he advised.
The Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Joseph Kinanee, commended the governor for the increased funding to the university, which he said, had led to the development of required educational infrastructure.
He said that those infrastructure helped the university in getting full accreditation for all its academic programmes.
A total of 3,334 graduands received various degrees, diplomas and certificates at the combined convocation.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government is to inaugurate an Immunization Task Force to ensure the regular immunization of children in the state against polio.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, stated this at the weekend while declaring open the 11th Edition of West Africa Project Fair of Rotary International at Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt.
The governor, who was represented by his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, said the task force, when inaugurated, would be saddled with the responsibility of ensuring that children within the age bracket of zero-one to five years are given effective and adequate vaccination against polio.
He described the humanitarian activities of Rotary as laudable as they are geared towards alleviating the health challenges of the vulnerable groups in the society.
Wike said that the hosting of the 11th West Africa Project Fair of Rotary International in Port Harcourt is a testimony that Rivers State was safe for all kinds of international, regional and national conferences, stressing that the state government was ensuring the security and sanitation of the state to attract global investment.
The state chief executive expressed the willingness of the state government to support the activities of Rotary International towards the elimination of polio in the state, and announced a donation of N10million in support of the Rotary Foundation.

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Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate

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Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.

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Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members

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President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”

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Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.

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