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Be A Blessing To Rivers …Banigo Tells Youth

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The Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has called on youth to be a blessing not only to themselves and their generation but also to Rivers State.
The deputy governor stated this during a special thanksgiving service to flag-off the 2017 Harvest and the commemoration of the 61st Anniversary of the Anglican Youth Fellowship at St. Cyprian’s Anglican Church in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Banigo said the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration has the political will and commitment to improve the standard of education in the state because education is a tool to emancipate the youth, while the word of God helps to renew the mindset of the people.
“This is why the government is renovating over 174 primary schools through the Universal Basic Education Board, renovation of secondary, schools establishment of a medical school for the first time in the Rivers State University as well as the upgrading of facilities of the various tertiary institutions to ensure full accreditation of their courses and programmes”, Banigo said.
According to her, the establishment of the Port Harcourt Training and Vocational Centre (TVC)   in collaboration with a German non-governmental organisation was done deliberately to empower youth with a flair for technical subjects to acquire skills that will make them gainfully employed.
The deputy governor, who advised youth to eschew violence, cultism, gangsterism, kidnapping and other social vices, said such characters were alien to Rivers State and will do them no good.
“When I was the female president of the Boys Brigade between 1997 and 1999, I travelled through the length and breadth of the old Rivers State, which includes Bayelsa now, the kind of things I see our youth doing now is very strange”, Banigo stressed.
According to her, “the Rivers State Government is determined to put an end to cultism and gangsterism.”
To this end, she said government was collaborating with an NGO to take the campaign against the use of illicit drugs such as marijuana, cocaine, heroin and other hard drugs to the nooks and crannies of the state to put an end to drug abuse.
The deputy governor said the Almighty God has predestined the youth for a purpose, and they must strive hard to fulfil that purpose by exhibiting the right attitude at all times because after all is said and done it is their attitude that will determine if they would succeed in life or not.
“Let us change our attitude and embrace work, do not despise the days of little beginning, whatever your hands find to do please do it. I want to see the young ones show the way, run with the vision and be a blessing to your selves, your communities, your generation, and Rivers State”, Banigo stressed.
The deputy governor, who expressed delight with the scholarship programme set up by the Anglican Youth Fellowship, also donated to the scheme, and advised them to put up a mechanism to make it sustainable.
She further advised them to ensure that only brilliant indigent students benefit from the scholarship scheme to make it have the desired impact.
“Let it touch the lives of brilliant indigent students who merit it, otherwise the aim will be defeated”, she quipped.
Earlier in this sermon, Rev. Canon John Ubulom, who spoke on the theme, “Be a Blessing to others”, declared that man was a carrier of God’s divine blessings and favour which are inherent in them.
He stated that for anyone to be a blessing to others, he must first submit himself to God through faith, noting that as humans, it was impossible to bless other people without yielding to God first.

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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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