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Delta Assembly Approves State Govt’s N3b Loan

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Delta State House of Assembly has approved the request of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa for N3 billion short-term loan facility for the financing of priority road projects in the state.
The House at plenary presided over by the Speaker, Chief Sheriff Oborevwori in Asaba, also approved Okowa’s request to guarantee a credit facility to be obtained by the Delta Line Transport Services Limited.
The approval of the request, which was contained in a letter read by the speaker during the plenary, followed a resolution passed by the Assembly.
According to Okowa, there is urgent need for the state government to support some of its road’s contractors in accessing financing to aid accelerated execution of critical projects before the onset of the rainy season.
“The request has become expedient considering the almost N3 billion drop in federation accounts receipt in January 2019 when compared to December 2018 which had hindered planned disbursement to the contractors.
“Most of the contractors are already on site and have generated payment certificate for works already executed which are yet to be defrayed,” he said.
Okowa said that the funds were required to make progress in the relevant project execution, adding that the state executive council at its meeting of February 5, 2019 considered and approved that the state government should support certain contractors for the state’s critical priority projects.
Okowa said: “In obtaining the short-term loan facility amounting to N3 billion only from Zenith Bank with the state government bearing the cost associated with the facility as requested by the contractors.”
The Majority Leader, Mr Tim Owhefere thereafter moved separate motions for the House to receive the governor’s request for further consideration and approval.
The motion, which was adopted through a voice vote by the Assembly, was seconded by Mr Emeka Nwaobi, representing Aniocha North constituency in the state House of Assembly.
Also, the Assembly approved Okowa’s request to guarantee credit facility to be obtained by the Delta Line Transport Service Limited.
The request was also contained in a letter read by the speaker during plenary.
Okowa said that the loan was in a bid to revamp the ailing Delta transport service which had over the years relied on continuous assistance from the state government to meet salaries and other recurrent expenditure obligations as well as capital expenditure despite being a business that should generate revenue.
He said that the State government sold 60 per cent equity of the Delta Line to God is Good Motors Transport Development Company by way of a public private partnership arrangement with the state government retaining 40 per cent equity in the company.
The governor said that sequel to the sale which involved defrayment of outstanding commitments including salaries arrears, the new management of Delta Line submitted a five year business plan, among other things.

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NYSC Member Awards Scholarship To 4, Donates Food Items To Orphanage

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2020 Batch B, Stream 2, National Youth Service Corp NYSC Member, Queen Chibueze Alexandra Tochi, has awarded scholarship to four indigent
students of Margaret Ekpo Secondary School and Government Secondary school, Uwanse both in  Calabar.
Apart from the scholarship ward, the Youth Corper also donated food items/toiletries worth reasonable amount of money to the Uwanse
Motherless Babies Home, Calabar.
Speaking on the topic “Project Helping Hands,” the Youth Corp member stressed  that the scholarship award/donation of food items and
toiletries which she donated to the beneficiaries was  in collaboration with the Nigerian Navy (place of her primary assignment) is one of the ways of contributing her quota to cushion the effect of COVID-19 which has almost cripple the economy of the nation.
Chibueze, a winner of 2020 NYSC Queen, stated that, “It has always been my dream to support young generation.
“After I emerged as Miss NYSC batch B, I thought it wise to embark on this project as part of my community development project,” she noted.
On why the NYSC donated food items and award of scholarship to the indigent students (inmates of the motherless baby home) she said that
with outbreak of COVID–19 pandemic, it would be difficult to take care of the kids.
Chibueze who doled out the sum N200,000 to matron of the motherless baby home, said that the cash would assist the home to handle the fee of the beneficiaries immediately schools resumed after easing of lockdown.
She said that the scholarship ward shall span from their present classes of junior Secondary school 1 and Senior Secondary 1 to graduation.
In his remarks, the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC)  Eastern Naval Command, Rear Admiral, David Adeniran, urged beneficiaries of the
scholarship award, Master Imoh Etim SS1, Miss Esther David of JSS1, John Imoke of SS1 and Esther Imoke JSS2 student not to joke with the
opportunity but to study hard so that they can graduate in flying colors.
Representing the FOC, Commander Sunday Ozah, urged other Corp members to emulate Queen Chibueze’s initiative.
Adeniran maintained that the navy became interested to collaborate with the Youth Corper when they discovered that she was passionate with issues that add value to development of mankind.
In his remarks, the Cross River State Coordinator for NYSC  Alhaji Mohammed Nakamba, who is represented at the event by Assistant Director Deployment/Relocation, Dimba Anyacho, while extolling Chibueze’s stated that when Chibueze emerged as winner of the public speaking contest and became the NYSC Queen, she thought Chibueze was a push over, unknown to her that she had “something in her skull”.
“I didn’t take her serious; I didn’t know she had dreams as big as this.
“All am saying is that other Corp members should emulate virtues like this that tend to add value to existence of mankind”. The NYSC coordinator stressed.
Also speaking the state Commissioner for Humanity/ Welfare, Mrs. Blessing Egbara, represented by Director Social Welfate, Dr. Peter Ipoule called on other individuals to assist the state in the upkeep of inmates at the orphanage stressing that government alone would do less.

From FRIDAY NWAGBARA, Calabar

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COVID-19: Ooni Of Ife Donates Motorised Fumigators To Delta

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… As Okowa Lauds Collective Efforts Against Pandemic
The Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Enitan Ogunwusi Ojaja II, has presented two locally-fabricated modular fumigators to Delta Government to assist the state in its effort at containing the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic.
 This is just as Governor Ifeanyi Okowa lauded the collective global efforts in the fight against COVID-19.
The monarch, who was represented by his Director of Media and Public Affairs, Comrade Moses Olapare, in Asaba said that the Coronavirus was a common enemy that required the cooperation of all to defeat it.
According to him, the fight against the pandemic calls for a collective effort as it is no longer practicable for monarchs to sit down and watch government tackle societal problems alone.
“Our leaders, at both federal and state levels, have done very well in the fight against the virus and in this regard, we have decided to complement the efforts of the government and that’s why we came up with this innovation for motorised modular fumigators.
“The fumigators were invented by the House of Oduduwa and fabricated at the Ooni palace in Ile-Ife with 100 per cent locally-sourced materials.
“It is our belief that the era when monarchs sit in the comfort zone of their palaces and expect the government to do it all is over.
“So, we have decided to join hands with government to tackle this pandemic by this donation of two motorised modular fumigators.
“We have watched your proactive approach to the fight against the pandemic in Delta and I must say that we are pleased with every step you have taken so far.
“This is why we are committed to working with government by making this donation, because together we can fight the battle and together we shall win the battle,” he stated.
Receiving the equipment, Delta Governor, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, thanked the Ooni for his thoughtfulness and innovation in the production of the motorised fumigators.
The governor, who was represented by Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr Chiedu Ebie, said that the state had put in so much to ensure that COVID-19 was contained in the state and called for further support and cooperation in the fight against the pandemic.
“We thank His Imperial Majesty for his wonderful donation today. In Delta as at today, we have recorded 27 cases while 12 have been successfully managed and discharged; unfortunately we lost five of the cases.
“We have done so much to ensure that we are able to contain the spread of the virus in the state and this we have done by ensuring closure of our 13 boundaries to contain the spread of the virus in the state.
“We are indeed very delighted that His Imperial Majesty came up with these innovative fumigators in his bid to contribute his own quota in the fight against COVID-19 and he is going around the states to donate them.
“We thank you very much for the thoughtfulness and the innovation in coming up with this and it will definitely go a long way in the fight against COVID-19,’’ he said.
The Commissioner for Environment, Mr Chris Onogba and his Agriculture and Natural Resources counterpart, Mr Julius Egbedi, witnessed the ceremony.
From Albert Ograka, Asaba.
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Bayelsa Government To Begin Urban Renewal Projects Soon – Gov Diri.

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said his administration would soon roll out a number of urban renewal projects, particularly in Yenagoa, in order to enhance the aesthetics of the state capital.
Diri who disclosed this when members of the past state working committee of the Peoples Democratic Party,PDP paid him a solidarity visit in Government House, said the planned construction of a flyover and expansion of the roundabout at the Edepie area of Yenagoa are part of the urban renewal projects of his administration.
A press release by his Acting Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, noted that the expansion of the Etegwe/Edepie roundabout would precede the construction work on the flyover to ease traffic in the area.
Senator Diri assured that despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the government was poised to initiating projects that would bring about overall development of the state.
He expressed his administration’s intention to give a facelift to the capital city as evident in the ongoing demolition of illegal structures that had defaced the Yenagoa metropolis.
“Even in the face of COVID-19, we have decided to do some preparatory things, which I hear are going down well with our people. We are not just pulling down illegal structures but also sanitising our city”, Governor Diri said.
“Work will soon start on the expansion of the Etegwe/Edepie roundabout in no distant time. Also, we intend to build a car park at the market at Swali, which is the largest in Yenagoa, and fence it off to ensure a healthy environment”, he added.
“Our government is on track. We are not looking at celebrating 100 days in office because globally, economies are at a standstill as a result of the outbreak of COVID-19. But rather we are expecting to celebrate our achievements in another one to three years time”, he stated.
Commenting on the issue of appointments into his government, Diri noted that at the appropriate time, persons that are passionate about the development of the state and the party would be brought on board,restated that his Government would not engage in secret appointments.
He charged the leaders of the peoples Democratic party in the state to extend the olive branch to those who have left,noting that they have the onerous task of strengthening the party towards improving its fortunes.
“We are not going to do secret appointments. Party stakeholders are being consulted to bring into government persons that would have development uppermost on their minds”, Diri said.
In his remarks, leader of the delegation, Chief Felix Omemu, pledged their commitment to work with the administration to achieve its set goals.
Chief Omemu congratulated Diri on his former electoral victory at the Supreme Court which brought him into office, praying that God grant him wisdom to pilot the ship of state to greater heights.
Also contributing, the former Special Adviser on Political Affairs, Chief Fyneman Wilson, said as party men, they would join hands with the governor and his team to build a formidable party.
Highpoint of the visit was the presentation of a copy of the Holy Bible to the governor by the former PDP women leader in the state, Hon. Faith Opene.
By Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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