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Bayelsa, Firm To Launch Education Trust Fund

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The Bayelsa State Government, has said that it will on Friday formally launch the state Education Trust Fund, more than two years after Governor Seriake Dickson signed into law the bill establishing the fund following its passage by the state House of Assembly.
The Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Daniel Iworiso-Markson, disclosed this in a statement he made available to reporters in Yenagoa.
Nigeria’s frontline businessmen and founders of Zenith Bank Plc and Aiteo Group, Jim Ovia and Benedict Peters, are among eminent corporate launchers expected at the event scheduled to take place in Yenagoa.
Dickson had on March 31, 2017, signed the Education Trust Fund bill into law, which made it compulsory for different categories of workers, including contractors and civil servants in Bayelsa, to pay education levies.
In June 2017, he inaugurated a 14-member board of the Education Trust Fund chaired by a former Minister of Science and Technology, Turner Isoun.
The board went to work and in February 2018, presented its first annual report to the governor, declaring a receipt of about N800million out of which it spent N300million, leaving a balance of N500million.
The board had yet to present its second annual report.
Iworiso-Markson explained in the statement that the Education Trust Fund was part of the government’s action plan to sustain the huge investment it had made in the education sector.
He said that apart from Ovia and Peters, other corporate launchers expected at the formal launch were the multinational oil companies operating in Bayelsa.
The information and orientation commissioner noted that the state used to be ranked at the bottom of external examinations before the Dickson administration came on board in 2012, stressing that the state was now among the top five leading states in the country.
He said, “We have also drastically reduced the number of out-of-school children by 90 percent. Our model boarding schools, which today has over 10,000 students, mostly from indigent families on full government scholarships, is also one of the revolution that has happened in that sector.
“All of these need to be sustained and the Education Trust Fund will take care of that”.

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Niger Delta

Environmentalist Faults Composition Of NDDC Board

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Prominent Niger Delta activist, Ann-Kio Brigss, has faulted the composition of the Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), saying northerners have no business being members of the board.
Briggs also backed President Muhammadu Buhari for ordering a forensic audit into the activities of the commission, saying the list of jobs given out by the agency from when it was established should be released.
Recall that President Buhari had ordered a forensic audit of the Commission from 2001 to 2019.
Ann-Kio Brigss, while speaking with newsmen in Port Harcourt, Rivers State capital, also said many contracts awarded by the commission in the last 10years are shrouded in secrecy, noting that most beneficiaries of contracts awarded by the agency are not from the region.
“”If you say it is a Niger Delta Development Commission, why are you putting people who are not Niger Delta people on the board? Why are Northerners on the board? I see no reason. It is unfair, it is unjust. They have no business being there.
She expressed annoyance that even before the budget of the NDDC is approved by the National Assembly, some lobbying was done from within the same funds approved for it.
According to her, “When the budget for the NDDC has to go to the National Assembly and the board has to lobby for the approval. They have been lobbying with a percentage of the budget, percentage of the job, percentage of the money.
“They should release the list of jobs that have been done in the Niger Delta through the NDDC from the day they started giving jobs.
“If they release the names and you go to the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) and check, you will be horrified to find that the people who have the jobs running into billions are very likely to be government officials and government appointees,” the environmental activists stated.

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Niger Delta

RSU Registrar Tasks ANUPA On Training

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The Registrar of the Rivers State University, Port Harcourt, Mr. Sydney Enyindah, has charged members of the Association of Nigerian Universities Professional Administrators (ANUPA) to engage in training and retraining so as to remain relevant in their core duty for effective service delivery and to ensure proper implementation of the laws guarding the Institution.
Speaking to the leaders of the association, who paid him a congratulatory visit, the Registrar stated that the only way university administrators can develop is for them to attend workshops and conferences.
He noted that ANUPA is the only specialised university-based profession, which plays significant role in university administration, calling on the leaders of the association to give the required leadership and drive the training agenda of ANUPA.
Earlier in his address, the RSU Branch Chairman of ANUPA, Mr Chikanike Promise Woka expressed gratitude to God for the emergence of the pioneer Secretary of ANUPA, Mr Sydney Enyindah as the Registrar of the University.
He thanked the Registrar for his recommendation for members of the association to attend national conferences, training and workshops organised by the national body of ANUPA, stating that the gesture was a manifestation of his love for the association.
While pledging total support to the Registrar, the chairman prayed that God would continue to grant him wisdom to discharge his duties throughout his tenure as substantive Registrar.
Highpoint of the visit was the presentation of a customised sourvenir to the Registrar.

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Ayade To Revive C’River Scholarship Programme

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The Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, has promised to revive as well as start the full implementation of the state’s scholarship programme for indigenes of the state in tertiary institutions.
Ayade disclosed this at the State Executive Council Chambers in Calabar during a courtesy visit by the leadership of National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), Students Union Government and the Law Students Association of the University of Calabar, as well as Students Union Government of the Cross River University of Technology (CRUTECH) and the National Association of Northern Cross River Students.
Disclosing this to the excitement of the students, Ayade said, “I will initiate, institute and operate a full scholarship programme for young Cross Riverians in higher institutions. Here I am committing that Cross River State Government will start the full implementation of a scholarship programme ”
Ayade, who also spoke of his plan to reactivate and expand his own scholarship scheme to cover the entire state, said: “For all that God has given to me and all the blessings as a person, the Ayade scholarship programme that has always been running, will come back in full force from this year.”
The Governor, who whilst a senator instituted a scholarship programme for indigent students from his Northern Senatorial District, announced his decision to enlarge its scope to the rest of the state.
“The Ayade scholarship programme is going to be statewide and will be drawn from my private businesses and nothing to do with government,” he said, adding that “those who are not lucky to get from the government scholarship will be lucky to get from the Ayade scholarship programme, for it is when you give back to society that society will be there for you.”
While imploring the students to be morally upright, the Governor cautioned them never to materialise or monetise their relationships, saying “the greatest relationship between people is emotional. When you put your eyes on value, money will come naturally, but once your focus is on money, value will depart and the money will never come.”
Continuing, Ayade said, “as young people with great opportunity for leadership, whatever comes from your word, every single word of yours defines your future. Character, therefore, defines a personality as no fatalism can arrogate the supremacy of the future on the hands of mere destiny.”
“Destination is an architectural process by the intellectual engineering of a person through the attainment of a Godhead which means you, your attitude designs your future,” he said.
The Governor urged the students to give undivided attention to their studies and shun cultism.
“When I find a student who takes pleasure in cultism to take a life for a living, that is an animal because he has descended beyond the level of humanity,” the Governor quipped.
Earlier, the Presidents of the various students’ bodies had applauded the Governor’s magnanimity and benevolence, especially in the prompt response to the welfare of ailing students, the industrialisation drive aimed at decoupling the state from dependence on federal allocation, as well as setting Cross River on a trajectory growth.
Highlights of the visit was the decoration and conferment of the title, “Commander of the Order of Malabor,” on Governor Ayade by the SUG President of the University of Calabar, Comrade Moses Derrick.

 

Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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