The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has reiterated his commitment to the development of the state, saying that Rivers State remains his top priority at all time.
Speaking during a courtesy visit by the leadership of One Million Youths for New Rivers State at the Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, Wike said that he was working to place Rivers State at the top.
He said: “My commitment is to Rivers State. My focus is on whatever will make Rivers State to be a leader amongst the comity of states.
“We are working to have a positive impact on the lives of the people of Rivers State, to make sure that we have to protect the interest of Rivers State”.
The governor noted that his commitment to Rivers State is beyond political consideration.
“No party is above the interest of Rivers State. Any party without the interest of Rivers State, will not have any connection with me. That does not mean that I don’t have the interest of my party, but Rivers State is paramount.”
Wike assured youths that many of them will be captured in the next set of appointments by his administration.
He charged the youths to remain loyal and not allow busy body politicians mislead them.
“Loyalty by the stomach is not full loyalty. I urge you to remain faithful to the state. Don’t allow busy body politicians to make you do what you are not supposed to do”, he said.
He appreciated the contributions of the leadership and membership of the One Million Youths for New Rivers State to his re-election.
He said that the support of the group is in the interest of Rivers State, and urged the members to remain focused on the growth of the state.
On the next governor of Rivers State, Wike said that only a prepared and determined leader will emerge, adding that only those with the capacity to lead will win the governorship seat of the state
In his remarks, the National Coordinator of One Million Youths for New Rivers State and Deputy Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Ehie Edison berated members of the APC for attacking the Abuja residence of Dr Peter Odili.
He said that the vision of the One Million Youths for New Rivers State was beyond elections, hence they are working to empower youths.
“The vision of One Million Youths for New Rivers State is beyond elections, it is centred around improving the leadership skills of Rivers youths from secondary schools and tertiary institutions.
“In practical demonstration, we immediately launched N2million youth empowerment scheme to 10 youths from two separate local government areas at N200,000 per person, solely for small scale business support”, he said.
Edison also noted that the group has created an education and health department to cater for the needs of registered members.
The group called on the Rivers State governor to support them with additional funds to empower more youths across the 23 local government areas of the state, explaining that the group will follow the direction of the governor for the 2023 elections.
He said: “As 2023 approaches, One Million Youths for New Rivers State will not be engaged in political projects whatsoever, for now. Our interest is in your direction and instruction. You have given Rivers State, a sense of purpose, sacrifice and vision. Only those certified under your leadership will get our support irrespective of personal relationship.”
Edison lauded Rivers State governor for transforming Rivers State into the Headquarters of projects and construction.
He also commended the Rivers State governor for empowering youths through appointments, political placements and contracts.
The deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly urged the Rivers State governor to seek higher office to contribute to the transformation of Nigeria.
Senate Resumes Work On MTEF/FSP, Next Week
The Senate Committee on Finance, yesterday, said it would begin legislative work on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) on Wednesday, August 19.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), disclosed in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, adding that invitations have been sent to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the government with presentations to make on the document.
Adeola, in the statement signed by his media aide, Kayode Odunaro, said the MDAs were to appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, and National Planning.
He noted that there was need to examine the rationale for pegging the price of crude oil at $40 per barrel and a projected crude oil production of 1.86 million barrels per day (mbpd), in the MTEF/FSP document.
He said, ”We are kick-starting the process on Wednesday with Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) like NNPC, NCC, NPA, Customs Service, NIMASA, DPR and others, followed by the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, and subsequently, all revenue generating agencies”.
The lawmaker called on heads of MDAs to be prepared to defend their projections “as the Joint Committee intends to present the report to the Senate in plenary immediately on resumption from its ongoing vacation in tandem with the desire of the upper chamber to pass the 2021 budget in December.”
Adeola insisted that there was need for thorough scrutiny of the MTEF/FSP document in view of the fluid nature of the world economy following the disruptive impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the vagaries of the international market for crude oil and its attendant effects on the nation’s sources of revenue.
According to him, “There is a need for all stakeholders to come together to critically study the fundamentals of the ‘new normal’ forced on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the instability witnessed in the price of crude oil at the international market and the sluggish world economy with some nations falling into recession, there is a need to assess our situation critically and be realistic about our revenues sources for budgets going forward”.
By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja
Take Off Of National Senior Citizens’ Centre Underway, FG Assures
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said plans are on the way to build a centre for the old people.
Farouq, according to a statement by her Special Assistant on Strategic Communication, Halima Oyelade, said this at a meeting with the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of the Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) in Abuja, yesterday.
“She assured members of the coalition that the ministry is working toward the successful take-off of the National Senior Citizen’s Centre,” the statement said.
It read further: “According to the Minister, a law establishing the centre is already in place. When operational this centre will among other things identify needs, opportunities, and training of senior citizens and provide recreational, sports, educational, health and social programmes and facilities designed for the full enjoyment and benefit of senior citizens.
“Responding, the President of the COSROPIN, Senator Eze Ajoku, thanked the Honourable Minister for the Covid-19 Palliatives, the group had received to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“He then briefed the minister on activities of the coalition which include following up on the National Policy on Aging, pursuing non-contributory health insurance for older persons, enumeration of older citizens as well as the Older Persons Rights and Privilege Bill which according to him had passed second reading at the Senate.
“He asked for the minister’s support in the actualization of these initiatives.
“The Honourable Minister assured the coalition of the ministry’s support adding that older citizens are one of the key vulnerable groups that are of concern to the ministry.
“She further noted that most of them have been of service to the nation in their prime and still have a lot to offer due to their wealth of experience.
“The ministry will, therefore, ensure it gives due attention to issues concerning their well-being while ensuring it carries them along in the structuring and take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre.”
World Powers Deny Us Weapons To Fight Insurgency, FG Cries Out
The Federal Government has appealed to the world powers not to be weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the appeal, yesterday, when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that the international community can help us better than they are doing right now.
“To fight terrorists we need platforms and weapons.
“When the international community is weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country of vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity, you cannot turn round to accuse the country of not fighting terrorism,’ he said.
The minister buttresses the claim, saying “certain world powers have refused to even sell to us certain vital weapons.”
“For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.
“I think our appeal to them is that they should please help Nigeria to provide us with these sensitive platforms so that we can fight insecurity more effectively.”
The minister said for Nigerians to fairly assess the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against insecurity, they should compare where the country was pre-2015 and today.
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