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COVID-19: Okowa Expresses Fears On Budget Implementation

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State, has expressed fears over the economic implications of the recent crash in global oil price occasioned by the outbreak of the Coronavirus scourge.
The governor who expressed the fear, yesterday in Asaba during his quarterly interaction with the media, said the state government was likely to cut down its 2020 budget if the situation persisted.
He noted that there was no doubt that the recent slump in oil price would pose a major challenge in the economy of the states and nation at large.
“Events of the last few weeks with regards to the recent crash in global oil price poses a major threat to the source of government revenue.
“Definitely, this development will no doubt affect the successful implementation of the 2020 budgets of states and the nation at large.
“We are however, being very cautious and don’t want to rush into decisions on this. We will slow down on capital budget. But we will encourage contractors to stay on sites.
“There is no doubt that COVID-19 is currently affecting national economy negatively. Because as I speak, many industries are not in full production at the moment.
“And if the threat is not checked, it is going to create more negative impact on the economy, especially, the internally generated revenue,” Okowa said.
The governor, however, said that his administration had continued to invest in manpower development through engagement and empowerment of youths.
“This is why here in Delta, we have continued to explore and see how best we can diversify our economy so that we don’t depend solemnly on oil,” he said.
According to him, the acquisition of technical skills and investment in agriculture will go a long way in propelling economic growth and development.
“We will continue to strengthen technical education in our state to develop technical manpower to grow and develop our state economy.
“It is in view of this that only recently, we awarded contracts for the establishment of nine technical colleges in the state.
“We will also continue to finance the agriculture sector to make it lucrative so that more and more people can go into farming,” the governor said.

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ICT Skills’ll Deliver Economic Independence To Nigerian Girls – NITDA

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The National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA) has said that if Nigerian girls are taught relevant Information and Communication Technology (ICT) skills at a young age, they will be set up for economic independence in future.
The Agency who made this remark through a press release signed by its Head, Corporate Affairs and External Relations, Mrs Hadiza Umar, joined the global community to mark the “Girls in ICT Day.” The day which is marked annually on the fourth Thursday in April falls on the 23rd April this year.
In the statement, Mrs Umar said that the Agency is highlighting the need to promote technology career opportunities for girls and women in ICT, the world’s fastest growing sector.
She said, “During this year’s celebration, NITDA is drawing attention to the critical need for more girls and women to participate actively in the ICT sector of our economy. The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) had estimated skills shortfall of over two million jobs in the ICT sector within the next few years. This opens a huge opportunity for girls and young women who have the ability to learn Coding, Apps Development, Computer Science and other ICT related courses.
“This will not only make them ready for a successful career in the ICT sector, but ICT skills are rapidly becoming a strong advantage for students in just about any other field they might choose to pursue. With technology playing vital role in all manner of careers, from Arts to Social Sciences, and from Law to History, to Graphic Design, learning ICT skills at a young age will set girls up for economic independence. Furthermore, the ICT sector needs more girls and women and celebrating a day like this reminds us that ICT helps to improve the lives of people everywhere.
“It contributes significantly towards better healthcare, better environmental management, better communication, and better educational systems that transform the way children and adults learn. NITDA, in its proactive manner and in line with the National Digital Economy Policy and Strategy as well as in furtherance of bridging the gender imbalance in ICT in Nigeria, has embarked on series of Capacity Building programmes for women and girls across the country. Girls with ICT skills can expect to earn good wages and enjoy huge career opportunities.

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Keystone Bank Disowns Ex-staff, Fake Investment Company

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Keystone Bank Limited has alerted customers of the activities of one Mr. Obinna Onuselogu, who parades a company, Triple C Investment Limited, as an affiliate of the bank with the aim of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank, in a statement yesterday, said Onuselogu, who used to be a staff, was no longer in its employ.
It added that anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of the bank does so at his/her own risk.
“Please note further that Keystone Bank is neither related nor affiliated to any company known as Triple C Investment Limited, which Mr. Onuselogu claims to be its chief executive officer.
“Anyone who transacts any business with him purportedly in the name of Keystone Bank does so at his/her own risk,” the statement said.
It was learnt that the ex-staff has been using the name of the bank and its executives claiming to be in partnership with the bank with the intent of defrauding unsuspecting members of the public.
The bank said it was working on a legal process and security agents to put an end to the unscrupulous activities of the so-called Tripple C Investment and its agents.

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Fishermen Union Warn Against Dead Floating Fish Consumption

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The Bonny Indigenous Fishermen’s Cooperative Union has set up a 20-man task force to work with the police and arrest any person or group of persons found with the polluted floating fish along Bonny sea and creeks.
President of the union, comrade Promise Bristol, made this known in a chat with newsmen in Bonny.
Bristol observed that a large quantity of different species of fish were found dead, floating on the sea, from the Atlantic Ocean to the communities and fishing ports in Andoni and Bonny Local Government Areas.
According to him, the species of fish included croaker, popularly known as “broke marriage”, “shine nose”, mackerel, among others.
Bristol lamented that the incident had brought untold hardship to the fishermen in the areas, saying that fishing is their only source of livelihood and appealed to government at all levels to come to their aid.
Bristol said the cause of the death of the fishes was unknown and warned members of the public against their consumption, pointing out that consumption of such fishes could be detrimental to human health.

 

Tonye Nria-Dappa

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