Members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, yesterday, resolved to collectively donate their one-month salary to assist the state government fight the spread of the novel Coronavirus pandemic in the state.
In a press conference in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuinyi-Owaji Ibani, said that the members arrived at the decision after an interface with officials of the Ministry of Health on the concerted fight against Coronavirus.
He said: “Based on this feedback so far received from the joint committee on the proactive and preventive measures put in place by the State Security Council headed by the Rivers State governor, and bearing in mind that as responsible representatives of our various constituencies, we resolved that one month salary of all members of the Rivers State House of Assembly be deducted by the Ministry of Finance and remitted to the committee set up to fight Coronavirus in the state.
“This sacrifice by members is not to the exclusion of other individual contributions of members in their respective constituencies to ameliorate the shocks associated with the pandemic.
“We restate our commitment to the fight against Coronavirus pandemic and our full support of all efforts and actions taken by the Rivers State Government to keep our people safe and healthy.”
The speaker further added that members took the decision bearing in mind that as responsive and responsible representatives, they cannot turn their back on the yearnings of the people.
He also clarified that the decision was based on the feedback from Standing Committees on Health and Information mandated to interface with the Ministry of Health and other agencies set up by the state government.
Ikuinyi-Owaji was flanked by principal officers of the House, including the Deputy Speaker, Hon Edison Ehie, and other prominent members at the briefing.
Meanwhile, the Special Committee of the National Economic Council on COVID-19 has its second meeting as it continues its task of coordinating the federal and state governments’ responses to the impact of COVID-19 on Nigerians.
The NEÇ Committee meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, agreed to finalise its work towards developing additional measures to alleviate the challenges being faced by Nigerians because of the implications of the global pandemic in the country.
Present alongside the Vice President at the meeting held via videoconference anchored from the Presidential Villa are Governors Kayode Fayemi, Ekiti; Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, Kaduna; Abdullahi Sule, Nasarawa; Mohammed Abubakar, Jigawa; Godwin Obaseki, Edo; David Umahi, Ebonyi; Dapo Abiodun, Ogun; and Atiku Bagudu, Kebbi.
According to the VP’s Spokesman, Laolu Akande, the meeting was also attended by the Finance Minister, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed; and the Director-General of the Budget Office, Mr. Ben Akabueze; among several other top officials.
The NEC Committee received the report of its Technical Working Group which proposed an array of policy options and recommendations on how federal, state and local governments can bring relief to the people and take other adequate measures in containing and responding to the adverse economic effects of the pandemic.
Speaking at the meeting, the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, emphasized the importance of the assignment and the urgency required, asking that public enlightenment and sensitization on the seriousness of the pandemic should be further intensified at all government levels so that more and more Nigerians would become aware of the compelling and critical dimensions of the situation.
He assured the governors that the Federal Government is already packaging further resources for a comprehensive economic response to alleviate the challenges of the pandemic, support the states and provide succour to Nigerians in a timely and effective manner.
He disclosed that the newly created Economic Sustainability Committee (ESW), constituted by the President will also be meeting this week to start its work and respond to the situation appropriately.
We’re Not Taking Mandate Of Rivers People For Granted, Wike Insists
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has reiterated commitment of his administration to work tirelessly in advancing the state and improve the quality of living of Rivers people.
Speaking to journalists during an unscheduled inspection of four ongoing flyover projects in Port Harcourt and Obio/Akpor local government areas of the state, Wike said more democratic dividends are in the offing for the people of the state.
The governor explained that his administration will continue to honour the social contract reached with Rivers’ people since 2015 to provide them good governance and quality infrastructure.
“For us, we owe them that duty to make sure that the mandate they’ve given to us will not be taken for granted. That is why all the members of our team are working, trying to make sure that we satisfy the yearnings of our people.”
The governor asserted that with commitment and passion, there is nothing any sincere government cannot accomplish in terms of providing basic infrastructure that can bring about the necessary transformation of the life of the people.
“It is very easy. The funds are there. When people ask us where do we get funds, we laugh. it is a matter of management, being prudent with the little you have. It is not as if we have a lot of money. The little we have, we have to manage it in a way that we can say, this is what we did with funds available to us.”
The governor frowned at the operations of illegal parks and other illegal trading activities around the ongoing flyover projects.
According to him, such despicable activities do not speak well of the state that is investing huge resources to enhance the status of the state capital and improve commerce.
“We have taken a decision that we are going to barricade off, and stop operations of all the unnecessary motor parks that are springing up. We want to make sure that people know that they cannot just wake up in the morning and decide to take government space and use as your private park.”
Speaking further, Wike stated that henceforth, any business place within whose precinct refuses are found, will be sealed up in the state. The decision, he said, is informed by the carefree attitude displayed by members of the public towards issues of sanitation.
According to him, if owners of business premises do not litter their premises and discourage others, the state will be cleaner.
Wike said, his administration has the political will to implement the new order because, in the long run, it will result in a change of behaviour and increase the attention members of the public pay to issues of sanitation.
“Those at Aba Road axis of the Rumuola area will be the first victims. Thereafter, others will follow, so that people will know that government is very serious.
“So, all those who litter refuse, and operate motor parks will have themselves to blame. This is not the time people will tell you that the economy is hard. If the economy is hard, does it mean that you’ll sell your goods and litter the places with the refuse.
“Why do you have to litter the area, thinking that government will come and clean them up for you. No, nobody will do that any longer.”
The flyover projects inspected by the governor included the Rumuola, GRA Junction, Orochiri/Wurukwo and Oru-Abali flyovers.
Jonathan’s Appointment As ISCP-Africa Chair Excites PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), yesterday, congratulated former President, Dr. Goodluck Jonathan, on his appointment as chairman of the International Summit Council for Peace, ISCP-Africa.
On Jonathan’s appointment as ISCP-Africa, an association of incumbent and former heads of state and their deputies, established in 2019 by the Universal Peace Federation UPF, an organization in general consultative status with the United Nations (UN), the party said in a congratulatory message, “is in recognition of his leadership qualities as a democrat as well as his resounding success in peacekeeping efforts across the world.”
The statement by the spokesman of the PDP, Kola Ologbondiyan, read, “Our party is assured that former President Jonathan, will deploy his wealth of experience strengthened by the democratic tenets and principles of our great party, in his new mandate of providing direction for the essentials of peace, security, and development in Africa.
“The party also congratulates President Jonathan on his appointment as the Chancellor of Cavendish University, Uganda (CUU).
“The PDP is elated that former President Jonathan is so honoured to hold the position previously held by late President Kenneth Kaunda of Zambia as well as late President Benjamin Mkapa of the Republic of Tanzania, because of his commitment to education and human capital development, in line with the ideals of the PDP.
“Our party congratulate Dr. Jonathan and urged him to use the positions to further the advancement of peace and development in Africa and the world at large.”
PVC: 14,130 Persons Register Online In Rivers
Over 14,130 persons have registered online ahead of the physical registration of voters by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The figures were contained in a document released by INEC in Rivers State, yesterday.
The INEC in the state reiterated that the physical registration of voters will commence on July 26, 2021.
The commission said the physical exercise will involve capturing of finger prints and photographs of those who had started the process online, while those who were yet to begin the process will also be registered.
Statistics released by the commission indicated that a total of 752,011 persons have been registered online across the 36 states of the federation as last Monday, with Osun State taking the lead with 232,808 registrants.
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