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Okowa Signs 2021 Budget Of N383bn

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Governor Ifeanyi Okowa of Delta State on Monday in Asaba assented to the state’s 2021 Appropriation Bill of N383 billion.
The bill tagged “Budget of Economic Recovery” is made up of N210 billion capital expenditure and N173 billion recurrent expenditure
The Delta House of Assembly increased the budget figure of N378.48 proposed by the governor to N383 billion.
Signing the budget, Okowa assured the people that the state would strive to recover from the economic challenges engendered by Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The governor commended the state house of assembly for the speedy passage of the bill.
He said that signing the budget before December would avail the state government the opportunity to further plan towards its implementation from January, 2021.
According to him, the state government would remain focused on the implementation of the budget as passed, for the benefit of the people.
The governor noted that there was a warm working relationship between the executive and the legislature in the state.
“You have just witnessed my signing into law, the 2021 Appropriation Bill, and as I said on Oct. 27, during the presentation of the bill, we are in very difficult times this year.
“The second wave of the pandemic will create a further challenge for the recovery of the economy of our nation.
“However, we are optimistic that in the 2021 fiscal year, things will gradually improve and we will be able to get back to the desired levels of infrastructural and human capital development for our people.”I pray that God will help us and this nation to rediscover ourselves and to commit every work of our people and our state and nation for the common good of all our citizens.
The budget is termed ‘budget of economic recovery’ because we are very much aware of the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both our health systems and the economy of the country.
“The pandemic obviously impacted negatively on our budget in 2020 that we had to reduce it twice in the year.
“I want to appreciate our contractors who have continued to stay in their various sites to work even when it is becoming increasingly difficult to make payments on contractual agreements already made.
“We will continue to be very responsible as a state, and we will continue to work with them to deliver on our projects,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Diri Tasks Kinsmen On Unity, Entrepreneurship

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has urged the people of Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area to eschew politics of bitterness and be united in love.
Governor Diri said rather than divide themselves, they should take advantage of his administration’s economic policy of being self-reliant in agriculture.
The governor gave the admonition in his community, Sampou, which hosted the 8th edition of the annual KOLGA Day/ Thanksgiving Service convened by General Overseer of the Royal House of Grace Church, Apostle David Zilly-Aggrey.
The Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted Diri as saying that the KOLGA people should recognise God’s hand in his emergence and seize the opportunity to better their lot.
He noted that he was not the most qualified politician from the local government to govern the state but God destined him to lead the people of Bayelsa.
“This is an event for the Kolokuma/Opokuma people to exude love, unity and peace. Let us not sacrifice our love on the altar of politics. Politics should not be an instrument to divide us”, he said.
“You are aware that I was one of the apostles of the move to produce a Kolokuma/Opokuma son as governor and for over 10 years I was in that movement. I never knew that one day God would say you are the person to lead”, he added.
The Governor enjoined other local government areas in the state to have a meeting place to talk about the development of their area, saying it should not always be what one can get as a person from government.
“This is the time for us to build the roads, build the bridges and go into agriculture, trading and business. What will bring food to the table is agriculture, doing business and having small scale industries. This government is determined to help us move away from relying on politicians and political appointees for assistance.
“The Ijaw man has never been beggarly. The true Ijaw man respects himself and works hard. Likewise our women, who also work to improve their standard of living”, Governor Diri noted.
While acknowledging the role of Apostle Zilly-Aggrey in planting the seed of God in the people of the LGA through the annual thanksgiving, the governor noted that the event was a fruitful ground.
He also recognised the role played by Senator Seriake Dickson, who against all odds stood his ground in line with the purpose of God to see the manifestation of the present administration.
He equally called on Bayelsans to recognise the supremacy of God in the affairs of men and turn to Him to be free from all forms of bondage.
In his sermon titled: “Yes, God Can,” Apostle Zilly-Aggrey said God had always proved Himself to turn around situations that seemed impossible to man.
Citing the emergence of Governor Diri as an example, Zilly-Aggrey said it was a case of God turning things around when man had lost hope.
The cleric admonished the people of the area not to cease praising God for what He had already done but to make thanksgiving a daily lifestyle.

 

By: AriweraIbibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Teachers Protest Non-Payment Of Six Years Salaries

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The primary school teachers demoted in 2016 by the Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board (CR-SUBEB) have protested non-payment of their six year salaries.
Mrs Ekponwan Ekanem, who spoke to newsmen on Wednesday on behalf of the protesters, said they had been stagnated by the board, adding that some of their members had died in the process.
She pointed out that, though, some of them had rectified some of the issues that led to their demotion, yet the board had refused to listen to them.
“We are stagnated because of the demotion. Over 2000 of us were affected across the state.
“We have not been paid since 2016 and many have died due to hardship. Some are receiving alerts far below their monthly salaries while some of us don’t even receive anything.
“We have not been promoted either and we are still teaching on an empty stomach,” she said.
The teachers also insisted that they must be paid the arrears for the six years that the board owed them as well as promotion arrears.
Another speaker, Mr Kingsley Egbo further claimed that, Governor Ben Ayade had earlier directed the SUBEB to address all the issues arising from the 2016 exercise.
“So, we want full reinstatement and all our entitlements paid to us”, he said.
Reacting, the Secretary of SUBEB, Mr Cyril Itam said the board was waiting for the outcome of the audit report on the matter from the office of the Auditor General of the Local Government Service Commission.
“In November last year, we called all those who had remedied their problems to come and they went through screening to ascertain their current status.

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Mob Kills Three Suspected Thieves In C’River

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Irked by the incessant unrest now bedeviling the State, angry mob have killed three suspected thieves at different locations in Calabar- South Local Government Area of Cross River State.
The incidents took place at different locations in Calabar-South Local Government Area of the state.
One occurred at Atu by Palm Street, another at Mayne Avenue by Inyang while the third person was burnt at Efio Anwan Street at Anantigha.
Our correspondent who moved round the local government area observed that the suspects were burnt beyond recognition by the mob who hanged old vehicle tyres on their necks, and set them ablaze.
It was gathered that one of the suspected thieves who operated at different location, was caught and brought to Atu by Palm Street where he lived and burnt to death. It was alleged that he used master key to break into people’s houses and shops to steal.
“You can see the keys beside his burnt body,” a resident of the area pointed it out to The Tide.
Sadly, for the one at Mayne Avenue by Inyang, a Keke Napep (tricycle) driver who did not give his name said: “The suspect used to drive Keke Napep, suddenly he stopped. I don’t know that he has gone into stealing.
“The economy is hard but stealing is not the best option. Just look at the way he died, so bad. He was struggling, so they broke his legs, before putting tyres on him and lighting the fire,” a witness lamented.
The third incident that occurred at Efio Anwan, residents said: “He stays around here and still goes about stealing around here. So, the people said it was too much and decided to end his life since whenever he is arrested by the police, he will come out, boasting and still continue with his stealing – disturbing the neighbourhood”.
When contacted, DSP Irene Ugbo, Police Public Relations Officer, Cross River State Command, confirmed the incidents and said she had earlier warned against mob attack as it was unlawful, noting that the Command had asked residents to report such an incident to the Police.
“Residents should avoid jungle justice, it is not healthy for our development, economically, socially and politically, we should report such incident to the Police and watch what we are going to do, people should have confident on us,” she stressed.

 

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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