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Wike Presents 2021 Budget To RSHA

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, last Wednesday , presented a budget  of N448, 660, 773, 476 for  2021 fiscal year to the Rivers State House of Assembly for consideration.
Christened, “Budget of Recovery and Consolidation”, the budget is made up of N305,894,284.061, as Capital Expenditure, while N142,776,489,415 is earmarked as Recurrent Expenditure.
The Rivers State Chief Executive noted that the 2021 budget represented more than 20 per cent increase over the 2020 Revised Budget.
The Governor remarked that the capital budget would be deployed to advance economic growth and social progress by prioritising investments.
According to him, the sum of N82,957,295,248.81, has been provided for the provision of infrastructure, including roads, bridges and completion of flyover projects at Okoro-nu-Odo, Rumuola, Rumuogba, and Port Harcourt GRA junction.
He also assured that his administration would deliver the Ogoni- Andoni-Opobo Unity Road, the Eastern Bypass Dualisation, 6th and 7th flyover projects and the Wakama Road as well as all other ongoing rural road projects in our communities and local government areas across the state.
He regretted that economic challenges of COVID-19 pandemic clearly exposed the state’s vulnerability to food security, hence the sum of N16,107,080,000.00 would be spent on targeted investment in the agriculture value chain in a bid to create employment and enhance collective food  security of the state.
Gov. Wike noted that the policy thrust for 2021 budget will be to accelerate economic recovery, drive growth and create opportunities for social progress, human capital development and tackle poverty, build first class infrastructures to accelerate our socio-economic development.
The Governor expressed optimism that measures in the budget would place the state on a stronger economic footing towards achieving the New Rivers Vission for a peaceful, secure, inclusive and prosperous society.
The Speaker, Ikuinyi Ibani, lauded the administration of Gov. Wike for its commitment towards transforming the economy of the state and ssured the Governor that the lawmakers would deligently consider and pass the budget so as to facilitate the continued development of the state.
Rivers State Executive Council, had last Monday, approved the over N448billion for 2021.
Also last week, Governor Wike received commendations for appointing a non-indigen as the Chief Judge of the state.
Justice Tinuade Akomolafe-Wilson made the commendation last Thursday during a valedictory court session held in her honour at the Court of Appeal in Benin City, capital of Edo State.
Narrating her experience, Akomolafe-Wilson regretted that despite being married to an Edo husband and having started her legal career in the former Mid-Western State in 2009 when there was an opening for her to be appointed to the Court of Appeal, it was scuttled because she hailed from Ekiti State.
“ This myopic definition of state of origin for a married woman, who has put in several years of loyal service in her husband’s state, can neither serve the ends of justice, nor promote national cohesion and unity”, she said while hailing the Rivers State Governor for being courageous to appoint a non-indigen of his state as Chief Judge of the state.
Within the week under review, Governor Wike joined other prominent political leaders across the country to honour late Madam Abigail Omojolagbe Amope Making, mother of Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde at her funeral service held at the Cathedral of St Peter, Aremo, Ibadan.
In a similar vein, Gov Wike also eulogised late Chief Godwin Ngogo Alabraba, elder brother of the Chairman of Greater Port Harcourt City  Development Authority (GPHCDA), Chief Ferdinand Alabraba.
Wike who was in the funeral service held Saturday at St Paul’s Nyemoni Lutheran Cathedral, Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area, described the deceased as a well respected family and community leader and elder statesman, whose tenure as the Chairman of Abonnema Council of Chiefs was marked by peace and progress.
“ His death is a loss not only to his family and Abonnema community, but also to the entire Rivers State. We thank God for a life’s race well run, a long and eventful life well lived and worthy legacies left behind for us to remember him”, the Gov said.

 

By: Chris Oluoh

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APC, PDP Bandy Words Over Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request

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The ruling All Progressives Party (APC) and the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have argued over President Muhammadu Buhari’s request for approval to borrow $4 billion and €710 million to fund the deficit in the 2021 budget.
Recall that the president made the request in a letter he addressed to the National Assembly on Tuesday.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), in reaction to the development, cautioned the NASS against approving the request, saying it could set the country’s debt profile skyrocketing without a feasible repayment plan.
With the approval to borrow $8.3 billion and €490 million loans by its legislative body barely two months ago, Nigeria’s debt profile risks reaching over N40 trillion.
“More alarming is that the debts that APC is hanging on Nigerians are for nebulous projects whose scopes, utilities, locations and contractors are largely vague; a development that validates apprehensions of a huge swindle on our nation at the expense of innocent Nigerians, including generation yet unborn. 
“Our party holds it as an act of wickedness that individuals who know that they will be leaving office in less than two years will be accumulating debts instead of seeking ways to reduce the liability they have brought upon our nation.
“The APC knows it will not be around after May 29, 2023. That is why it is pushing our nation into a deeper economic quagmire with foreign loans, which are largely diverted to the personal pockets of their corrupt leaders,” the opposition PDP said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Kola Ologbondiyan, on Tuesday.
But responding to the PDP’s criticism, the All Progressives Congress (APC) on Wednesday, said the loans are for “the good of the country” and well-being of the citizenry.
The ruling party also accused the opposition party of looting foreign loans obtained during its 16 years rule rather than spending on infrastructure and economic growth as, according to it, Mr Buhari-led government is doing.
“It was in PDP’s era that loans to fund power generation, purchase arms and ammunition to fight a raging insurgency were misappropriated and diverted to fund PDP activities; and the borrowed money ultimately found its way to the pockets of cronies, friends and family members of administration officials. Nigeria is still servicing a $460 million loan taken from China to fund a phoney Abuja Closed-Circuit Television (CCTV) contract awarded in August 2010.
“Nigerians should also reflect and recall that the PDP had in its 16 years of misrule pushed the country into a dark ditch of insolvency, and a period in which most state governments could not pay workers salaries, not even the minimum wage, or settle contractors’ bills and cater for patients in hospitals, to name a few,” the APC interim National Secretary, John Akpanudoedehe, said.

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A’Ibom Gov Signs Anti-Open Grazing Law

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Akwa lbom State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, has signed into law a bill to prohibit open rearing and grazing of livestock and provide for the establishment of ranches in the state.
The Speaker, Aniekan Bassey, with the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr Uko Udom (SAN), presented the bill for signing on Wednesday at the State Executive Chambers, in the Governor’s Office, Uyo.
The governor, after signing the bill into law, stated that the new law was no respecter of persons irrespective of status or calibre.
He instructed relevant authorities of government to ensure that the law was implemented and enforced to the letter with strict compliance, stressing that, culprits must be brought to book accordingly.
The new law will promote modern techniques in animal husbandry, prevent the destruction of farms by wandering cattle while reducing clashes and killings between herders and farmers in the state.
It will also promote international best practices in livestock administration, regulation and control in the state, among other things.
The state Assembly passed the bill on Tuesday, and the Speaker, Aniekan Bassey, directed the Clerk of the House, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to communicate the decision of the House to the Governor for his assent.
Also at the Executive Chambers, the Speaker who was accompanied by the Leader of the House, Udo Kierian Akpan, and the Clerk of the Assembly, Mrs Mandu Umoren, to the signing ceremony witnessed the inauguration of two C\committees by the Governor.
The committees are the Akwa Ibom State Gender Based Violence Management Committee, chaired by the First Lady, Mrs.  Martha Udom Emmanuel, and Akwa Ibom State Road Safety Management Committee, chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mr. Moses Ekpo.

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NASS S’East Caucus Moves To Reconstruct Federal System

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Members of the South East Caucus of the National Assembly have resolved to join hands with other patriotic Nigerians across regional, religious, political, and ethnic divides to reconstruct a federal system where the rights, happiness, and prosperity and those of unborn generations are guaranteed. 
Making their feelings known in a communique issued at the end of an extraordinary meeting held at the Apo Legislative Quarters, Abuja last Wednesday, the law makers said the topic of the meeting centered on review of developments in the South East, particularly the security situation in the region vis-à-vis the sit-at-home orders by members of the proscribed Indigenous People of Biafra(IPOB) and  the detention of Mazi Nnamdi Kanu.
  “We expressed solidarity with our people of the South East over the marginalisation of the region in the scheme of things within the Nigerian commonwealth. The Caucus feels the pains of our people and their quest for equity, justice, and protection of their lives and property in every part of the country. The Caucus, therefore, resolved to continue to fight for a level-playing ground and an enabling federal system where Ndigbo are able to develop their homeland at their own pace and equally pursue their happiness and actaulise their enormous potentials in every part of the country, unmolested.
 Reviewing the sit-at-home orders by the IPOB and the mayhem some nefarious elements have seized the opportunity to visit on the lives, properties, and psyche of the people, the Caucus equally reviewed and rued the incalculable economic losses and hardships these have brought upon the region.
They, however, condemned in strongest terms the disruption of the ongoing Senior Secondary School Certificate Examination in some parts of the South East, particularly the incident at Comprehensive Secondary School, Nkume, Njaba Local Government Area of Imo State, where the English examination organised by the West Africa Examination Council, WAEC, on Monday, September 13, 2021, was ruthlessly scuttled by armed men, who chased away the students, teachers, and examiners before setting ablaze motorcycles belonging to the teachers. 
“This is certainly not who we are as a people. On the contrary, we are a people, who have always cherished and encouraged learning from the ages. We are a people that fully appreciate the place of education in the liberation and enlightenment of the human mind and the socio-economic and political emancipation of a people”.
The South East legislators equally condemned in strongest terms the incessant killings in the South East, adding “This must stop immediately. We call on the security agencies to unravel the culprits behind these wicked acts and ensure that they are brought to book to serve as a deterrent to others.
“ Noted with delight that IPOB has called off the Monday sit-at-home order and resolved to ensure that nobody uses them as façades to bring ruination on Igbo land.
“ Call on our people to go about their lawful businesses and enjoin our governors and the security agencies to rebuild confidence in our people by not only ensuring the security of their lives and properties, but also ensuring that our people feel safe as they undertake their legitimate businesses.
 ”Elaborately discussed the issue of Mazi Nnamdi and resolved to intervene. To this end we resolved to set up a committee to constructively interface with relevant stakeholders, the Federal Government and its relevant agencies towards finding a political solution. We will keep Ndigbo abreast of developments in regard.
 “Appeal to our people not to allow anyone to destroy the South East region. The post-war South East was not built through government patronage, but largely by the sheer determination and sacrifices of our people, who refused to resign to fate or bow their heads in defeat. 
“It is in Igbo land that you easily find hospitals, schools, roads, and other social amenities built by individual or communal efforts of the people, home and abroad, through the instruments of the town unions and other community organisations such as the age grades, Umuada, etc. 

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