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Bayelsa Decries FG’s Adhoc Approach To Poverty Alleviation

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Bayelsa State Government has criticized the ad-hoc approach of most Federal Government agencies towards poverty alleviation and entrepreneurial development in the country.
The government pointed out that such approach did not only result in waste of efforts and scarce resources, but also failed in creating long lasting impact on the beneficiaries of the social support programmes.
The state deputy governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made this known when the South-South Coordinator of the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Agencies of Nigeria (SMEDAN) led a delegation to pay him courtesy visit in Government House, Yenagoa.
In a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Mr Doubara Atasi, the deputy governor was quoted as urging SMEDAN and other federal agencies to work closely with state governments to ensure the growth and development of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) at the state and local government levels.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo decried the continued shortchanging of people of the state in Federal Government’s sponsored programmes such as the Survival Fund, You-Win, Sure-P and OLOP schemes in terms of quota and funding.
“Some of these programmes run by the Federal Government are too ad-hoc for my liking. They are like ‘hit and run’ relationships that are not long lasting.
“When you say Survival Fund programme and it is lasting for only three months, what will be the impact on the beneficiaries? Three months are over but Covid-19 is still there. Sometimes, they just hurriedly package these programmes and throw them at the states.
“You said 13,000 was allocated to Bayelsa for the Survival Fund, but only about 10,000 was enrolled. So, where are the remaining 3,000 and when are they going to be registered? I think we really have to collaborate more closely to get these programmes working”, he added.
He stressed the need for SMEDAN to interface effectively with the state investment team and Ministry of Agriculture to harness the comparative advantage in natural endowments in every local government area of the state.
The Deputy Governor also urged the Agency to scale up its advocacy campaigns in the state to raise the awareness of the people, particularly the youths, on the importance of SMEs and the acquisition of skills to promote self-reliance.
He noted that most of the reputable multi-billion business organisations around the world such as Microsoft, Facebook and Apple, started as SMEs and grew to what they are today.
Earlier in her remarks, the South-South Coordinator of SMEDAN, Mrs Anyam Omubo-Pepple, explained that the Agency was established in 2003 to grow small and medium enterprise subsector of the national economy.
According to her, most people from the northern states are benefiting significantly from SMEDAN programmes because of the cooperation and buy-in of their state governments.
Mrs Omubo-Pepple, who expressed delight at the interest shown so far by the Governor Douye Diri-led administration, disclosed that six out of the eight local government areas have benefited from the Agency’s current programme, known as One Local Government, One Product.

 

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Real Estate Executive Tasks Investors On Mass Housing

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In order to reduce housing deficit in Nigeria, a real estate executive, Mr Ade Adebanjo, has urged investors in the private sector to consider investment in mass housing at affordable rate.
He said that time has come when attention should shift from government to the private sector in matters of mass housing, so as to bridge the housing deficit gap across the country.
Adebanjo, the Chief Executive Officer of the UT Finance Limited, a real estate financing firm, gave the advice while speaking to newsmen at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, last Friday.
He said that the idea of encouraging the private sector to invest in mass housing was borne out of the conviction to redefine the narrative in mass housing.
“The overall idea and my conviction on this call is to challenge the status-quo, and to create a unique and innovative platform to deliver real estate solutions in Nigeria.
“The vision is to build future dreams and set the pace for a new innovative approach in tackling home ownership across the 36 states of the country, beginning with the most viable and populated cities.
“Until the private sector investors take rightful position in this matter and not just government alone, the problem of mass housing deficit will continue to be a mirage in the country”, he said.
Adebanjo also encouraged government at the state level to partner with private investors to make mass housing possible and available to its citizens.
He said that he has been discussing with government of various states on possible partnership in the provision of mass housing.
According to him, if the state is able to provide land for the project, his firm will provide the needed funds to execute the project, thus making easy for low income earners to be able to own homes on mortgage facility.
By: Corlins Walter
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Rivers NCSU Hails Union Boss Over Court Victory

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), has applauded the victory recorded by the National President of the union, Comrade (Chief) Lawrence Amaechi at the Appeal Court sitting in Abuja last Thursday, describing it as divine, well-deserved and appropriate.
According to the union, the victory has put to rest agitations and unnecessary litigations by some disgruntled elements against the National President’s elections three years ago.
The Chairman of the union in Rivers State, Comrade Chukwuka Osumah, who made the remarks in an interview with newsmen in Port Harcourt said the judgement in favour of the National President has paved the way for him to really settle down and effectively pilot the affairs of the union, stressing that it has also provided the leeway for him to remain focused in attending to the welfare needs of members of the union across the country, with a view to taking the union to more enviable heights.
Osumah said NCSU in the state is highly elated over the outcome of the case as it has put the members in a jubilation mood, and assured the National Presi-dent that members of the union would continue to support and rally round him in his bid to reposition the union.
The union chairman equally commended com-rade Amaechi for his forthrightness and commit-ment to the goals and aspirations of the union, and called on members of the union in the state to throw their weight behind the National President to enable him succeed, adding that with the court victory, Comrade Amaechi is now truly in charge of the affairs of the union in the country.
“The victory calls for all those fighting the National President to bury the hatchet and join hands with him to move the union forward because it has clearly shown that he is truly in charge,” he said.
Osumah said members of the union have absolute confidence in the leadership of the National President, and advised him to carry everybody along in his bid to take the union to a greater level.
According to him, “it is now time for all of us to work together.”
Also speaking, the coordinating secretary of the union for Rivers and Bayelsa States and Zonal Secretary for the South South, Comrade Dan Otakpo, while commending the National President over the court victory, said it is a victory for the union.
He noted, however, that he received the victory with mixed feelings since the National President had already done three years of his four-year tenure, contending that it would have been disastrous for the union if the court had ruled otherwise, and pleaded with the National President to carry all the members along.
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22 Communities Ask Ikeja DisCo For Disconnection

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Angered by “monthly crazy bills”, 22 communities in Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State, have written to Ikeja Electricity Distribution Company, IKEDC, asking to be disconnected.
In a letter dated February 18, entitled: “Request for de-loading of transformers in our communities” and signed by chairmen of 22 Community Development Associations, CDAs, in Ward E4, Ikorodu North, the communities stressed that they were tired of paying outrageous bills monthly.
The letter reads: “We wish to humbly request the immediate de-loading of the 13 transformers in the 21 communities in our areas by your organisation.
“This is as a result of the blatant refusal of IKEDC to look into several representations on issues connected with your services at various offices of your organisation – Adamo, Imota, Ikorodu and IKEDC headquarters without success.
“For the records, our organisation is the body representing all Community Development Associations, CDAs, in Ward E4, Ikorodu North Local Council Development Area, Ikorodu.
“And it is an indisputable fact that we have written several times to your organisation on these matters, which include estimated billing, poor services and pre-paid meters without any headway.
“Even when we had a meeting brokered by the Divisional Police Officer of Imota, with your officials on these issues, following a protest last year, nothing concrete came out of the exercise, especially on estimated billing, as the problem remains the same.
“As you read this, our people are being billed unjustifiably. Even those who are allotted just two weeks of unstable power cannot believe what they are been billed.
“Meanwhile, all efforts to ensure that pre-paid meters are made available to our people have not yielded a positive result, due to the nonchalant attitude of your organisation.
“This is both wicked and callous, to say the least.
“Against the backdrop of these developments and your brazen insistence on a master-servant relationship, we wish to request that your organisation de-loads the 13 transformers in our commu-nities and subsequent stoppage of electricity bills.
“We cannot afford to be slaves to any group or organisation of any kind any longer, hence the need to severe, as a matter of urgency, any relationship existing between IKEDC and our communities forthwith.”
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