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2011: Governors Forum To Conduct Induction Course

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Mr Asishana Okauru, Director General, Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF) secretariat,  says the secretariat will begin an induction course for elected governors and their staff from the next dispensation.

 He stated this on Wednesday in Damaturu when he led the Peer Review team of the NGF on a courtesy call on Gov.  Ibrahim Gaidam.

 Okauru said the team was in the state in continuation of its peer review and project inspection exercise.

 He said the training had become necessary because some governors and their secretariat staff needed to be thought the rudiments of governance.

 Okauru, who recently led a team to the U.S. for a conference of the National Governors’ Association of America, said the U.S. also had such programme for newly elected governors.

 The training, he said, was to expose them to the rudiments of governance as well as issues relating to security, time management, financial prudency and how to relate with security agents, the Police and other arms of government.

 According to him, governors in the U.S. do not get to assume office until they go through such induction programme.

 He added that the peer review team which had earlier visited 32 states of the federation were in Yobe to inspect the state government‘s ongoing and completed projects having done so in other states.

 He said they were also in the state to access the connection between projects executed and their impact on the people.

Okauru said that developmental partners such as the Department For International Development, EU, World Bank and the Federal Government had indicated interest in the final report of the exercise.

He said that the exercise was initiative by the 36 serving governors and the Federal Economic Council to encourage healthy competition among the governors.

“The whole objective is to encourage healthy competition among the governors, deepen democracy and good governance, and to also ensure equal development across the country,’’ Okauru said

In his remark, the governor  said the team‘s visit was a moral booster to his administration in its quest for improved service delivery to the people of the state.

He added that the adoption of the peer review initiative by the NGF‘ ‘is undoubtedly a progressive step taken to entrench good governance by evolving common standards of service delivery’’.

 Gaidam noted that the exercise would afford governors the opportunity to compare notes and borrow from each others point of strength.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the team was expected to identify exceptions and best practices in areas of agriculture, health, education, water, budgeting and other developmental issues that could be benchmarked from states visited.

The identified best practices, according to the NGF director general, will be made available to states where they are lacking for replication at the end of the exercise.

“A report on the exercise will be submitted to the governors,” he added.

The team was made up of the media, consultants from various sectors of the economy and NGF secretariat staff.

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Substance Abuse Becoming Thing Of Concern -Odu

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu, has lauded the important role pharmacists play in the wellbeing of the society.
Odu gave this commendation while playing host to members of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Rivers State Branch at the Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
The deputy governor said while others are sleeping, pharmacists work hard “to ensure we all live in a better society, especially when you talk about the dangers of substance abuse.”
Odu stressed that, “It is really becoming a thing of great concern because of the level of children getting involved in this thing. It is even coming down to primary schools which now increases the burden of what you are doing, so we appreciate you for what you are doing for the society which we all are living in.”
The deputy governor extolled the lady pharmacists for the scholarship scheme they were sponsoring, noting that it was “amazing because when you change the narrative of somebody’s life, you become what they call a destiny helper.”
The deputy governor added, “So, for me, it is something I would encourage. Even the Bible says when you do it for them you have done unto God. It is a thing we get a lot of blessings out off, you may not see it now but some day it will definitely come.”
She expressed gratitude to them for their support for the Fubara-led administration which according to her has continued to spur them into action.
“Let me thank you for upholding the governor and myself in prayers, because without prayers we won’t be here, many people have prayed and God has heard, please do not stop, even for good governance, we need God to grant us the wisdom and knowledge of what to do”, she said.
In her remarks, Chairman of the Rivers State Branch of Association of Lady Pharmacists of Nigeria, Ebelechukwu Odom, said they were at the Government House to identify with the Governor Fubara-led administration in the ongoing restructuring of the state, and pledged their allegiance and unflinching support to the administration.
She assured that they would utilize the competences of Lady Pharmacists in Rivers State and synergize with partners for improvement in health, education, research development and socio-economic wellbeing of humanity through relevant and appropriate interventions, projects and programmes.

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RSG Denies Rumours Of Cholera Outbreak In Soku

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The Rivers State Government says it is not aware of any cholera outbreak in Soku community in the Akuku Toru Local Government Area of the State.
This was contained in a statement made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt by the State Ministry of Health.
According to the statement signed by the Commissioner for Health, Dr Adaeze Chidinma Oreh, the clarification was necessary following numerous enquiries from the media over a purported outbreak of cholera in Soku community.
The statement read in part, “The Rivers State Ministry of Health has received numerous enquiries from the Press regarding an alleged outbreak of cholera in Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area.
“Public health teams dispatched to investigate these alleged cases and deaths have so far received no confirmation of such.”
While describing cholera as a waterborne infectious disease, the commissioner said that the disease is notifiable, warranting escalating reports from disease surveillance and notification officers at the community level.
The statement clarified that the ongoing medical outreach in Soku community is in no way related to any outbreak of cholera.
“Outreaches have always been a way of getting accessible health care to underserved and vulnerable population, however, all such outreach activities must be conducted with approval from and in collaboration with the State Ministry of Health and as such no entity should be conducting outreaches outside the coordination of the ministry”, it warned.
The ministry further said that all infectious diseases of this nature are reported, managed and escalated by the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
Dr. Oreh said the statement should serve as a strong warning to anyone conducting or planning health activities without due recourse to the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
She added that any such activities found to be carried out without the knowledge and clearance of the State Ministry of Health will be fully investigated and dealt with in order to ensure the protection of the lives of the people.
“Therefore, the general public and members of the Press are advised to disregard the rumours making the round on an ongoing outbreak of cholera and the death of some citizens of Soku community in Akuku Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State as it is presently unfounded, misguided and capable of causing panic amongst citizens and residents.
“The general public is thus urged to remain calm and rest assured that the Rivers State Ministry of Health will continue to be a veritable source of public health information in the state”, the statement concluded.

John Bibor

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Bill On State Police Scales Second Reading

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The House of Representatives, yesterday, passed for second reading a bill to provide for the establishment of state police in the country.
Sponsored by the Deputy Speaker of the House, Benjamin Kalu and 14 others, the bill seeks to alter the relevant Sections of the 1999 Constitution to pave the way for states to establish their own policing outfits.
As lawmakers took turns to contribute to the debate on the floor of the House during yesterday’s plenary, Kalu who stood in for the Speaker, Abbas Tajudeen, urged members to look beyond political ambitions and think about the safety of Nigerians and Nigeria.
Also speaking, Babajimi Benson (APC, Lagos) said, “It is the job of the police to maintain law and order. We have a population of over 200m people but we have a police strength that is less than 400,000. State Police should be created to address the internal security challenges of Nigeria.”

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