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Body Supports C’River Communities On Farming

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The Global Environment
Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF-SGP) has supported eight communities in the Obanliku local government area (LGA) of Cross River on improved methods of planting and preserving vegetables.
The programme also gave support to two women associations.
The eight communities are Ablesang, Utuhu, Busi, Bebi, Shikpeche, Buya, Amanga and Bishiri, while the women associations are Work with Faith Club and Women of Hope Association.
The beneficiaries were trained on Sustainable Land Management (SLM), including drip irrigation.
They were also trained in the use of solar dryers to dry vegetables and package them for local and international markets, among others.
Our correspondents  reports that over 50 farmers benefited directly from the project tagged, “Sustainable Resources Use through Improved Vegetable Technologies’’.
The project’s indirect beneficiaries are estimated to be over 540,000 people.
The indirect beneficiaries include transporters, middlemen, local tax collectors, and the communities which can buy vegetables throughout the year and at affordable prices.
The Vice-President of Rural Infrastructure Services for Under-Served Population (RISE-UP), Mr Niyi Adegun,  a non-governmental organisation (NGO), said the project has alleviated the suffering of the beneficiaries.
Adegun told the GEF-SGP team on a Monitoring and Evaluation exercise to Obudu that the project has helped to build the capability of the small scale farmers in those communities.
He said the project was an upgrade from the earlier one supported by GEF-SGP, where community dwellers were trained on the propagation of the vegetable popularly known as “Afang’’.
“The vegetable is fast disappearing because of unsustainable exploitation,’’ the NGO official said.
In his remarks, the Global Environment Facility (GEF) Desk Officer at the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr Eguaoje Festus urged the beneficiaries to improve on their productivity.
“If you do more, you will get more assistance and even if the assistance is not coming forth again, you will be able to sustain what you have done.
“If you can produce enough to feed yourselves, then you have alleviated the greatest element of poverty, which is the shortage of food,’’ he said.
Earlier, GEF-SGP’s National Co-ordinator, Mrs Ibironke Olubamise, said the programme currently supports some NGOs to implement environmental initiatives in 22 states across the country.
“GEF-SGP is implementing over 113 projects in those 22 states,’’ she said.

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Niger Delta

Ayade Suspends Carnival Over Insecurity, COVID-19

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Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State, Yesterday suspended the 2021 Carnival Calabar over fears of a renewed outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The governor disclosed the decision after a prolonged debate among his aides including Commissioners, special advisers special assistants, speaker of the House of Assembly, council chairmen, during an enlarged executive council meeting.
Announcing the suspension, Ayade cited the health concerns arising from the outbreak of Covid-19 variant, Omicron, as well as the prevailing security situation as reasons for the suspension.
He said he would not as a governor and leader compromise the lives and safety of the citizens for the fleeting excitement of the carnival.
Before announcing the suspension, Ayade had subjected the decision to popular votes, following which the majority of the stakeholders voted for the suspension of the carnival.
“We voted more than three times to arrive at No Carnival this year for the best interest of Cross Riverians!
“I’m sad of course as I wanted Carnival for 2021 but the majority carried the day. Dear Cross Riverians, we need to be alive first to enjoy Xmas and Carnival.
“The New Covid-19 Variant is dangerous and won’t portray a good image for the Governor who is the hero of Covid-19 prevention,” the governor told the people of the state.
One of the speakers and former Minister of Culture and Tourism, High Chief Edem Duke even opined that it would be a mockery for a state whose Commissioner for Health, Dr Betta Edu, is the Chair of Nigerian Commissioners of Health Forum to hold a carnival amidst the dangers of the new Covid-19 wave.

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Niger Delta

Lawmaker Empowers Edo Youths, Women

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Senator representing Edo South Senatorial District at the National Assembly, Matthew Urhoghide, has trained and supported over 222 youths and women in the state with starter kits to commence businesses.
The training, facilitated by the senator, was sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Cross River Basin Development Authority, as part of the lawmaker’s effort to improve livelihood of unemployed persons in the state.
Addressing newsmen at the training session in Benin City, the senator, who is the chairman, Senate Committee on Public Accounts, said he had so far upgraded skills and empowered over 7,000 persons across the seven local government areas that make up the senatorial district in the state.
Urhoghide, represented by Pet Eghobamien, legislative aide to the senator, said: “The programme is facilitated by Senator Matthew Urhoghide. He promised all of these things during electioneering that he will improve lives and livelihood of Edo people.
“There are different classes of participants. For metal works, we have 200 and for barbing, hair making and fashion, we have 22 persons. Those that will be trained on metal works and local fabrication will go home with N50,000. We are not giving the other ones money but we have given them full complement of what they need to start their businesses.”
Ogbomo Tona, chief resident officer, Human Resources, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, who represented the Edo State controller of the ministry, congratulated the trainees, pointing out that capacity development is key to nation building.
Items distributed were generators, sewing machines, and dryers, among others.

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Niger Delta

Pirates Kill Three, Abduct Seven Oil Workers

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Gunmen, suspected to be pirates, in the early hours of Sunday, attacked two oil installations, killing three and abducting seven oil workers in Bayelsa State.
The Tide learnt that the pirates ambushed their unsuspecting victims in Okoroma and Ogbokiri-Akassa communities of Nembe and Brass Local Government Areas of Bayelsa State.
Sources close to the affected oilfields said the gunmen reportedly shot dead two staff of the Nigerian Agip Oil Company and a personnel of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The driver of their boat, an indigene of Okoroma community, is still missing, according to the local sources who witnessed the incident.
According to the sources, in the ambush that occurred at Ogbokiri-Akassa in Brass Local Government Area, six oil workers said to have been doing maintenance job close to their platform were abducted.
The Agip oil workers and their security guards, it was gathered, came under attack at about 6 a.m., while working close to a manifold in the deep swamp.
The NSCDC spokesperson in Bayelsa, Ogbere Solomon, confirmed the incident on Sunday evening.
Mr Solomon said a civil defense officer died in the ambush, while two others, who were missing, have been found and are currently receiving treatment at a medical facility in Yenagoa.
“Yes, our officers were ambushed and attacked by some unknown pirates while on their lawful duty of providing protection to some Agip oil workers close to Obama manifold in Okoroma community of Nembe Local Government Area.
“One personnel was killed while the other two that were missing have been found and are responding to treatment,” he said.
The youth president of the Okoroma Clan, Tarinyu Joseph, said indigenes of the area had recovered the corpses of those killed.
He said those injured were taken to the hospital while the boat driver is still missing.

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