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Workers’ Welfare My Priority -Wike …To Pay Salaries ‘Morrow …As FG Promises To Tackle Socio-Economic ills

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R-L. Factional State Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress  (NLC, Comr. Beatrice Itubo), Rivers State Deputy Governor,  Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, State Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC),  Comr. Hyginus Chika Onuegbu, Secretary to Rivers State Government,  Kenneth Kobani, singing solidarity song, during workers day celebration in Port Harcour, yesterday

R-L. Factional State Chairperson, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC, Comr. Beatrice Itubo), Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. (Mrs) Ipalibo Harry Banigo, State Chairman, Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comr. Hyginus Chika Onuegbu, Secretary to Rivers State Government, Kenneth Kobani, singing solidarity song, during workers day celebration in Port Harcour, yesterday

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has felicitated with Rivers workers over the 2016 Workers’ Day celebration, with a pledge to always make their welfare his priority.
In a goodwill message to Rivers workers at the celebration of the day, yesterday, Wike commended them for diligently contributing to his administration’s efforts to build a New Rivers State.
The governor  urged Rivers  workers to remain committed to the ideals of selfless  service  and  development,  noting that the  process of massive development  being witnessed  across the  state  will be sustained.
He particularly thanked the workers for the unflinching support they have extended to his administration since his assumption of office.
He said Rivers workers will continue to enjoy a key position in his administration because he considers them critical to the attainment of set goals in the state’s development agenda.
Consequently, Wike said that his administration has planned to improve workers’ welfare and generate employment through agriculture.
He made the plans public through his Deputy, Dr Ipalibo Harry Banigo, at the Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, while addressing workers during the march past to commemorate this year’s Workers Day.
At a time the country was facing economic challenges, he posited that the need has come to look for other ways to generate income and employment, and that agriculture remain a sure path.
The Rivers State governor, also enjoined the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) to close ranks and resolve the lingering issue of factionalisation which is threatening the cohesion and unity of the labour movement in the country.
The governor, said the organized labour could have productive industrial relations in which the welfare and interest of workers are protected under a united front.
He assured the workers that his administration was committed to the provision of an enabling environment for an excellent industrial harmony in the state, and solicited for understanding in the challenging task of rebuilding the state with the lean resources at its disposal.
“Under this administration, the organized labour and workers will find a truly labour-friendly government which is responsive to the yearnings and interests of workers,” he assured.
The state chief executive applauded the cooperation and support of the workers and their union leaders in the on-going verification and staff identification exercise which has yielded positive results through the systematic elimination of dead, retired and even non-civil servants from the Nominal and Salary Pay Rolls.
The governor assured the workers that the slight delay in the payment of April salary was caused by the on-going Salary Verification and Staff Identification Biometric exercise, adding that the payment of April, 2016, salaries and allowances will begin on Tuesday.
According to him, the theme of this year’s celebration: ”The Working Class and the Quest for Socio-Economic Revival,” is apt, as it focuses attention on the critical role of workers in the collective efforts towards the socio-economic revival of the nation, noting that workers constitute a veritable vanguard for mobilization and participation.
Earlier state Chairperson of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Beatrice Itubo, had said the organized labour as partners in progress has observed the downward trend in economic activities, which has adverse multiplier effect on the programmes and policies of public and private sectors of the economy.
Itubo, who lauded the governor for the prompt payment of workers’ salaries since assumption of office, drew the attention of the state government to the challenges associated with the implementation of the contributory pension scheme, and suggested that the committee reviewing the scheme be given specific time-frame to complete its assignment.
Also speaking, state Chairman of Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), Comrade Chika Onuegbu, said the workers were greatly worried about the increasing problems in the nation’s oil and gas sector which has led to the loss of about 150,000 direct and indirect jobs.
Onuegbu commended the governor for embarking on the completion of some projects of his predecessor that have direct bearing on the lives of Rivers people, and the administration’s use of Bank Verification Number (BVN), to eliminate ghost workers on the state payroll to save money for meaningful projects.
The event featured the traditional march past by the various affiliate unions of NLC and TUC as wells as a play led by the Rivers State Council for Arts and Culture.
Meanwhile the Federal Government yesterday in Abuja assured workers that it would tackle all socio-economic ills that have troubled the nation.
President Muhammadu Buhari gave this assurance at the 2016 May Day celebration with the theme: “The Working Class and The Quest for Socio-Economic Revival”.
Buhari, who was represented by Senator Chris Ngige, the Minister of Labour and Employment, said that the government would evolve solutions to the emerging threats to the well-being of Nigerians and the realisation of sustainable development.
“For us whose main foreign exchange comes from oil, the global decline in the price of oil has further exacerbated our economic crises.
“The resultant effect of this are noticeable in government’s dwindling resources, reduction in operational capacities of most companies especially in the oil and gas sector, threats of workforce reduction by multinationals, among others.
“These developments no doubt, have socio-economic implication for the economy as well as the working class.
“I make no excuses, for this government of the APC is determined to tackle the socio-economic ills head-long.”
According to the president, development must be sustainable for it to benefit society in general.
He said it was therefore, the responsibility of those in power to align themselves with the working class who make development possible, by generating and sustaining the momentum of positive change, he said that the present administration would continue to seek the cooperation of labour, so that together, “ we can attain the enviable heights of progress in our beloved country.

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Our Policies Are Geared Towards Protecting Rivers Interest -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared that all the policies and programmes of his administration are tailored towards the protection of interest of Rivers people, especially the youths.
This, he said, is borne out of the importance his administration attaches to youths’ development and empowerment as leaders of tomorrow.
Fubara, according to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Nelson Chukwudi, disclosed this when he received the youths of Emohua Local Government Area under the auspices of “Emohua Youths For SIM” on solidarity visit to Government House, Port Harcourt, last Friday.
He said that his administration has put in place modalities that will boost the livelihoods and well-being of Rivers citizens, which youths of Emohua will also benefit when they materialise.
The governor, who spoke through the Rivers State Head of Service, Dr. George Nwaeke, pointed out that the recently awarded Elele-Omudiaga-Egbeda-Ubimini-Ikiri-Omoku Road, the ongoing Emohua-Kalabari Road, reinstatement of illegally sacked workers of Emohua Local Government Area and the approval for electrification of the area, are part of deliberate measures to open up the area to make life conducive and more meaningful for the people.
According to him, “Everything about the governor is putting the interest of Rivers State first. He is looking at and taking action on those things that we need to do to restart the wheels of progress in Rivers State.
“There are many things the governor has planned and is already doing that will boost the life and welfare of every citizen of Rivers State, but most importantly the youths.
“Growing up, I learnt that Egbeda is one of the biggest communities in the whole of Ikwerre, and it’s predominantly an agrarian community. They have food in Egbeda, they have food in Ubimini, they have food in Omudiaga and other natural resources. The whole world is tilting to agriculture, and this is the way to go.
“The Elele-Umudioga-Egbeda-Ubimini-Omoku road, when completed, will open up the area for real development. Your food and everything you produce there will now have value, they will no longer be thrown away. In all these, you the youths are going to be the utmost beneficiaries.”
He added, “Same will be applicable to the Emohua-Kalabari Road which will also, trigger development in the area, and you will be the greatest beneficiaries. When the LGA is also electrified, you will be having 24 or 20 hours of electricity, and those things the youths can do with electricity, you can stay at home and create wealth for yourself and children.
“All the totality of what the governor is doing, when they are completed, or even as some are completed now, the youths are going to be utmost beneficiaries.”
While acknowledging that youths are the true leaders of tomorrow and any government that fails to carry them along in the scheme of things is doomed to fail, the governor assured them of his administration’s commitment to always address issues concerning youths and ensure that they are part of his government.
He commended the youths for toeing the path of truth by identifying with his administration, urging them to sustain the tempo and shun evil, as his government will ensure that the trend whereby politicians turn youths to beggars are over.
He said, “Youths are, indeed, the leaders of tomorrow. The time of youth is a very important time. It a time that your parents or whoever is your leader at that time have to make the greatest investment in you. And any Government that decides to only carry the elderly, chiefs aling and abandon the youths is bound to fail,” he asserted.
“But I am happy that Governor Fubara has concentrated his energy on everything that will benefit the society, especially the youths.
“And based on these, I want to thank you for recognising what is good and calling it good, for shunning what is evil, for saying the Governor is standing for you.
“Let me tell you, you are on the right direction. Let me tell you again, Rivers State is the bride of Nigeria. The whole Nigeria is looking at what will happen here. As they look here and see you standing on the path of truth, this is a very important step that you have taken to right all the wrongs of the past, to make Rivers State stand on the tripod of justice, peace and security. That is what we are going to gain through the governor, taking all the wise actions that he has already initiated.
“The projects the governor is embarking on are meant to prepare nets for the youths to fish and put food on their table, hence you should continue to follow him.
“The SIMplified Movement brought upon by the governor will ensure that Rivers youths stop the habit of going to bow down before politicians, pledging loyalty before they can eat.”
Earlier, spokesman for the Emohua Youths for SIM, Comrade Ovamale O. Ovamale, had said that the visit by youths from the 14 political wards in Emohua Local Government Area was to thank the governor for the award of the Elele-Omudiaga-Egbeda-Ubimini-Ikiri-Omoku road, the approval for electrification of the area and reinstatement of sacked workers of Emohua Local Government Council, of which the youths were mostly affected.
According to him, “Siminalayi Fubara of recent has given Emohua Local Government road that links Elele to Omoku, which comprises over four communities in the local government.”
“Emohua Local Government has also been in darkness for eight years. No community in the local government that has light. But, of recent, because of the passion and love the governor has for the people of Emohua, he has approved the electrification of the local government.
“Also, the illegal sack of Emohua Local Government workers, for which the youths were mostly affected and without the approval of the Local Government Service Commission, the governor, in his compassionate nature, has reinstated them, and that is why we said we must come and thank His Excellency”, he said.

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Our Legacy’ll Leave Lasting Impression On Rivers People -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that his administration will collaborate and continue to consult widely in delivering a liberated State experiencing enduring peace.
Fubara said, in doing so, he would not operate as a dictator but as a member of a team that has the best interest of the State at heart and determined to leave a lasting legacy that can be celebrated.
The governor spoke during the formal presentation of Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office to the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, King Ateke Michael Tom, as first class tradition ruler, at Government House in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Fubara stated that, during the Sixth State Executive Council meeting, N80.8billion was approved with 50 percent contract value paid already as the Government awarded the construction of the Elele-Egbeda-Omoku Road.
He said the project will be funded from the savings from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to underscore his administration’s prudence without also borrowing to complete the project.
“We are at a crossroad in our State where we all need to stand for what is right. It happens once in a life time. So, for now, be one of those people that will be in the course to liberate and free our dear State.
“And I know strongly that having the support of a peace-loving Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, having the support of the wonderful Council of Chiefs, having the support of the great people of Rivers State, we will bring peace in our State. We will do those things that are right to develop our State.
“We will continue to consult. We will not act as dictators. We will act as people who know that one day, we will leave, and when we leave, the way we have acted will speak for us. We will not force people to talk good about us. Our legacy will be a signature for how we led”, the governor said.
Fubara explained that he acted within the ambit of the law to upgrade the traditional stool upon which King Ateke Tom sits in recognition of his efforts in promoting peace in Okrika, and indeed, the State, and urged him to continue to do justice to everyone.
In his speech, Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs, Hon Charles Amadi, congratulated King Ateke Tom for being formally presented with the Certificate of Recognition and Staff of Office as first class traditional ruler.
Also speaking, former Transport Minister, Chief Abiye Sekibo, thanked the governor for fulfilling his promise of upgrading the traditional stool of Okochiri Kingdom, and pledged the support of Kirike Se people to his administration.

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We’re Determined To Leave Legacy Of Quality Education -Fubara

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Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has promised to give the best attention to the education sector so that standard and quality learning will never be compromised in the State.
The governor emphasised that in achieving such legacy, schools in the State will be driven with a curriculum that will equip school-aged children to become competitive, innovative and self-reliant.
Governor Fubara made the assertion while inaugurating the Governing Council of Rivers State University at Government House in Port Harcourt on Wednesday.
He said: “There is a lot of noise everywhere: people asking what we are doing; that we are not focused, and that we don’t have direction.
”But I want to tell the world that we are focused and aware that we cannot grow if our energies are not channeled to education. Not just education, but purposeful education.
”Education that is creative. Education that gives you independence. We have left the era in the world when you speak too much grammar. We are in such times when it is what you can do with your hands.
”Our purpose for education is that we should bring back our academic programmes to where, at the end of your studies, you don’t need a job but you create jobs. When one creates a job, you automatically employ others. That is what I want this council to see as their task.”
Governor Fubara noted the non-existence of public secondary schools for the male child in the Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
He said such negligence leaves children in that area who have completed primary education, and whose parents cannot afford sending them to far away secondary schools, to roam the streets, and therefore becoming willing tools for criminality.
Governor Fubara assured that such fundamental problem will be addressed by his administration as a measure to curb the negative impression associated with Diobu axis of Port Harcourt.
The governor said he trusts in the capacity of the members of the Governing Council of Rivers State University to bring about positive change in the institution while also contributing their quota to improving the general education standard in the State.
”I charge you, not just in terms of administering the affairs of the university, but let us add something different from the normal things that we already have to see new things.”
In her response, on behalf of the other members, the Pro-Chancellor of the Governing Council of Rivers State University, Justice Mary Odili (rtd), thanked the governor for finding them worthy to serve in such capacity.
Justice Odili assured they will work assiduously as a team to solve the problems that agitate the mind of the governor and ensure their contributions form part of the legacy that will be bequeathed by his administration.
The members included Justice Mary Odili (rtd) as the Pro-Chancellor and Chairman of the Governing Council with Barrister Mela Oforibika and Chukwuma Chinwo, Esq.
Others were Adata Bio-Briggs, Esq., Dr. Jonathan Nimi Hart, Ngo Martins-Yellowe, Dr. Nancy Nwankwo, Dr. Igoni William-Park, and Mr. Ogbugbu Barisua.

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