The Niger Delta Develop
ment Commission (NDDC) has expressed concern that the N850billion Federal Government’s funding deficit was slowing down the impact of the commission on the people of the region.
Disclosing this in a welcome address at the official inauguration of the Rivers State Office of the commission on Olu Obasanjo Road in Port Harcourt, yesterday, the Director, NDDC, Rivers State Office, Benson Udo-Asubop, said that the Federal Government’s inability to release the backlog of funding deficits was responsible for the poor performance of the commission in certain developmental indices, and called for urgent action to remedy the situation.
The commission also regretted that it has yet to receive any money from the Ecological Fund while irregular payments by oil companies and other contributors have negatively affected the operations of the development agency.
While promising to pay contractors its debt of N450 billion, the commission noted that the payment would depend on the quick response of government and other financial contributors to its coffers.
Acting Managing Director of the commission, Ibim Semenitari, the inauguration of the edifice was a testimony to what the people of the region can achieve if they work together in unity, saying that the feat would enable to commission exit rented apartments for staff and save huge resources expended on rents.
Semenitari noted that the project, which commenced in May 2014 following the demolition of the old structure in March of the same year, contains four floors with a total area of 2.755m2 provided for office accommodation and a basement floor of 670m2 for archiving and parking.
The acting managing director explained that the first to third floors provide offices for directors, deputy directors, assistant directors, managers and other staff, including provisions for state representative and state director, adding that 120 staff already have office accommodation within the complex.
Noting that CCTV cameras have been installed at strategic locations within and outside the building to capture all activities around the vicinity, Semenitari said that all necessary national building requirements were met and modern facilities provided for such huge edifice.
She added that the complex includes a large reception, conference hall for 250 persons, staff canteen, sick bay, and offices for drivers, all on the ground floor.
Also speaking, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike charged the management of the commission to work closely with the government to meet the yawning needs of the people of the state, especially the youth.
Represented by Special Adviser on NNDC Affairs, Barrister Aribitonye Okiri, the governor stated that the state government does not play politics with the development of the state, and has done everything within available resources to meet the needs of the people of the state.
According to him, “we believe that collectively, we have a duty to create wealth in order to reduce poverty and bring good life to the people of Rivers State,” just as he further challenged NDDC to seek collaboration with the state government in efforts to improve the livelihoods of the people of the state.
He insisted that NDDC must brace up and do the needful by ensuring that it provides employment opportunities for Rivers people on grade level 1-6, saying that such action would help reduce unemployment burden, ensure peace and reduce poverty while also toning down crime rate in the state.
Meanwhile, the commission has said that the multi-billion naira Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State will be inaugurated later this month to drive development in that part of the region.
The commission also confirmed that for the first time, the quarterly report of NDDC has been forwarded to the Presidency as provided for in the extant law establishing the development agency.
Among other issues, the commission further pointed out that it now hold regular management meetings while processes for the award of contracts and payment of contractors have become transparent.
FG, IFAD-LIFE-ND Contributes 20 Metric Tons Rice To Edo
The Project Coordinator, Edo State Federal Government/International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)- Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprise in Niger Delta (LIFE-ND), Mr John Omoruyi, says the project had contributed 20 metric tones of rice to the state food basket.
Omoruyi said this in an interview with The Tide’s source on Friday in Benin City, on the sidelines of a media tour on LIFE-ND projects in some communities in the state.
He said the yield was recorded from 15 beneficiaries in six communities across two Local Government Areas of Etsako Central and Esan South East of the state.
The Coordinator said 2,250 youths and women have benefitted from the project since 2021
Omoruyi, who said 30 beneficiaries were initially targeted on rice production in the state, stated that farmland of 15 beneficiaries were submerged by flood in 2022.
According to him, communities that benefited in Etsako Central included Oghomere, Oshomegbe, Udabba, Ugbekpe-Ekperi and Anegbette while Esan South East community is Illushi.
He said the beneficiaries were supported in the areas of production and processing rice seed multiplication.
“Rice production, processing and rice seed multiplication beneficiaries has been supported by the project with working capital to procure inputs such as FARO 44 rice seed variety, agrochemicals and fertilizers
“They were also supported with productive assets such as motorised knapsack sprayers from 2021 till date.
“Furthermore, 30 hectares of land development was carried out through tractorisation for these beneficiaries.
“10 rice seed multiplication beneficiaries were trained in the International Institute for Tropical Agriculture (IITA) Ibadan in 2021 for two weeks.
“The project is fashioned around the Incubator (trainer) and incubatee (trainee) model where there are already established big farmers with full potential across 10 local government areas in each state which comprises 100 communities.
“The youths from these 100 communities are trained by incubators for certain weeks, graduated and then supported in cassava, fishery, rice and poultry across the four commodities value chains.
“The overall goal is to realise a transformed rural economy in which the rural population can derive prosperity for equal benefit.
“Its development objectives are to enhance income, food security and job creation for rural youth and women through agri enterprise development on a sustainable basis in the region.” he said”, he said.
One Million Nigerians Benefit From SPDC’s Free Healthcare Interventions
The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) says at least one million persons from more than 50 communities in Nigeria have benefitted from its healthcare intervention programme.
The TIde’s source reports that SPDC’s free healthcare programme, Health-in-Motion, was introduced in 2010 to Niger Delta communities and across Nigeria.
A statement by SPDC on Friday noted that the company revealed this at the venue of a three-day Health-in-Motion programme held for people in Elelenwo Community in Rivers State.
The statement was signed by Mr Abimbola Essien-Nelson, SPDC’s Media Relations Manager.
According to the statement, Mr Igo Weli, Head, Corporate Relations Department of the company said: “The Health-in-Motion programme is Shell’s health intervention programme that provides free comprehensive medical services to people where they live and work.
“Health-In-Motion is a mobile community health outreach programme that takes free medical services to communities across the Niger Delta and to other parts of the country.
“In the programme, we are offering health care services ranging from promotional to preventive and curative care.
“We hope that by doing so, we will be able to support the Rivers State Government’s efforts at all levels to provide accessible healthcare to the people.
“Better health and well-being improve life outcomes and strengthen families, educational attainment, and business opportunities”.
According to the statement, Dr Adaeze Oreh, Rivers State Commissioner for Health, commended the success of the health programme and requested its extension to the other 22 Local Government Areas of the state.
Also, Vice Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government, Mrs. Chinyeru Agbara, said the programme would boost the efforts of the council to provide healthcare in the area.
Bayelsa Unveils 3rd State Founding Fathers Exco
Bayelsa State Government has unveiled the 3rd executive members of the State Founders forum, called the Bayelsa State Founding Fathers Forum (BSFF).
Addressing the forum at the “Ijaw House”, headquarters of the Ijaw National Congress (INC) in Yenagoa, the State Capital, midweek, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, represented by the Commissioner for Ijaw National Affairs, Elder Erasmus Patrick, said he was pleased with the activities and contributions of the forum towards the development of the state.
“As a member of the Bayelsa State Founding Fathers Forum, I appreciate all your inputs in the development of the state. What the founding fathers initially wanted was the creation of at least three homogeneous Ijaw states. But for now, we’ve only Bayelsa, which is the ‘Jerusalem’ of all Ijaws’’, Governor Diri said.
In his pre-inaugural speech, former Acting President, Ijaw National Congress (INC), and Chairman of the electoral committee for the August elections which birthed the new BSFF, Eng. Charles Ambaiowei, said most of the programmes and projects executed by successive administrations of the state were in tandem with the vision of the founding fathers documents.
He applauded the state Government for considering the BSFF as an integral part actors in the developmental affairs of the state, noting that like the Government, the BSFF members meant well for the state in all ramifications.
In his speech, outgoing Chairman, Sir Benedict Guembe, eulogized members for their steadfastness and dedication to the course of the forum, noting that as chairman, members were very supportive in their contributions of ideas, resources and physical energy towards making the forum better, saying that the state founding fathers forum has become even stronger and more united.
Delivering his inaugural speech, newly sworn-in chairman, Sir Itelimo Frank Omiebi, thanked members of the forum for finding him worthy to occupy the position as their leader.
He promised consistent consultations with his executives and other members to move the forum better, noting that he would leverage on his experience to lead the forum to greater heights.
Other members of the newly sworn-in executives of the Bayelsa State Founding Fathers Forum include, Elder Timi Kay Ogoriba, Vice Chairman; Professor Prince Ebiowei Kainga, Secretary; Fitzgerald Fetongha, Assistant Secretary; and Dr Napoleon Wessey, Treasurer.
Also inaugurated as executives were, Pastor Lovinah Ikeni Imo, Financial Secretary; Mr Boro Fezighe Ikoli, Publicity Secretary; Mr Akponanabofa George, Organizing Secretary; and Sir Ebiegberi Domo-Spiff, Legal Adviser.
Mr Kakiri Woyengidubamo is to serve as Provost; Chief Erekake Clerk Peretubor was sworn-in as Ex-officio, for Bayelsa West; Mr December Samson, Ex-officio, Bayelss Central; while Amb. Eric Tonye Aworabhi is to serve as Ex-officio, Bayelsa East.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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