The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike says his administration will establish a polytechnic in each of the senatorial districts once the state’s internally generated revenue improves to create more access to quality education.
He also explained that the establishment of the Port Harcourt Polytechnic was not an attempt to kill the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic as being peddled by political opponents.
Wike said he was interested in the development of Ogoni and other parts of the Rivers State.
Addressing students and staff of the Ken Saro Wiwa Polytechnic on Wednesday in Bori, headquarters of Khana Local Government Area, Wike assured that government will work towards the accreditation of all the academic programmes of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Bori.
He also stated that the state government will start with the upgrade of the school’s workshops and laboratories.
Wike also said that his administration will complete the rehabilitation of the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori and dualise the Saakpwenwa-Bori Road for the good of the Ogoni ethnic nationality.
He said: “I make the solemn pledge to ensure that Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic facilities are improved for the school to carry out its core mandate. That is why I am here to inspect the school and thereafter improve her facilities.
“Having a polytechnic in another location will not remove the polytechnic here. We will extend the necessary grant to the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic for the improvement of her facilities, especially workshops and laboratories “.
The governor noted that the state government has concluded plans to improve security in Bori and its environs.
He warned the students to shun crime and embrace peaceful lifestyle, so that they are not caught in the web of law enforcement
He assured that his administration will pay the bursaries of students after verifying the list of benefitting students across the state.
Wike announced the confirmation of the appointment of the Acting Rector of the polytechnic, Dr Oneniye-Ofori Georgewill, following the overwhelming request of the students through their leadership.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Governing Council of the Kenule Beeson Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic, Chief Adokiye Amaesimaka, commended the governor for his investments in the development of the institution.
Also speaking, President of the Students Union Government of the institution, Comrade Peter Dunobari, commended the governor for setting up a credible governing council and management that have improved basic amenities in the state institution.
At the Birabi Memorial Grammar School, Bori, Wike assured the students that his administration will conclude work on the total rehabilitation of the school.
He said that the laboratories and hostels of the school will be upgraded to the best of standards.
While inspecting the Saakpwenwa-Bori Road, Wike told Ogoni people that the state government will also install street lights from Saakpwenwa to Bori to give the area the face lift it deserves.
“I am here to entrench good governance and not to play politics. Whatever I say I will do, that’s what I will do. I am free within this community because I keep all my promises”.
Wike Recommits To Rivers’ Service
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has declared that he will work for the good of all residents of the state, including his critics.
Wike made the pledge while playing host to the national executive of Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI)-led by its President General, Bright Amaewhule, at Government House, Port Harcourt.
The governor admitted that GDI played a vital role in the victory of PDP during the 2015 general elections in Rivers State.
Wike also declared that Nigerians are already glamouring for the return of PDP at the national level because of the failure of the APC.
In his speech, the President General of GDI, Bright Amaewhule, said that Wike has surpassed the achievement of his predecessor, Chibuike Amaechi, in his first one year in office.
The Tide recalls that Governor NyesomWike was also decorated with an award of excellence for his superlative performance in the past one year by the President General of GDI, Bright Amaewhule.
The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Ward 10 Abual/Odual Local Government Area has passed a vote of confidence on Governor Nyesom Wike and his New Rivers Vision.
The Ward 10 Abual/Odual PDP at the end of it meeting also restated it resolve to continue supporting the party.
The caretaker member representing the ward, Okpokipoy Peters, advised members of the party to remain steadfast in supporting the governor and the party while urging youth to shun cultism.
On his part, the Chairman of the party in Ward 10, Sotonye Enaanobulodio Ezekiel, thanked members of the party for their support.
We’re Determined To Achieve Rivers Of Our Dreams -Fubara …Tasks Rivers People On Peaceful, Harmonious Relationship
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, says his administration is determined to enthrone an enviable Rivers that satisfies the dreams and aspirations of all residents.
To achieve the feat, Fubara charged all residents to embrace peace, exhibit mutual harmony among themselves and meaningfully contribute their quota to achieve designated developmental activities that will eventually benefit the State.
The governor stated this at the funeral service in honour of late King Theophilus J.T. Princewill, Amachree XI, the Amanyanabo and Natural Ruler of the Kalabari Kingdom, which was held at the King Amachree Square in Buguma Town, Asari Toru Local Government Area, yesterday.
A statement by the governor’s Senior Special Assistant on Media, Boniface Onyedi, quoted Fubara as saying, ”We are in a difficult period but just be peaceful. We cannot achieve progress in an environment of violence. We cannot grow our State to the level of our aspirations when there is trouble.”
“We can only advance to our dream State in a peaceful environment. I urge every one of you to be peaceful. Peace is the only instrument that can bring development,”
The governor applauded the level of cooperation seen between the bereaved family and the entire Kalabari people through the various stages of preparations leading to the eventual burial of their late king to the disappointment of those who had predicted crisis.
He urged the Kalabari people to continue to live in peace even after the burial of their late king, adding that nobody in the State should lose hope because his administration is committed not to disappoint, regarding all their expectations.
In his sermon, the intercontinental Youth Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Belemina Obunge, who represented the General Overseer of the Church, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, preached on the topic: “Don’t wait until you’re late”, harped on the need for people to seek God fervently, serve him truthfully while also living peaceably with neighbours in their various community.
Senate Leader Faults N9.9trn Recurrent Expenditure In 2024 Budget Proposal
Senate Leader, Bamidele Opeyemi, says the N9.9 trillion recurrent expenditure in the N27.5 trillion 2024 budget proposal is too high, as it constitutes 43 per cent of the budget.
Opeyemi said this at the opening of debate on general principles of the budget at plenary in Abuja, yesterday.
He said that the total fiscal operations of the Federal Government would result in N9.8 trillion deficit, representing 3.88 per cent of estimated GDP, saying that this was above the three per cent threshold set by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2007.
Opeyemi listed highlights of the budget to include oil price benchmark of 77.96 dollars per barrel and daily oil production estimate of 1.78 million barrels of condensates of 300,000 to 400,000 barrels per day and exchange rate of N750 to dollar.
He said based on the fiscal assumptions and parameters, total federally-collectible revenue was N16.87 trillion in the budget, while total federally distributable revenue was N11.09 trillion
Opeyemi said total revenue available to fund the 2024 budget was N9.73 trillion, which included revenues from 63 government-owned enterprises, while oil revenue was projected at N1.92 trillion, with non-oil taxes at N2.43 trillion among others.
He said to finance the deficit would result in new borrowings totaling N7.83 trillion in addition to N294.49 billion expected from privatisation.
He said the deficit would also be financed from N1.06 trillion drawn from bilateral, multilateral loans secured for specific development projects programmes.
He, however, said there was a growing concern over continued borrowing, but the administration resorted to it to finance fiscal gaps.
“But let me state here that the debt level of the federal government is still within sustainable limits.
“Very importantly, these loans are used to finance critical development projects and programmes aimed at improving our economic environment and ensuring effective delivery of public services to our people,” he said.
Contributing, Sen.Osita Ngwu (PDP-Enugu)said President Bola Tinubu had fulfilled his promises by capturing food security, poverty allivation in the budget.
He said there was need to ensure a review of Petroleum Industry Act(PIA) to ensure the continuous ramp up of oil production to fund the deficit in the budget.
Senators, who contributed to the debate, commended the President for the budget, saying it was a budget of renewed hope.
NDDC Laments Unpaid N2trn Allocation
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Sam Ogbuku, on Wednesday, said the interventionist agency is being owed remittances totalling over N2trillion by the Federal Government.
Ogbuku disclosed this when he appeared before the House of Representatives’ Committee on NDDC, chaired by Ibori-Suenu Erhiatake.
According to him, the amount is the accumulation of 15 per cent of the allocation of the nine states that make up the region, due to the commission since 2000.
He noted that in spite of the passage of the agency’s annual budget in 2021, 2022 and 2023; the funds were yet to be remitted.
“I want to raise an important issue. When we talk about funding, the NDDC Act says the monthly allocation from the Federal Government is 15 per cent of the allocation of nine states of the Niger Delta. But I can assure you that since the inception of the NDDC, it has not got that.
“The Federal Government only budgets what it wants to give to the NDDC for that year and they give it that year. If you look at the 15 per cent, we are not getting it. Even with the removal of fuel subsidy and with the increment of state allocation, the NDDC is still where it is. So, these are issues we want you to help us resolve and we have done our calculation that from 2000 to date we can say we are being owed over N2trn from what is supposed to be due NDDC.
“We also came in at a point when the NDDC never had a budget for 2021, 2022 and 2023. These budgets were before the National Assembly and we had to fast-track the passage of those budgets and those budgets were eventually passed in April this year. However, since the budget was passed, it has not been handed over to us up till now. We pray and plead with you to ensure that as fast as possible, you also facilitate the process for us to have the budget because the budget year is already coming to an end,” he said.
In his own contribution, the Chairman of the NDDC Board, Chiedu Ebie, said the board would work together to reposition the commission in the interest of the oil-producing states and Nigeria at large.
Responding, Erhiatake said issues raised by the agency would be addressed in no distant time.
“It is very important we create a platform for synergy in the implementation of these policies and programmes for the general benefit of Nigerians and especially the people of the Niger Delta. I assure you that this committee is willing and ready to partner with you to make sure that the dividends of democracy are brought to the region and the narratives that had been set by the previous board are changed for the better.”
Meanwhile, the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) has advised officials of the NDDC to be abreast of anti-graft laws so as not to step out of line.
The ICPC Zonal Commissioner for Rivers and Bayelsa states, Mrs. Ekere Usiere, gave the advice during a sensitisation programme organised by the NDDC at its headquarters in Port Harcourt.
A statement on Wednesday by the Director, Corporate Affairs of the NDDC, Pius Ughakpoteni, said Usiere spoke on the topic: “Understanding the Offences and Penalties Under the ICPC Act 2000.”
It also quoted the Head, Legal Department of ICPC in Rivers State, Dr Agada Akogwu, as saying, “Every public servant should take the ICPC Act as a Bible and internalise all its tenets. That is why the NDDC deserves commendation for organising a sensitization programme for its staff.”
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