The wife of the governor of Akwa Ibom State, Mrs Martha Emmanuel, has built and furnished 24 bungalow houses for widows and widowers in the state since 2015.
Mrs Emmanuel disclosed this during the maiden edition of Eket Women’s Day Celebration in Eket Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.
She said that the houses were built and furnished through the Family Empowerment and Youth Re-Orientation Initiative (FEYReP), her pet project.
The Tide reports that Mrs Emmanuel commissioned a fully furnished two-bedroom bungalow for a widow, Mrs Adiaha Udo, in Ede Obok in Eket during the occasion. Mrs Udo was living in a shack for over 10 years.
She said that FEYReP was providing shelter to the hopeless, succour to widows, restoring hopes and touching the lives of most vulnerable people across the three senatorial districts of the state.
“The aim is to create a robust economic empowerment for families and re-orientate the youths to eschew all forms of moral decadence,” she said.
Mrs Emmanuel advised Eket women to form cooperative groups so as to benefit from the State Government empowerment programme.
She also inaugurated a staff canteen, office block and 10 mini buses to convey staff to work.
According to her, the gesture is to complement the developmental strides of her husband and donated N3 million to support the project for Eket women, saying that women are worth celebrating because they are pace setters.
The Chairman of Eket Local Government Council, Mr Frank Archibong, said that Eket women were celebrated because of the critical role they played in the development of the area.
He said the pet project of the governor’s wife was focused on providing economic alternatives to people and families who hitherto had been injured by poverty.
“Through FEYReP, you have built and furnished 24 houses for widows and widowers in order to alleviate their poverty and suffering,” he said.
While thanking Mrs Emmanuel for extending the building of houses to Eket , Archibong described Mrs Emmanuel as a “life changer”.
“We, as Eket people, are very happy for the house you have built and furnished, through FEYReP, for one of our widows, popularly known as `Adiaha Ntiin.”
He said that Emmanuel’s commitment to the economic empowerment of Eket people had continued to manifest in the various life-touching policies and programmes of his administration.
The wife of the council chairman, Mrs Bright Archibong said that Eket Women’s Day Celebration was important not only for Eket women but for all women who seek to establish the fact that women are pacesetters for sustainable progress and stated that women were home makers and nation builders.
Rep. Ekpoatai Uwoidighe said that she had also attracted development projects worth over N400 million to Eket.
Uwoidighe donated kitchen utensils to the widow and promised to give her N10,000 every month for her upkeep.
Responding, the beneficiary expressed appreciation to God for making the governor’s wife to remember her in time of need.
Mrs Udo thanked the wife of the governor for her kind gesture, saying that Mrs Emmanuel had put roof over her head and smile on her face.
Minister Urges NDDC Board To Be Unique
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Umana Okon Umana, has called on the newly inaugurated Board of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to ensure they make a difference for the development of the region.
Umana said this in his keynote remarks, while declaring open the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Board and Management retreat in Uyo, at the weekend.
He said the inauguration of the board was meant to enhance the development of the Niger Delta Region and charged them to live above board in the discharge of their duties.
He urged them to strictly adhere to the rules of due diligence and transparency in line with the Establishment and Public Procurement Acts.
He said the inauguration of the board was meant to enhance the development of the Niger Delta region, adding that the region, which has suffered neglect and deprivation for so long, needed a new lease of life
The minister called on the board to focus on key areas like the establishment act and public procurement act as Nigerians expect a turnaround of the commission to reflect the core mandate of developing the region.
Umana called on the participants to set a template that would facilitate rapid development of the niger delta and Nigeria in general.
“This retreat is principally to ensure that the new board are properly equipped to provide a new direction for the development of the Niger Delta region,” he said.
Earlier, the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, NDDC, Chief Samuel Ogbuku, in his address of welcome, said the board was expected to do something differently to take the Niger Delta region to greater hight.
Ogbuku said the new board had a template for sustainable programme for youths and every citizen of the region.
He said the commission would endeavour to create partnership with International Oil Companies (IOCs) and other stakeholders through public private partnerships initiative.
He urged participants to evolve ideas, programmes and blueprints towards taking the region to a new level of development.
“We will soon unfold our packages for the development of the region. The Niger Delta Development Commission Board is expected to make great difference this time around,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that the three-day retreat for NDDC board and management is with the theme; “NDDC: Making a Difference.”
The source also reports that a communique is expected at the end of the retreat to address issues affecting the niger delta region and proffer possible solutions.
FG Trains 50 Farmers On Agroforestry Model In Edo
The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development (FMARD) has trained 50 coconut farmers and processors on agroforestry system-based plantation model, to improve the livelihoods of the farmers in Edo State.
The capacity building was organised under the coconut value chain of the ministry, in collaboration with the Nigerian Institute for Oil Palm Research (NIFOR) in Benin.
Declaring the training open, the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Mohammad Abubakar, said the exercise was part of efforts of the Federal Government to attain food security and self-sufficiency in Nigeria.
Represented by Chukwuemeka Ukattah, a Director in the ministry, Abubakar said President Muhammadu Buhari was determined to turn around the nation’s economy through agriculture by its unwavering support for farmers and empowerment of women and youths.
He said it was an effort to attain food security, self-sufficiency as well as improve the livelihood of coconut farmers and processors.
“The government, through the coconut value chain, decided to provide you with the necessary knowledge and skills to establish and maintain a successful coconut plantation.
“We will cover topics such as nursery establishment, field development, harvesting and processing to meet local and international markets standard and demand.
“With the right training, coconut value chain has the potentials to contribute significantly to the nation’s GDP and generate employment,” Abubakar said.
The Executive Director of NIFOR, Dr Celestine Ikuenobe, who welcomed participants to the workshop, said Nigeria’s coconut production was far below the demand.
“I am sure that if the National Coconut Producers Processors and Marketers Association of Nigeria (NACOPPMAN) works with this agroforestry based plantation model, the value chain will be on a scale to contribute significantly to our economy.
“We suddenly got a huge demand for coconut seedlings in the last three to four years and we were caught napping because we did not prepare for the fact that there was going to be an upsurge in the demand for coconut seedlings,” he said.
Ikuenobe explained that NIFOR was strengthening its capacity to meet the sudden upsurge in the demand for the seedlings.
“We are working to invigorate our coconut gardens in addition to other identified seed trees,” he added.
According to him, in the last two years, “we have replanted our coconut germplasm and in the next five years, there will be enough to provide nuts and materials for the industry.”
Council Re-Proclaims Ekpo Abasi-Otu As Obong Of Calabar
The Etubom’s Conclave of the Obong of Calabar Palace has re-proclaimed Edidem Ekpo Abasi-Otu V, as the Obong of Calabar.
This was in compliance with the Supreme Court Judgement of January 13, which ordered the Etubom’s Conclave of the Obong of Calabar’s Palace to conduct fresh selection process for the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
Chairman, Etubom’s Conclave, Etubom Ntiero Effiwat, stated this recently while reading a document signed by 13 of the conclave members before the others at the palace of the Obong of Calabar.
According to Effiwat, Abasi-Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House, having fully satisfied with candidate qualifications and eligibility, the Etubom’s Conclave therefore, declared him the successor.
“He is hereby on this day, Jan. 18, 2023 been proclaimed as successor to the throne of the Obong of Calabar.
“The qualified Etuboms who fall under this group were communicated to and directed to produce and present their nominee to the Etubom’s Conclave by Jan. 18, 2023.
“The most senior Etubom of Atai Iboku group, Etubom Otu Efa-Otu, presented thier selected nominee for the throne of Obong of Calabar in person of HRH, Ekpo Abasi-Otu of Adiabo Ikot Mbo Otu House,” he said.
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