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Niger Delta

Offices Deserted, Roads Closed, As Workers’ Strike Enters The Second Day In C’River

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Government offices in Cross River State and roads leading to them have been deserted since Monday as civil servants complied with the indefinite strike action declared by the leadership of the state chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) over welfare-related issues.
Our correspondent, who went round Calabar Metropolis to monitor compliance or otherwise of the strike, observed that except for few senior civil servants who were seen lurking around their offices, the premises of both the new and old State Secretariat, housing many government ministries, departments and agencies, had been under lock and key.
The NLC Chairman in the State, Comrade Ben Ukpepi, in a telephone chat, said “the strike is total and successful. However, there are some TUC members who are senior civil servants who opened their offices but they cannot do without NLC members who are at home and are complying with the strike order.
“Even some TUC members are also complying because the TUC withdrew from the strike only on the leadership level. As everyone knows, we are not fighting for ourselves but for workers whose rights and privileges have been taken away. The strike will continue until government is ready to meet our demands.”
Mr. Christian Ita, The Chief Press Secretary/Special Adviser, Media to Governor Ben Ayade, also in a chat with correspondents, said NLC should see reasons why the strike should not continue, and noted that, “few days ago, the Deputy Governor spoke with the leadership of the Organized Labour and restated the resolve of government to look into the matters NLC raised. Governor Ben Ayade is a labour friendly governor. The truth is that the time for such discussion is simply not right.

“COVID-19 has ravaged the economy of states and nations and in fact some states are contemplating salary cut while companies are even laying off workers. Recession is staring everybody in the face  globally. As we speak, political appointees in the state have had their salaries cut by 20 percent in the face of the dwindling allocation to the state.

“Few months ago, the federal allocation was about N800 million but today it has gone down to roughly N600 million. We cannot be talking of any money matter now because government is battling to pay salaries for the past two months. Let them give government enough time to tackle those matters.”
It would be Recalled that there was a stalemate at the weekend over the matter when the TUC distanced itself from the strike, and warned its members against taking part. Its secretary, Ken Bassey, argued that the group preferred continuous negotiation with the state government to iron out the issues under contention, and that the timing for the strike was wrong due to the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the NLC had insisted that Gov Ayade should accede to the 8-point demands of the Organized Labour, which they said, include

payment of outstanding gratuities to retirees from 2014; implementation of promotion; immediate return of names of workers removed from payroll and the immediate pay rolling of about 2000 recruited workers who have been working since 2018, amongst others.
From Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
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Niger Delta

Police Nab Three Cultists In Delta

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The Police Command in Delta State says it has arrested three suspected cultists and armed robbers in Warri and also recovered ammunition from them.
Spokesman of the State’s Command, DSP Bright Edafe, who disclosed this in Warri, said the suspects are: Chukwuma Owoh, Ediri Ogendengbe, and Alfred Kess.
He said the trio were arrested on August 5 by the Police operatives attached to the Quick Response Squad (QRS) of the Command.
The spokesman explained that the operatives were on a stop and search duty in the Pessu neighborhood, Warri South Local Government Area, when they intercepted the hoodlums in a tricycle.
“Upon search of the occupants, one locally made cut-to-size gun and four live cartridges were recovered from them.
“The three suspects were immediately arrested. One of the suspects, Owoh, confessed that he bought the gun from one Haruna in Hausa market in Warri.
“That he was on his way to Pessu in search of some Aiye confraternity cult members that attacked his younger sister,” he said.
He said that the suspects were currently in police custody, adding that investigation was ongoing.
Edafe said that Mr Ari Ali, Commissioner of Police in Delta State, has urged officers and men of the Command to sustain the tempo and be polite and civil to members of the public while on duty.
“Incivility to members of the public will not be tolerated under my watch,” Ali said.

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Niger Delta

NCDMB, SWS Partner To Empower Teenage Mothers

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The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) is collaborating with a gender advocacy group, StandUp for Women Society (SWS), to bring succour to teenage mothers in Bayelsa State.
The Tide’s source reports that 20 teenage mothers who dropped out of schools in Bayelsa have been re-enrolled for education and vocational skills acquisition training programmes.
The NCDMB-funded initiative, implemented by SWS, is in conjunction with the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) Legal Aid Community Development Service group.
Deputy Manager, Capacity Building, NCDMB, Mr. Timbiri Augustine, said the teenagers, selected from rural communities within Yenagoa Local Government Area, would undergo training in fashion design, catering, facial make-up, and hairdressing for three months at the Bayelsa Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Yenagoa.
He disclosed this while speaking during the inauguration, on Wednesday, at the Institute.
According to him, the Board attached so much importance to training and human capital development, hence the support for the training.
Augustine, who commended the stakeholders for initiating the training, stressed its importance to the development of young women, adding that this was the first time the category of persons would be captured by the Board for skills acquisition training.
“We have noted that employment is limited, but there is the entrepreneurship window that is open for all of us; there are only two ways to generate income: either as a service provider or producer or both.
“This trainings will expose you to skills to become a service provider and a producer.
“We expect maximum commitment, you have a role to play; we are playing our own role, the trainers are expected to play their own role, and you are also expected to play your own role and remain committed and align with our expectations”, he charged them.
He thanked the stakeholders involved in the training, saying that NCDMB knew the importance of partnership and collaboration as a key priority.
The Rector, Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, Prof. Apuega Arikawie, commended the NCDMB for utilising the facilities offered by the Institute for its different trainings and financing different programmes in the Niger Delta and country at large.
He said the NCDMB thought it wise to sponsor the programme to empower teenage girls to take care of their children and make them entrepreneurs, reduce criminality, poverty and other anti social vices bedeviling the Niger Delta.
In her speech, the Chairperson of SWS, Bayelsa Chapter, Ms Eunice Nnachi, said the training programme aims to achieve social integration and give hope to teenage mothers who found themselves in the role of parenting at a tender age.
Nnachi explained that the trainees would be given stipends and starter packs to enable them to become self-reliant.
She noted that more than 100 teenage mothers had been captured and would undergo the skills acquisition training to be carried out in different phases.
According to her, arrangements have been put in place to ensure that the programme was well monitored and supervised for optimal impact on the beneficiaries.

 

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Niger Delta

Joint Patrol Team Impounds 51 Vehicles Over Number Plate Offences

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A joint patrol of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), and Nigeria Police Force have impounded 51 vehicles and 40 bikes in Cross River State for number plate offences.
Cross River State Sector Commander of the FRSC, Mr Maikano Hassan, said in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar that the 51 vehicles were impounded in Calabar while the 40 bikes were arrested in Ikom.
Hassan said the joint operation commenced on Monday in Calabar and Ikom to check those he described as hoodlums moving about in vehicles without number plates.
He said such vehicle owners often commit terrible crimes and go scot-free without being identified.
“We will ensure that these vehicle owners fix their number plates accordingly.
“We will sustain the operation but after a while we will give the motorists a breathing space to go and properly register their vehicles and this involves both tricycles and bikes.
“Although, there is a ban on commercial motorcycles in the Calabar metropolis, in Ikom and Ogoja where they still operate, our men are still doing the same special joint patrol to clampdown on vehicles without registration numbers.”
The sector Commander added that all the vehicles impounded were not made to pay any fine, but held until their owners obtain proper registration and fix their number plates.

 

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