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Niger Delta

NGO, Govt, Others Brainstorm On Causes, Effects Of Oil Spill

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With the rising cases of oil spills and its attendant consequences to lives of the people of the Niger Delta region and its environment, an NGO, the Stakeholders Alliance for Corporate Accountability (SACA) has said it would in no distant time facilitate the sending of petitions by children of the region to the British, Dutch and other Embassies in Nigeria for their swift reactions.
The Executive Director of SACA,Mr Kingsley Ozegbe, disclosed this yesterday at a two-day programme, tagged: ‘Child Safeguarding Policy Development Forum’ organised by the NGO in partnership with the Bayelsa state Ministries of Education, Environment and Health as well as the Catholic Education Board and the National Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS), in Yenagoa, the Bayelsa State capital.
Ozegbe noted that the adverse effect of spillages in the Niger Delta region cannot be overemphasized, reiterating that children are the most affected victims of oil spills.
He identified vandalism as major cause of oil spillages, just as he said equipment failure on the part of oil majors cannot be over ruled, describing poverty as another contributing factor to vandalism and oil-caused environmental hazards.
The Tide reports that the ‘Child Safeguarding Policy Development Forum’ would be rounded off today, just as the Bayelsa State Chairperson of NAPPS, Dr Christiana MacDonald, doubling as chairman of the SACA’s project management committee (PMC), represented by the secretary of NAPPS, Mr Ugosough Richard, thanked the NGO for the partnership, saying it would yield the expected results.
Also speaking, the State Commissioner for Environment, Gbaranbiri Iselema, represented by the Director, Climate Change of the Ministry, Mr Wakedei Ere, promised government continues partnering the NGO, assuring that government was desirous of achieving a hazard-free environment, especially from spills.
High points of the event were seminar topics, entitled ‘Understanding Child safeguarding’, delivered by Mr Okusaga Raphael, Child Safeguarding Officer, St Patrick’s Missionary Society, West Africa and the representatives of the Bayelsa State Ministry of Health, Dr Wilcox Izibeya, Mr Jeremiah Dangana, assistant Director Pollution, Ministry of Environment.
The duo identified child abuse and neglects as key factors which exposed children to environmental pollution caused by oil spills.
Izibeya, who also consults for the NGO, stated that medical investigations carried out by SACA during a recent study of some oil spill affected communities in the state revealed that the rate of ailments had been on the increase since the spill occurred, in comparison to their health status before the spillages.
“Studies on the health statuses of some communities affected by oil spills showed that diseases and rate of illness were on the rise since the occurrence of the spillages, compared to before the spillages”, SACA said.
“Diseases and other abnormalities associated with oil spill, apart from the discovered increase of about 38%, neonatal mortality rate are, chest infections, slurred speech, headaches, cough, watery stool, vomiting, breathlessness, miscarriages, premature labour and allergic reactions”,
“Congenital heart defect, hydrocephalus, Omphalocele, anencephaly, anaemia, cancer and chronic obstructive airways”, SACA added.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Edo 2024: Sen Okpebholo Promises Inclusive Govt

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The candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Edo State, Sen. Monday Okpebholo, has said he will run an inclusive government when elected in the September 21 governorship election.
He stated this on the sideline of a flag-off of medical mission by the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in Akamkpa, Cross River State on Monday.
The Senator, representing Edo Central in the 10th Assembly and a member of the Senate Committee on NDDC, also noted that he will adopt bottom-top approach in running the affairs of the state.
According to him, unlike what is currently obtainable in the governance of the state, his administration will be practically driven.
‘‘It will be a governance that the people can relate with, a true people’s government in the real sense”, he said.
The APC candidate, who bemoaned the lack of infrastructural development across the 18 Local Government Areas of Edo, promised to re-enact Adams Oshiomhole’s infrastructural revolution.
He said emergency would be declared on roads, schools and health infrastructure in the state.
“We are set for that. We will be taking a holistic approach to correct the decayed roads, schools and health infrastructure that have been left unattended to.
“If the Obaseki-led administration had built upon what the government of Adams Oshiomhole did, Edo would have been competing with a state like Lagos in terms of development.
“Our mission is to, from day one, hit the ground running and make Edo a better place.
‘‘A place we can actually call our own, a place that everybody will be happy to see”, he stated.
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Niger Delta

UniCal Demonstration School Wins SAGE 2024 … To Represent Nigeria In Tokyo

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The University of Calabar International Demonstration Secondary School has won the 2024 edition of the Students for the Advancement of Global Entrepreneurship (SAGE) competition.
By coming tops at the national competition, the School will represent Nigeria at the global level in Tokyo.
The school presented a solar-powered Chi ECOSOL Freeze Storage System, equiped with off-grid capacity for areas with limited or unreliable traditional electricity.
The system uses high efficiency cooling storage unit to preserve fresh produce and vegetables.
The Tide’s source reports that Federal Government Girls College (FGGC) Abuloma, finished second with a project on Bio Fortification of Cassava Flour at the finals held in Calabar.
The source also reports that FGGC Benin came third with their project on Tomato Powder.
It would be recalled that Nigeria has won 12 out of the 17 international SAGE completions held in different parts of the world after its premier edition in 2002 in America.
The theme for this year’s edition of the competition is: “Mobilising Education for Food Security”.
Speaking during the award ceremony on Monday in Calabar, Mr Peter Odey, the Cross River State Deputy Governor, said the theme for the 2024 edition of the competition was apt and well thought-out.
Represented by Hilary Bisong, the member representing Boki Constituency II at the State House of Assembly, Odey, said the theme touched on a major challenge in todays human society.
Noting the need for a multifaceted global campaign against hunger and food scarcity, he said, “nobody who has access to three square meals in a day will start thinking of crimes and violence.
“Our state has very fertile soil, the winning school has proffered solution to the challenge of food storage and preservation.
“For example, in Boki, we always have so much food after harvest, but a lot of the foods get wasted due to poor storage, so this project gives us a solution”.
Also speaking, the President, SAGE Nigeria, Mr Agwu Amogu, said the essence of the initiative was to make young people to become solution providers through entrepreneurship and community service.
Amogu stated further that the initiative had directly and indirectly impacted on no fewer than 200,000 people since 2005 when it took effect in Nigeria.
“Also, no fewer than 8,000 students have passed through the initiative, many of them have graduated, and are now alumni of SAGE.
“Our goal is to move the mindset of young Nigerians from entitlement to being solution and innovation providers.
“This new mindset will not only create jobs for them, it will even make them to become job creators and self-reliant”, he said.
On her part, 15 year old Miss Victory Idiku, the team lead of UniCal International Demonstration Secondary School, expressed her team’s joy after  wining the competition.
“It took us several weeks of research to create that innovative project, it also took a lot of hard work to effectively present it.
“We are happy to represent Nigeria at the global event in Tokyo, we promise to make our nation proud”, she said.
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Niger Delta

Eid-el Kabir: NSCDC Mobilises 1,210 Personnel In Edo

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Edo Command of Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has deployed 1,210 personnel to ensure maximum security during the forthcoming Eid-el Kabir celebrations.
The command’s Public Relations Officer, Efosa Ogbebor, in a statement on Friday in Benin, said NSCDC would provide maximum security at various Eid praying grounds, palaces, monuments and recreational centres across the state during the festivities.
Ogbebor stated that the NSCDC Commandant in the state, Mr Gbenga Agun, assured residents of security of their lives and property before, during and after the festival.
“I have directed all commanders, heads of tactical units, Area Commanders and Divisional Officers to ensure smooth, crime-free and secure celebration before, during and after the Eid-el Kabir festival.
“The personnel deployed have been tasked with critical responsibilities of safeguarding national assets and infrastructure, a core mandate of the corps, protection of lives and property and crowd control, amongst others.
“NSCDC personnel will work in collaboration with other sister-agencies”, he said.
The NSCDC boss appealed to members of the public to give maximum cooperation to the personnel and support them with useful information about criminal elements.
The Commandant felicitated with all Muslims and wished them joyous Eid-el Kabir celebrations.

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