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Niger Delta

A’Ibom Flags Off Planting Of 300,000 Coconut Trees

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Governor Udom Emmanuel, Saturday flagged off the planting of 300,000 special breeds of coconut seedlings in Akwa Ibom, announcing September 18 as the annual state coconut day in the state.
This follows the government’s target of cultivating two million coconut seedlings in the State to serve as raw materials for the just-completed St. AGabriel’s Coconut Oil Factory at Mkpat-Enin.
Performing the flag-off, Governor Emmanuel who led other top government officials by example himself, planted 50 seedlings at the Government Coconut Plantation, Ekeya, Okobo, saying coconut which is of high yielding value in the international market, has the potentials to replace crude oil.
He said the coconut planting exercise was being performed simultaneously across all the local government areas in the state, adding that planting coconuts in schools were also being targeted in the scheme to ensure that the state coconut oil refinery was fully supplied with coconut fruits.
He called on the federal government and Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), to partner with the State in coconut investment.
“Today is a very special day. It is the day that is borne out of vision.
“The At Gabriel’s Coconut Oil Virgin Refinery we have in the state is first in Africa. We want to create a future for our young ones. Coconut has 365 uses which means that every single day that God created has a use for coconut”
“The Coconut refinery has been completed. What is next is a test run and knowledge transfer.
“Coconut is of high value and can serve as an alternative to crude oil. This is a great investment for CBN and the Federal government”
“We have a much bigger plantation in Mkpat-Enin, Eastern Obolo, and Ikot Abasi.
We are embarking on a campaign to cut down trees without economic values in schools, to replace them with coconut. Each student in public schools will be given a coconut seedling to plant.
In one day, one million students of secondary school would have planted one million coconut seedlings.
This will create competition among the youngsters. These are high-breed seedlings we’ve been able to acquire across the world. The refinery is going to be a master economic breakthrough”, said the Governor.
He appealed to the host communities to ensure the coconut plantation is nurtured and protected.
“This is the resource of 7.2 million people. We believe that you will nurture, protect and sustain it”
Earlier in her speech, the Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Glory Emmanuel Edet said God had blessed the state with fertile soil, and hailed the Governor for paying a premium to agriculture and food security.
She noted that the massive investments in coconut plantation were part of measures to further diversify the economy of the state, adding that Akwa Ibom is set to take over the International coconut oil market in Nigeria.
“Coconut oil is taking over the crude oil market, Governor Emmanuel is a visionary leader for planting coconut across the state and building the coconut refinery at Mkpat Enin.”
She further lauded Governor Udom Emmanuel’s numerous developmental strides in the agricultural sector.
The State Coordinator, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Dr. Uyobong Uko commended Governor Emmanuel for spreading the coconut planting initiative like wildfire across the state, adding that he has witnessed several farm inputs shared to farmers across the state on a regular basis through the Governor’s initiative.
He reiterated the support of the Federal Government towards the coconut initiative and said that they would continue providing rural infrastructure to farmers across the state.
Speaking also, the Chairman of Okobo Local Government Area, Sylvester Attah described the Governor as a visionary and creative leader whose creativity has brought great development in the Agricultural sector of the state.
He further appreciated Governor Emmanuel for having the interest of Okobo people at heart by intervening in a communal war in the area, as well as the construction of a major road in the area, and pledged their undying support towards his administration’s Completion Agenda.

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Niger Delta

Delta, FG Partner On Mass Campaign Against Malaria

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Delta State Government, in partnership with the National Malaria Elimination Programme (NMEP) has earmarked no less than 3.7 million Insecticide Treated Nets (ITNs) for distribution to tackle malaria in the State.
Permanent Secretary, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr Jude Winful-Orieke, said this in his welcome address during the orientation programme for media workers in Asaba.
The partnership, with funding from the Global Fund Malaria Project, is a mass campaign that will provide treated nets to every household in the state through a door-to-door approach.
Winful-Orieke said the objective of the ITN mass campaign was to ensure that for every two persons in the state, there was one bed net to sleep in.
“We have earmarked over 3.7million ITNs to be distributed to the people through a door-to- door approach to all the populace of the State,” he said.
The Permanent Secretary said the ITNs Mass Campaign was led by the DSPHCDA, through the State Malaria Elimination Programme with technical support from the Management Sciences for Health as implementing partners.
He appealed to the media to propagate the campaign through proper and effective information dissemination, to enable the programme achieve its objectives.
Describing the media as a veritable platform for mass mobilisation, he urged the practitioners to join in the campaign for a malaria-free society.
NMEP representative, Miss Perpetual Ezediunor, on her part, said the ITNs campaign was one of the major strategies used in delivering nets to the entire populace.
She also urged the media to help educate the people on proper use of the nets to ensure that the fight against malaria succeeded.
Ezediunor said previous experiences of the mass campaign had revealed that a lot of people, especially in the rural areas, used the nets for fishing and farming.
“As media practitioners, we want you to help us create awareness and educate our people to use the nets for the purpose it is meant for”, she urged.
In her remarks, the State Programme Manager, Dr Julie Aniah, said the media orientation would provide an opportunity for journalists to gain insights into ITNs mass campaign.
Aniah urged the media to key into the campaign and use its platform to help achieve the objectives of the national programme on malaria eradication.
It is our belief that if the people use the nets for the purpose of sleeping, we will have a heathier Delta State that is free from malaria,” Aniah said.
The Tide’s source reports that journalists and information officers across the State attended the event.

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Niger Delta

NAOWA President To Sponsor 30 Youths On Skills Acquisition In Edo

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President of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA), Mrs. Salamatu Yahaya, has pledged to sponsor 30 youths for skills acquisition at the NAOWA skills acquisition centre in Benin.
Yahaya made the pledge midweek at the inauguration of the NAOWA skills acquisition centre at the Nigerian Army Cantonment, Ekehuan, Benin.
She also promised to purchase 50 admission forms for youths, including women, willing to take part in trainings to be carried out in the centre.
“I’m impressed by the skills acquisition centre and the quality of work done here by the zonal coordinator, NAOWA, 4 Brigade Chapter.
“It means she has keyed into my vision of sustaining legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service.
“What she has done today is that she has added value to what was already existing.
There was actually a skill acquisition centre here before, but the focus was just tailoring and barbing saloon.
“So, value has been added to what is already on ground with an Information Technology Centre (ICT), tailoring and textile management centre and Catering and Hotel management centre.
“This is what is meant by sustaining legacies. You key into what your predecessor has done and improve on what they have left behind.
“Because of this, I will be sponsoring by paying the registration and course fees for 10 youths that will be willing to take course in ICT, 10 youths too for catering and hotel management and 10 others for tailoring and Textile management”, she said.
She stated that her vision on sustaining the legacies and upholding the tenets of unity and service placed premium on sustainable development and welfare of NAOWA.
The NAOWA President said the newly constructed skill acquisition centre would add value to the lives of the women and youths within the barracks.
“I believe the centre will enable our target audience, that is the youth and women, to learn skills and therefore make them become productive and functional citizens,” she said.
Earlier, the Zonal Coordinator, NAOWA 4 Brigade Chapter, Mrs. Saadatu Abdullahi, said her choice for ICT, Tailoring and Textile Management as well as Catering and Hotel Management was borne out of genuine desire to assist the youth.
She said these were areas where the trainees could easily make their money, thereby providing opportunity for them to support their spouses and the home.
She also said she decided to impact on NAOWA members in the State and add value to them through skills because the NAOWA President had emphasised on charity as an act of humanity.
The NAOWA President also used the opportunity of the visit to Edo to present relief materials to 50 widows of army personnel.
The widows were presented with foodstuffs, textile materials and some cash.

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Niger Delta

Cholera Kills Seven Children In C’River

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Director General, Cross River Primary Healthcare Care Agency, Dr Janet Ekpenyong, has confirmed the death of seven children from cholera in the State.
Ekpenyong, who confirmed the deaths in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar, said the agency recorded more than 600 suspected cases in the state between March and April.
“Over 600 suspected cases were detected and we had a Rapid Diagnostic Test (RDT) conducted on them. We also did a microscopic test and culture to have a true confirmation of the cases.
“We confirmed that most of the cases were not cholera related, though we had three active cases of the disease in Ogoja Local Government Area (LGA).
“Whenever we go for medical outreach and detect suspected cases of cholera with symptoms such as diarrhoea, we take samples immediately.
“Thereafter, the rapid diagnostic test is carried out and treatment initiated immediately.
“Over the past two months, we have actually had seven deaths occurring as a result of cholera,” she said.
Ekpenyong said treatment was initiated after samples were collected for microscopic test, but that sadly, some of the children died before the results were out.
According to the DG, the children are the most vulnerable to diarrhoea, because they play mostly with dirt and still use their hands to eat without washing them.
On sensitisation, Ekpenyong told the source that her goal was working with the National Orientation Agency and other partners to sensitise mothers on the importance of maintaining hygienic habits and drinking clean water.
She noted that most of the cases were as a result of drinking unclean water that had been contaminated by faeces from open defacation, especially in rural areas without toilets.
She said that since most rural dwellers depended on water from the streams, it was important for people from such communities to boil such water before drinking.
The DG also told the source that the agency was partnering with relevant agencies for the sinking of boreholes in some communities, with a view to providing portable drinking water for them.

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