Diversity, Nigeria’s Greatest Endowment, NIPR Affirms …As Nsirim Cautions Youths Against Negative Narrative
The Nigerian Institute of Public Relations (NIPR) has said that Nigeria’s greatest endowment remains her diversity.
The National President of the institute, Mallam Muktar Sirajo said this, yesterday, in Port Harcourt while declaring open the South-South Citizens’ Summit for National Integration, Peace and Security.
Sirajo said dispersing the nation’s diversity amount would to questioning why God created Nigeria in the first place.
He, however, said that the nation’s leaders since Independence have failed to explore the rich diversities of the nation for development.
Sirajo regretted that Nigerian leaders have failed to transcend both ethnic and religious backgrounds to unite the country.
According to him, fighting one another would amount to disobeying God, adding that every generation of Nigerians ought to improve on what they met on ground.
He also called on the younger generation not to make the mistakes of their predecessors, stressing that channels of communication must not be allowed to break down in order to foster unity in the country.
Sirajo said the summit was fallout of consultations among various groups in the country.
He expressed sadness at the deteriorating socio-economic and security status of the country and hoped that the outcome of the summit would encourage an agenda for a healthy dialogue for better nation.
In his keynote address on the topic: “National Integration, Peace and Security a former Inspector General of Police, Mr. Solomon Arase recommended a holistic reform of the Nigeria Police and the entire Nigerian internal security system and institutions to address their overlapping functions that engender budgetary wastage, inter-agency rivalry and uncoordinated approach to internal security management.
He also recommended legal and operational reforms of the present system with the objective of having a workable and efficient and effective policing system that could give prospects for internal security of the country.
The Chairman, National Planning Committee of the summit, Dr. Ike Neliaku regretted that majority of Nigerians have no confidence in the government, adding that events across the country show that Nigeria was not yet a state but a nation.
He said it behooves the government and stakeholders to build a better Nigeria that would restore hope to the people.
Neliaku also stressed the need for programmes and policies that would promote mutual respect and friendship among stakeholders in the country.
He said the summit was an attempt by the NIPR to build friendship, adding that the task of building a new Nigeria lies with Nigerians, and not any other people.
On his part, the Royal Father of the day, King Felix Otuwarikpo called for a national summit of first class traditional rulers to address the various challenges facing the nation.
Otuwarikpo, who is the Eze Upata and regent of Ekpeye Kingdom, said the traditional institution was the custodian of the values of the people.
He regretted that the politicisation of the institution was responsible for many traditional rulers not residing in their domains.
Chairman of the South-South summit, Prof. Ndowa Lale, urged the institute not to compromise the core values of what the society was known for.
He expressed the hope that the event would bring about good governance and accountability in the country.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim had called on youths to forbid themselves from being used as soldiers for negative propaganda and narrative about Nigeria.
Reminding the youths that the future of Nigeria belongs to them, Nsirim, who doubles as the chairman of the Rivers State chapter of the Institute of Public Relations, urged them to raise up an army that would change their status quo.
“What happened with the #EndSARS will open the eyes of all Nigerians to know that time comes in the history of a people when the masses will rise up to challenge dictatorial tendencies.
“And I believe that the youths of Nigeria should build on the gains of #EndSARS and begin to galvanise and mobilise themselves to begin to talk about how Nigeria can be better”, he said.
Nsirim also urged the leaders of the country to know that the time has come for a patriotic spirit that would bind people together than the spirit that divides.
While commending the Governing Council of the NIPR for organising the summit with the theme: “Reopen Conversation, Rebuild Trust”, Nsirim said Nigerians must begin to dialogue again as brothers and sisters to also rebuild trust.
“What has happened over the years is that those who gain from the dichotomy that exist along cultural and religion lines have used it to their own advantage while the majority of the masses of Nigerians suffer.
“We must tell ourselves the truth that the time has come as a people for us to rebuild our nation. Nigerians must congregate and begin to talk to ourselves as people that God brought together by his divine inspiration.
He noted that Nigeria is endowed with abundant human and natural resources but lacked the right leadership that would galvanise all the resources for the benefit of the people.
By: John Bibor
We’ll Expand Socio-Economic Opportunities For All Rivers People -Fubara ……As Wike Bows Out
Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has declared his administration’s resolve to expand the existing socio-economic opportunities in order to engender prosperity for all Rivers people.
Fubara made this declaration on Monday at the General Yakubu Gowon Stadium, Elekahia, venue of his swearing-in as the sixth democratically elected governor of Rivers State.
Chief Judge of Rivers State, Justice Simeon Amadi, administered the oath of office on the new governor and his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu.
Thereafter, the former governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, handed over the flag of Rivers State and handover notes to his successor.
Fubara, in his inaugural address titled “Together, Let’s Consolidate the New Rivers State”, noted the poor state of the national economy, but promised that his administration would take measures to diversify Rivers economy and insulate it so that it can grow.
He also assured of promoting the climate of ease of doing business in the State to attract direct foreign investment capable of empowering Rivers people.
“The primary responsibility of a new government is to do its best to advance the security and well-being of the State and its citizens.
“Therefore, as we undertake our responsibilities, we promise to stay the course, commit to cooperative governance and expand opportunities for everyone. The wishes of our people for a happy life are our mission in politics.
“We will prioritise the well-being of the State and citizens with a renewed focus on economic growth, people-centred projects and social services”, he said.
He said further that, “We will improve the ease of doing business and sustain a congenial fiscal regime to attract local and foreign direct investments to stimulate greater economic activities, create wealth and improve citizens’ livelihoods.
“We will adopt a re-industrialization policy master plan and partner with the private sector to revive or establish viable industries to create jobs and empower our people.
“We will also support the growth of small businesses and encourage commercial agriculture to achieve food security, industrialization and improved living standards for citizens.”
Fubara added that his administration is already building on the successes of his predecessor and will construct more projects including the Port Harcourt ring road.
According to him, there shall be healthy partnership with private investors to provide integrated inter-modular public transportation system in the State.
“We witnessed unprecedented growth in infrastructure in the last eight years, but there’s still more to do.
“We will follow our leader’s footsteps to invest in capital projects, including roads, bridges, electricity supply to our rural areas, and social housing.
“We will, therefore, partner with the private sector to develop an integrated multimodal public transportation system to advance mass mobility and access to socio-economic opportunities across the state.
“We will also construct the Port Harcourt Ring Road to enhance the mobility of goods and services across the State”.
Fubara said the challenges in the health sector like inadequate manpower and corruption would be addressed to achieve optimal performance.
In the education sector, he promised to provide smart classrooms for students to prepare for global competition, empower the youths with skills to become economically active while being connected to small and medium scale business opportunities.
He said, “We care about our youth. We know they need jobs, opportunities, empowerment and the freedom to build sound, promising futures. We will not abandon our youth to their fate. We will continue prioritizing education at all levels and empower our youth with the relevant skills and opportunities to become economically active, productive and prosperous.
“We believe in the job creation capacity of small and medium enterprises. And so, we shall facilitate targeted access to low-interest funds for youth entrepreneurs to start or improve their businesses, earn decent incomes and generate employment for themselves and others.”
The governor particularly acknowledged the achievements of his predecessor in the health sector saying, “We are also proud of the state’s achievements in the healthcare sector, particularly the construction of new primary healthcare centres, the Mother and Child Hospital, the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Diseases Diagnostic and Treatment Centre and the contributory Healthcare Insurance Law.
“With what is on the ground, it is evident that the primary challenges with our healthcare system are more with inadequate manpower, corruption, indiscipline and ineffective management”.
Fubara gave a firm assurance by saying: “I assure you that apart from completing all ongoing healthcare infrastructure projects, we will deal with all identified challenges and ensure that the healthcare system functions optimally to deliver affordable and efficient healthcare to citizens.
“We are equally proud of the State’s unprecedented educational advancement, especially in the last four years. Our public schools at all levels, irrespective of location, are some of the lovely and best-resourced in the country.”
According to him, his administration will consolidate on the progress made so far by “introducing smart schools and classrooms across the State to empower our children with world-class learning experiences and make Rivers State a knowledge hub.”
Fubara vowed to be hard on crime and criminality in the State saying, “We will be hard on crime and criminality. We will swiftly and firmly deal with anyone, regardless of status or position, rich or poor, who breaks our laws or dares to violate our environment, peace and security”.
The governor thanked civil servants for their support and promised regular payment of salary, gratuity, more training, promotion for them and housing for low income earners.
Describing the civil servants as members of his constituency, he said, “To our civil servants, I thank all of you for your invaluable contributions to the state’s progress over the years.
“We appreciate your indispensability and promise to meet all our obligations to you, including regular payment of wages, pensions, gratuity, training and promotions. All we ask is your continued patriotism, dedication, and enthusiasm in the execution of your official duties”.
He further promised to govern Rivers people with the fear of God, cognizance of the fact that Rivers is a Christian state.
He also assured the church and spiritual leaders of his administration robust partnership to enhance the moral and spiritual wellbeing of Rivers people.
“Rivers State is a Christian State, and God is our foundation. We shall govern with the fear of God and stay strong to our Christian values of trust, faith, love, care and sacrifice.”
“We shall deepen the inseparable ties between the Church and the State government for the benefit of our people. We assure the Christian Association of Nigeria and other spiritual leaders of our sincere friendship, support and solidarity.
“We will continue to support and work with the Church to defend our faith, advance our values and enhance our people’s moral and spiritual well-being”, he assured.
At the Government House, Port Harcourt, the governor hung the official portraits of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his own and that of his predecessor, Wike.
… Appoints Nwaeke HoS, Ideozu Acountant General
The Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has approved two new strategic appointments in the state Civil Service.
In the latest development, the governor has approved the appointment of the most senior civil servant and permanent secretary, Dr. George Nwaeke as Head of Service, Rivers State.
He also approved the appointment of Dr Uche Ideozu as the new Accountant General of Rivers State.
A statement signed by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Information and Communications in Rivers State, Ibiwari Clapton-Ogolo, Esq, said that the appointments take immediate effect.
The two fresh appointments bring to six the number of appointments already made by the governor since assuming duties on Monday, May 29.
The first set of appointments was the nomination of four former commissioners under Governor Nyesom Wike as commissioner-designates.
The names are Prof Zaccheaus Adangor, Dr Dakorima George-Kelly, Isaac Kamalu, and Prof Prince Chinedu Mmom.
While Adangor was attorney general and commissioner for justice, George-Kelly was works commissioner, Kamalu was finance commissioner, and Mmom was education commissioner.
Fuel Scarcity: Tinubu Resumes Work, Meet With Emefiele, Kyari
President Bola Tinubu yesterday officially resumed work at the Presidential Villa, Abuja where he met with the Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), Mr Godwin Emefiele and the Group Chief Executive Officer of the Nigeria National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), Mr. Mele Kyari.
This was the first official assignment by the President after his inauguration as the 16th President of the country at the Eagle Square, Abuja, on Monday.
The President arrived at the forecourt of the State House at about 2:30 pm through the quarter guard gate, which is his official entrance gate and was received by the Vice President, Senator Kashim Shettima, the Permanent Secretary, State House, Tijjani Umar, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila and the outgoing Director of Protocol, DOP.
Others who received him were Emefiele, Kyari and a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. James Faleke, among others.
The President went straight to his office with Emefiele, Kyari, Gbajabiamila, Faleke and others.
Although the agenda of the meeting was not made public, it may not be unconnected with the removal of fuel subsidy and the attendant fuel scarcity.
It is expected that the issue of unification of foreign exchange, recent Naira redesign, among others will also be discussed.
Recall that President Tinubu had during his inaugural speech announced that the subsidy has been removed and this immediately made filling stations to shut down operations across the country.
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