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Electoral Act Amendment Bill: Wike Urges NASS To Save Nigeria’s Democracy …As Makinde Flags-Off Chokocho-Igbodo Road Project

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Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has said that the National Assembly lacks the temerity to override President Muhammadu Buhari’s refusal to sign the 2021 Electoral Act Amendment Bill because it was part of the All Progressives Congress (APC) scheme to deny Nigerians free, fair and transparent election in 2023.
He said the only way for Nigerians not to repeat the 2015 and 2019 mistakes of voting the APC- led Federal Government into power was to send them packing in 2023.
Wike made the assertions at the flag-off of Chokocho-Igbodo Road, performed by Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde, last Monday, in Etche Local Government Area.
The Rivers State governor recalled how most people did not believe him when he raised concerns that Buhari would not sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill into law to give legal impetus to electronic transmission of election results.
“Three weeks ago, I told Nigerians that there is a conspiracy not to have a free, fair, transparent election in 2023, and that conspiracy was very clear. I told Nigerians, ‘Mr President will not sign the Electoral Act Amendment Bill’.”
Wike stated that having known the modus operandi, style and strategy of the APC, it was obvious to him and all discerning minds that the clause on direct primaries was inserted into the Electoral Act Amendment Bill as a ploy for the president to refuse assent to the bill.
According to him, the APC members were afraid that if results were transmitted electronically, they would not survive the 2023 general election.
“What APC resolved in the meeting they had was that their problem is not necessarily direct primaries, but the electronic transmission of results in 2023. If they allow that, obviously APC will lose the election in 2023, and they told themselves that the only way we can survive that is to include the direct primaries in the bill so that Mr President can use that as an excuse, that he will not sign the bill.”
He accused APC governors and their National Assembly members of deceiving Nigerians that they were engaged in battle of supremacy over the issue of direct primaries, whereas they had secretly agreed to scuttle the possibility of transmitting election results electronically in 2023.
Wike said, unfortunately, the National Assembly does not have what it takes to override the president’s refusal to assent to the bill.
According to him, the lawmakers were not interested in protecting the interest of Nigerians and ensure that elections are free and fair with the electronic transmission of election results.
“Unfortunately, you don’t have a National Assembly that has what it takes; that will stand for the people; that will say ‘look we were elected by the people, and we want to give the people the best’. Nobody in the National Assembly, not even the leadership, can have what it takes to say Mr President, for the interest of Nigerians; we are going to override your refusal.”
The governor maintained that because APC does not consider the interest of Nigerians as priority, its leaders were immersed in crisis jostling for benefits that fan their personal egos.
The governor said, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) was different because it was waxing stronger as a true political party, and working every day in improving the socio-economic conditions of the people in PDP-controlled states.
Speaking about the 27.12km Choocho-Igbodo Road project, Wike said even if the Federal Government had refused to fix the road for years, he was available to solve the problem.
According to him, 40percent of the contract sum has been paid already to the contractor, Setraco Nigeria Limited, to complete the project on schedule, within the next 12 months.
Wike berated an Etche politician in Abuja who brought FERMA to do repair works when he heard that the state government has opted to reconstruct the road.
He wondered why such a son could play politics with the future of Etche, and deny them an enduring dividend of democracy.
Performing the flag-off, Oyo State Governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde described Wike as a visionary leader whose pattern of development was creating economic corridor, not only within Rivers State, but linking it up to the neighbouring three states.
According to Makinde, it should be on record that it was right here in Etche that the push towards rescuing Nigeria from APC misrule has started in Rivers State.
Providing the description of the project, Rivers State Commissioner for Works, Elloka Tasie-Amadi said the Chokocho-Igbodo road serves Rivers and some neighbouring states in the South-East.
Tasie-Amadi explained that currently, the road was only 7.3metre wide, fraught with problems of levels and ponding.
According to him, the reconstruction work would expand the road to a total width of 11.3m (4m wider than it now is) made up of 8.3m carriageway and 3m shoulders (1.5m on either side).
“We will introduce a drainage network of 22km with 36 culverts to ensure that the ponding and water discharge problems of the past remain in the past to guarantee the desired life span of the road.
“As is our minimum standard, we would have sharp sand filling to level, a 5percent sand cement mix, stone base filling, 2 layers of asphalt, road markings.
“In the next 12 months, the road will be completed, and from thence onward, we would all enjoy as nice a driving experience as we do on the 21km-long Odufor-Umuoye Road also here in Etche LGA”, he said.

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LG Boss Lauds Mrs. Wike On Women’s Mentorship

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The Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Rivers State, Hon. Anengi Barasua has said that the mentorship roled played by Mrs. Suzzuest Nyesom Wike has enriched women in the State in all ramifications.
She said Justice Nyesom Wike’s display of humility and support for women was worthy for emulation.
Barasua, said this while fielding questions from journalists, at the weekend, in her office in Bonny, saying support given to the governor was enormous.
” Justice Suzzuest Wike, is a virtuous mother and role model to women, particularly in Rivers State. The women are proud of her. Her humility and inspiration she has given to women is commendable” Barasua said.
The local government chairperson urged women in authority to always emulate Mrs Wike, as she support her husband to succeed in his administration.
” I want to say an old time adage that says behind every successful man there is a woman. We have seen a real mother that has so much interest in women empowerment and deveploment.
I urge every woman in her position to emulate her and be submissive to your husbands. I also use this opportunity to felicitate with her on her birthday and wish her God protection and good health” she stated.
In another deveploment, Bonny Chairman has also congratulated all women elected in the just concluded PDP delegate and primary elections describing it as most peaceful.
She reiterated her commitment to the administration of Governor Nyesom Wike for given women more opportunity to participate in the democratic process.
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Nigeria’s GDP Grew By 3.11% In Q1 2022, NBS Affirms

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The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) has said that Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) grew by 3.11per cent in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS made this known via its Nigerian Gross Domestic Product Report Q1 2022 released, last Monday.
According to the report, Nigeria’s GDP grew by 3.11per cent year-on-year in real terms in the first quarter of 2022.
The NBS noted that the development showed a sustained positive growth for six consecutive quarters since the recession witnessed in 2020 when negative growth rates were recorded in quarter two and three of 2020.
It added that the first quarter 2022 growth rate further represents an improvement in economic performance.
The NBS stated: “The observed trend since Q4 of 2020 is an indication of a gradual economic stability.
“The Q1 of 2022 growth rate was higher than the 0.51per cent growth rate recorded in Q1 of 2021 by 2.60per cent points and lower than 3.98per cent recorded in Q4 of 2021 by 0.88per cent points.
“Nevertheless, quarter-on-quarter, real GDP grew at -14.66per cent in Q1 of 2022, compared to Q4 of 2021, reflecting a lower economic activity than the preceding quarter.
“In the period under review, aggregate GDP stood at about N45.317million in nominal terms.
“This performance is higher when compared to the first quarter of 2021 which recorded aggregate GDP of about N40.014million, indicating a year-on-year nominal growth rate of 13.25per cent.
“The nominal GDP growth rate in Q1 2022 was higher relative to the 12.25per cent growth recorded in Q1 2021, and higher compared to the 13.11per cent growth recorded in the preceding quarter,” the report read.

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RSG Launches RIV-CARES Programme …World Bank Rates Rivers High

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The Rivers State Government has launched the state COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme.
The state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike performed the launching at the NBA Secretariat in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
Speaking through his Deputy, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, the governor said the programme was to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the poor and vulnerable households and support micro and small-scale enterprises as a means of stimulating economic growth post-COVID.
According to the State Chief Executive, “the state government had signed in for the programme, made provisions in the 2022 Budget for Result Areas and signed Funds Release Policy, which is an assurance to the World Bank that funds shall be released for the implementation of the programme”.
Wike said the launching of the RIV-CARES Programme would create awareness for the people of the state and engender expression of interest by beneficiary households, communities and operators of micro and small businesses (SMEs).
The governor, who encouraged the Rivers people to take advantage of the opportunities provided by RIV-CARES to enhance their means of livelihood and reduce the spate of poverty in the communities, commended the World Bank and the Federal CARES for their support to the state.
In her remarks, the Permanent Secretary of the state Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning, Mrs. Titilola Kuna Cline, said in a bid to check the negative effects of COVID-19 pandemic on livelihoods, food security and micro and small businesses, the World Bank in partnership with the Federal Government of Nigeria and the state governments, introduced the Nigeria COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (NG-CARES) Programme.
She said the state scaled through rigorous preparatory stages and qualified to participate in the programme whose objective was “to expand access to livelihood support and food security services, and grants for poor and vulnerable households and firms”.
According to her, the stages include, signing of subsidiary loan agreement and fund release policy by the government.
Others include the establishment of the RIV-CARES Steering Committee, establishment of State- CARES Coordination Unit domiciled in the Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning and preparation of work plan.
“The NG-CARES, after domestication of programme implementation manual now known as RIV-CARES programme has the State Coordination Unit (SCU) saddled with coordinating implementation of RIV-CARES programme in the state and reporting to Federal-CARES supporting unit and the World Bank in Abuja.
“It is also a bridge between the delivery platforms and the State-CARES Steering Committee and for delivery platform under three Results Areas (RA1-3).
Cline listed the three areas to include cash transfer unit, labour intensive public works and community-driven development social (CDD-S) Plus.
The rest are, FADAMA and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs).
Also speaking, the representative of the World Bank, Mr. Aso Vakporaye, said the programme must succeed in order to kick out poverty from the state in view of the fact that failure to kick out poverty would make life difficult for the entire citizenry.
He, therefore, thanked the governor for making it possible for Rivers State to participate in the programme.
Similarly, the World Bank and the Federal Government have rated Rivers State high in the implementation of the COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus scheme by the state government.
Representative of the World Bank Task Team Leader, Mr.Aso Vakporaye said this, yesterday, in Port Harcourt at the official flag offand implementation of the Rivers State COVID-19 Action Recovery and Economic Stimulus (RIV-CARES) Programme in the state.
Vakporaye, who is also the chairman of the Federal Government’sFederal-CARES Technician Committee,confirmed that Rivers State has met the requirements for the implementation of the programme.
He said alot still remains to be done,adding that the state needs to release more money for the implementation of the programme.
Also speaking, theTechnical Head of State CARESCoordinating Unitand Secretary,RIV-CARESSteering Committee,Mrs Imaonyeni Ephraim, said the programme would improve the livelihood of the poor and vulnerable people in the state.
She said the programme, which runs for two years,was open to many beneficiaries.
The flag off was performed by the state Deputy Governor,Dr.Ipalibo Harry Banigo, onbehalf of Governor Nyesom Wike.

By: John Bibor

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