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Diri Signs N314.4bn Appropriation Bill Into Law

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, yesterday, signed into law the state’s 2022 Appropriation Bill, which was passed by the House of Assembly.
Diri assented to the bill in his office in Government House, Yenagoa in the presence of the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, his deputy, Michael Ogbere, the House Leader, Monday Bubou, other principal officers of the assembly and top government functionaries.
The Bayelsa state Chief executive had in October presented to the state’s Assembly the bill tagged “Budget of Sustainable Growth”, an appropriation bill of N310, 717,608,362.
Speaker of the Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, however, explained that the original figure was increased by N3, 747,410,619.
The governor expressed happiness that the budget was speedily passed by the Assembly within the 2021 fiscal year.
He stated that his administration was working towards moving away from dependence on federal allocations by improving the state’s internally generated revenue,just as he charged those entrusted with the responsibility of collecting revenue to do more to increase the state’s revenue profile from one billion naira to N1.5 billion monthly.
He appreciated the house for its commitment, calling for more collaboration between both arms of government for the development of the state.
“The budget was laid on the floor of the house on October 20, 2021. It went through the legislative processes of lawmaking. It has gone through the scrutiny of the eagle eyes of the legislators and I’m happy that I have given my assent to this bill this 30th day of December 2021.
“The total budget for 2022 is as follows: Three hundred and fourteen billion, four hundred and sixty five million, eighteen thousand, nine hundred and ninety seven naira.
”We have to work as a government to move away from dependence on federal allocation, which has characterised our state government over the years. Therefore, I like to charge the officials in charge of revenue collection to ensure that in 2022 we have better figures of internally generated revenue in our state. The current revenue falls far too short of the expectations of the state government.
“As a government, we are prioritising internally generated revenue as one that must increase under this government”, Governor Diri said.
Governor Diri urged all Bayelsans to work with his administration for the development of the state rather than engaging in criticisms that do the state no good.
Speaking earlier, the Speaker, Abraham Ingobere, stated that the additional N3,747,410,619 was necessitated by the need to include some government agencies and other areas that were not captured in the bill, noting that figures presented were achievable based on the key parameters used to estimate the budget.
Ingobere applauded the governor for proposing a people-oriented budget, which he said would satisfy the needs of Bayelsans in the next fiscal year as it captured projects that cut across the three senatorial districts,just as
he also thanked the state’s economic team for doing a comprehensive work, which made it easier for them to pass the bill.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Diri Suspends Twin Kingdom Youth Election 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed the immediate suspension of the election of a new executive of the twin clans of Epie-Atissa, popularly referred to as the Oguan Youth Congress (OYC).
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s directive was sequel to the factional crisis that has engulfed the kingdom’s youth body, resulting in tension in the state capital, Yenagoa.
A statement made available to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, noted that the Oguan Kingdom comprises 29 Epie and Atissa communities in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that the suspension was indefinite, pending the resolution of the impasse by the State Government.
Alabrah also said the Governor has directed the police and other security agencies to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the feud.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Niger Delta

US Consulate Trains 25 Girls On STEM In Edo

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The U.S. Consulate says it is training 25 girls in underserved secondary schools in Edo State on STEM initiative (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics).
The Tide’s source reports that the training is called the GirlLEAD STEM Talent Accelerator Programme, and was inaugurated recently.
Addressing the female students at the Benin City Window on America, in Benin, the Consul-General, US Consulate in Lagos, Will Steven, said  the programme was aimed at bridging the gender divide in STEM.
Stevens said:  “We want to see more of female founders in the tech space as well as doing well in STEM.
“Technology is one of the drivers of the Nigerian economy, and it holds a lot of opportunities for job creation.
“The job opportunities are there but not to be filled only by boys”.
According to him, the STEM programme prepares secondary school girls for possible scholarships in universities in the U.S. or for the students to continue in Nigeria universities or other universities in the world.
He also talked about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) conference to be organised in Lagos by the United States in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
He said the conference would encourage both countries to work together to talk about the framework as well as the safe environment for AI.
“We want to bring in AI training to the 27 American spaces across Nigeria”, he added.
Earlier, Dr. Georgina Erifeta, Director, Benin City Window on America, said the U.S. space had contributed to making the tech ecosystem in Edo to emerge as a major player in Nigeria’s tech landscape.
“By equipping young people with digital skills, we empower them to innovate, solve problems, and drive economic growth, fostering a brighter future for our community and beyond”, he said.
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Niger Delta

Impeachment: Security Operatives Take-over C’River Assembly Complex

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Security personnel have taken over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, recently.
The Tide’s source  reports that the Speaker’s removal almost resulted in a clash between his supporters and other members of house.
The State Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, was sighted in the midst of other security personnel around the Assembly Complex.
Analysts say the presence of the security personnel is to forestall breakdown of law and order around the complex.
It would be recalled that the Speaker was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of  gross misconduct, high-handedness and misappropriation of funds.
Anyambem’s impeachment was carried out at a sitting of the Assembly in which he was presiding.
The impeachment notice was singed by 17 out of the 25 members of the Assembly.
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