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Niger Delta

Diri Warns Technical College Graduates Against Sale, Misuse Of Starter Packs

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has advised graduates of technical colleges in the state not to sell starter packs provided by the state government in order for them to become s sale elf-reliant entrepreneurs.
He gave the advice in Yenagoa during the presentation of business start-up items to 400 graduates of the state-owned technical colleges.
The governor also directed the Commissioner for Education, Dr Gentle Emelah, to monitor the beneficiaries in order to achieve the goals for which the science and technical colleges were set up for.
Governor Diri described the graduates as torch bearers of his Prosperity Administration, who would form the critical mass of skilled manpower in the state and take charge of the local economy.
“As we are giving out these starter packs, please do not go and sell them. If you sell them, you will be selling the seed that has been planted in your life. You are expected to nurture that seed and watch it grow up and bear fruits. It is the fruits you will harvest”, he said.
The governor expressed concern that indigenes of the state do not control the local economy, saying his administration was poised to change that narrative by equipping young Bayelsans with the necessary skills in various fields.
“There is a general shift from certification education across the world towards science and technical education. Such persons in the latter category are the ones that are becoming millionaires and billionaires.
“You are the torch bearers of entrepreneurship in Bayelsa State. With the skills you have acquired, you are no longer going to seek for jobs. Rather than become employees, you are now going to be employers of labour”, he added.
The state’s helmsman also urged the graduates to be the mouthpiece of the administration and defend its policies and programmes, just as he restated that the government would complete and equip all the technical colleges in the state.
“We want to change that mindset of people depending on handouts from politicians. In the world today, most of those doing well are the young people. We want to see the young people of Bayelsa change our state for us. So make a positive and good use of the starter packs”, Governor Diri noted.
In his remarks, the Commissioner for Education, Gentle Emelah, said the starter packs consist of a complete set of tools to start out a business for each beneficiary in eleven different trade areas.
Emelah mentioned the various trades as catering, plumbing, dress making, marine diesel and petrol mechanics, building technology and draughtsmanship as well as electrical installations.
Others he said were computer and book keeping, welding and fabrication, hairdressing, motor vehicle mechanics and mechanical engineering.
The Commissioner said by meeting the objectives of the government’s position statement on the science and technology education policy, the government would have a continuously refreshed pool of skilled workforce ready to address challenges.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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