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Niger Delta

Workers Day: Delta NLC, TUC Decry High Rent

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The Delta state chapter of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) yesterday decried the rising cost of renting houses in the state.
The State NLC Chairman, Mr Goodluck Ofoburuku, who presented a joint address during the Workers Day celebration in Asaba, urged the state government to intervene in the housing sector to address the rising cost of rents in the state.
He lauded the state government for prompt payment of workers’ salaries, provision of infrastructures, particularly, roads, drainage, and a conducive working environment for civil servants among others across the state.
According to him, the multi-billion naira Prof Chike Edozien State Secretariat is commendable and provides workers with a more conducive atmosphere to work, but the rents for housing in the state capital and other urban cities across the state have soared beyond the reach of the civil servant irrespective of grade levels.
“For instance, a two-bedroom flat in Asaba and environs cost as much as N750,000 annually. This is beyond us considering what we earn as salaries. So, we are appealing to the state government to look into this direction and intervene to enable workers in the state live well, besides it will make us perpetual debtors as we must have to borrow to pay our rents annually.
Ofoburuku, however, lauded the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa-led adminstration for establishing three additional universities. He said this had opened doors for candidates of the state origin to gain admission to study courses of their choices as against many years of marginalisation by other states universities.
He also urged the state government to partner with the workers union to ensure that the right leadership that would sustain and continue with the legacies and the developmental stride in the state was installed.
Responding, Okowa, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Chief Patrick Ukah, assured workers of government’s commitment to their plights.
He congratulated workers for the celebration, adding that the economy of the state was built by the workers and charged them to sustain the gesture to deepen the achievements. He said government was committed to building stronger civil service as an integral part of its stronger Delta agenda.
According to Okowa, skills acquisition remains an antidote to unemployment and this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace and unity. “We are making arrangement to pay the backlog of pension arrears owed pensioners and we are also building infrastructure across the state.
“We are mindful about the high rents and we are doing something about that. What we need from the workers are greater dedication, commitment and patience for only through peace and unity, we can achieve prosperity.”
Okowa urged all the people of the state to join hands with his government to deepen development in the state.
State NLC Secretary, Mr Innocent Ofuonyeadi, commended the state for ensuring the welfare of workers but said that the workers’ struggles must continue to ensure a better welfare package for workers.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Ministry Ready To Partner TCAM

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The Bayelsa State Ministry of Health is prepared to collaborate with the Traditional, Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (TCAM) to ensure effective healthcare delivery to people of the State.
Permanent Secretary, of the Ministry, Dr Oluwatoyin Azebi disclosed this when the TCAM practitioners paid her a courtesy visit at the State Ministry of Health.
Azebi noted that traditional and alternative medicine is also essential in service delivery of quality healthcare.
Earlier, the State Coordinator of TCAM, Dr Ruth Okhiema, disclosed that the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the relationship between the health Ministry and TCAM.
While appealing for an enabling working environment, Dr Okhiema highlighted various challenges faced by the unit, and called for prompt inauguration of the TCAM Technical Working Group.
This, she said, would translate into the formal recognition of the TCAM unit in the State.
On his part, the Unit Head and Desk Officer, TCAM, Bayelsa State, Dr Tarila Prefa, and Chairman, Modern Traditional Medicine Practitioners in the State, Dr Joe Edem, applauded the Ministry for meeting their request.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Delta To Give Grants To 40 Mission Schools

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Governor of Delta State, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa, on Sunday, said the state government would provide financial support to 40 schools it returned to religious missions in 2011.
Okowa said this during a thanksgiving service marking the end of the 16th Synod of the Asaba Diocese, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) at Cathedral Church of St. Peter, Bishop’s Court, Asaba.
The Governor said the grant had became necessary to assist the schools in running effectively, particularly in the prevailing harsh economic situation in the country.
Okowa, accompanied by his wife, Edith, up and top government functionaries, read the first lesson taken from Ezra 3: 6 -13.
He congratulated the new Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Kingsley Obuh, on his consecration and enthronement.
“It is not easy for such schools to be managed given the current economic condition of the nation,” he said.
He commended the church for drawing his attention to the plight of the schools, especially his promise to ensure that grants were given to missions.
The Governor directed the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) to take action on the released grants to the affected schools.
“It is in the best interest of the Government of Delta State that they are supported to stand because they provide a space for study for some of our children.
“So, we will try to take action, at least, the first tranche of it to see what we can do to support our missions,” he said.
Okowa commended the church for its contributions to the health sector in the State, saying that their effort helped to provide health care services particularly to the less-privileged.
“As a government, we have continued to pay special attention to education and health.
“Delta has become a role model for contributory health insurance with over one million people enrolled in the scheme,” Okowa added.
Earlier in a sermon titled “Spiritual Foundations, Inevitable for Sustainable Work with God,” Rt. Rev. Chigozirim Onyegbule, Bishop, Missionary Diocese, Ikwuano, Abia, urged Christians to build strong foundation in their work for God.
He said for Christians to work effectively for God, their spiritual foundation must be very solid, adding, “if your foundation is not strong, you cannot withstand the problems of life.
“Everything on the face of the earth has a foundation and a weak foundation produces a miserable life.
“God is looking for those that He will partner, but if your foundation is weak, God cannot work with you.”

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Niger Delta

NSCDC Warns Illegal Security Firm Operators

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) has warned operators of private security firms in Akwa Ibom State to register them or face the consequences of their actions.
The State Commandant of NSCDC, Mr Abidemi Majekodunmi, gave the warning in Uyo on Monday in an interview with The Tide’s source.
He told source that the corps has registered 67 Private Guard Companies (PGCs) in the State.
Majekodunmi said it was mandatory for all private guard companies to register with the corps, adding that anything short of that was unacceptable.
“The role of PGC’s is to provide security, protection, information and quality intelligence since they operate in locations of government and private units in every sphere of occupational engagements.
“Through training and oversight supervision activities by NSCDC, they are imbued with cutting edge competence skills and capacity enhancement.
“The concept is in tandem with emerging global trends in the area of public-private partnership to provide security and contain insecurity in the country,” Majekodunmi said.
The State Commandant said NSCDC would not tolerate any unregistered private guard company in the State, especially due to security challenges confronting the country.
He urged individuals and organisations wishing to hire private security guard to cross check with the NSCDC to ensure that they patronise registered ones.
Majekodunmi warned against dealing on adulterated petroleum products, vandalism of transformers and electrical installations in the state.

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