Commissioners and management staff in charge of government’s ministries in Bayelsa State have been reminded of the need to focus more of their attention on policy formulation to achieve set goals.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, gave the advice while granting audience to the leadership of the Environmental Health Officers Association of Nigeria, Bayelsa State Chapter in Government House, Yenagoa.
He said government’s business would be enhanced if the mainstream ministries concentrate on fashioning out relevant policies and allow their parastatals or agencies to drive the implementation of such policies.
The Deputy Governor maintained that such division of labour would not only help to eliminate unnecessary bottlenecks in task performance but also boost productivity in the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of government.
“Sometimes I disagree with some of our commissioners because they appear not to have properly settled down on their role. The role of a ministry, especially where you have a parastatal that has the capacity to implement, is to formulate policies.
“We really want the ministries to focus on policy formulation and then supervise, while they leave the implementation for their parastatals, because where you want to do the two, you will not be able to achieve much.
“So, those of you who are now at the management cadre in the various ministries should engage in formulating policies because I believe our ministries are not doing enough in this regard”, he said.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo equally urged members of the Environmental Health Officers Association to shun activities capable of denting their personal image and profession in the discharge of their statutory responsibilities.
He reassured them that the present administration’s ongoing civil service reform programme, which includes needs assessment, would address most of their requests, including employment of more hands.
On the issue of alleged rejection of holders of higher national diploma (HND) from pursuing post graduate studies at the state-owned Niger Delta University, the Deputy Governor promised to get in touch with the Management of the school to ascertain their position.
The Bayelsa number two man, however, advised the HND holders who are desirous of studying for Masters degree and beyond to obtain the relevant pre-qualifications such as the post graduate diploma (PGD) to enable them gain admission.
Earlier, the state President of the Environmental Health Officers association, Bishop Tareware Ebikipade, listed the activities of the association to include promoting safety of lives and property, waste management, pollution control and enforcement of public health laws.
He thanked the Deputy Governor for his swift intervention sometime last year in addressing the role conflict between its officers in the Yenagoa Local Government Area, Sanitation Authority, Health and Environment ministries.
While appealing to government to employ fresh environmental health officers to replace retiring ones, particularly in the eight local government areas, Bishop Ebikipade, assured that the Association had put in place effective measures to deal decisively with any erring officers.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Obaseki Commiserates With Koko Junction Tanker Explosion Victims’ Families
Governor Godwin Obaseki of Edo State has commiserated with the families of the victims of the Sunday petrol tanker explosion at Koko Junction, in the State.
The Governor, in a statement on Monday in Benin, expressed sadness over the unfortunate incident, noting that the loss of lives was regrettable.
He said, “We are saddened by the news of the petrol tanker explosion in Koko Junction, Delta State.
“We commiserate with the government and people of Delta State over the tragic incident. We sympathise with the families of the victims”.
Obaseki urged Nigerians to desist from attempting to scoop petrol whenever there was an accident involving tankers.
“It is pertinent to consider safety first and report to appropriate authorities in such instances”, he added.
C’River: Marina Resort Resumes After Over Three-Month Shutdown
Life has returned to Cross River State’s prestigious Marina Resort which was shut down months ago following a boat mishap that claimed the lives of three students.
Reopening the resort in the late hours of Sunday, Governor Bassey Otu said the relaxation and tourist centre was back and they would continue to develop it to international standards.
The Tide’s source reports that the Marina Resort, which houses the Slavery Museum and a moribund cinema hall, was shut down on Saturday, June 24.
This followed a boat accident that claimed the lives of three medical students from Ahmadu Bello University, Niger Delta University and University of Uyo, who visited Calabar for their annual health week, hosted by the University of Calabar.
Represented by Mr Elvert Ayambem, Speaker of the Cross River State House of Assembly, Governor Otu said apart from carrying out some major plbeefed up security with a gunboat ready, 24 hours.
“What we have done here is very impressive, as you can see, fun seekers are already trooping in and I am specially happy with the presence of security from the navy and police.
“To residents of Cross River, a lot has been sunk into this resort, please add value and not destroy, learn to respect government policies which are for the good of everyone”, he said.
On his part, Mr Ojoi Ekpenyong, Managing Director, Cross River Tourism Bureau, said he was elated with the rebranding of the resort with 24-hour electricity, clean environment and ready service providers.
He called on people both within and outside the state to visit the resort and enjoy all it had to offer in a serene and secured environment.
One of the fun seekers, Dr. Fidelia Esu, who came with her family, told the source that from what she saw in the rebranded resort, there is hope that the facility would go back the way it used to be.
“In those days, this resort was always lively, people were providing various services and making their money, it was an exciting time.
“I still believe we can boost tourism more in Cross River by going back to our rural communities and take up tourism activities from there.
“We have a lot in our local communities that can attract tourists to the state, this will go a long way in bringing development into our rural communities”, Esu said.
Diri Restates Reason For Nembe-Brass Road Project
Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said construction of the Nembe-Brass Road by his administration was beyond any political consideration, and about the economic benefits to the state and the country.
He also said the decision to embark on the project, which is a Federal road, in the Bayelsa East Senatorial District, was borne out of his strong desire to create access to the Atlantic Ocean in order to harness its abundant natural resources.
Senator Diri stated this on Saturday when he led the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship campaign team on a visit to the palace of the Amayanabo of Okpoama Kingdom, King Ebitimi Banigo (Okpo xxi), at Okpoama in the Brass Local Government Area of the state, ahead of the November 11 governorship election.
The Tide learnt that Okpoama is the hometown of the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief Timipre Sylva.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, said the Governor, who kicked-off his re-election campaigns from the Brass, weekend, stressed the need to diversify the state’s economy away from crude oil and gas as they were fading assets.
He noted that from his days as pioneer National Organising Secretary of the Ijaw National Congress (INC), he had noticed the level of poverty and under-development in Ijawland and vowed to change the narrative if God gave him the opportunity to serve the people.
According to Senator Diri, “when l became Governor, l wrote to the Federal Government and the Nigeria Agip Oil Company on the need to collaborate with the State Government to construct the three critical senatorial roads. These are not projects that only the Bayelsa Government can handle because the cost runs into hundreds of billions of naira.
“But when l saw that nothing was coming forth, and knowing that my tenure was time-bound, l became very ambitious and had to take the bull by the horns to undertake these projects, which also include the Yenagoa-Oporoma-Ukubie and the Sagbama-Ekeremor-Agge Roads.
“The Nembe-Brass Road is not a political project. It is the major project l have brought to the people of Okpoama and the Bayelsa East Senatorial District”.
Diri, who expressed his administration’s commitment not to abandon any project, assured that even if he had to borrow to complete the three big-ticket senatorial roads he would do so.
“l am here to ask you for a second term. I do not want to leave projects abandoned. This is about the destiny and development of our people.
“You have a Governor that is already doing what you want. As l speak, work is ongoing on the Nembe-Brass Road”, he said.
While thanking the Okpoama monarch, the Council of Chiefs and other stakeholders for their royal blessings and warm reception, the state’s helmsman urged them to sustain the prevailing peace in the state before, during and after the election.
He said people should be allowed to canvass for votes without molestation, and cautioned that any traditional ruler that connives to breach the peace risks being dethroned by his administration.
Responding to the community’s requests, Diri directed coordinator of the Bayelsa State Community Safety Corps to immediately provide a Hilux vehicle for the Okpoama Police Divisional Command.
He also promised to look into the issues surrounding establishment of the Maritime Academy in Okpoama as well as the Okpoama link Road.
Also, in his speech, the Director General, Governor Diri Governorship Campaign Council, Mitema Obordor, said Bayelsans had witnessed peace, meaningful projects and programmes in the almost four years of the Diri administration, which is why the Governor deserved another term.
In his remarks, Chairman of the Okpoama Council of Chiefs, Chief Paul Omubo Suobagha, who represented King Ebitimi Banigo, underscored the importance of the Nembe-Brass Road, saying that they look forward to driving to their home town.
He appealed to the State Government to dredge the Okpoama main creek, provide patrol vehicles for the Police and implement the original plan of the Okpoama Link Road.
The Governor also addressed a PDP rally at the community square where he received scores of APC defectors to his party, inaugurated a 700-metre concrete road, and awarded a technical college scholarship to a young boy, Clement Ayibatonye Young, who built a boat and swamp-buggy using fibre materials.
The campaign trail was also at Twon-Brass where it was received by a large crowd of party members and supporters.
At the palace of the Amanyanabo of Twon-Brass, King Alfred Diete-Spiff, Diri said he would seek partnership to embark on a shoreline protection project for the Local Government Headquarters.
On Friday, the campaign trail was at Ogbokiri and Sangana communities where the people declared their support for the re-election of Senator Diri.
At Sangana, the Governor inaugurated a number of constituency projects executed by Speaker of the House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, which included a landing jetty, internal roads and bridges., police post, market and a one-storey classroom block at the Community Secondary School as well as solar street lights.
He also inspected ongoing road projects among which is the Ogbokiri/Minibie Link Road.
The Governor also inaugurated a concrete road at Egweama Community at the weekend.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
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