Governor of Bayelsa State, Senator Douye Diri, has said the projects executed by Local Government Councils in the State were as a result of the financial autonomy they enjoy under his administration.
Diri stated this during the commencement of inauguration of projects in seven of the eight councils in the State.
Speaking while inaugurating a one-storey office complex at the Yenagoa Local Government Secretariat, the Governor also said the prudent management of funds under the strict supervision of his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the execution of meaningful projects possible across the wards and communities in the eight councils.
He stressed that his administration does not tamper with allocations accruing to the councils, but has rather been assisting them with N100 million on a monthly basis for payment of salaries.
”We are in full support of autonomy for the Local Government system. When we came in, we discovered that the local government system had a lot of challenges.
“Across the country, you are all aware that most State Governments had been accused of dabbling into local governments funds.
“But in our State, I like to put on record that this administration led by me has never requested for one naira from the local government system.
“The chairmen can attest to that. Rather the State goverynment assists local governments when they have challenges. Local governments in Bayelsa State have been truly autonomous and have been doing their own thing. That is why we have gathered for a ceremony like this”, Diri said.
According to the governor, the same council chairmen that said they were unable to pay salaries now have savings.
“I can tell you that the Yenagoa Local Council Chairman is going to hand over more than N100 million to the incoming chairman”, he added.
While commending the council chairmen for keying into his vision and the successful completion of legacy projects, Governor Diri cautioned them against engaging in last minute employment of workers as their tenure expires in August, 2022.
He assured them that their severance allowances would be made available to them and also hinted that plans were ongoing to set aside funds from the councils savings for the payment of gratuity of local government retirees.
“Our chairmen are about to exit. We have the issue of backlog of severance allowances. This group that is exiting, there is already money made available for severance payment.
“We plan to commence the compulsory payment of what is due to the local government councils. To that effect, on monthly basis, N5million has been approved for that payment to local government councils”, the Bayelsa Chief Executive stated.
The Governor also inaugurated projects in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area (KOLGA), which included a model motor park at Kaiama equipped with market stalls, offices and borehole.
Also inaugurated were a divisional police headquarters in Kaiama, headquarters of the LGA and a concrete road linking the council’s secretariat.
While inspecting the KOLGA Skills Acquisition Centre, Diri directed all council chairmen to set up skills aquisition centres as well as directing the construction of walkways, two additional hostels and renovation of the NYSC Camp Clinic.
Earlier, the Yenagoa council chairman, Nimizuo Oroupaye, said he embarked on the office complex project to mitigate the plight of workers, who lacked office space.
Oroupaye listed some of the projects completed to include construction of concrete walkway at Biseni and Agudama/Ekpetiama, renovation of Igbogene market, rehabilitation of solar water project, Bomoundi, renovation of the Okolobiri and Gbarain markets.
Also in his address, the Kolokuma/Opokuma Council boss, Dengiye Ubarugu, appreciated the governor for his role in making the local government system functional.
Ubarugu attested that the state government had not meddled in the finances of his council, which he noted was largely responsible for the successes achieved.
Some of the projects completed include mini neighborhood water projects at Ekpuwari, Ofonibiri, Boro Town road, Oloibiri, Kaiama, Abuwari, Ayibabiri and Kalama communities.
Also a concrete road at Igbedi, construction of Odi market, construction of foodsstuff market at Sampou, renovation of Proctor Memorial Primary School, Kaiama and printing of exercise books for primary schools in the council.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
Shun Cultism, Naval College Urges Graduating Students
The Commandant of the Nigerian Navy Secondary School, Akpabuyo, Cross River State, Commander Felicity Uchime, has charged graduating students of the school to shun cultism, examination malpractice and other vices.
Uchime, who gave the charge last Saturday during the graduation ceremony of 195 students of the 2021/2022 set, urged the students to see their graduation from the school as a ladder to climb to higher grounds.
She said the graduation signified the hard work, determination and resilience of the students.
“As you graduate today, I want to advise you all to stay away from cultism, examination malpractice and vices.
“The Nigerian Navy School has imbibed sound character and discipline in all of you, hence we expect you to be worthy ambassadors of this great school, “ she said.
She said the school was poised for academic excellence and quality education, adding that the school has imbibed sound character and discipline in the students.
“Your parents have dedicated financial resources to see you through school; you must not disappoint their trust in you,” she said.
I want to wish all of you the best in your future endeavours,” she said.
Speaking, Flag Officer Commanding, Eastern Naval Command, Rear Adm. Ibrahim Dewu, congratulated the students for the successful completion of their secondary school education.
Dewu, who was represented by Capt. Dauda Isa, said that their graduation reflected the training and quality of education the students had received in the last six years.
“With the quality of teaching we have in this school, I have no doubt that you all have the requisite credentials to excel in your future endeavours.
“We are going to do our best to upgrade the facilities in this school with a view to meeting the expectations ofstudents and parents,” he said.
The Tide’s source reports that Master Divine Akpan was awarded the best performing student of the school in the just released released by the West African Examinations Council.
The school also presented other certificates and awards to deserving graduating students.
First Female Immigration Boss In A’Ibom Assumes Duty
Mrs Francisca Dakat has assumed duty as the 21st Comptroller, Immigration Service (CIS) and the first female Comptroller in Akwa Ibom Command.
Dakat, whose last posting was Rivers Marine Command, is taking over from Comptroller George Didel, who has been redeployed to Migration Directorate, Service Headquarters, Abuja.
Speaking with The Tide’s source during the exchange of baton in Uyo last Friday, Dakat said she would build on the achievements of her predecessor.
“The outgoing Comptroller has done so well and I intend to consolidate on those achievements, and if God helps us, we will do more.
“We always want to be better than our teachers. So, whatever we can do to make the command better, we will do it,” Dakat said.
Dakat, who was appointed into the Service in 1990, charged personnel of the Command to remain committed to duty and be disciplined, to move the service forward.
In his farewell message, the outgoing CIS, Didel, urged the personnel to remain loyal and committed to the service.
“I want to tell my staff that they must continue to be loyal to the country. They must be hard working and must be disciplined, especially in the performance of their duties.
“As public servants, we must continue to serve the public. So, I will leave them with that message, to be patriotic and be committed to their duties,” Didel said.
IPMAN Threatens Depot Shutdown Over Police Harassment
The Independent Petroleum Marketers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN), South East Zone, has threatened to shut down depots in Calabar, Port Harcourt and Enugu over incessant police harassment of its leaders.
Cross River State Chairman, IPMAN, Mr Robert Obi, made the threat last Friday in Calabar while speaking with newsmen.
Obi said the association decided to close all the depots and stations after a series of meetings with some stakeholders over police harassment of its leaders.
He alleged that there were moves by the Police Legal Unit at the Force Headquarters in Abuja to arrest its executives across the zone and possibly install a factional leadership.
He said that any arrest of its leaders in the zone would create more crisis in the association in spite of various court pronouncements laying the matter to rest.
Obi said the Attorney-General of the Federation, in a letter which was copied to Mr Chinedu Okoronkwo and his faction, who lost out at the Supreme Court, had acknowledged Alhaji Sanusi Fari as the authentic National President of IPMAN.
Obi frowned at the alleged moves by the police authorities and some, he described as “disgruntled elements”, to either misinterpret the Supreme Court ruling or subvert the will of the people.
He said their aim was to impose their cronies on the association even when the facts of the matter were very clear.
“Despite the legal advice, the police are putting all arsenals to arrest the current executives of IPMAN in Nigeria, particularly in Calabar NNPC depot and hand the leadership of the association to the people of their choice.
“IPMAN warns that further step shouldn’t be taken by the police to interfere with the current leadership of the association. We will shut down the distribution channels of petroleum and allied products in Nigeria pending when the police do the right thing.
“IPMAN leadership has resolved to continue with their rights in the constitution and abide by the extant laws and subsisting judgments of the courts in its favour,” he said.
The Tide learnt that the zone has been embroiled in leadership crisis which led to various court cases.
The South East Zone of IPMAN, comprises Enugu, Aba, Rivers, Cross River and Benue State with more than 40 depots and 1,000 petrol stations with about 2,000 members.
The zone has been having a running battle with officers of the Nigeria Police over alleged attempt by the police to force a factional leadership on the association.
Meanwhile, Force Headquarters spokesman, Mr Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said he was not aware of the matter.
Earlier, the Cross River State Command of the Nigeria Police had said it was not in position to react to the allegation.
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