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Niger Delta

Diri Faults NDDC On Abandoned Projects

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has said more than 1,700 abandoned projects of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC)  litter different parts of the state.
This was just as the Bayelsa State Governor has also described the number of such abandoned projects of by the commission in the state as unacceptable.
The Tide reports that some of the projects abandoned the commission in the state include the Angalabiri-Ebedebiri-Toru-Orua shore protection project which was captured in the commission’s 2020 budget, the Sabagreia-Polaku bridge as well as the Akenfa-Epie bridge amongst others.
Diri,  who spoke when the NDDC Interim Administrator, Dr  Akwa Effiong, visited him in Government House, Yenagoa, berated the commission on the spate of abandoned projects in the state, noting that the non-collaboration of the commission with catchment states that would advise, on priority projects has led to duplication and abandonment of projects.
The Bayelsa’s number one citizen also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to constitute without further delay a substantive board for the commission in accordance with its enabling Act, saying its absence was hindering the commission’s operations.
Diri, who stressed that the interim administrator’s arrangement was alien to the Act and unacceptable to governors of the Niger Delta, noted that the commission had not been able to meet its mandate because of the absence of a substantive board.
Describing the NDDC as an interventionist body created to fill the developmental gap in the Niger Delta, the governor  said the governors of the Niger Delta region have also been robbed of their advisory role, which would have enabled the board embark on people-oriented projects in the region, this was even as he expressed his administration’s preparedness to work with the commission to foster development in the state.
“The NDDC has a lot of abandoned projects in Bayelsa State. From reports, we have over 1,700 projects that are dotted all over Bayelsa State. I know that is not healthy.
“I like to at this juncture, again, appeal to President Buhari to constitute a substantive board for the NDDC according to the Act setting it up.The NDDC was conceived and established as an  interventionist body to fill developmental gap. We cannot accept these policy summersaults that make our development to suffer.
“The interim arrangement has become the norm rather than the exception. That is totally unacceptable to us as governors of the Niger Delta states.
We have a very huge stake according to the Act establishing the NDDC and that role is not being played. With the interim administration, there is no board for us to advise.
“There must exist a synergy that will profile these projects before they are conceived. NDDC was not to go into every nook and cranny of states in the region. It should be looking at very large projects, sometimes inter-state projects with mutual agreement and cooperation of the state governments”, he said.
“It is my belief that collaborating with the NDDC will create a more robust impression and leave a lasting legacy for our people and generations yet unborn. The NDDC must continue to work closely with governors in the nine states to ensure synergy and avoid duplication of projects and activate the powers of the governors in the board in line with section 2 of the Act establishing it”, Diri added.
The state’s Chief executive emphasised that he was against the scrapping of the NDDC but that rather it should be rejigged to enable it meet its functions, just as he also appreciated the interim administrator for the donation of a 1000KVA generator and a coaster bus to the state-owned Niger Delta University as well as four waste disposal trucks to the state government.
Earlier, Dr. Akwa Effiong appreciated the governor for his developmental strides, saying he had done well within the short period in office, expressing the preparedness of the NDDC to collaborate with the government on construction of the age-long Nembe-Brass road project that the state had undertaken.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

PHEDC Confirms Electrocution Of Official In Calabar

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The Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHEDC), has confirmed the electrocution of one of its members of staff in Calabar.
Regional Manager, PHEDC, Mr Collins Igwe, confirmed the incident in an interview with The Tide’s source in Calabar, saying it occurred on Wednesday.
Igwe explained that the incident occurred while the victim was carrying out electrical works on the Muritala Mohammed highway in Calabar.
He said the victim was alive as he was taken to the Navy hospital for treatment.
“The man was electrocuted on duty but did not die as many had alleged but was revived and taken to the Navy Reference hospital for proper checkup and treatment.
“What happened was one of the hazards of the job, we thank God that he survived. He will be discharged later in the day.
“I am aware of the rumours that have gone round town that the man was electrocuted and died at the spot but it is not true.
“He was brought down by his colleagues, revived and taken to the hospital for better care,” he said.

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Niger Delta

65,000 Women Access Contraceptives In Six Months

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More than 65,000 young women accessed contraceptives in Delta State in the last six months.
Permanent Secretary, Delta State Primary Health Care Development Agency (DSPHCDA), Dr Jude Winful-Orieke, made this known in Asaba at an event to mark the 2022 World Contraception Day.
“Between January and June 2022, 65,737 people of reproductive age accessed contraceptives in Delta.
“Out of this number, 36,237 were new acceptors, while 29,500 persons came for revisits,’’ he said.
The World Health Organization (WHO) set aside September 26 of every year to commemorate the World Contraception Day aime at improving awareness of all contraceptive methods available.
It is to enable young people to make informed choices on their sexual and reproductive health.
Dr Winful-Orieke said the Day had earlier been established by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in 2007 and adopted by governments of nations as an annual event.
He stressed that access to contraceptives would reduce the number of unplanned pregnancies, stave off HIV and AIDs and other sexually transmitted diseases in young women.
He said the 2022 Day centred on improving awareness of the importance of contraceptives use by people of reproductive age.
“The goal is that every pregnancy is intentional, desirable and safe. Contraception allows people of reproductive age to plan child bearing
“It helps in the prevention of unplanned pregnancies among teenage girls and help girls to stay in school, work and gain social and economic empowerment.
“It ensures sustainable progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases,’’ he said.
The Permanent Secretary said marking the day helped in the promotion of informed decision-making by women and girls about their sexual and reproductive health.
“It is worthy of note to re-emphasis that women and girls deserve access to quality and accurate information on safe, effective, affordable and acceptable contraception of choice.
“Delta government is committed to a further reduction of its maternal mortality ratio from 576 per 100,000 live births in year 2022 to less than 70 per 100,000 live births by 2030,’’ he said.
Winful-Orieke was represented by the Director, Community Health Services, Dr Paul Yinkore.

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Bayelsa Wants Prompt Action On Boundary Dispute With Rivers

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Bayelsa State Government has called on the National Boundary Commission, (NBC) to expedite action on the resolution of boundary dispute between Bayelsa and Rivers States to enhance peaceful co-existence between them.
The State’s Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, made the call while declaring open a town hall meeting and ethnographic study with respect to the communities along Bayelsa and Delta inter-state boundary in Yenagoa.
According to him, peace will be elusive if the Commission does not first of all address issues of equity, justice and fairness in resolving boundary conflicts.
He said while it was commendable for the Commission to seek peaceful resolution of the impacted communities of Bayelsa and Delta States, it should rather focus on addressing the age-long boundary dispute between the two sister states of Bayelsa and Rivers.
The Deputy Governor, who is the Chairman of the State Boundary Committee, underscored the need for all parties to come together to dialogue in resolving their differences, noting that without equity there can be no peace and development.
“The issue of boundary dispute that is stinging us the most is between Bayelsa and Rivers states. I want the National Boundary Commission to fast-track the resolution of that boundary dispute.
“We don’t see much that is stinging us in the impacted communities between Bayelsa and Delta States. If there is no equity, there will be no peace. I have always enjoined the NBC to ensure equity in the resolution of boundary conflicts.
“We must bring all who have a role to play in the meeting; traditional rulers, community development chairmen, youths, women and other stakeholders towards proffering solutions and ensuring lasting peaceful and harmonious co-existence”, he said.
In his remarks, member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency, Hon. Fred Agbedi, appealed to all boundary communities between Agge in Ekeremor Local Government Area and Okia in Delta State to continually maintain peace and bring to the attention of government all issues affecting them.
In his address, Director General of the National Boundary Commission, represented by Mr. Femi Oshinaike, a Director in the Commission, said the town hall meeting was organized to inform residents of contesting communities along the Bayelsa and Delta inter-state boundary about the boundary definition process.
Oshinaike noted that the meeting was to provide them with the opportunity to air their opinions in order to reach a consensus before the physical demarcation exercise takes place.
While speaking with newsmen on the boundary dispute between Bayelsa and Rivers States, Mr Oshinaike explained that the Commission was doing everything to ensure equity in the demarcation of the boundary between the two states.
Also in his address, Senior Research Officer, Mr Balogun Samson gave an overview of the current situation between Bayelsa and Delta State boundaries.
He said the recent crisis between neighboring communities of Agge in Bayelsa and Okia in Delta necessitated the intervention by the Commission to bring stakeholders together to resolve their issues amicably.
In his contribution, Consultant in the Commission, Mr Abdulfatia Adediran, noted that dialogue remains the best option in addressing contending cross border issues between communities and states to make for even development.
Also speaking, the Head of Administration, Ekeremor Local Government Area, Mr Duyin Peter, thanked the State goveyrnment and the Commission for their efforts at ensuring peaceful resolution of the proximate communities, promising to support the process in achieving peace.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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