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FCFMT Resumes Academic Activities, Next Year

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Academic activities will resume next session at the Ngo campus of the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government, through the Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, had recently granted provisional approval for the establishment of a campus of the college at Ngo, headquarters of Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The approval was contained in a letter titled: “Provisional approval for the establishment of a campus of the Federal College of Fisheries and Marine Technology, Ngo, at Andoni Local Government Area Rivers State”.
Speaking at a stakeholders’ meeting on Wednesday at Ngo, the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Research Council of Nigeria, Professor Garba Hamidu Sharubutu, said the council was satisfied with facilities at the Ngo campus of the college.
He said normal academic activities would resume in the campus from the next academic session.
Sharubutu commended the member representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency, Hon. Awajinombek Abiante, for his effort towards the establishment of the college campus at Ngo.
He said the institution would bring development to the community as well as improve its economic conditions.
The Executive Secretary also urged the people to protect facilities at the new campus.
Also speaking, the Provost of the college, Dr. Chuks Onuoha, said the campus which is the only one in the South South part of the country would assist the college in the training of the huge manpower required in the fishery and marine technology.
Dr. Onuoha said the campus would also assist management to save the cost of moving ex-militants to the Lagos campus for training, as well as improving the skills of local fishermen in the area.
Onuoha also described the college as the foremost fishery institute in the country, noting that since its establishment in 1969, it has graduated people that dominate the fishery and maritime industry.
He said the college awards both OND and HND certificates.
Chairman of Andoni Local Government Area, Barrister Erastus Awortu, said the campus would place Andoni on the map as far as educational institutions are concerned.
“It will bring manpower and oil companies will not have any excuses of lack of manpower, “he said.
Meanwhile, the member representing Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro Federal Constituency, Hon. Awajinombek Abiante, has promised to pay the tuition fees of the first one hundred students who will enroll into the college.
He said the campus being the first of such in the entire South South would be beneficial not only to Andonis but the entire South South region.
He said he had donated parts of his property to facilitate the take-off of the college at Ngo.
Meanwhile some groups in the local government area have commended the Federal Government for the approval.
The groups, which include the Ngo Professionals Forum and the Amango Youths Assembly, said the establishment of the new institute in Ngo would help in the development of the community and the entry Andoni Local Government Area.
President of Ngo Professionals Forum, Monday Oboada, said the campus was long overdue, stressing that it was in line with the yearnings of the people.
According to him, “without much words, all of us know the importance of education in the development of every society.
“The approval of this divine institute to be sited at Ngo is a much welcome and strategic development”, he said.
Monday said the campus would create educational opportunities for sons and daughters of Ngo and Andoni.
He praised Hon. Abiante, for championing the siting of the institution at Ngo.
Also speaking, Vice President of Amango Youths Assembly, Mr Arong Brown, said the campus would attract investors into the community.
He said, “The siting of the Federal College of Fisheries Research and Marine Technology in Ngo Town is a great feat and it’s unprecedented as its presence would beckon investors within and beyond Nigeria for business purposes.
“It will attract road construction and other social amenities in the area including lodges, hotels and hostels for students and business owners, especially those outside Ngo and Andoni and Rivers State, and perhaps, Nigeria.
“Furthermore, not only will it thrive economic activities in Ngo Town but those of its environs by over 500% comparatively thereby, bringing Ngo and Andoni into the economic world”.

By: John Bibor

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Niger Delta

Delta Debt Profile Hits N272bn -Commissioner

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Delta State Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, has disclosed that the state’s total debt profile currently stands at N272 billion.
Tilije, who disclosed this at a news conference in Asaba, said the N240 billion refunds from the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) was not a loan but the state’s share of 13 per cent crude oil derivation arrears from 2004 till date.
The Commissioner, in company of Mr Olisa Ifeajika, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ifeanyi Okowa, noted that the State Government could offset its current debt if it discounted 100 per cent of its share of N240 billion refund approved by the Federal Government.
“The total debt profile of Delta State as we speak is N272 billion. Out of this, N84 billion is due to contractors and pension arrears is about N27 billion.
“The rest are the debt profile, most of that were actually inherited by the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration.
“And in this past months, we have a total expected refund of N240 billion with respect to the 13 per cent oil derivation refunds to nine states that is ongoing.
“We had initially wanted to phase out many legacy projects that we wanted to complete. We approached the State House of Assembly and got approval to discount N150 billion, which we pruned to N100 billion as bridging finance facility from the N240 billion.
“I did say recently that out of this N240 billion that is expected from FAAC receipts, Delta (State) has received N14.7 billion in three quarterly instalments.
“And out of this N100 billion bridging finance, we have accessed N30 billion from the commercial market,” Tilije said.
He said with the totality of the refunds expected from FAAC, the state could clean up the outstanding debt profile if it fully discounted the N240 billion.
The Commissioner explained that the Governor, being a prudent manager of human and resources, felt that it would be necessary not to allow a repeat of the experience he had as new government in 2015.
“At inception in 2015, Governor Okowa’s administration saw hell managing the lean resources available to the state as a new government.
“This informed why all the State Governments had to take a bailout fund from the Federal Government in 2015.
“The truth is that if the State Government had totally taken or fully discounted the N240 billion FAAC refund, the next successive government will fall back to the experience Governor Okowa had in 2015.
“So, unlike the other oil producing states, who fully discounted their refunds, Okowa decided to be his brother’s keeper, take a percentage of the N240 billion and leave the rest for the incoming government to access over a period of four years.
“Besides, if we had gone ahead to discount the N240 billion in full, we would have been able to clean up all our outstanding debt,” the Commissioner said.
Tiliji noted that every government financed its budgets from FAAC receipts Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), borrowings and sundry facilities and tasked the social media to always report facts.
Noting that the government was transparent and had nothing to hide, Ifeajika said the State Government is conscious of the rule of law, which informed why it approached the State House of Assembly for approval to access the bridging finance facility from the commercial market.
“In Delta, we are transparent, we have nothing to hide. The Governor has assured that all the legacy projects will be completed before the end of his administration.”

 

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Niger Delta

Auditors Uncover Massive Payroll Fraud In PAP -Committee

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The Strategic Communication Committee (SCC) of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) has disclosed that external and internal auditors recently uncovered a massive payroll fraud in PAP.
The SCC Chairman, an ex-agitator, Mr Nature Kieghe, said at a news conference in Yenagoa that the discovery showed an individual was receiving stipends of 33 persons through fraudulent means.
He said about 513 persons were linked to multiple payments, insisting that the new management of PAP was poised to reposition the scheme for optimum performance.
Kieghe said following the development, the Interim Administrator, Maj.-Gen. Barry Ndiomu (rtd.), immediately initiated verification of all beneficiaries of the programme as part of the ongoing investigation.
He explained that the audit and efforts of Ndiomu to clean the payroll was the reason some beneficiaries of the programme had yet to receive their monthly stipends, adding that all affected and genuine outstanding stipends would be paid after verifications.
Describing Ndiomu’s efforts as proactive, Keighe said upon assumption of office, the amnesty boss renegotiated all existing contracts with vendors and in the process saved N1.5bn for PAP.
“Ndiomu initiated internal and external audit of PAP’s database. The auditors uncovered monumental fraud, especially in the payment of stipends where an individual is receiving stipends meant for 33 persons through fraudulent means.
“The proactive interim administrator has ordered immediate verification of all delegates to be carried out next week. Delegates are to be rest assured that whoever that is verified will be paid immediately.
“Upon assumption of office, Gen. Ndiomu initiated plans to renegotiate the existing contracts with vendors. In the process, he has been able to save over N1.5bn”, he said.
Keghie said Ndiomu had concluded plans to set up cooperatives to be managed by ex-agitators and supervised by consultants and experts in grant management.
“The ex-agitators will be given grants of over N500m and revolving loans. They are to take responsibility for the success of the cooperatives.
“International donor agencies will be involved in providing grants and aids. He has opened channels of discussions with the foreign loans,” he said.
He noted that five months after his appointment, Ndiomu had replaced the Train, Employ and Mentor (TEM) model with the Train, Empower and Exit (TEE) to allow empowered beneficiaries to exit the programme.
While observing that Ndiomu had shown more commitment, patriotism, transparency in the management of PAP, Keighe said the PAP boss had also indicated interest to revive the vocational training centres for ex-agitators.
He said: “Ndiomu has concluded arrangements to complete the construction of the four vocational training centres located in Bayelsa, Rivers, Delta and Ondo states.The centres will be fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment.
“Ndiomu is committed to the idea of transforming the lives of the ex-agitators through innovative and structured training schemes”.
According to Keghie, it was imperative to inform members of the public that Ndiomu had not delisted anybody, but working round the clock to sanitise the PAP register for the good of the ex-agitators and the Niger Delta region.
He called on aggrieved ex-agitators to suspend all their planned actions against the PAP management and support the efforts of Ndiomu to sanitise the programme.

 

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Niger Delta

Police Arrest Four, Condemns Jungle Justice In Edo

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Edo State Police Command on Monday arrested four suspects in connection with the death of a man suspected to have been killed by a mob in Benin.
Police also expressed displeasure over the incessant cases of jungle justice, without considering the rule of law.
This is contained in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer of the Command, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, in Benin.
The suspects are Emmanuel Igube (19), Matthew Gimba (39), Monday Nathaniel (30), and Gabriel Akuba (20).
According to Nwabuzor, the man’s identity is yet unknown, but that he died in the hands of a mob, on Sunday at Iyanamo Community, Off Ekehuan Army Barracks, Benin .
“The victim was allegedly mobbed over an allegation that he stole an unregistered motorcycle”, he said.
He, however, said the Commissioner of Police, Mr Mohammed Dankwara, frawned at incessant cases of jungle justice in the state.
He, therefore, implored citizens to repose more confidence on the rule of law and in the law enforcement institutions.
He said the four suspects linked to the death of the deceased, were assisting the Police in their investigation.
The CP, he further stated, had directed that the case be transferred from Evbuotubu Police Station to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Benin for further investigation.
Similarly, the Edo State Police Command have arrested three suspected armed robbers/Eiye secret cult members, and recovered guns in Benin.
The Police Public Relations Officer, SP Chidi Nwabuzor, confirmed this in a statement in Benin.
According to him, “the three dare devil armed robbers and members of Eiye Secret Cult Confraternity were on Sunday arested by the Operatives of Anti-Robbery Team of Ugbekun Divisional Police Headquarters, Benin.”
He said the police stormed a certain Hotel along Enomayo, Off Upper Sakponba Road, Benin, and arrested one Bright Omonowa, Clifford Patrick, and Isaac Peter, and recovered one Cut-to-size locally made gun and one Black Beret of Eiye Secret Cult Confraternity.
He said the arrest followed a credible intelligence on the suspects’ clandestine meeting in the Hotel.
Nwabuzor said the Commissioner Of Police, Edo State, Mr Mohammed Dankwara, warned members of the various secret cult confraternities and their sponsors to desist from their impious activities in the State, or be ready to face severe punishments.
He said the CP reiterated his commitment to fight arduously to see that crimes and criminality were reduced to a barest possible minimum.

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