The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has donated drugs worth millions of Naira to the Imo State Government for flood victims in the oil communities of the state.
Acting Managing Director of NDDC, Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, presented the drugs to Governor Hope Uzodimma of Imo State when he paid a visit to the State Government House, Owerri, weekend.
Audu-Ohwavborua, who was the former Director of the Delta State office of NDDC, while presenting the drugs, described it as an auspicious moment for him to be in Imo State to present the drugs to address the issue of flood disaster in some riverine communities in the State.
He agreed with the governor that there are problems in the commission but reassured him that he would start from the onset to solve the problems facing the Commission.
The MD said the drugs would be designated in the hospitals in the State.
“We are technocrats. We don’t make promises we are not ready to honor. Be rest assured that the marginalization has ended”, he said.
Welcoming the NDDC Acting MD to the State, Governor Hope Uzodimma decried what he calls marginalization within marginalization in the NDDC, while appealing to the new leadership to revisit the original intention of setting up the Commission.
Governor Uzodimma said over the years NDDC leadership resorted to a maintenance approach to solving problems affecting the member states as opposed to project conception and implementation, noting that from the Act establishing the Commission, so many things have been left unaccomplished.
He regretted that even in the area of interventions, some of the states like Imo as a critical stakeholders in the oil and gas have not been treated fairly..
The Governor noted that a typical example was during the COVID-19 pandemic era when the Commission was expected to come to the aid of the State, but it was nowhere to be seen notwithstanding that it featured prominently in other NDDC states.
He appealed to the new leadership to redress the issue of intra-marginalization in NDDC.
He reminded Audu-Ohwavboua of the need to intervene immediately on the Elele-Owerri corridor of old Owerri-Port Harcourt road as well as on the Mgbidi-Awomama axis of Owerri-Onitsha road in his emergency program ahead of yuletide as both corridors are key to major movements involving indigenes of the state and other road users.
The Governor also solicited the intervention of the NDDC in the flood-ravaged communities of Imo State like Ohaji/Egbema and Oguta local government areas as a way of further cushioning the effects of their hardship.
Describing the Acting MD as one who is able, capable, and can solve the problems in NDDC, Governor Uzodimma expressed delight over his appointment, saying he “possesses good knowledge of the terrain and has demonstrated capacity in the various positions he has held”.
Agriculture: NDE Earmarks N4.2m For Unemployed Youths
The National Directorate of Employment (NDE) has concluded plans to disburse N4.2 million loan to 42 unemployed youths in Adamawa State to boost agriculture production in the State.
The NDE Director-General, Malam Abubakar Fikpo, made this known at the orientation course for beneficiaries of agricultural empowerment scheme in Yola on Wednesday.
Fikpo, represented by the NDE Coordinator in Adamawa State, Malam Ibrahim Jimada, said each beneficiary would access N100,000 as start up capital.
He said the beneficiaries were trained under the Department of Rural Empowerment scheme (REP) on sustainable agricultural development.
“They were trained on Agricultural Enhancement Scheme, Sustainable Agricultural Development Scheme, Community-Based Agricultural Empowerment and Graduation Agricultural Empowerment scheme,” he said.
The NDE boss advised beneficiaries to take advantage of the training to earn a living.
Head of Department, REP, Mr Edam Duke, commended NDE for the programme and urged the beneficiaries to be committed as they would appreciate the gesture at the end.
“Those who are serious will soon be self-employed and employers of labour. The Federal Government is committed to creating employment opportunities for youths,’’ he said.
In her remarks, Head of Department, REP scheme in Adamawa State, Zainab Audu, said farming was a lucrative business and urged beneficiaries to pay attention to the orientation for successful implementation in the field.
“With this skills you will become millionaires and employers of labour within a short time if you put it into practice,” Audu said.
She called on the beneficiaries to be good ambassadors of their respective communities by ensuring peace and unity for sustainable development.
Also, Miss Deborah Gisilanbe, who spoke on behalf of the participants thanked the Federal Government and NDE for the training and gave assurance that they would utilise the opportunity toward achieving the objectives of the programme.
UNICEF Commends Niger On Penta3 Vaccination Coverage
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has commended Niger State Government for its progress in the administration of Pentavalent (Penta3) vaccine for children in the State.
Chief of Office, UNICEF, Kaduna, Mr Donald Burgess, gave the commendation at the sensitisation of Multiple Indicator Cluster Survey (MICS) 2021.
It is organised by the Niger State Planning Commission in collaboration with UNICEF.
The Tide’s source reports that MICS 2021 report shows that more than 40 per cent of residents of Niger were practicing open defecation.
Burgess, who spoke through the Health Specialist, UNICEF, Kaduna Field Office, Mr Idris Baba, said Niger did well as the Penta3 vaccination rose from 20 per cent in 2016 to 39.4 per cent in 2021.
He said maternal and child mortality had reduced considerably and was far below the national average child mortality at 18 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the national was at 42 per cent.
Burgess added that the neo-natal mortality in the state was 20 per cent per 1,000 life birth while that of the nation was at 34 per cent.
He, however, urged the State Government to put more effort in the enrollment of out of school children especially the girl-child education which had drastically declined in the state.
He noted that educating the girl-child would help reduce maternal and child health issues as more women would be educated on their rights.
Earlier, Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger State, expressed concerns that the State was lacking on enrollment of out-of-school children, especially the girl-child education as well as on practices of open defecation among residents.
Bello, represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Ahmed Matane, urged Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) to come up with policies and programmes to achieve better results, pledging government’s full support.
Niger State Commissioner and Deputy Chairman of Ministry for Planning Commission, Alhaji Abubakar Zakari, in his address, said the event was to brief Government on data regarding the situation of women and children in the state.
According to him, data is key to planning and policy development.
Gov Inaugurates Skill Acquisition Centre In Enugu
Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has inaugurated a Skills Acquisition Centre, Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy, in the State.
The centre, which provides a veritable platform for participants, especially the youths, to acquire skills in fashion and design, makeup artistry, baking and pastry production, photography and ICT, is located in Trans-Ekulu, Enugu.
Governor Ugwuanyi, who inspected the academy shortly after the inauguration, expressed delight at the facilities in it, and the initiative, lauding the proprietor.
Welcoming Governor Ugwuanyi and other dignitaries to the academy, the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Lady Princess Akunna Ubosi, disclosed that her decision to establish the facility was borne out of her burning desire to create a platform where individuals, especially youths, can easily acquire lifelong entrepreneurial skills that will reduce the high rate of unemployment in the society and also ensure a productive future for young ones.
Lady Ubosi, who is the wife of the Speaker of the Enugu State House of Assembly, added that she was also inspired by Governor Ugwuanyi’s “enormous strides in building capacity amongst our youths through various skill acquisition programmes anchored by the Enugu SMEs Centre.”
She informed the Governor that Rancsfard Fashion and Skill Academy is positioned and available to partner the State Government in building capacity among the people.
“The academy is willing to train verified indigent students free of charge”, she said.
She continued that, “The academy incorporates a bakery and clothing production factory through which our finished products are sold to the general public; and we are proud to note that our products are made in Enugu State to international standards.
“The world is currently in a knowledge-based economy in which ‘knowledge’ is the only meaningful factor of production.
“Therefore, creating a learning society will not be possible without building a platform where this knowledge can be transferred from one person to another”.
By: Canice Amadi, Enugu
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