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Niger Delta

Groups Trains 1,220 Youths, Women In Agribusiness In Delta

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The Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises in Niger Delta (LIFE-ND) has empowered no fewer than 1, 220 unemployed young men and women (incubatees) in various agricultural programmes in Delta.
The Tide reports that LIFE-ND project, is assisted by the Federal Government, Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC), International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) and the South -South region state governments.
The Delta Commissioner for Agriculture and Natural Resources, Dr Godfrey Enita, on yesterday in Ibusa, flagged off the distribution of agricultural items at the second series of establishing 300 LIFE-ND incubatees in poultry, fisheries, cassava and oil palm value chain in the state.
Enita lauded the sponsors and the Gov. Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration for keying into the LIFE-ND project among its numerous youths, women and girl child empowerment and development programmes established to grow the state economy, create jobs and income for participants.
According to Enita, the first series has graduated and established 320 incubatees in their own enterprises.
“I understand that the over 900 participating incubatees have successfully been trained in the second series and today is another testament of this novel concept of the incubation model.
“To the beneficiaries (incubatees), the development operation and success of your agribusiness investment depends on your attitude, passion, determination and the zeal to succeed.
“To the incubators (trainers), I must say that the position and status of a mentor no doubt placed enormous responsibilities and challenges on you because it calls for proactive actions in order to succeed,” Enita said.
Enita warned that a monitoring and supervision strategies had been put in place to ensure that the items were put to use for their purpose, adding that the essence was to enable them generate income and grow their enterprises.
On his part, the State Project Coordinator, Mr Collins Ashoro, said that the project which began in the state since 2020, had trained 1,220 incubatees in three batches.
He said that LIFE-ND project adopted the incubator (Trainer) and Incubatee (Trainee) model in the four priority commodities to train and equip the carefully selected beneficiaries from 100 communities in 10 local government areas of the state.
According to him, the first and second batches resulted in the graduation of 320 incubatees who have been established to own their enterprises in the four priority commodities.
“This third batch totalling 900 incubatees were selected across the participating communities in the state and have undergone orientation training on records keeping, agribusiness plan development, nutrition and financial inclusion and environment and climate change.
“Their capacity have equally been built in their various incubation centers on the rudiments of agricultural best practices in the enterprise they are into following well structure curriculum.
“Today, a total of 300 in the first instance out of the 900 will benefit from the project agricultural items that cuts across the various value chains in the priority commodities; poultry, fisheries, cassava and oil palm.”
Ashoro said that the LIFE-ND project was programmed to run for six years and possibly to 12 years cycle, had as its goal to transform rural economy to which rural population could drive prosperity and equal benefit at the end.
“It is also targeted at creating 4,250 direct beneficiaries of 50:50 ratio of male and females within the age bracket of 18 and 35 years and women headed household with children not older than 15 years,” he said.
In his remarks, LIFE-ND National Coordinator, Sani Abiodun, represented by his Technical Assistant, Mr Bumi Ogunleye, lauded the sponsors and the state government’s support that had ensured the level of progress achieved in Delta.
He, however, urged the beneficiaries to maximise the resources and ensure they utilised them for the purpose they were meant to grow their income and businesses, reduce poverty and ensure food security in the country.
Responding on behalf of beneficiaries, Mrs Joy Ossai and Mr Emmanuel Ugbeze, thanked the sponsors, the state government, the trainers and the facilitators of the project, while pledging their resolve to effectively utilise the items to develop their businesses.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the agricultural items worth millions of Naira were distributed to the 300 beneficiaries.
These included, 120 agrochemicals, 10 power tillers and accessories, poultry processing (de-feathering machine, generators, deep freezers), five haulage tricycles, oil palm marketing gallons, artisinal fishing wood boat and outboard engine, others.

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Niger Delta

Diri Bags The Sun ‘Governor Of The Year Award’ …Dedicates Same To Bayelsa Flood Victims

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has clinched The Sun’s 2022 “Governor Of The Year Award”.
He saluted the resilience of the people of the state, while dedicating the award by The Sun Newspapers to victims of last year’s monster floods in the state.
Speaking in Lagos last Saturday night shortly after he received the award, Governor Diri expressed delight that people of the state were able to surmount the challenges presented by the disaster.
A statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Daniel Alabrah, quoted the Governor as also commending the people for supporting his administration and, saying that the award will spur him to do more.
Governor Diri particularly lauded the legislature and judiciary in the state for the synergy among the three arms of government, saying the cooperation has contributed greatly to the successes recorded by his administration.
He noted that the prevailing peace and harmony in the state was one of the prized achievements of his administration and stressed the need for the people to sustain the tempo, saying it was the only way Bayelsa can make good progress.
“This is more about the people of Bayelsa State. Whatever award we receive today is on behalf of the people of the state that have been very supportive.
“Also, the three arms of government working together, that synergy has helped us achieve whatever we are seeing today. We give the glory to God.
“I like to on behalf of the prosperity administration appreciate the good people of Baysa State, particularly the flood victims. We know what we went through and we thank God that we are alive to receive an award from The Sun.
“This, to me, is in recognition of the efforts of the people of Bayelsa State. It is in terms of the human and infrastructural development as well as the peace and harmony we are enjoying”, he said.
Earlier, Managing Director and Editor-in-Chief of The Sun, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, said the award, which was the 20th edition, is dedicated to recognising those that have contributed to the development of Nigeria.
In his remarks, Chairman of the occasion and former Governor of Ogun State, Chief Olusegun Osoba, expressed appreciation to the management and staff of the organisation for organizing the awards, saying it is a good way of encouraging development in Nigeria.
While describing this month’s general elections as crucial to the survival of Nigeria, Osoba hailed the introduction of the Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and urged Nigerians to be fully involved in the process in accordance with the laws of the land.
The Governor was accompanied to the event by Senator Moses Cleopas representing Bayelsa Central Senatorial District, Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Abraham Ingobere, some state legislators, Chairman of the state Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Solomon Agwana, business moguls, Chief Gesi Asamowei and Chief Ken Etete, Waripamowei Dudafa, members of the State Executive Council, and other government functionaries.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells,
Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

We Are Winning Oil Theft War, Militancy – Military

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The Commander, 16 Brigade, Nigerian Army/Sector 2, Operation Delta Safe (OPDS), Brig.-Gen. Sadisu Yakasai, says the joint military force is winning the war against crude oil theft and militancy in the Niger Delta.
Yakasai spoke on Sunday during the end of the year 2022 West African Social Activities (WASA) held at Camp Tukur Buratai Barracks, Yenagoa, Bayelsa State capital.
Yakasai said: “The year 2022 was eventful and highly successful for us in 16 Brigade in the Niger Delta. The war against crude oil theft and militancy is being progressively and steadily won.
“Here in Bayelsa, our troops have been actively involved in Operation Delta Safe against militancy, sea piracy, sea robbery and other forms of criminality in the state, especially in the waterways entrance and exit to the state with a lot of successes.
“The Brigade has also been engaged in several other exercises and operations in achieving the feat for the state and the nation’s sake. Some of these include Exercise Still Waters 2022 which is eventually called ‘Operation Safe Conduct”.
The Commander stated that troops would remain professional and apolitical throughout the 2023 general elections.
According to him, ‘Operation Safe Conduct’ is aimed at providing the enabling environment for a peaceful and successful conduct of 2023 general elections.
He promised that with preparations so far made, the elections would be conducted successfully in Bayelsa and the country at large.
“In counting some of our activities in the course of last year, the Brigade was able to synergize with personnel of other security agencies who supported the Brigade in its operations and also conduct some civil military cooperation activities.
“The civil-military cooperation activities include donation of education materials, donation of relief materials to members of Elebele community and other communities.
“Others are donation of relief materials to Gloryland Orphanage Home, sanitation exercises, medical outreaches and groundbreaking ceremony for the construction of boreholes in communities,” he stated.
The Commander said WASA was an annual event usually organised for officers, soldiers and their families to interact.
He recalled that the history of the event dates back to 1901 when the Nigeria West Africa Frontier Force went to diverse cultural intervention of West African soldiers.
Also speaking, Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State, said being part of the interaction with the troops of various formation for the annual event taking place across the federation was an honour.
The Tide source reports that Diri was represented by his Special Adviser on Security Matters, CP Akpoebi Agarebi (rtd).
He described the occasion which was meant to mark the completion of the Brigade’s training for the year 2022 as a unique event.
According to him, this occasion from what I have seen provides a veritable avenue to showcase the glamorous tradition and rich cultural heritage of our communities in barracks and our cantonment.
“I wish to state here that 16 Brigade has every reason to celebrate the year 2022 as its officers and men have remained resolute in the discharge of their constitutional responsibilities.
“I am aware of your tremendous achievements in combating oil theft, kidnapping, militancy, sea piracy/robbery and other activities of criminal elements which have brought remarkable improvements in the security situation in Bayelsa.
“The people of Bayelsa, who are the direct beneficiaries of your effort, now sleep with their two eyes closed, the people now go about their lawful businesses without fear of molestation,’’ he said.
The governor commended the military for the synergy and collaboration with other security agencies in ensuring peace within their areas of operations especially the swift intervention during the flood menace that ravaged the state towards the end of 2022.
Diri also commended the prompt response during blockade of the East West road, the gateway into Bayelsa State by non-state actors protesting over welfare and other related matters.
“As you commence the year 2023 activities, let me remind you of the enormous task before you and the need for you to be more focused and determined to confront the maiden challenges as you are all aware, 2023 is the year of general elections across the nation and is just a few days from now.
“Therefore, I implore you to remain apolitical, steadfast and proactive in discharging your responsibilities.”

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Niger Delta

Delta Denies Seeking Fresh N100bn Loan

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Delta State Government has cleared the air on myriad of claims that it was seeking new loans from banks ahead of the 2023 general elections.
It alleged that the misinformation is being peddled by the opposition, All Progressives Congress (APC), in the state, saying the state was not seeking fresh N100 billion loan as being alleged.
Commissioner for Finance, Chief Fidelis Tilije, stated this at a joint press conference with his Information counterpart, Charles Aniagwu and the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Olisa Ifeajika in Asaba.
He recalled that the State Government had earlier received an approval from the House of Assembly to obtain N150 billion bridging finance from the N240 billion accrued refunds to the state on the 13 per cent Derivation Policy.
He said the needed facility was later reduced to N100 billion by the state government after deliberation with finance houses involved in the arrangement.
According to him, after the discussion a new lead-finance-house emerged as against the one that was the leader at the time the House of Assembly gave the approval for the government to obtain the bridging finance facility.
He, therefore, explained that with the emergence of a new leading finance agent on the facility, and because of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa’s strict adherence to due process and law, “we went to the House of Assembly for a fresh resolution on their existing approval in line with prudential guidelines”.
He said: “I am drawn into this because we are beginning to see some misconceptions, particularly with regards to the N100 billion discounting facility that the state haas taken.
“I recall very vividly too that we have had news conferences where we said that the totality of the amount that we are trying to discount is still the same.
“We intended to take N150 billion as discounting facility from the market. But, when we reviewed the cash inflows, we reduced it to N100 billion.
“It is that same N100 billion that we have to go again to the House of Assembly last week because we found out that the lead agent of the said facility was not moving as fast as we want.
“So, all we did last week was to go back to the House of Assembly to seek their consent to enable us change the lead bank for that discounting facility.
“It is not a new loan, discounting facility nor a new bridging finance. It is still the same N100 billion we have been talking about.
“I know that in certain other states, the need to go to the House of Assembly may not even arise. This is because the responsibility of determining who is a lead agent in such a facility, lies squarely on the Executive.
“But, Sen. (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, in his usual manner, felt that whatever alteration we are going to be making, we must still go back to the House of Assembly for consent.
“You will also recall too that while we were here before to brief you on this matter, we itemised all the projects we will be doing with the facility, and we are on course with these projects.
“For those who do not have the details of the projects tied to this discounting facility, they can go to the House of Assembly. It is a public document.”
On the other N20 billion facility, Tilije said it was a loan for an investment by the State Government in a floating gas company to be situated in Warri.
He said the State Government gave the company the condition of siting the company in Warri before it could invest in the project.
The Finance Commissioner further said that when completed, the project would provide jobs for citizens and increase the state’s internally-generated revenue.
On his part, Aniagwu said a number of the projects listed in the request for the bridging facility were being delivered, adding that some were inaugurated last week by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s Presidential Candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar.
He said the state government would continue to be transparent and accountable to the people of the state as promised by Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and Vice-Presidential Candidate of the PDP.

By: Albert Ograka,
Asaba

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