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Niger Delta

Diri Assures On Better Days In 2023

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has assured people of the state of better days ahead.
Speaking during a state-wide New Year broadcast, Sunday, in Yenagoa, Governor Diri acknowledged the challenges of the outgone year, but expressed the optimism that with the help of God, and careful planning being implemented by his administration, the state will fare better in 2023.
He recalled the devastating effects of the 2022 floods on the state, but assured that the government has taken practical steps toward recovery and reconstruction.
The Governor stressed that development should not be driven by political expediency or blind propaganda, but by critically prioritising the needs of the people and creating the conditions for a desirable future.
He also called on people of the state to put their differences aside and resolve to work together to achieve the dreams of the State’s founding fathers, especially as the 2023 general election approaches.
In 2022, he said, his administration continued with addressing the state’s developmental deficits in infrastructure, including roads, health, education, human capacity development, and security.
In roads, the Governor stated that his administration was bent on linking all communities in the state through a robust network, stressing that in line with this desire, work has progressed simultaneously on the three senatorial roads and other road projects dotted across the state.
He stated the commitment of his administration to continue with reconstruction of infrastructure damaged by the floods, particularly the Amassoma Road leading to the Niger Delta University.
Diri contended that the state also made appreciable progress in the health, sports, education, agriculture, security, public service and other sectors.
Ahead of the 2023 elections, the Bayelsa helmsman called on politicians to be tolerant and to eschew violence, stressing that election should be a contest of ideas and choices and not an opportunity to settle political scores.
“I recall that for several weeks across October and November in 2022, our state was inundated by flooding of unprecedented proportions.
“The devastation that occurred turned our state into an Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) Camp. Critical infrastructure, including roads, bridges, schools and hospitals were severely destroyed and degraded.
“About 400 communities were submerged with over one million persons displaced. Several deaths were also recorded.
“But by God’s grace, despite all of these, we prevailed. So, with our faith firmly anchored on our Heavenly Father, we look forward to a better 2023.
“As clearly stated in the state’s Budget of Sustainable Growth and Reconstruction for this year, our expectation is not bereft of careful planning.
“The necessary consideration has been given to the imperatives of recovery and reconstruction. We have carefully outlined an expenditure profile that instigates development and that is in keeping with our administration’s fidelity with our people in the prudent use of our collective resources.
“In 2022, my administration continued to address the deficits that impact our people in order to accelerate the pace of our development. We are addressing the deficit in infrastructure, including roads, health, education, human capacity development, and security.
“As we approach the general election in a few weeks, let me restate my position that a government of the people, for the people and by the people represents our best option for electing leaders.
“I implore politicians in Bayelsa and elsewhere in Nigeria to be tolerant and eschew violent conducts. The election should be a contest of ideas and choices and not an opportunity to settle political scores or an excuse for calumny.
“That is why we must insist on some irreducible minimum required for those who seek leadership roles”, the Governor said.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Edo Pays N147m Counterpart Fund In FG’s Intervention Project

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Edo State Governor, Godwin Obaseki, has paid the counterpart fund of N147 million for the Livelihood Improvement Family Enterprises Project for the Niger Delta (LIFE-ND).
The State Project Coordinator, Mr John Omoruyi, disclosed this in a statement issued in Benin on Monday.
The Tide’s source reports that LIFE-ND is funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD) in collaboration with the Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
The LIFE-ND directly supports Nigeria’s agricultural policy and the strategic framework for youth employment and job creation.
The project is currently being implemented in the Niger Delta states of Abia, Bayelsa, Cross River, Delta, Edo and Ondo.
Omoruyi explained that the amount, meant to create wealth, sustainable jobs, and ensure food security in the participating states, covered the years 2022 to 2024.
He added that the payment of the N147 million counterpart fund would enable the state to access funds for the ongoing transformation of the rural economy via agribusiness.
According to him, Obaseki has done well to restate his commitment to the sustainable development of the agricultural sector by promoting modern farming techniques, supporting smallholders, encouraging value addition and fostering agribusiness innovations.
“Furthermore, this feat by the Obaseki administration will not only contribute to economic growth but also enhance food security, reduce poverty and empower rural communities in the state.
“This is in addition to boosting agricultural productivity and value addition across four commodities – rice, cassava, poultry and fishery value chains”, he said.
According to Omoruyi, LIFE-ND in Edo has created jobs for 2,348 women and youth enterprises out of the targeted 4,250.
He said this was across the participating 10 local government areas and 100 communities across the state.
He disclosed the release of the counterpart fund would further create employment for more than 2,500 women and youths targeted for 2024.
The state project coordinator also disclosed that the National Project Coordinator (NPC), LIFE-ND, Mr Sanni Abiodun, had commended the governor for the prompt payment of the fund.
Abiodun acknowledged the Edo Government as the first in the country to pay the counterpart fund up to date, urging other participating states to emulate Edo State.
“This is in line with the consistent desire of the federal and state governments of Nigeria and IFAD to attain sustainable job and wealth creation as well as ensure food security in Nigeria”, he said.

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Delta Bans Commercial Motorcycle, Metal Scavenging In Asaba

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Delta State Government has officially placed a ban on commercial motorcycle, otherwise known as “Okada” as a means of transportation within the state capital.
The State Government, also banned, forthwith, scrap metaI scavenging, otherwise known as “iron condemn”, in the state capital, Asaba, with immediate effect.
The State Government announced the ban through the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Dr. Kingsley Emu, who briefed newsmen on the outcome of the State Executive Council meeting presided over by Governor Sheriff Oborevwori at Government House, Asaba.
Dr. Emu said the ban was necessitated by the preponderance of crime being committed with Okada and the frequently reported cases of vandalism of public facilities by the scavengers, adding that strict enforcement would commence June 1, 2024.
The SSG clarified that the ban implied that no “iron condemn” cart pusher would operate in any part of the State Capital Territory after May 31, 2024, adding that commercial motorcycle operations had also been prohibited in some parts of the capital territory not covered by earlier ban.
He said adequate sensitisation campaign would be mounted before the commencement of enforcement, noting that the ban was not targeted at any particular tribe, but in the interest of peace and security.
“The biggest news on traffic regulations is the ban or prohibition of commercial motorcycle, popularly known as Okada. All OKada riders in Delta State capital territory area, all the streets, are banned forthwith.
“If you are caught, we will confiscate and destroy the okada as well as other massive sanctions in terms of fines and a possible jail term.
“This decision has become imperative arising from the huge security challenges that we have. Our people are openly violated, families are raped and the people who commit these crimes easily run away on Okada.
“In Delta Capital Territory Development area, it’s total and outright ban in all the areas. It is important that we do this to protect the lives and property of people.
“We understand that there are some few innocent people but the preponderance of crime being perpetrated with Okada has necessitated this decision. It has been a major issue at the security council meeting severally and, thereafter, Exco concluded today.
“There are also other designated streets in Ethiope East, Ika North East, Oshimili North and South, Sapele, Uwvie and Warri South Local Government Areas affected. These regulations are being enforced since 2012, 2013, 2014, with improvements on them.
“But it has never been operational. All these regulations came at the peak of security challenges. When it was a little bit under control, it was relaxed and there was no strong sanctions to deter people. It has now become imperative that it must be enforced.
“We are going to give up till 31st of May for people to adjust and comply. Effective June 1st, all the security agencies will be engaged to enforce compliance. We will crush all the seized Okadas in the public place.
“Oshimili North and South have also, in their respective By-laws, banned “iron condemn” or scrap metal scavenging. Effective tomorrow, we expect them to wind down their activities and as from the 1st of June, enforcement will start.
“We do know the type of havoc these people have brought to the system, how our transformer cables have been vandalised and even assets in our private homes.
“We can not fold our hands as a state. Laws are always made in the interest of the larger population. We will give enough notice to them. We will publicise all the streets involved”, the SSG said.

Albert Ograka, Asaba

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Niger Delta

Navy Offers Free Medical Services To 1,000 Residents

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The Nigerian Navy, Forward Operating Base (FOB), Ibaka, has given free medical services to 1,000 residents of Ibaka in Akwa Ibom State.
The Commanding Officer, Capt. Uche Aneke, said during the exercise on Monday in Abaka, the essence was to promote cooperation with the host community.
Aneke said that the outreach was part of the navy’s corporate social responsibility to the people.
“It is to reinforce the navy’s commitment to its host community, it is also aimed at promoting cooperation and enhancing the well-being of the residents”, he said.
The commanding officer said the initiative was part of the navy’s 68th anniversary celebrations.
He further said the exercise was in line with the directive of the Chief of Naval Staff, Vice Adm. Emmanuel Ogalla, to support host communities.
“So, this outreach will foster civil-military relationship between FOB, IBAKA and the host community, it will also impact positively on the health of the people.
Also Speaking, Ibaka Community Head, Chief Dennis Antai, commended the navy for the gesture. describing it as well-intended.
He encouraged resudents of the area to take advantage of the exercise in the interest of their health and well-being.
Antai assured the navy of the continued cooperation of the host community in the discharge of their duties.
A beneficiary, Mr Benjamin Effiong, commended the navy for the initiative, and prayed God to sustain the force in discharging its duty of protecting Nigeria’s territorial waters.
The Tide’s source reports that the rhapsody witnessed health talks, blood pressure tests and malaria treatment.
It also involved deworming of patients, diabetes screening, HIV screening and screenins for Hepatitis B and C.
The source also reports the FOB IBAKA donated mosquito nets, drugs and provided essential treatments to the host community.

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