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Diri Charges MDAs, Stakeholders On Compulsory Education Laws …As FME Takes Out-Of-School Campaign To Bayelsa

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri has tasked the state’s Ministries of Education, Information and Orientation as well as all relevant stakeholders in the education sector on the implementation of the state’s compulsory primary and secondary school education laws.
He gave the charge in Yenagoa during the week at the flag-off ceremony of an event tagged, ‘Out-Of-School Children Campaign’ organised by the Federal Ministry of Education.
Diri who stated that it was shocking to note that there were no fewer than 250,000 Out-Of-School Children in the State alone, expressed regrets that the state could have such an alarming number of children not in school, even though successive administrations of the state have made huge investments in the education sector.
The Bayelsa State Chief Executive averred that while the preceding administration in the state had made primary and secondary education in the state compulsory through the enactment of the state compulsory primary and secondary education law since 2018, the bane of educational advancement in the state, years after the making of the law was lack of implementation by the concerned MDAs and stakeholders, respectively.
“Initially when programmes such as this are carried out in Nigeria, it’s always in the North. And so people see the Southern part of the country as educationally advantaged area.
“But when I got the Out-Of-School Children statistics in Bayelsa State from the internet which stands at about 250,000 (two hundred and fifty thousand) it became more surprising that we could have such a huge number of our children not going to school in the state”, Diri said.
The Governor, who also lauded the Federal Ministry of Education for bringing the campaign to the state, reiterated his resolve to continuously improve the lots of the citizens of the state through education, noting that as a result his administration has established Science and Technical Colleges in different parts of the state to complement the existing primary and post primary schools in the state.
“A law was passed by the Bayelsa State House of Assembly on this matter in 2018. So, Mr. Minister, Bayelsa State had started addressing the issues long before now. But your coming is key as it has opened our eyes to the level of out-of-school children in our state.
“The issue is mostly about implementation. We have the laws to ensure that our children are educated. This law has to be implemented across all our communities. The Ministries of Information and Education must do all within their powers to ensure that the public is aware of this law and it is implemented.
“It is unbelievable that a law like this was enacted and assented to by a sitting Governor. Yet we have out-of-school children.Let me use this opportunity to call on parents to ensure that they take advantage of the provisions of government”. There is free primary education. Uniforms and other instructional materials are being provided by government. So, why won’t parents send their children to school?
“As a state, we will continue to prioritize education and have a paradigm shift that will be beyond certificates. We have introduced technical education and by our third anniversary we will commission some of the schools”, Governor Diri added.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Education, Goodluck Nanah-Opiah, said education was a collective responsibility and called on all stakeholders to join forces to eradicate the menace of out-of-school children in the interest of the country.
He said the Federal Ministry of Education has put in place mechanisms to ensure that education was accessible to children of school age and appealed to the state government to continue to prioritize education.
The Minister lauded the Bayelsa government for its investment in the education sector, urging it not to relent.
A statement from the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah quoted him having earlier called on the federal government to establish more tertiary institutions in the state to enhance and expand the frontiers of education when he received the Minister in his office at Government House, Yenagoa.
The Governor Diri’s spokesman also quoted him to have urged the federal government to release its share of educational counterpart funds to the state.
The statement read in parts: “As we speak, Bayelsa has done its counterpart funding up till 2022 and now we are eagerly awaiting the federal government counterpart funding for 2022. Help us prevail on the Universal Basic Education Commission to fast-track its contribution to the fund to ensure that our educational requirements are met. As we speak now, we are even prepared for our counterpart funding for 2023.”

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Rivers

Youth President Launches N10m Grant For Obio/Akpor Women

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The leader of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area Simplified Movement, Ambassador Chijioke Ihunwo, has unveiled a N10 million grant aimed at empowering women in Ward 1 of Obio/Akpor LGA.
Making the announcement during the recently concluded Obio/Akpor Ward 1 town hall meeting, Ihunwo revealed that the grant will be distributed in amounts of N100,000 to 20 women per community, including non-indigenes.
He stated that the gesture is a token of appreciation for the women’s unwavering support for Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Ihunwo emphasised the Governor’s commitment to ensuring that Ward 1, Obio/Akpor LGA, and Rivers State as a whole benefit from good governance.
Special Adviser on Power to the Governor, Hon. Solomon Abel Eke, highlighted the transparency and fairness that define the current leadership of the Obio/Akpor Simplified Movement, assuring that it operates without nepotism or impunity.
During the event, former leader of the Obio/Akpor Legislative Assembly, Hon. Achor Nna, criticised former Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Martin Amaewhule, who is also from Ward 1, for actions deemed uncharacteristic of true sons of Obio/Akpor LGA.
Also in attendance at the town hall meeting were Hon. Darlington Orji, Special Adviser on Political Affairs to the Governor of Rivers State, along with other prominent figures as well as other sons and daughters of Obio/Akpor.
They congratulated the new Speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Victor Oko-Jumbo, and collectively reaffirmed their support for the Fubara-led administration, underscoring a shared commitment to the progress and development of Rivers State.

Theresa Frederick & Charity Amiso

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Rivers

RSG Approves N225bn For Trans-Kalabari Road Project

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The Rivers State Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved N225 billion for the construction of the Trans-Kalabari Road project.
The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Joseph Johnson, disclosed this while briefing newsmen after the State Executive Council meeting.
The meeting was presided over by Governor Siminalayi Fubara at the state Government House in Port Harcourt.
He said the project would be funded with savings from the state’s Internally Generated Revenue.
“We shall not borrow to fund the project. We are bent on generating money to fund our projects”, he said.
Johnson stated that the contractor had been mobilised with 30 per cent of the contract, worth to commence implementation.
The commissioner further said the project would be completed within a period of 32 months.
“This is the main Trans-Kalabari Road, the one that happened in the past was building of bridges.
“We are now doing a Trans-Kalabari Road that will run from NSS Pathfinder, immediately after Mgbuodohia community and extend to about 2km to the Aker Base Road in Rumuolumeni”, he said.
He also said the road would pass through the swamps behind the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, moving southwards towards the first bridge crossing.
“It will continue through a series of bridges, connecting many communities up to Tombia Town.
“The road will traverse very difficult terrains of swamp across rivers and creeks upon which series of bridges, decking and piling works will be done”, he said.
The Commissioner further said the state recently recorded some giant strides in the sporting sector.
Also briefing, the Acting Director-General, Rivers State Bureau of Public Procurement, Dr Ine Briggs, explained that the bureau diligently managed the proceedings leading to the award of the Trans-Kalabari road contract.
Briggs said the submissions of the state Ministry of Works were reviewed and all the supporting documents examined by the Ministry.
“Having fulfilled all the necessary procurement procedures and guidelines as prescribed by the Rivers State Public Procurement Law 2008 as amended, the Bureau is satisfied that all the elements leading to this award is sufficient to issue a certificate of no objection.
“Therefore, in consideration of all the relevant documents submitted by the Ministry of Works pursuant to the construction of Trans-Kalabari Road and bridges, the Bureau has issued the certificate of no objection, and that the contract be awarded to Lubrick Construction Company Limited”, Briggs said.

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Rivers

Ongoing Elele-Omoku Road Awarded At N80bn – RSG

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communication, Mr Joseph Johnson, has said the ongoing dualisation of the Elele/Umudioga/ Egbeda/Ikiri/Omoku Road was awarded at N80 billion.
Johnson disclosed this in Port Harcourt yesterday while speaking to newsmen on the achievements of the Governor Siminalaye Fubara-led administration after one year in office.
He said the road, which cuts across three Local Government Areas, would facilitate easy movement of people and goods, saying “it will boost cross-community commerce.
“The farming communities along this area will find it easy to move their produce to markets in neighbouring towns.
“This project is a deliberate effort to make movement easy for our people, it’s no politics but service delivery”.
The Commissioner said the State Government had already paid 50 per cent of the contract value amounting to N40 billion.
“We are not paying lip service to governance, we mean business. We want Rivers people to see something new.
“We have devised ways of generating money to fund our projects, we are not indulging in any borrowing festival”, he said.
Analysts say the state capital will be decongested if the government successfully implements the line up of road projects in the state.

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