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A’Ibom Plans 486 Rural Road Repairs To Boost Agric

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Akwa Ibom State Government has pledged to rehabilitate 486 rural roads across the three senatorial districts of the state to create accessible links between the rural areas and the urban centres.
State Commissioner of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr Offiong Offor, disclosed this in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, during a ministerial briefing on Arise Scorecard Season 1.0, tagged: “Food Security and Sufficiency”.
She said the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, sponsored by the State Government, in collaboration with the World Bank and French Development Agency, would open up the rural areas, where agricultural activities are mainly carried out.
At the briefing were the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Ememobong, the Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr. Emem Bob, and the Chairman of the Bulk Purchase Agency, Mr Dan Akpan.
Offor said, “When the rural roads are fixed, there will be a reduction in post-harvest losses, as farm produce will be easily conveyed to the urban areas.
The Commissioner highlighted the government’s commitment to food production through the distribution of farm inputs to different farmers and cooperative groups, adding that the AK-CARES project is another state government intervention, also in collaboration with the World Bank, which has contributed to poverty alleviation, hunger eradication and reducing the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
She emphasized the importance of cooperative groups in increasing food production, adding that when people come together, they crossbreed ideas, easily access finance, and stand a better chance of having more resources for production as group farming was encouraged over individual farming.
The commissioner said the Young Farmers Club has been revived in public schools to foster interest and participation of students in farming activities.
“Governor Eno has supported public secondary schools and boarding schools in providing food for their students, by giving them farm inputs”, she said.
On his part, the Information Commissioner, Comrade Ememebong, underscored the significance of the briefing in effectively communicating the government’s efforts towards achieving food sufficiency and addressing multi-dimensional poverty, particularly in rural areas.
The Commissioner for Economic Development, Mr. Bob, said the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 and the removal of petroleum subsidy by the President Boka Ahmed Tinubu-led administration prompted the idea of the AK-CARES project to support vulnerable households and farmers across the state.
Bob disclosed that the state social register has about 2.3 million vulnerable households, who will benefit from the Bulk Purchase Intervention.
Consultant to the Governor on Media, Mr. Aniekan Umanah, commended the initiatives on food availability, affordability, and stability.
Umanah urged Akwa Ibom people to embrace farming and support the government’s investment in agriculture.
Throwing more light on the essence of the Bulk Purchase Intervention, the chairman of the agency, Rt. Hon. Dan Akpan assured the public of the quality of food items distributed and called for the people’s support for the intervention to succeed.

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Niger Delta

Diri Suspends Twin Kingdom Youth Election 

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has directed the immediate suspension of the election of a new executive of the twin clans of Epie-Atissa, popularly referred to as the Oguan Youth Congress (OYC).
The Tide learnt that the Governor’s directive was sequel to the factional crisis that has engulfed the kingdom’s youth body, resulting in tension in the state capital, Yenagoa.
A statement made available to newsmen by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Daniel Alabrah, on Wednesday, noted that the Oguan Kingdom comprises 29 Epie and Atissa communities in the Yenagoa Local Government Area of the state.
The statement added that the suspension was indefinite, pending the resolution of the impasse by the State Government.
Alabrah also said the Governor has directed the police and other security agencies to ensure there was no breakdown of law and order as a result of the feud.
Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Niger Delta

US Consulate Trains 25 Girls On STEM In Edo

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The U.S. Consulate says it is training 25 girls in underserved secondary schools in Edo State on STEM initiative (Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics).
The Tide’s source reports that the training is called the GirlLEAD STEM Talent Accelerator Programme, and was inaugurated recently.
Addressing the female students at the Benin City Window on America, in Benin, the Consul-General, US Consulate in Lagos, Will Steven, said  the programme was aimed at bridging the gender divide in STEM.
Stevens said:  “We want to see more of female founders in the tech space as well as doing well in STEM.
“Technology is one of the drivers of the Nigerian economy, and it holds a lot of opportunities for job creation.
“The job opportunities are there but not to be filled only by boys”.
According to him, the STEM programme prepares secondary school girls for possible scholarships in universities in the U.S. or for the students to continue in Nigeria universities or other universities in the world.
He also talked about the AI (Artificial Intelligence) conference to be organised in Lagos by the United States in collaboration with the Nigerian government.
He said the conference would encourage both countries to work together to talk about the framework as well as the safe environment for AI.
“We want to bring in AI training to the 27 American spaces across Nigeria”, he added.
Earlier, Dr. Georgina Erifeta, Director, Benin City Window on America, said the U.S. space had contributed to making the tech ecosystem in Edo to emerge as a major player in Nigeria’s tech landscape.
“By equipping young people with digital skills, we empower them to innovate, solve problems, and drive economic growth, fostering a brighter future for our community and beyond”, he said.
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Impeachment: Security Operatives Take-over C’River Assembly Complex

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Security personnel have taken over the Cross River State House of Assembly complex, following the impeachment of the Speaker, Mr Elvert Anyambem, recently.
The Tide’s source  reports that the Speaker’s removal almost resulted in a clash between his supporters and other members of house.
The State Commissioner of Police, Gyogon Grimah, was sighted in the midst of other security personnel around the Assembly Complex.
Analysts say the presence of the security personnel is to forestall breakdown of law and order around the complex.
It would be recalled that the Speaker was impeached on Wednesday on grounds of  gross misconduct, high-handedness and misappropriation of funds.
Anyambem’s impeachment was carried out at a sitting of the Assembly in which he was presiding.
The impeachment notice was singed by 17 out of the 25 members of the Assembly.
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