Category Archives: News

Delta State Ministry Of Education Cancels Transfer of Teachers

Delta State Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education has cancelled the recent transfer of over 4,500 secondary school teachers across the state by the Post Primary Education Board (PPEB).

The Commissioner in charge of the ministry, Mr. Patrick Ukah, in a statement in Asaba said that with the increasing rate of COVID-19 infections across the country, which have already affected the adjusted academic calendar, transferring teacher at this time will lead to further loss of academic hours as the affected teachers will need time to adjust and settle down in their new schools.

He therefore directed the PPEB to cancel the posting immediately and called on the affected teachers to remain in their duty posts as students return back to school for second term academic activities on Monday, 18th January 2021.

Mr. Ukah assured that the state government is working round the clock to put necessary measures in place to curtail the spread of the disease in the state, especially among pupils, students and teachers.

Akwa Ibom begins manufacturing of Cargo Ships, Ferries, Barges, others

The Liberty Free Trade Zone licence and the Ibom Deep Seaport licence recently acquired through the ingenuity of Governor Udom Emmanuel, attest to the readiness of the state to become a melting point in marine transport business.

Subsequently, berthing in Akwa Ibom is the first ship manufacturing yard in Oruk Anam, with capacity to produce security vessels, cargo ships, ferries and barges.

Norfin Offshore Shipyard, located at Oruk Anam local government, is ready to launch its first Nigerian produced vessel on the January 23, 2021.

His Excellency, Mr Udom Emmanuel will be on ground to flag it open and further open the vista to more opportunities for the teaming youths of the state.

Charles Udonwa, an Akwa Ibom born ship merchant, is the chairman of the ship manufacturing factory and has assured that in the next three years, the factory which is currently engaging 85 will have well over 3,000 young people in its workforce.

Members of Government House Media Team, including the Governor’s Special Assistant on Media (Research and Documentation), Mr. Essien Ndueso, visited the Shipyard to assess the progress of work at the factory.

Conducting the team round the facility, the Chairman and CEO of the company, Engr. Udonwa explained that finishing touches were being put to the vessel by the technical unit of the company, assuring that by next week, the vessel would wear a new look in readiness for its launch into the sea.

Also in the team were the Special Assistant to the Governor on ICT, Engr. Solomon Eyo and the Special Assistant on Project Monitoring to the Governor, Mrs. Josephine Bassey as well as members of the Research and Documentation Team.

University of Calabar announces resumption date for students

The Senate of the University of Calabar (UNICAL) under the leadership of the Vice Chancellor, Prof Florence Obi, has announced the 5th of February, 2021 as the date of resumption for the 2019/2020 Academic Session.

The Vice Chancellor said the date was carefully chosen to give Management sufficient time to effect repairs in the hostels arising from the vandalisation of facilities during the #EndSARS rampage that adversely affected the institution.

Prof Florence Obi said all students are to resume on the 5th of February, 2021, while lectures will commence on 8th February, 2021.

The University had earlier commenced renovation of its male and female hostels in other to kick-start academic activities after one year of absence.

The hostels are mainly those located a Malabor, male and female hostels respectively.

Militants attack shipyard in Akwa Ibom over failure to pay N20m settlement

Suspected militants on Monday attacked facilities at the new Norfin Offshore Shipyard located at the boundary shoreline of Ikot Ukpong in Oruk Anam Local Government Area of Akwa Ibom State.

This followed the company’s alleged inability to allegedly settle them with the sum of N20m.

The attacks, it was gathered, led to the postponement of the commissioning of the shipyard initially billed for January 23, 2021 to January 30, by the Governor Udom Emmanuel

The armed men reportedly arrived at the yard at about 5am, shot sporadically to scare off security workers around the site before unleashing their explosives into the multimillion naira dredging facility of the company.

Chairman of the facility, Engr. Iniekong Charles Udonwa, who briefed newsmen at the site, condemned the damage done to facilities at the shipyard by the suspected militant group from Ogoni part of Rivers State.

According to Udonwa, “they said we cannot start any business with the government of Akwa Ibom without settling them.

“They kept telling our staff to tell the government of Akwa Ibom to reach out to them since they are in charge of both Rivers and Akwa Ibom States. Where do they expect me to get N20m naira from to give them after destroying our machine worth N60 million?”

He said he felt discouraged and demoralised by the incident adding that he was contemplating taking his investment elsewhere.

“The investment was borne out of my desire to contribute to the development of the State by providing employment opportunities for her teeming youths.

“At the last count, over 100 staff are working at the Shipyard with 4 of them from neighbouring Rivers State.” He said.

Engr. Udonwa appealed for a prompt intervention from the State government to forestall a recurrence of the ugly incident.

He however said the decision to postpone the date of the launch was regrettable and apologize for the inconveniences.

APC, APGA lose 3000 members to PDP as mass defection hit parties in Abia

More than 3, 000 members of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA) in Abia State have decamped to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Making this known in his address during a well attended PDP stakeholders meeting held at Okpara Auditorium, Government House, Umuahia, under the leadership of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu, Chairman of the PDP in Abia, Rt Hon Asiforo Okere while giving account of the recent tour of Abia LGAs embarked upon by the party leadership in the state said, “we rebuilt the confidence of our members and strengthened their tiers of unity. The hallmark of that was our harvest of not less than 2,000 opposition members particularly of APC and APGA stock across the state.

“In addition, new members numbering over 3,000 came up at different LGAs across the state and declared openly for the party.”

In his remarks, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu who congratulated members of the party on the successful recent local government elections in the state, assured them that his administration will not allow itself to be distracted by the opposition who, according to him, are bent on attempting to lure him into joining issues with them politically and abandon the ongoing rapid development of the state.

He briefed party members on ongoing projects of his administration assuring that he intends to complete all projects started by his administration before 2023. “Abia is a PDP state and the other party has nothing to offer our people now or in future, hence, their resort to propaganda of defection”, he said.

Continuing, Governor Ikpeazu said, “our people know that they are better off with PDP and will never agree to return to the dark days represented by those now masquerading as APC leaders. We know their pedigree and footprints in this state and when it is time I will challenge them to come forward and show the people of the state what they have done for them both in the past and present”.

Also speaking, Senators T. A. Orji and Enyinnaya Abaribe called for unity of purpose among party members to ensure that the party consolidates in the state and expressed appreciation to Governor Ikpeazu for his focused efforts to deliver quality infrastructure to the people of the state.

The National Organising Secretary of the PDP, Colonel Austin Akobundu, announced that the party was set to embark on fresh membership registration drive in the country and called on members to treat all new members as equal members.

Others at the well attended meeting include the Deputy Governor, Rt Hon Ude Oko Chukwu, current and former PDP members of the National Assembly. Speaker of Abia State House of assembly, Engr Chinedum Orji, and members of the state House of Assembly, members of the state Executive Council, Local Government Chairmen, party leaders and stakeholders from all the LGAs, including Chief Emma Nwaka, Chief Tony Ukasanya, Prof Greg Ibe, among others.

Better pay for health workers, security agencies and teachers will change Nigeria-Patrick Eholor

The Democracy Observer-General of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (DOGFRN), Chief Patrick Eholor has decried the decision of the Ministry of Health to purchase Covid 19 vaccines with millions of dollars, stating that the money could be used for far better purposes that will make the country the envy of nations.

Eholor, who is also the founder and chairman of One Love Foundation, a human rights organization, also stated that doctors, nurses, other health workers, teachers and lecturers are grossly neglected for the sacrificial duties they perform for Nigerians.

He included security agencies like the army and police, and wondered why they are made to live in very squalid conditions, with poor salaries while they slave for the country.

He said better salaries and working conditions for these line of workers would go a long way in changing permanently the story of Nigeria for the better.

He spoke to journalists in Benin thus “Nigerians are led by a very irresponsible government that doesn’t know what it’s doing. This government operates the policy of copy-and-paste, by imitating the west. How can the Minister of Heath agree with the west to buy a vaccine with trillions of dollars when we are not able to solve an ordinary problem.

“I am not saying that there is no Covid 19. I will be naive to say that. But our living conditions and the western living conditions are obviously not the same. Covid 19 is synonymous with malaria fever. I am not a scientist, but I know this. Our country has not been able to deal with malaria fever for over 50 years. There should be no need to buy vaccines for Covid 19. I think the money should be used to find a way to deal with our malaria fever which is killing thousands and thousands of Nigerians every year.

“We don’t even have a record to know how many people die of malaria fever, typhoid fever, Lassa fever or common cold. There are more serious issues than the Covid 19 they are rushing to do. So I disagree with them.

Armed Forces Remembrance Day

The military has not been treated fairly in this country at all. If you go to the barracks, there is no electricity. Generators will be there making noise, so if they have a situation, they could be caught unawares in their sleep. The government should be responsible and respond to the needs of our military men and women who have done so much for us in the times of trouble.

That is why I could not celebrate the Armed Forces Remembrance Day. There is nothing to celebrate. But I have kudos for them because the sacrifices have been enormous.

The government should upgrade the status of their barracks, they should pay them very adequate salaries, compensations and encourage them so they they can deal appropriately with this Boko Haram.

Our Health Workers

We can also look into the issue of our nurses and our doctors. The money that we are using to buy vaccine can be used to pay them very adequate salaries and give them compensation. How can you pay doctors N35, 000, less than 200 dollars?

American doctors are making over 1.2 million dollars a year, Australian doctors are making a minimum of 1 million dollars a year, British doctors are making about 800,000 pounds a year. Our doctors are underpaid. Our teachers are underpaid. We should focus on what is really important in this country. We should reduce the jumbo pay of the legislators, who are legislooters. They are not doing anything for us. We are not focusing on the real thing. If Nigeria will focus on these areas, it will be the best country in the wold.

If we pay our lecturers well, and pay our doctors well, and put more money into our educational system, if we sponsor scientists and they discover vaccines from our herbal medicines, you can be sure it will kill any disease. Look at the Chinese people today. They brought the Covid nonsense on us, but are using their local medicine to protects their people. Even our dogonyaro and malaria medicines, I can tell you that if we use it adequately, it will go along way as a cure for Covid and it will disappear. But because of the deceit, because of the lies, they don’t even know what they are doing.

Abia health workers suspend strike

The Abia State chapter of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Allied Health Professionals, have suspended the ongoing strike action embarked on since Nov. 3, 2020, with immediate effect.

The Council also directed her members to resume work today Thursday, Jan. 14, 2020.
In a resolution at the end of a meeting between JOHESU, Assembly of Allied Health Professionals and the Abia State Government, the Council expressed appreciation to Governor Okezie Ikpeazu for approving and implementing the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) to all healthcare workers, civil service and Local Government Councils in the state.

According to the resolution signed by Dr Joe Osuji, the Commissioner for Health, and Sir. Onyii Wamah, the Head of Service, on behalf of the state government and state Chairman (MHWUN), Comrade Okoro Ogbonnaya, and all the Chairmen and Secretaries of the Council, “the Government of Abia State has shown commitment in the payment of salary arrears, having paid three months to Hospital Management Board staff and two months to the staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, and five months to staff of Abia State College of Health Sciences and Management Technology, in the month of Dec. 2020.”

The resolution added that the state government has approved the total sum of N4million as running cost for all the Health Authority Secretaries in the seventeen LGAs as well as agreed to involve JOHESU leadership in the staff verification exercise at the Hospitals Management Board and the Abia State University Teaching Hospital billed to begin soon.

It agreed that no any of the members of the Unions would be victimized because of the strike action while noting that JOHESU would have to recommence the strike with a seven-day notice should the government fail to keep its own part of the bargain.

Budget Transparency: Bayelsa did not benefit in N123.34 bn 2020 grant to states – Commissioner

The Bayelsa government on Friday said that the current administration did not participate in the 2020 budget transparency assessment by the federal government, and therefore dismissed reports that the state failed to meet set criteria.

Mr Ayiba Duba, Commissioner for Information, Orientation and Strategy in Bayelsa said in Yenagoa that the current administration in the State only came into office on Feb. 14, 2020.

He explained that the state was in transition mode as at January 2020 when the assessment was conducted and could not have participated when its 2020 budget was passed in March 2020,after the assessment had been concluded.

Recall that Gov. Douye Diri was sworn in on Feb. 14, a day after the Supreme Court sacked the erstwhile governor-elect of Bayelsa , David Lyon, and his deputy, Biobarakuma Degi-Eremieoyo.

Lyon’s election was nullified because his deputy submitted forged certificates to the Independent National Electoral Commision.

Duba, who described media reports that Bayelsa did not meet the eligibility criteria for the funds as erroneous, noted that Bayelsa government gives priority to transparency and accountability in the management of public funds.

“The report that Bayelsa State did not benefit from the N123.34 billion recently disbursed to thirty-two states under the Federal Governments States Fiscal Transparency Accountability and Sustainability (SFTAS) Programme for Result because the state did not meet the eligibility criteria is inaccurate and misleading.

“The claim could not have been the truth because Bayelsa did not participate in the selection process.

“It is an open secret that Bayelsa was in transition for the larger part of 2019.

“The administration assumed office in February, 2020 and the budget was not passed until March long after the SFTAS condition for benefiting in the funds had expired.

“It is therefore impossible to have published the budget online in January.

“However, the 2021 budget was passed in compliance with the SFTAS.

“The citizenry is assured that the prosperity administration of Sen. Douye Diri is committed to fiscal transparency and accountability,” Duba said.

On the outstanding pension liability, Duba said the Diri who has been offsetting the pension areas since he came on board, has released an additional sum of N500 million in addition to the N150 million for pensions in January.

“Bayelsa State Government is deeply committed to the welfare and wellbeing of its citizenry particularly those who have invested their productive years in the service of our state and will continue to do things that will ameliorate their condition.

“The people of Bayelsa are encouraged to continue to support the prosperity administration of Gov. Douye Diri as the movement on the path of development has commenced,” Duba said.

Gunmen invade Bayelsa community, shoot sporadically, burn houses

There was pandemonium yesterday as unknown gunmen invaded Ogila-ama community in Opuoama Kingdom in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

According to community sources, the gunmen stormed the community in three speed boats and began to shoot sporadically ostensibly to instill fear into the people before they proceeded to set some buildings in the community ablaze.

Pastor Lorhi-bolouikie Ogoro, a native of the Ogila-ama, community but resident in Yenagoa said people of the community living in Yenagoa have been inundated with calls over the attack and the palpable fear in the community.

According to him people in the community said before gaining access into the community, the gunmen who came in three boats, shot sporadically.

Mr Ogoro appealed to the state government to come to the community’s rescue and arrest the situation.

The spokesperson of the Bayelsa State Police Command, Asinim Butswat who confirmed the attack disclosed that the Commissioner of Police, Mike Okoli, has despatched detectives to ascertain the situation of things.

The invasion of Ogila-ama is the most recent community coming under attack in Southern Ijaw Local Government Area of Bayelsa State.

Peremabiri community was attacked four times in a space of one month before the state government intervened in the crisis between different factions in the community.

Enugu earmarks N42.4 billion for works, infrastructure development

The Enugu State Government said it has budgeted the sum of N42,493,710,000 for works and infrastructure development in its 2021 approved budget christened ‘Budget of Recovery and Continued Growth.’

The state which earmarked the sum of N169,845,750,500 for its 2021 fiscal year, allocated N101,134,758,500 for capital expenditure, while the sum of N68,711,000,000 was budgeted for recurrent expenditure.

The Commissioner for Budget and Planning, David Okelue Ugwunta, who briefed the press at Enugu during the state’s budget breakdown said the state intends to strategically enhance recovery of the state from the drawbacks of 2020 and further consolidate on the foundation already laid in creating an environment that encourages natural, social and infrastructural development in line with the current eight-point agenda of the state government.

While giving the breakdown of the budgetary allocation on works and infrastructure in the state, the commissioner said N200 million would be for the provision of solar street lightings and generating sets, while N2 billion was allocated for the construction/renovation of public buildings in the state.

He equally said that N3 billion was earmarked for the construction of additional facilities at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology at Igbo Eno, also in the state, adding that N4 billion was also budgeted for the rehabilitation/construction of urban and rural roads in the state among other projects listed under works and infrastructure upgrade in the state.

He equally said that the targets of the budget which has already been approved by the state’s House of Assembly would be to increase the percentage of Internally Generated revenue in the recurrent revenue by 50% and also uphold the budget performance at least by 85%.
The commissioner also said that the budget targets to maintain a capital expenditure to recurrent expenditure ratio of 60:40, adding that it also aims to have 100% cash-backing of all expenditure approvals among other targets.

The Zonal Vice President of the Nigeria Union of Journalists, NUJ, Comrade Kenneth Ofoma who addressed the state’s government delegation on behalf of the journalists in the state, enjoined the government to ensure prudent implementation of the budget.