Joyce Nwabuisi, Umuahia
Abians have been assured to believe strongly in the performance of the present administration led by Dr Okezie Ikpeazu who promised to complete the Osisioma flyover, Eziukwu, Omuma, Ngwa Roads and other strategic projects embarked upon by his administration before the end of his tenure.
Governor Ikpeazu who stated this while commissioning the newly reconstructed Immaculate Heart Avenue done by his administration, in continuation of his “Kinetic Abia Inspection and Commissioning Programme” reassured that no road done by his administration will be revisited by his successor as the roads are done with rigid pavement technology.
The Governor who noted that it is wrong to build roads without drainages, assured that the Immaculate Heart Avenue road which is constructed with rigid pavement technology has a life span of nothing less than 25 years.
The State Chief Executive also promised to continue to work selflessly for Ndi Abia until he leaves office, and thanked the Speaker and members of the Abia State House of Assembly for being key players in the success of his administration.
His words: “I want to thank members of the House of Assembly for their support. Without their support it will be difficult to get the funds to do these roads. I want to ask them to continue to support us because the power we hold is in trust for the people and the essence of Government is to do that which will lead to better life for the people,” the Governor said.
Speaking, the Deputy Governor, Sir Ude Oko Chukwu said that the road is very critical to the residents of the area in particular and the people of Aba in general, adding that the continuous commissioning of roads by the present administration is a proof that the administration has fulfilled its campaign promises. He assured that the Governor will continue to commission more roads until 2023.
Also Speaking, the Speaker Abia State House of Assembly, Chief Chinedum Orji, Chairman, House Committee on Works, Ginger Onwusibe and other members said, based on the achievements of the Governor, they will do everything within their powers to assist him do more of such roads for the people.
They said anyone who does not appreciate the efforts of Governor Okezie Ikpeazu in infrastructural development does not love Abia State, pointing out that the House is proud of him and will continue to support him in taking Abia to higher heights.
Also Speaking, the Commissioner for Works, Elder Bob Ogu said the road is very important to the economic growth of the area and State, adding that street lights will be installed soonest while the road will connect the Ogbor Hill area of Aba.
In an address presented on behalf of the Chairman, OsisiÍma Ngwa LGA, Christian Kamalu, the Deputy Chairman thanked the Governor for the show of love to the people and said they will not take it for granted.
He said the people of OsisiÍma deeply appreciate Governor Ikpeazu’s benevolence to the Council and listed several other roads constructed and delivered by the Governor including the ones currently under construction.
In their various speeches, former Commissioner for Transport & Housing, Prince Enyinnaya Ubani, President of the Aba Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ACCIMA), Sir Lawrence Obetta, the Chairman Landlords Association, Immaculate Heart Avenue Road, Aba, Prince Nwaeze and a representative of SS Anthony & Jude Catholic Parish, Rev Fr Francis Onuoha, thanked the Governor and noted that the development will help checkmate the activities of hoodlums in the area as security agents can now patrol the vicinity seamlessly.
The Secretary to the State Government, Barr Chris Ezem, Commissioner for Information, Chief John Okiyi Kalu, State PDP Chairman, Sir Alwell Asiforo Okere, Deputy Chief of Staff, Office of the Deputy Governor, Sir Don Ubani, the state Chairman, Abia State Traditional Rulers Council, Eze Joseph Nwabeke among other stakeholders and interest groups witnessed the ceremony.
We are working in best interests of N’Delta region — NDDC MD
The Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, says that the new leadership in the Commission has resolved to buy into a common vision that will be in the best interest of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking at a meeting with the new Executive Management and staff of the Commission at the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, Ogbuku assured that members of the Board would work in one accord to impact positively on the lives of the people of Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
He stated, “I am glad that we now have a compatible team that is poised to deliver the best services to the people of the Niger Delta region. I feel more relaxed now that we are set to go on full steam. We have to work hands in glove to change the face and fortunes of our region.”
Ogbuku stressed, “We will not allow people to come between us to sow seeds of discord. It is in the interest of the staff and all stakeholders that the management team is united.”
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer observed that one of the major challenges the Commission faced in the past was the frequent changes of the Board and Management.
He, therefore, urged the staff to play a positive role to ensure that there was harmony among the Board members and the Management.
Ogbuku charged the staff to always be professional in the discharge of their duties, advising that they should not dabble into politics or spread negative stories about the Commission for selfish or ethnic interests. He assured them that the Executive Management would continue to pay attention to staff welfare to create a conducive atmosphere for optimal performance and efficient service delivery.
The Managing Director appealed to staff not to mislead the new Executive Directors by playing the ethnic card or swaying to primordial sentiments, cautioning that the Executive Management should be allowed to work for the benefit of the entire Niger Delta region.
He stated that the new Board was made up of men who are grounded in knowledge and varied experiences, noting that the members, being well endowed in their various disciplines, would surely deliver the needed benefits for the growth of the Niger Delta region.
He declared, “I am confident that the tenure of this Board will be peaceful and productive.”
In his remarks, the NDDC Executive Director Finance and Administration, Alabo Boma Iyaye, re-echoed the views of the Managing Director on the need to prioritise staff welfare, stating, “All we ask from the staff is cooperation and diligence to their duties.”
In his short remarks, the Executive Director Projects, Sir Victor Antai, stated that the new Board was poised to succeed.
“Where others failed, this team will not fail,” he said.
He advised NDDC staff to shun gossip and idle talks and cautioned, “Don’t come to gossip to me.”
He said further, “Please, allow me to make my own friends. I don’t want to inherit anyone’s enemies because my own philosophy is live and let live.”
Speaking in the same vein, the Executive Director Corporate Services, Hon. Ifedayo Abegunde, re-stated the need for organizational harmony in the activities of NDDC as an interventionist agency.
“We will work as one united family to fast-track the development of the Niger Delta region,” he promised.
Speaking on behalf of the staff, the Chairman of NDDC Staff Union, Comrade Anthony Gbendo, applauded the Managing Director for facilitating the approval of the staff conditions of service, which he said was delayed for several years.
He pledged the support and loyalty of his members to the new Board to ensure that they succeeded in their assignment.
Gov. Eno presents N845.632bn budget to state assembly
The Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Governor Umo Eno has presented a proposed total budget estimate of N845.632 billion for the 2024 Financial Year.
Christened, “Arise Budget for Growth and Expansion” the budget presented to the Akwa Ibom State House of Assembly in Uyo on Tuesday comprised of Recurrent Expenditure of N352.92 billion and Capital Expenditure of N492.72 billion.”
Delivering a speech, the Governor said the total projected recurrent revenue for 2024 is estimated at N561.00 billion as against the approved revised provision of N540.850 billion representing 3.7 percent increase in revenue projection for the year 2024.
The 2024 Budget, as further explained by the Governor, is predicated on an oil benchmark of $73.96 per barrel at a production rate of 1.78 million barrels per day with an estimated exchange rate of N700 /US$.
He said the total Capital Receipts and Expenditure for the year 2024 is estimated at N492.715 billion as against the approved revised provision of N455.685 billion for 2023.
Governor Eno added that a total projected Capital Receipts shows that N208.083 billion will be transferred from the Consolidated Revenue Fund.
In his words: “To realise the year 2024 Budget objectives, the following strategies shall be adopted by the State Government; Partner with foreign investors to invest in the relevant and key sectors of the State economy and undertake robust human capital development.
“Widen the industrial base of the State through rapid industrialisation and investment activities by providing an enabling environment for the private sector to thrive.
“This is to enhance the availability of goods and services for domestic use as well as for export.
“Achieving at least 10 percent increase in IGR by eliminating evasion in payment, wastages and leakages in collection and expenditure and developing tourism potentials,” Eno said.
Eno added that the 2024 budget would stimulate the Agricultural and Agro-allied industries to boost production of local farmers to ensure food sufficiency for local consumption, exports as well as the provision of raw materials for the industries.
According to him, the budget will expand and maintain infrastructure and services in Health-Care Delivery, Primary and Secondary levels and to safeguard the State against any further public health emergencies after COVID-19 pandemic.
New palliative structure awaits Delta workers —Gov’t
The Delta State Government has promised to review the current palliative put in place to cushion the effect of the fuel subsidy removal on workers in the State.
The State Head of Service, who gave the revelation in his office while speaking with journalists, said directives had been given to the State Palliative Working Committee to embark on upward review in the second phase of palliatives to workers in the State, adding that the State governor has called for a brief and update on the way forward.
According to the HOS, the review of the palliative was necessary to reflect the current situation in the Country.
In his words: “The State governor has called for an update on the implementation of the second phase of the palliative and also given a directive to the palliative working committee to review the existing palliative.”
He noted that the pronouncement of the governor regarding the review will take effect from where the first phase stopped, saying he doesn’t envisage that there will be a gap.
He disclosed further that the State Governor, Rt. Hon. Sheriff Oborewori was worried about the welfare of workers across the State, adding that every worker on the government payroll was captioned in the palliative exercise.
On the training of workers in the State, he explained that the feedback had been encouraging and beneficiaries of the training have been putting into good use the experience gathered from such trainings.
He added that the State Government has sustained the training of workers over the years because of the success that was recorded.
The HOS called on civil servants in the State to always put in their best at every given time, irrespective of the situation.
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