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ONNA Chairman presents 2021 budget size of N2.3 billion to legislature

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Chairman of ONNA local government area of Akwa Ibom State, Hon. IniAbasi Ekanem, on Tuesday, presented a budget estimate of N2,390,500,000 for the 2021 fiscal year to the council’s legislative arm for consideration and approval.

Presenting the budget christened, “Budget of Transformation and Completion” at plenary of the House presided over by the leader of the arm, Hon Collins Emmanuel, the chairman said the 2021 budget represented an increase of N19,500,000 (8.22%) over the appropriation for 2020.

Ekanem said the budget estimate was made up of N1,770,000,000 recurrent expenditure and capital expenditure of N620,500,000, and would be funded from statutory allocation, Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), Value Added Tax (VAT) and other capital receipts.

The four sectors the budget was allocated are: Economy, Social Development, and Regional and Environmental Development, while General Administration had the highest budgetary allocation.

Ekanem said the 2021 budget was informed by the need to consolidate and complete abandoned projects.

“By the special grace of God, no single project started by this Administration will be uncompleted. All the on-going projects in the key sectors of the Onna Local Government economy would be completed.

“Our commitment to the implementation of these people-oriented and transformative Policies will be translated into significant improvement in the lives of our People”, he said.

The council boss highlighted the achievements of his administration in in the past six months to include: revamping of toilets systems, water supply lines; re-connection of council headquarters to National Grid and improvement of general sanitary condition.

In addition, renovation of a block of 4 offices and replacement of roofing sheets at Onna Stadium, revamping of mini water schemes in Okat, Ikot Nkan, Ikot Eko Ibon, Ikot Edor and Awa towns, and massive rural roads grading.

Others are revamping of ambulance bus to support healthcare, procurement of police van to assist surveillance in view of current security situation and three cars to support staff movement, reclaiming of Edereobo market to boost the council’s IGR, among others.

He however highlighted the outbreak and effects of COVID’19, fall in crude oil production figure and low price of crude oil, effect of currency exchange rates, general Insecurity in the country, among others, as some of the challenges the council faced.

Ekanem urged councilors to give the budget proposal accelerated passage to enable the council to start implementation of the budget for the benefit of ONNA people.

“With your approval, 2021 fiscal year budget will be faithfully implemented to achieve our desired goals and maximize the general welfare and well being of the good people of Onna Local Government Area”.

Responding, the Leader of ONNA Legislative Council, Hon. Collins Emmanuel, commended Ekanem for his style of leadership.

Emmanuel assured the chairman that councilors would look into the budget, ask questions where necessary as well as give the budget speedy passage.

#IniAbasiIsHere

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ATTAH SEEKS SUPPORT FOR GOV. EMMANUEL’S SUCCESSION PLAN

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By Edet Ikotidem

A former Governor of Akwa Ibom State, Arc ( Obong) Victor Attah has canvassed support for Governor Udom Emmanuel’s succession plan.

Obong Attah made the call in Uyo during an audience with members of the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum .

The ‘Eduek Ekpe’ who expressed interest in the Governor’s succession plan, expressed his concern about who becomes the next governor of Akwa Ibom State

“As a Governor, I could not have left the state the way i met it and the development of Akwa Ibom has been dear to my heart”, he said.

“Any person who wants to govern Akwa Ibom must tell the people what he wants to do and how he intends to go about it, he added”.

The former Governor called on Governor Emmanuel to dialogue with the people to guide against avoidable mistakes in the choice of a successor.

Obong Attah also noted that naming anyone now without the acceptance of the people may frustrate the process from being actualized.

He further stressed that the idea of a University of Technology in Akwa Ibom was to meet the technology needs of the state and nation at large for wealth creation and accelerated economic development.

“Any Science Park in the world is a centre for foreign exchange where millions of dollars are made through incubation of ideas and software production. So, the idea of a Science Park and the University of Technology should not be jettisoned “, he said.

In his remarks, , the former governor commended the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum for her initiatives and support for the government of Mr Udom Emmanuel and his succession plan

Reacting to the former Governor’s remarks, Chairman of the Forum, Elder Ofonimeh Isong appealed to Obong Attah not to relent in his support and assistance to Governor Emmanuel, especially in the choice of a successor.

He informed the former governor that the Uyo Senatorial District Media Practitioners Forum is in strategic partnership with relevant agencies to ensure the success of the completion agenda of His Excellency, the governor.

Those in the audience with Obong Attah were the Vice Chairman of the Forum and Publisher, Dailynews Newspaper, Prince. Emmanuel Ndon, Director, Contact and Mobilization, Mr. Victor Ukpong, Chairman Board of Trustees, Comrade Joseph Okon, Special Assistant to the State Governor on Project Monitoring, Comrade Ernest Akpan, Reverend Osendu Ahirika, Secretary Board of Trustees, Reverend Richard Peters.

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NDDC should be given necessary supports from stakeholders – President Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has directed all contributors of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to remit all outstanding funds owed the Commission to enable it pursue its mandate of developing the Niger Delta region.

President Buhari gave the order in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State, while commissioning the ultra modern 1050-bed space hostel built by NDDC and donated to University of Uyo.

He stated: “I want to use the opportunity of this commissioning to direct all statutory contributors to the NDDC to remit all outstanding funds to the Commission, because the Management has shown that it can manage its affairs with prudence, transparency and accountability.”

According to figures released by NDDC, the Federal Government and the oil companies owe the Commission N1.9 trillion and $4billion (about N2.2 trillion), respectively, according to the NDDC Establishment Act 2000.

President Buhari stated that “the forensic audit, which was completed a few months ago, is achieving one of its core objectives, adding: “That objective is to rebuild NDDC into an agency that is well equipped and better placed to facilitate sustainable regional development.”

He said that NDDC “should be given all necessary support it deserves from stakeholders and commended the Commission’s management, led by its interim administrator, Dr. Efiong Akwa, for a job well done.

In his welcome address, Dr. Akwa assured that there is a new spirit in the NDDC “permeating the Commission’s affairs and how it approaches its mandate of sustainable regional development.”

He stated: “It is a spirit, the New NDDC spirit, inspired by President Muhammadu Buhari and fuelled by the Honourable Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, which compels greater enthusiasm that we can deliver on our collective promise to the Niger Delta region and our people.”

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Rep. Emmanuel Ukpong-udo canvasses the support of the House to tackle a key problem in the Nigeria’s education sector

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The House of Representatives on Wednesday mandated the Committees on Basic Education, and Science and Technology to address the issues of

falling standards of education in Government-owned schools to promote STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education and ensure the training and retraining of Teachers across the Federation.

This resolution followed a motion on the “Need for Continuous Training and Retraining of Teachers in Nigeria” moved by Hon. Emmanuel Ukpong-Udo (PDP, Akwa Ibom).

Presenting the motion in the House, the lawmaker noted that the Federal Ministry of Education is responsible for the establishment and maintenance of
minimum standards in Primary and Secondary schools across the Federation.

Hon. Ukpong-Udo expressed worries that the current standard of education in government-owned schools does not equip the pupils and students to compete effectively in the modern age of science and technology and to raise a creative generation of entrepreneurs that will be self-sufficient.

The lawmakers expressed grave concern that even when the curriculum is appropriately reviewed to promote STEM education, the teachers are not trained and sensitized to teach the same.

The motion further noted that there is a need to engage the Primary and Secondary School Teachers in continuous training and retraining to enhance their capacity and productivity to be in line with modern-day realities.

“This motion is seeking to improve the performance and management responsibilities and to also improve quality teaching and learning processes.

“The quality of any educational system depends to a great extent on the quality of teachers.

“Teachers are the most important component any of any educational system because they are the people to shape the behavior, thinking, and attitude of the pupils and students in the teaching and learning situation,” he said.

The Lawmaker insisted saying, “we all know that quality of teachers determines the quality of knowledge imparted to the students and the quality of learning outcomes.”

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