The Governor of Abia State, Okezie Ikpeazu, has tested positive to the coronavirus disease. The Governor has gone into isolation and directed the state’s deputy governor to act on his behalf as he receives treatment.
This was disclosed in a press statement by the Abia State Commissioner for Information, John Kalu on Monday June 8, 2020.
According to the statement, ‘’On Saturday, 30th May, 2020, Governor Okezie Ikpeazu volunteered his sample for Covid-19 test and subsequently directed members of the state executive council (EXCO) and those of the inter-ministerial committee on covid-19 to submit themselves for the same test.
‘’On Tuesday, 2nd June, 2020, the result of Governor Ikpeazu’s test returned negative. On Thursday, 4th June, 2020, the Governor submitted another sample at NCDC laboratory for confirmation and the result returned positive’’
The statement further adds that the Governor has gone into isolation as required by relevant NCDC protocols and is being managed by a competent team of medical practitioners with a view to nursing him back to good health.
(READ MORE: Blue Chip stocks that defied COVID-19)
The Governor, however, noted that testing positive to the coronavirus disease is not a death sentence and asked Abians to take the fight against the disease seriously as it is real.
It can be recalled that the NCDC reported 260 positive cases yesterday and in an unprecedented outcome, Abia State, topped the list with 67 confirmed cases.
This brings the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 12,486 cases with 3,959 discharged cases and 354 casualties.
The Minister for health, Osagie Ehanire, a few days ago, raised an alarm over the high rate of casualties from the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
GOV OKEZIE IKPEAZU TESTS POSITIVE FOR CORONAVIRUS, DIRECTS DEPUTY GOV TO ACT ON HIS BEHALF.
— AbiaStateGovernment (@Abiastategov) June 8, 2020
NDDC working on new master plan for Niger-Delta Region – Akpabio
Akpabio said he remains committed to producing a regional road map for development of the Niger Delta.
The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio, announced that he remains committed to producing a regional road map for development through the Niger Delta Action Plan.
Akpabio announced this at the new Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) Permanent Headquarters, Port Harcourt on Monday, as part of his working visit to the Niger Delta which is meant to collaborate and develop growth policies for the region.
This comes after the recent National House of Assembly probe against the Interim Management Committee (IMC) of the NDDC. The commission claimed that it spent N81.5 billion within 7 months (October 2019 to May 2020).
The senate petitioned the IMC of the NDDC to refund the N4.923 billion alleged illegal payments made to the staff of the commission and contractors in breach of the procurement process.
The refund which the senate wants refunded includes Overseas Travel to the United Kingdom N85.7million, Scholarship grants N105.5 million, Union Members’ trip to Italy N164.2 million.
The other refunds which the senate wants made to the NDDC’s Account by the IMC are: payment made for Lassa Fever Kit N1.96 billion, payment for Public Communication valued at N1.12 billion, and COVID-19 fund expenditure N1.49 billion.
In August, The Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) interrogated the top management staff of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) over allegations of numerous acts of corruption, including diversion of funds, procurement fraud, and misappropriation of the agency’s COVID-19 funds.
Akpabio, acknowledged today that the NDDC has not lived up to expectations, he said “Whether we like it or not, this child (NDDC) has not grown well in 19 years. It could have done better. Perhaps, we lost track of the developmental plan of the Niger Delta region. The most thrilling thing for me is that change has come to the NDDC. I must commend the management and staff of the NDDC for making this possible. Despite the criticisms and distractions, some positive change has taken place in the Commission and I like to see progress because I am a development-oriented politician.”
The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Babayo Ardo said the Commission is refocusing its efforts towards effective service delivery, urging for more actions towards a master plan for regional development in the Niger Delta.
Lagos revisits Ehingbeti Economic Summit, to hold first virtual edition
The Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget said the State will again host the Ehingbeti Summit.
Lagos State government has decided to resuscitate its annual Ehingbeti Summit after it held the last one in 2014.
The 2020 edition, which is to hold virtually between November 10-12, is themed ‘For greater Lagos: Setting the tone for the next decade.’
This was disclosed by the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Samuel Egube on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists, which was attended by Nairametrics.
Egube explained that most of the developments recorded in the states over the years were from ideas and recommendations gathered from the previous editions of the summit.
According to him, the summit, which is a collaboration between the state and private sector operators, has seen the government implement 109 out of 119 resolutions suggested to the state government in past editions.
He said, “The rail line projects, the Lekki toll gate, among others are ideas generated from the economic summit. The summit has a rich history and is firmly established as a credible forum for stimulating economic growth for Lagos state. It is our belief that you cannot lead a place like Lagos with one mind you have to bring together all the minds. The first one was hosted in 2000 making this the 20th year since the first summit was held. The first three editions were deliberately diagnostic but by the fourth one, we had started to create a blueprint and have started to implement it from the early decisions that had been made.”
He added that the good thing about the summit is that the government is responsible for the decisions taken and that they are obliged to report back to the next Ehingbeti what it has done with the decision taken and if there are challenges.
“We highlight what those challenges were and take other decisions on how to repair those challenges. To some it appears the ambitions are too high, because how do you put the private sector in the lead and collaborate in that manner. They have wondered whether the government can be trusted to follow through with this idea of collaboration, but the performance shows that yes, we follow through,” he stated.
According to him, with the summit, what the Lagos state government is trying to do is stimulate contribution from the private sector, get them interested in the governance of the state and lead the way in terms of the outcomes.
Rivers State unemployment figures by NBS are fake – Wike
Governor Wike has dismissed the figures provided by the NBS concerning the rate of unemployment in his state.
The Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike says that the National Bureau of Statistics’ data on unemployment in Rivers State is fake and politically motivated.
The Governor disclosed this during an interview with Channels TV on Friday morning. He said the figures are fake and political.
“It is fake; it is political. The rate (unemployment) is high, but I don’t believe in their statistics,” he said.
Nairametrics earlier reported in August that the South-South geopolitical zone is the most affected region with a 37.0% unemployment rate, followed by South East (29.1%), North Central (27.9%), Northeast (27.9%), North West (26.3%), and South West (18.0%).
Rivers State is ranked second place, with unemployment in the region at 43.7%, and underemployment at 19.8%. 1,714,189 residents were recorded as unemployed, with a total labour force of 3,921,860.
“If you have a lot of construction jobs going on, for example, does that not create employment? In Rivers State today, nobody can tell me that we have not tried in terms of employment; to reduce the level of unemployment,” Wike said.
The Governor cited formal and informal infrastructural projects across the state, which offers a means of livelihood to labourers. He went further to call on the NBS to be more deligent in their research.
“NBS should come to the state and see for themselves and see what we are doing to create jobs. Not just sitting in their offices. They never deployed anybody to come here,” Wike said.