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Atiku Releases Policy Document, Promises To Create Three Million Jobs Each Year

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The presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Atiku Abubakar, has promised to create three million jobs every year if he is elected as president in the 2019 election.

This is one of the key points in the policy document released by the PDP flagbearer today (Sunday), which details a seven-year timeline in which he intends to deliver on his campaign promises.

Giving a breakdown of the rate of unemployment in the country, Atiku said, “Close to 16 million people are unemployed, nine million more than in 2014.

“Over two million new entrants join the labour force each year meaning the unemployed share of the labour force more than tripled in less than a decade: from 5.1% in 2010 to 18.8% in 2017

“Unemployment for women and young people is at 33%, 70% of unemployed youths are uneducated and unskilled.

“Creating jobs and economic opportunities for these people will be vital both for reducing the pool of easy recruits for violent groups and reducing underlying grievances that feed the conflict”.

As a solution, he said his administration, if elected in 2019 will, “Launch a new, more efficient, cost-effective and sustainable national Entrepreneurship Development and Job Creation Programme.

“Target the creation of up to three million self and wage-paying employment opportunities in the private sector annually.

“Target all categories of youth, including graduates, early school leavers as well as the massive numbers of uneducated youth who are currently not in schools, employment or training.

“Create incubation centres, clusters and industrial/commercial hubs to provide a marketplace for MSMEs and SMPs.

“Champion the repositioning and streamlining the activities of the existing Federal and State Government Job Creation Agencies”.

Apart from job creation, the document also lists three other areas of priority namely infrastructure development, human capital development and poverty eradication.

According to the former Vice President, he has plans to lift 50 million Nigerians out of poverty, by 2025.

Furthermore, he stated that he has plans to privatise the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and also sell all four national refineries.

Other areas of focus in terms of infrastructure is the construction of 5,000 kilometres of roads, and 5,000 kilometres of modern railway.

Read Also: Buhari Promises To Overhaul Education Sector, Remodel 10,000 Schools Every Year

A statement released on Saturday, by the Atiku Campaign Organisation, had explained that Atiku’s decision to kick-start his presidential campaign with the launch of his policy document was to reiterate his commitment to running an issue-based campaign.

It added that the intention was to take their policy directly to Nigerians and to register Atiku’s belief that it would take the collective efforts of every Nigerian to rebuild the country.

It read in part, “That is why we want Nigerians to access the policy directly and ultimately take ownership of it,” it said, adding, “Our campaign offers a simple message: United, the people of Nigeria can begin anew, creating a prosperous and secure future and a better life for every Nigerian.

“Our policy document focuses on creating jobs, ensuring security, growing business, developing power and water infrastructure, agriculture and education and how we will empower women.

“Our policies outline the goals and methods for developing and revitalising Nigeria as the foundation of our campaign. This policy document is being launched to encourage a dialogue with the people of Nigeria, inviting everyone to join us in helping to get Nigeria working again.

“The PDP presidential candidate looks forward to conducting vital discussions as he travels across the length and breadth of Nigeria, meeting and talking with stakeholders – farmers, small business people, workers, students, mothers, and children.”

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Construction of Local Content Board Headquarters, a Token of Redemption for Niger Delta Region – Ekon

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Chairman House Committee on Local Content and Member Representing Abak/Etim Ekpo/Ika Federal Constituency, Rt. Hon. Emmanuel Ekon, has described the ongoing construction of a 17 floor head office building of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Bayelsa State, as a token of redemption for the Niger Delta region.

Speaking alongside a cross section of the Committee Members at a Transformation Leadership and Management Workshop organized by the Management of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) in Yenogoa, Bayelsa State, the lawmaker stated that he was “pleased that a token of redemption is risen in the Niger Delta region with the presence of the new headquarters building of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board”.

The landmark edifice located at the Bayelsa State Capital, Yenagoa, handled by Megastar Tech and Construction Company is one of several flagship projects of the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) and part of his committee’s repositioning of the local content board as a hub for industrial revolution and job creation.

While on a tour of the construction site, the lawmaker expressing satisfaction with the level of work done within the stipulated time frame by the contractor and commended the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) for making sure the project meets specification. He stated that with a renewed vision, the board is energized to deliver on its constitutional mandate to the Niger Delta and Nigeria at large.

Ekon further added that upon completion, the local content board will have a functional administrative headquarters and also bring the board closer to the Niger Delta region which is the mainstay of oil and gas explorations in Nigeria. He said the Local Content Board has come off age and urged other federal agencies to emulate the board by relying on indigenous companies to executr projects of this magnitude.

The Executive Secretary of NCDMB, Engr. Simbi Wabote, who took the lawmakers round the project site, reiterated the lawmaker’s position that the decision to embark on the building a 17-storey head office building was to create an enabling environment for Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) to concretise their administrative base in the Niger Delta region.

It was gathered that the project which is the first of its kind in the Niger Delta is expected to be completed by the end of the year.

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Ekere to build new mechanic village in Uyo

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The Governorship Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Obong Nsima Ekere, has promised to establish a new mechanic village in Uyo, the state capital, if elected Governor on Saturday.

Speaking during a visit to the mechanic village located at Afaha Offot in Uyo on Thursday, Obong Ekere said the proposed mechanic village will be patterned after what is obtained in advanced countries of the world.

He decried the deplorable state of the present village, established more than 30 years ago, and promised to construct an access road to the village immediately after his inauguration on May 29, 2019.

The APC standard bearer criticised Governor Udom Emmanuel for failing to fulfill the promise he made, four years ago, to reconstruct the village and for coming recently to again deceive the occupants of the village after failing to ameliorate their suffering for nearly four years.

“Akwa Ibom State does not need a lying Governor. That is why we are embracing change. Change has come to Akwa Ibom State. Akwa Ibom State is getting to the next level,” he said.

Obong Ekere charged the technicians in the Mechanic Village to protect and follow their votes to the collation centres.

Senator John Udoedehe, a former Minister of State for the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, who is an indigene of Afaha Offot, wondered why Governor Udom Emmanuel came to campaign in the Mechanic Village after failing to fulfill his promise to develop the village made four years ago.

“Any government that looks down on mechanics, that government is a fool because you are the employers of labour. Nsima Ekere’s government will retrain and equip you. I want you to be agents for Nsima Ekere because Nsima Ekere is your future. Politics is a game of development. If Udom had performed, we would have nothing to campaign with,” he said.

Senator Udoedehe commended Obong Ekere for awarding a contract for the expansion of the internal roads in Afaha Offot and condemned Governor Emmanuel for refusing to equip the Primary Health Centre which he attracted to the village.

He said that he had also attracted an electrification project from the Ministry of Niger Delta to Afaha Offot.

Atuekong Don Etiebet, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State APC Caucus, described Obong Ekere as a quality person who will turn the mechanic village to a quality place.

He predicted total victory for the APC in the Governorship and House of Assembly elections.

Comrade Ufot Eno, the Secretary of the Nigeria Automobile Technicians Association (NATA), Mechanic Village, Uyo, Branch, who represented the Chairman, said Obong Ekere would be elected Governor of Akwa Ibom State, come rain come shine, disclosing that President Muhammadu Buhari won in the Mechanic Village polling unit during the February 26, 2019 election.

Mrs. Iniobong Ekanem, the Women Coordinator of NATA, Mechanic Village Branch, predicted victory for Obong Ekere and appealed to him to build what she called “a digital mechanic village” when he becomes Governor.

Eteidung David Etuk, the Village Head of Afaha Offot, who was present during the visit, thanked Obong Ekere for constructing roads in the village during his tenure as the Managing Director of Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) and expressed the belief that the APC standard bearer will transform the Mechanic Village if elected Governor.

He assured Obong Ekere of the votes of Mechanic Village and the larger Afaha Offot Village, adding that they had a stake in Obong Ekere’s incoming government through Senator Udoedehe, an insider.

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Girls are no longer victims but survivors – Eno-Obong Nkereuwem

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An emerging social crusader and girl rights advocate, Ms. Eno-Obong Nkereuwem has said that girls are no longer victims but survivors who remain resilient in the face of daunting challenges.

Narrating a story of her recent work with Smartmothers Foundation – an Akwa Ibom based NGO that aims to educate 3,000 students on sexual education and reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy across high schools, she wrote on her timelime:

“Barely less than a week after joining Smartmothers Foundation founded by Sifon Udo, I was handed my first challenge of coordinating an outreach. I was initially jittery for two reasons. Firstly, I had never coordinated an outreach of this sort, and secondly, the timing for me was quite ‘short’.”

“Buoyed by my passion, I knew this was a project that must happen. Sadly, the narrative around the girl-child has been demeaning and sometimes, hurting. And maybe I’m convinced it’s time to challenge this norm and recognise the place of the girl-child. I have been pondering well on this.”

“It touches my humanity that young schoolgirls are subjected to various degrees of abuse for things they cannot control while the society continues to look away. She reaches puberty and because she cannot afford pad, she becomes vulnerable to men who entice them with ‘money’ and most times lure them to bed resulting in teenage pregnancy. It’s a simple but dehumanizing cycle!”

“We live in a society that distributes free condoms instead of teaching young people to appreciate their sexuality and stay away from early sex. But can’t the society donate free pads to teenage girls? Can’t the society initiate stronger policies that protects the girl-child and reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy across high schools in Akwa Ibom State? The questions are endless!”

“But in of all these, young girls must develop their capacities and realise that we’re no longer victims but survivors who remain resilient in the face of daunting challenges.”

“Thank you Mr Gideon Ekanem
Thank you Smartmomsfoundation for believing in me to deliver.”

“SESEP was a success and we have GOD to thank for that.”

She called on well-meaning Nigerians to join the movement and donate pads to support the cause.

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NGO Targets 3,000 Students on Sex Education, Teenage Pregnancy in Akwa Ibom

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Smartmothers Foundation, an NGO based in Akwa Ibom State, on Tuesday said it had concluded plans to educate 3,000 students on sexual education and reduce the menace of teenage pregnancy across high schools in Akwa Ibom State.

The NGO disclosed this in a flyer exclusively obtained by Akwa Ibom INFO on its Sex Education Sensitization Programme organised for teenage students of Community Comprehensive Secondary School, Four Towns Uyo, tagged: “Sex Education is the Right of Every Teenager”.

The Program Director, Ms Eno-Obong Nkereuwem said that the sensitization programme is aimed at interfacing with young school children to reduce teenage pregnancy and also enlighten them on the basics of sex education.

Meanwhile, Akwa Ibom INFO learnt that the the founder of the NGO, Sifon Udo is targeting at empowering 3,000 teenage students in select schools across three Akwa Ibom senatorial zones.

According to her, pre-marital pregnancy in Nigeria is the highest in sub-Sahara Africa and is mostly prevalent amongst teenage girls in high school.

“The event slated for tomorrow, 28th February, 2019, will educate over 1000 teenagers and share pads to 200 vulnerable female students who cannot afford it and as a result resort to sex in order to get one”.

“Most young girls resort to sleeping with their peers or older men to give them money to buy pad. We are sharing the pads to them and giving them other options of getting pads instead of sleeping around.

“We are also educating young girls, ladies in particular and the public, about menstrual hygiene as well as breaking the stigma, clarifying myths and misconceptions around menstruation.

“There will also be pep talks on girl child empowerment, self esteem and confidence as a tool for nation building and donation of free sanitary pads and other hygiene products.

“Providing sanitary pads to young girls in schools will go a long way in supporting and dissuading them from keeping unhealthy relationships with the opposite sex. There’s reducing the rate of teenage pregnancy.” Eno-obong said.

Sifon stressed the urgent need for government at all levels to incorporate sex education into the school curriculum, so as to extend this sustainable value to teenagers in other schools in Nigeria.

The foundation calls on individuals and organizations to donate sanitary pads to support vulnerable teen girls in schools.

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