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Governor Udom Emmanuel presents Budget of 670Billion for 2019

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Gov. Udom Emmanuel of Akwa Ibom on Wednesday presented 2019 budget of N670.72 billion to the state House of Assembly for consideration.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that budget christened “Budget of Industrialisation for Poverty Alleviation,’’ is higher than that of 2018 figure of N646.65 billion by N24.07 billion.

It is made up of N97.09 billion recurrent expenditure, N445.94 billion capital expenditure and consolidated revenue of N127.69 billion.

Emmanuel said that the total projected recurrent revenue for the 2019 fiscal year was N374.24 billion as against N289 billion estimated in 2018.

He said the budget was predicated on oil benchmark of $60 per barrel at a production rate of N2.3 million barrels per day, with estimated exchange rate of N305 per US dollar.

The governor said that the 2019 budget was intended to establish more industries and attract more direct foreign investments.

Emmanuel said that the preparation of the budget was guided by the International Public Sector Accounting Standard (IPSAS).

He said the policy objectives of the 2019 budget were to broaden and diversify the state’s resource base through improvements in the collection of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

The budget would also boost production of local businesses through the promotion of trade, commerce and tourism between the state and the rest of the world.

According to him, the policy objectives of the budget will also aim to develop agriculture through the supply of improved agricultural inputs, credits and extension services.

The governor said that the policy objectives also aimed to maintain a good working relationship with the central government in order to attract federal presence to the state.

He added that the 2019 policy framework would be to ensure accountability and transparency in government by fighting and tackling corruption in all facets of state administration.

A breakdown of the sectoral allocation of the capital expenditure showed that N100.66 billion was budgeted for administration while economy was allocated N286.12 billion.

Law and Justice got N10.07 billion while regional and social sectors were allocated N1.96 billion and N47.13 billion respectively.

Further highlights of the budget showed that roads, works and transport got the lion share of N157.31 billion while education was allocated N15. 05 billion.

Agriculture got N13.06 billion and land, housing and urban renewal was allocated N53.62 billion.

In his remarks, the Speaker of the assembly, Mr Onofiok Luke, assured the governor that the lawmakers would quicken the consideration process to ensure speedy passage of the appropriation bill.

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NEWS

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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NEWS

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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NEWS

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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METRO

BREAKING: Inspector caught helping PDP thugs to brand private vehicles in Police colour

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