ABIA State Government on Friday returned 19 secondary schools to their owners. The move follows their takeover by the defunct East Central state government after the Nigerian Civil War.
Eight church missions received 17 of the schools. They are: Qua Ibo, Seventh-Day, Apostolic Christian, Assemblies of God, Presbyterian, Methodist, Catholic and Anglican churches. Two schools were community owned.
Speaking at a handover ceremony at Okpara auditorium, Umuahia, Governor Theodore Orji said the initiative is backed by state law, consequent upon years of agitation by owners of the schools for return.
Orji said returning of schools would continue but owners have to comply strictly with the terms stipulated in handover papers.
He said teachers in the affected schools would remain and continue to receive salaries and gratuities, and would only be redeployed if they so choose or are rejected by the new owners.
The governor said issues of compensation and subvention are a possibility when government revenue improves.
Spokesperson for owners of the returned schools and Catholic Bishop of Umuahia Diocese, Dr. Lucius Ugoji, said the schools would be restored to their lost glories while discipline and spirituality would be prioritised.
Courier Firm Rolls Out Scheme For Employees
By Chijioke Iremeka
LOGISTICS firm, Deutsche Post DHL, has begun its education scholarship programme, UPstairs Scholarship, for children of employees. The pilot programme will provide financial support worth 2,000 Euros per annum for three years to each beneficiary to pursue education within and outside the country. According to the Managing Director, DHL Express Anglophone Africa, Randy Buday, the programme aims at fostering equal access to education. He said the initiative is part of DHL’s three-core corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. It will be eligible to persons between the ages 12 and 21, with good grades in respective schools. He noted that, at least, one of the parents of the student has to be a full-time employee of DHL, with at least two years of continuous service, at the time of application.
Osu Tasks Police Boss On Insecurity
By Chris Irekamba
THE Director of Social Communications, Catholic Archdiocese of Lagos, Very Rev. Msgr. Gabriel Osu, has called on the Police and other security agencies to wake up and face reality on security challenges in the state. Reacting to recent siege by men of the underworld at different locations in Lagos, where several lives were lost and millions of naira carted away, Osu said to forestall recurrence, law enforcers must be alert at all times. He said: “I support call by the Inspector General of Police that the Police in Lagos State must wake up from slumber. Reports on how the attacks were executed unhindered, show that something is wrong somewhere. Where were the law enforcement agents? Were they all on recess?”
It is obvious the robbers did their homework well. They knew the weaknesses of the Police. That was why they were able to succeed. The onus lies on the authority to restore people’s confidence in the force by identifying the culprits and bringing them to book.”
Honour For Police Officers On Cynthia’s Murder Investigation
By Chijioke Iremeka
THE National Orientation Agency (NOA) will confer its Citizen Responsibility Recognition Award on seven police officers for unraveling circumstances surrounding the murder of Cynthia Osokogu.
The deceased was killed by friends she met on facebook.
The officers, drawn from the Area E Command, Lagos, include a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), two Assistant Superintendents of Police and three junior officers.
The Director General, NOA, Mr. Mike Omeri, who disclosed this in a press statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Paul Odenyi, said the manner in which the officers investigated the matter, shows the efficacy of reforms being carried out in the Nigeria Police Force.
According to him, “People, who truly distinguish themselves in their fields of endeavour must be recognised as against the former practice of honouring persons, whose characters are questionable.”
State Approves Contract On New Airport
THE Bayelsa State Government has approved the award of contract for clearing of site for its proposed state airport project along Amassoma/Tombia road.
Also approved are contracts for an access road to Boro Town in Kolokuma/Opokuma Local Government Area, sand filling and reclamation of the beach annex at the proposed golf course area of Government House Extension as well as the construction of a bridge and access road to Tourist Island in the State capital.
These were some of the decisions taken at the 10th session of the State Executive Council meeting held at the Executive Council Chambers of Government House, Yenagoa.
Briefing reporters after the meeting, Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Deacon Markson Fefegha, announced the arrival of buses for the state transport scheme, adding that to ensure the effective management and operation of the scheme, government has concluded plans to map out routes for the restoration cabs and the new buses to alleviate the sufferings of commuters across the state.
He said, government noted with dismay the indiscriminate parking of vehicles on both sides of roads in the state capital, which has been largely responsible for several traffic jams experienced within Yenagoa and its environs.
According to the Information and Orientation Commissioner, the Executive Council also urged Bayelsans to take advantage of the Information Communication Technology, ICT, Law and other Diploma programmes of the Bayelsa State College of Arts and Science, BYCAS to acquire middle level manpower skills as part of government’s drive to industrialise the state for rapid economic development.
He explained that, as a deliberate policy to encourage Bayelsans, the application forms for the various Diploma programmes in BYCAS have been pegged at N500.00, with lectures expected to commence in two week’s time.
The Executive Council also expressed serious concern over rising cases of insecurity in waterways across the state, stressing that, government will soon take appropriate steps to deal decisively with the situation to ensure safety of life and property in all nooks and crannies of the state.
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