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Akwa Ibom’s Waste Management Crisis: A Looming Health Threat

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Akwa Ibom, once lauded as the cleanest State in Nigeria, now faces an overwhelming challenge with refuse dumps spreading across its streets and major markets in both the metropolis and suburbs.

“We pay sanitation fee in Itam Market even here we are selling, but look at how the place is. Though sometimes they come to evacuate the waste but this place is always dirty,” expressed Madam Imoh, a water leaf seller near a refuse dump.

The waste heaps are particularly concentrated in the markets, and traders, especially those selling fruits and other edibles, continue to operate in close proximity to these refuse dumps, despite the noxious stench oozing from the sites. This poses not only a health threat to these vulnerable sellers, mostly women, but also to the customers who unknowingly purchase contaminated foods and fruits.

According to Barr Clifford Thomas, the Executive Director of the Foundation for Civic Education, Human Rights and Development Advancement (FOCEHRADA), the government’s waste management system is faulty and unsustainable. He commented, “What we do is clean, pack refuse from some key points in Akwa Ibom State, film those key points, do a report to whoever gives that award and at the end of the day, we are described as the cleanest state in Nigeria. The ability to sustain that is doubtful.”

Thomas further revealed a distressing revelation about the Uyo Village Road dumpsite, stating that it serves as a major water source for 24 local government areas in the state. However, it has been contaminated with waste, leading to an increase in cases of malaria and typhoid fever in the state. “The place where we dump waste in Akwa Ibom State is supposed to be a UNESCO site. That place has a spring because it leads straight to the water level where the water table is. It is a UNESCO heritage site but they have destroyed it,” he added.

In response to the mounting waste issue, Prince Akpan Ikim, the Chairman of the Akwa Ibom State Environmental Protection and Waste Management Agency (AKSEPWMA), acknowledged the increased volume of waste generated in Uyo. He assured the public that his agency was diligently working to address the problem by identifying places with a high volume of wastes.

Ikim attributed the situation to the state’s population growth and the high cost of hiring waste trucks due to expensive diesel prices. “We will try as much as possible to be on top of our game,” he stated.

The Chairman also lamented that some local government councils were shortchanging the agency by introducing their own by-laws and collecting sanitation fees in markets without maintaining cleanliness. He urged these local governments to use the collected fees to properly evacuate waste from markets.

“Some local governments woke up and said they have done a by-law on the environment. Those persons have also devised a means for collecting sanitation fees in local markets. I will not evacuate waste for you in a market where you are collecting fees,” said Chairman Ikim.

The waste management crisis in Akwa Ibom demands urgent attention and effective solutions to prevent further environmental degradation and protect public health. Without prompt and sustainable action, the state’s reputation as once being the cleanest in Nigeria may become a distant memory, overshadowed by the pressing waste menace.

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UBA Creates Unforgettable December for Customers, Grants N36 Million in Super Savers Draw

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Continuing its tradition of recognizing and appreciating loyalty, particularly during the festive season, United Bank for Africa (UBA) Plc, Africa’s Global Bank, recently distributed cash prizes exceeding N36 million to its dedicated customers through the UBA Super Savers Draws.

The winners were announced following a highly transparent draw which held at the Tony Elumelu Amphitheatre, UBA House on Thursday, and was witnessed by members of the press as well as representatives of the Federal Consumer Protection Council (FCPC) and the National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC).

A UBA Bumper account customer, Fabian Matthew Okon, copped the biggest prize of the day as he won the N10m jackpot, while Abiodun Joseph Aduramigba, emerged winner of the N5m star price for the day. Kahalla Mohammed was the lucky winner of the N1.8m rent for a year cash prize.

Ten lucky savings/current account holders: Emmanuel Onyeka Ozoude; Nneka Ali Ologwu; Juliana Obioma Idoko; ThankGod Gagbe; Babayo Dahiru; Ahmad Hamza; Wisdom Otaghogho; Ecdelson Chukwuamaka Amusa; Genom Isaac Jibrin and Atimanu Eunice Bala, emerged lucky winners of N1m each; while Monica Onuzurike, a bumper account holder carted N500k shopping voucher.

In another category; 15 Kidddies and Teens account holders: Giovanni Chidera Ikwuagwu; Brinemigha Prince, Prezide; Oguzie Ugonna Mitchell-Chris; Chimamanda Chikamso Samuel Louis-Okafor; Oyebola Jayden Okikiola; Ugomsinachi Emmanuel Obiegbunam; Bonaventure Odira Udoyibo; Jayden Obehi Lucky; Chimdiebube Joan Ugoma; Isaac Ibrahim; Emmanuel Dominion Innocent; Daniel Tamarakuro Oyadonghan; Ayibanugha Lawson; Muhammad Mohammed Murtala and Abdullah Ndanusa Abdulkadir were each rewarded with N200,000 each.

On the other hand, Onyinyechukwu Perpetua Okechukwu; Chinenye Christiana Ukaobasi; David Ayomide Olarewaju; Malik Olamide Mustapha; Mujaheed Abdulwahab; Grace Amarachi Nduka; Izoduwa Theophilus Umweni; Ibironke Mercy Temitayo; Fatima Bello and Sandra Luevese Akaahan were the 10 UBA Next Gen account holders who each won N180,000 pocket money.

The 35 winners of N100,000 each were: Lantyo Clement Aondohemba; Chibuike Godwin Oluchukwu; Sunday Miracle Ukah; Sonia Igho; Chukwuebuka Victor Wilfred; Friday Emmanuel Okon; Ajao Ramota Abiola; Comfort Ifeoluwa Jonathan; Abisoye Oluwakemi Agbeja; Kurah Rejoice; Rukkayya Ibrahim; Confidence Loveday; Gift Nke Yusuf; Salamat Onize Hadi; Hadiza Lawal; Stonia Oghenekevwe Ohwofa; Anthonia Adesua Ukazu; Alimo Ajoke Usman and Hassana Zubairu.

Others were Musa Abdulhamid; Paul Peter; Sarah Olabanke Olawunmi; Do-Ere Ekpe; Nduka Paul; Ijeoma Loveday Ndumechi; Idris Muhammed; Chinonye Christabella Olumba; Ossai, Josephine Oluchukwu; Gift Rhoda Adode; Felix, Felicia; Nwakaego Sunday; Okwudiri Victor Nwankwo; Peter Enyo-Ojo Alfa; Blessing Damilola Alao and Gbolahan John Ayanlowo

When contacted over the phone, the N10m jackpot winner, Fabian Matthew Okon, expressed gratitude to the bank for the prize, adding that he was very grateful. “Thank you UBA, I am very happy” he said.

UBA’s Head, Retail Banking, Prince Ayewoh, who congratulated all the 74 winners after the draw, encouraged other people to keep on saving so they could be winners in the next edition.

He said; “At UBA, our customers are at the heart of everything we do, which is why in the midst of the current financial terrain, high cost of living and reduced income, we chose to reward 74 people today and we will keep rewarding you every month. The Super Savers Draw is not just a moment to reward our savers; it’s a celebration of the strong bond that we share with you.

He disclosed that the bank will be embarking on new ventures and initiatives aimed at enhancing customer experience in 2024, as he asked them to anticipate a range of innovative products, improved services, and exclusive offerings crafted specially to address your evolving needs, especially for the senior citizens.

United Bank for Africa Plc is a leading Pan-African financial institution, offering banking services to more than twenty-five (25) million customers, across 1,000 business offices and customer touch points in 20 African countries. With presence in New York, London, Paris, and Dubai, UBA is connecting people and businesses across Africa through retail, commercial and corporate banking, innovative cross-border payments and remittances, trade finance and ancillary banking services.

 

 

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Ibom Tourism Nigeria Limited to Host Cocktail and Grill Festival in Uyo

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Ibom Tourism Nigeria Limited is organizing a Cocktail and Grill Festival on November 19, 2023, to celebrate and promote tourism in Uyo, the capital city of Akwa Ibom state.

According to Allen Effeh, the project team lead, the festival aims to establish Uyo as a leading brand in tourism promotion by bringing the entire city together for a memorable experience. The festival will feature mouthwatering food, refreshing drinks, captivating music, and an atmosphere of fun and camaraderie.

Effeh described the Cocktail and Grill Festival as the ultimate gathering of food-tertainment enthusiasts in Nigeria, showcasing the vibrant street food culture of Uyo. The festival also intends to promote healthy drinking habits and highlight the art of crafting cocktails.

The event will recognize and honor individuals and brands that contribute passionately to the craft and hospitality industry, particularly the local grills and recipes for which Uyo is renowned.

Effeh, whose organization, Ibom Tourism Ltd., has been dedicated to promoting Akwa Ibom as a tourist destination for over a decade, emphasized the importance of promoting tourism in the state. He pointed to the ARISE Agenda manifesto of Governor Pastor Umo Eno, which prioritizes the tourism sector and has been backed by concrete actions.

The festival presents a unique platform for individuals, entrepreneurs, media, and brands to connect with potential clients and customers by becoming sponsors or partners. It offers opportunities for activation and visibility within the vibrant festival atmosphere.

This Cocktail and Grill Festival promises to be a significant event for Uyo and Akwa Ibom state, celebrating the city’s culture, cuisine, and hospitality while boosting the local tourism industry.

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Akwa Ibom teachers commence strike

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In order to emphasize their demands for the payment of six years of promotion arrears and four years’ worth of leave allowances, protesters in Akwa Ibom State have shut down the state’s public primary and secondary schools.

The strike will begin on April 25, according to a letter dated April 20 and signed by Sam Umo-Inyang, Senior Assistant Secretary General of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) in the state.

According to Mr. Umo-Inyang, the strike, which is the second in less than two years, is a continuation of the one that was earlier terminated last year following the intervention of the Governor Udom Emmanuel.

Teachers in the state started taking industrial action in March of last year because their entitlements weren’t being paid.

“The resumption of the industrial action is consequent upon government’s refusal to implement the agreement reached with the NUT on the outstanding indebtedness due teachers in the state despite persistent appeals from the NUT and the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC),” Mr Umo-Inyang said.

Mr Umo-Inyang listed the demands of teachers in the state to include, “Non-refund of 7.5% contributory pension to primary and some secondary school teachers in the state,” and non-release of 2021 and 2022 promotion letters to deserving secondary school teachers.”

Also included in the Union’s demands are “non-payment of years 2013, 2014, 2020 and 2022 leave grants to primary school teachers,” and “non-payment of 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, and 2016 promotion arrears to primary school teachers.”

Students in the state were to resume for third term on Tuesday after the Easter holiday but the strike has prevented the resumption and may distort the school calendar, particularly the SS3 students who are preparing for their final exams next month.

In many of the schools visited on Tuesday morning, students were seen in clusters discussing the strike.

At Primary School, Afaha Ube Itam and Ekit Itam, along Ikot Ekpene Road, the gate of the schools were closed while some pupils were seen loitering around the gate.

At West Itam Secondary School, a few students were seen carrying school lockers back to school while others sat on the windows of their classrooms watching football in the field as no teachers attended to them.

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