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Maritime Academy Promises Transparency

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The Management of Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron, Akwa Ibom State, has promised transparency and decried the activities of what it called “bad losers” during technical bid exercises by the Academy.

The Rector, Commodore Emmanuel Effedua (retd.), stated this on Tuesday in Oron Local Governmet Area, in his opening remarks at the Technical Bids Opening Exercise for the year 2022 capital projects which held at institution’s Auditorium.

Effedua, who was represented at the occasion by the Registrar of the Academy, Mr. Netson Peter, while describing the activities of bad losers as unfortunate, noted that the transparency that had taken place in previous exercises would continue to place in future bid processes.

He said, “This is the normal procedure that takes place whenever there is technical bids opening exercise, and one thing that has always take place and will continue to take place is transparency of the exercise.

“As an institution guided by laws, we must stick to the rules and nothing short of that. Though in the past, after such exercises, there are bad losers who would not accept that they couldn’t make it, and they will start writing petitions against the Academy.”

He disclosed that there was a particular loser who wrote petition indicating different companies, adding that after a thorough investigation was conducted, it was discovered that it was only just one person that wrote the petition.

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Headlines

FG to Launch Construction of 2,000 Housing Units in Akwa Ibom, 7 Other States

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The Federal Government is set to commence the construction of an additional 2,000 housing units across eight states in the South and North Central geopolitical zones under the Renewed Hope and Estates programme.

The states slated for this project include Ebonyi, Abia, Akwa Ibom, Delta, Osun, Oyo, Benue, and Nasarawa.

The construction is scheduled to kick off between June 26 and July 6, 2024, with the Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Arc. Ahmed Musa Dangiwa, officiating the groundbreaking ceremonies.

This initiative follows the recent launch of 1,500 housing units in five northern states: Katsina, Yobe, Gombe, Sokoto, and Kano.

According to a statement from the Ministry’s official website, the construction schedule will begin with a 250-unit project in Ebonyi State on June 26, 2024, followed by:
– 250 units in Abia on June 27
– 250 units in Akwa Ibom on June 28
– 250 units in Delta State on June 29
– 250 units in Osun on July 2
– 250 units in Oyo on July 3
– 250 units in Benue on July 5
– 250 units in Nasarawa on July 6

Each 250-unit housing project will comprise:
– 50 units of one-bedroom semi-detached bungalows
– 100 units of two-bedroom semi-detached bungalows
– 50 units of three-bedroom semi-detached bungalows

The initiative is expected to create approximately 50,000 skilled and unskilled jobs, averaging 25 jobs per housing unit, thereby stimulating the local economies of the involved states.

The Renewed Hope and Estates programme aims to address Nigeria’s housing shortage by delivering 1,000 housing units in each of the 36 states and 4,000 units in the Federal Capital Territory. The programme was initiated by President Bola Tinubu’s administration and will be executed in batches to eventually cover the entire country.

The first phase began in February with the launch of 3,112 housing units in the Karsana District of Abuja. The projects currently under construction and the additional 2,000 units set to begin next week are funded by the 2023 Supplementary Budget of the Federal Ministry of Housing and Urban Development. Future projects will be financed through the Ministry’s 2024 budget.

This housing initiative aims to promote inclusivity and integration by addressing inequalities and offering a range of affordable homeownership options. These options include:
– Single-digit interest rate mortgage loans with up to 30-year terms from the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria
– Rent-to-Own options allowing beneficiaries to pay towards ownership in monthly, quarterly, or annual instalments
– Outright purchase options for high-income earners

The programme will operate as a cross-subsidy initiative, with 80% of the housing units sold at commercial rates and the remaining 20% offered at concessional rates to low- and medium-income Nigerians affiliated with the Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress.

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Economy

Akwa Ibom First Lady Empowers Mothers of Multiple Births, Grants Stipends

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In a heartwarming initiative, mothers of multiple birth children across Akwa Ibom State’s 31 Local Government Areas are set to receive monthly stipends as part of an empowerment program led by the state’s First Lady, Pastor Patience Umo Eno.

The stipends amount to fifty thousand naira each for twins and one hundred thousand naira each for triplets, aiming to alleviate the financial burden of caring for multiple birth children.

The announcement was made during the empowerment program for mothers in Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District held at the Ikot Ekpene Town Hall on Friday, January 19, 2024. Pastor Patience Umo Eno emphasized her commitment to supporting families in the state and expressed her joy in celebrating the blessings of multiple births.

Addressing the mothers, the First Lady urged them to cherish and care for their children, considering them as blessings from God. She pledged continuous support to families and highlighted the positive impact that multiple birth children can bring to their lives.

The Chairman of the Transition Committee, Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, Mr. John Etim, commended the First Lady for the consistent implementation of the program, describing the Umo Eno administration as impactful and people-driven. He assured continued support from the people of Ikot Ekpene to achieve the ARISE Agenda.

Goodwill messages were received from various dignitaries, including Mrs. Utibe Etim, the wife of the Transition Chairman of Ikot Ekpene Local Government Council, and Hon. Inibehe Silas, the President of the Ikot Ekpene Senatorial District Women Forum. They lauded Pastor Patience Umo Eno for her support to mothers of multiple birth children, acknowledging the relief provided in the face of economic challenges.

The event concluded with the distribution of baby packs and cash to the beneficiaries by the Governor’s Wife and other female stakeholders. Excited beneficiaries expressed gratitude for their inclusion in the empowerment program, considering it a significant relief. They offered prayers for God’s blessings on Pastor Patience Umo Eno for her labor of love and generosity.

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Crime

Court Orders Policewoman to Pay Tricyclist N5m for Unlawful Arrest, Impoundment

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An Akwa Ibom State High Court has issued a judgment ordering a policewoman, Inspector Iniobong Umoren, to pay a tricyclist, Jeremiah Sunday Udo, the sum of N5 million for his unlawful arrest and the impoundment of his tricycle.

The tricyclist had purchased the vehicle on hire purchase for N1.9 million.

Justice Ntong Ntong, presiding over the case, also directed Mr. Udoka David, a friend of the tricyclist, to pay an additional N5 million for instigating the police to arrest and detain him for five days without food and water.

The court, however, excluded the Commissioner of Police, Akwa Ibom State Police Command, Mr. Olatoye Durosinmi, from the judgment but advised him to caution his officers and men to operate within the confines of the law.

Jeremiah Sunday Udo, a resident of Ifa Ikot Idang in Uyo, had entered into a hire purchase agreement with Mr. Udoka David, with a commitment to pay N20,000 every week.

Following economic challenges, he fell behind in his payments, resulting in his arrest and the confiscation of the tricycle.

Justice Ntong criticized Inspector Iniobong Umoren for impounding the tricycle without a court order, describing her actions as “satanic, nefarious, and unwholesome antics against the applicant.”

The court emphasized the need to protect individuals from such abuse of power and ordered the immediate release of the tricycle pending further court orders under the hire purchase agreement.

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