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SMILE charges stakeholders to take ownership at project close out

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SMILE charges stakeholders to take ownership at project close out

By John Akubo

The program officer for Sustainable Mechanism for Improving Livelihood and Household Empowerment (SMILE) Project, Sesugh Yaji, has challenged stakeholders in Kogi State to take ownership of the project for sustainability..
Yaji spoke at the end of project close out and dissemination meeting held at the Lokoja Local Government Secretariat yesterday.
He challenged the people to take the project as their own so that the vulnerable children can have better future.
The consortium project which was funded by USAID was ran by consortium of partners, with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) as lead consortium partner, as well as ActionAid and WESTAT.
Yaji indicated that the SMILE project started in 2013 with the aim to improve the wellbeing of Orphans and Vulnerable Children as well as their caregivers.
“So the project was basically looking at improving the well being Orphans, vulnerable Children and caregivers (OVC)
“During the course of the project we strengthened the capacity of the institutions that handled social welfare services for OVCs; that is the ministry of women Affairs and Social Development.”
He said they also worked with civil society organizations based on effective coordination of OVC programing in five States in Nigeria.
According to him, in Kogi State they worked in nine Local Governments basically where the project was designed to scale-up care and support services for OVCs in the State.
He said the project sought to improve the well being of 600,000 Vulnerable Children (VC) and 150,000 caregiver
Yaji pointed out that the well-being of OVC and care givers was improved through a sustainable, comprehensive & coordinated program.
Hence he admonished the stakeholders to continue from where they stopped by ensuring that the program does not stop so that the vulnerable children would have something to hold.
According to him,”The Strategic Objective was to strengthen institutional and technical capacity of state and local governments to provide, manage, and monitor integrated comprehensive care to OVC and their families’
Another objective he said was to strengthen organizational and technical capacity of civil society organizations to manage integrated programs for OVC and their households
Yaji said they Implemented through an umbrella grants mechanism (UGM) whereby CSOs receive sub-grants to support capacity strengthening and program implementation at the community level.

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PIB: South-south forum asks Buhari to hold Dickson responsible if violence breaks out in N/Delta

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The South-south Emerging Leaders’ Forum (SELF) has told President Muhammadu Buhari and all the Niger Delta leaders to hold former governor Seriaki Dickson responsible in case of any outbreak of violence in the Niger Delta.

The forum also described as irresponsible and disgraceful the accusation made against the Minister of State for Petroleum Chief Timipre Sylva by the former governor of Bayelsa state over the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB).

The South-south forum said “as water flows from a keg, so lies flow from a non-performing Senator.”

Dickson had accused Sylva of proposing 2.5 per cent operating surplus to Host Communities against President Muhammadu Buhari’s 5 per cent in the Petroleum Industrial Bill when he addressed the National Assembly over the contentious bill.

Dickson asked the host communities in the region to hold the minister responsible for the 3% approved for them.

Already, a militant group, Niger Delta Revolutionary Crusaders (NDRC), has threatened to resume hostilities over the three per cent allocated to host communities in the recently passed Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) by the National Assembly, which it describes as unfavourable.

But responding to Dickson’s accusation through a statement signed by its National Coordinator, Comrade Benjamin Kolowei, and made available to newsmen Saturday in Abuja, SELF warned the former governor to stop playing politics with the PIB issue.

The forum accused the former governor of being behind the move to destabilise the South-south using the PIB as a cover.

According to the group, Dickson must explain to his constituents why he abandoned the meeting where the contentious bill was being discussed for frivolous reasons.

The statement also accused Dickson of contributing nothing to the realization of the PIB and development of host communities even as a sitting governor, saying the former governor was only interested in his village with derivation funds.

The group said: “The likes of Senator Dickson are ingratiate. Under the PDP administration, with President Goodluck Jonathan from Bayelsa, Dickson as sitting governor, Alison Madueke as Minister as Minister of Petroleum and the PDP dominated National Assembly, the PIB could not see the light of the day.

“The likes of Senator Dickson should berry their heads in shame and by now be answering questions on their ignominious roles instead of heaping blame on patriotic Minister of state for Petroleum.

“A witch cried last night and the a baby died this morning, who doesn’t know that the witch killed the baby. Senator Dickson should be held responsible over the latest move to threaten the peace of the Niger Delta region.

“We will henceforth hold Senator Dickson and his types responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the Niger Delta, because Dickson has openly incited, instigated and called for violence through his recent statements.”

The forum advised Senator Senator Dickson stop instigating violence in the peaceful South-south region.

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Senator Dickson warns agaisnt possible security implication if 3% PIB is not reviewed

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Senator representing Bayelsa West, Seriaki Dickson has warned of possible security implications should the 3% equity share holding for the Host Communities in the Petroleum Industry Bill (PIB) is not reviewed upward to the 5% that was initially proposed by the senate joint committee on Petroleum resources.

He said the Host Communities are not happy, just as they as leaders were not happy about what played out.
Speaking with the Senate press Corps on Thursday he said the Federal Government cannot afford to contend with another level of unrest and insecurity from the region going by the overwhelming insecurity pervading the northeast for the past 10 years and the North West in the last four years without any workable solution to contain them.”Of course you know the history, the Senate passed 3% and the House 5% and they went for a conference which came up with 3%.”As you know I disagree completely and most of us disagreed with the 3% that was eventually passed.

According to him, late President Musa Yaradua who was the first to present the PIB proposed 10% as equity share but the bill could not sail through unfortunately, he said the same Yaradua granted amnesty to the restive youths, he created the Niger Delta miniatry saying that it helped in no small measure to douse the many tensions.”The PIB work started from Obasanjo Time, that was when the idea was muted and during Yaradua the minister of Petroleum resources late Rilwanu Lukeman, was petroleum Minister when this bill came. “This bill proposed 10% for host communities and also proposed 10% for frontier development but it could not be passed. 
“But you see this country is not helping itself, it is not helping investors and it is not helping host communities by not creating the enailing environment that would enable investment to thrive. The argument that anything more than 3% investors will not come and so what. “If the host communities are not happy would investors come?if they don’t have a stake in exploration activities the investors they are trying to bring, once they find that the situation is not conducive they will take off and it is not a wise decision because you are not dealing g with only one community but thousands, hundreds of communities. “Don’t forget that now even the transit communities have a stake. I know that people are arguing why pipeline communities should be part of it but there is sense in that.” Because if you exclude the pipeline communities they can sabotage.the operations . So it is a question of percentage,He said as a member of the joint committee he lobbied his colleagues who all gave him their words and were ready to pass the 5% as equity for host communities however he said there was an ambush when the Group Managing director of NNPC and the minister of Petroleum came to brief the Senator which he said was unparliamentary.He said after the Executive met with them and sternly hammered on the 2.5% many of the senators changed their minds 

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Refugee Commission’s Boss Visits family of Deceased Head of Kano Office

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The Honourable Federal Commissioner, National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), Hajiya Imaan Sulaiman-Ibrahim has visited the family of Late Hajiya Zeenat Kaltume Yahaya in Kano, Sunday.

Kaltume Yahaya, who until her demise, was the head of Kano office of the Commission, died after a very brief illness at the Malam Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, last Thursday.

Speaking during the visit, the Federal Commissioner, who was represented by the Acting Director, Human Resource Management said, the late Zeenat left an indelible footprint on the Commission as she assured the family of the support of the Commission at its time of grief.

Imaan further described the deceased as a hardworking and inclusive leader of the Kano office, adding that her sense of duty and compassionate disposition endeared her to colleagues and friends.

Also speaking during the visit, the Acting Director, Internally Displaced Persons of the Commission, Fatima Mamman Daura said, Late Zeenat was a good colleague with a kind and gentle disposition.

“She was untiring in her efforts to see to the upliftment of our refugees and IDPs in Kano and Katsina states”, Fatima added.

Responding, the brother of the deceased, Malam Baba Yahaya Musa thanked the Federal Comissioner, staff and management of the Commission for reaching out to them at their moment of grief.

“I am filled with pride hearing what Zeenat’s colleagues and associates say about her. We will continue to uphold her good name by the grace of Allah”, he added.

Also on the delegation was the Acting Deputy Director, Planning, Research and Documentation, Madame Funmilayo Bara and the Special Adviser, Media and Publicity to the Federal Commissioner, Sadiq Abdullateef.

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