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Bayelsa appeals for FG’s social security schemes

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Bayelsa State Government has made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government to commence its social security programmes in the state.

Governor Douye Diri made the plea when the federal commissioner in charge of the South at the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB), Dr. Emmanuel Attah, visited him in Government House, Yenagoa.

The governor, who was represented by his deputy, Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, noted that none of the key Federal Government’s interventionist programmes, including the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) and school feeding programme, had taken off in the state.

He wondered why states in the South South, from where over 60 per cent of the resources used in executing the programmes come, were yet to benefit significantly almost three years after their commencement. He disclosed that Bayelsa had only received 1,800 bags of rice from Abuja as palliative measure for the hardship following the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

Diri called on the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC) and its partners to expedite action on the completion of the 200-bed Infectious Diseases Control Hospital in Igbogene, a suburb of Yenagoa, expressing concern that nothing tangible seemed to have been done on the site since its foundation was laid some two months ago.

According to the governor, the hospital, when completed and put to use, will not only benefit Bayelsans but the entire South South region and the country in general.

He assured the CCB team of the state government’s readiness to partner the agency in promoting transparency and fight against graft.

His words, “For all the three thematic areas you have come to monitor concerning what the Federal Government is doing here, I want to say almost nothing has been done. The school feeding programme and even the CCT are yet to take off in Bayelsa. All we hear is that they are collecting data and we even encourage them to go round and collect the data.

“So, we actually want you to help us talk to the Federal Government that Bayelsa and indeed all the South South states deserve more. Even in the area of COVID-19 palliatives, we have not received any appreciable support.

“But let me acknowledge that AGIP and its partners have come to do groundbreaking for a 150 to 200-bed health facility here. We also want to appeal that they should add more speed because already we are almost outstretched with the facilities we have in our isolation centre.”

Governor Diri, however, expressed gratitude to the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB), Niger Delta Development Board (NDDB) and other well-meaning organisations and individuals, including former President Goodluck Jonathan and former Governor Seriake Dickson, for their donations to cushion the effect of COVID-19 in the state


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