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PHOTO STORY: SDN is building Tech capacities to solve accountability issues in the Niger Delta



The prevalence of extreme poverty and a development deficit in the Niger Delta Region of Nigeria despite the huge petro-dollars that continue to be milked from it, has been a major source of concern for natives, non-governmental organisations and the government.

After years of agitations, the Niger Delta Development Commission () which the Nigerian government established to speed up the development of the oil-rich region, appears to have been entangled in a web of corruption and accountability issues as demonstrated by the ongoing forensic audit of the intervention agency.

Stakeholder Democracy Network is unrelenting in its effort at providing support for those affected by the extractive industry and weak Governance.

On July 28th 2021 assembled community leaders, members of Civil Society Organizations, representatives of the government and the media in a one-day workshop designed to review and discuss ways to upgrade the “DevelopND” platform.

The DevelopND platform is a technology initiative of SDN geared towards tackling accountability issues linked to government agencies and other service providers.

According to SDN’s Program officer, Christy Ibinabo: “the DevelopND’ App is aimed at increasing and improving the level of engagement between duty bearers and citizens in Rivers State as a way of working towards service delivery and greater transparency and accountability in the work of the government through monitoring of projects.”

At the review meeting which took place at Visa Karena Hotel in Port Harcourt, participants agreed that it was necessary to sensitive members of various communities in the region on how to maximize the App to monitor and report the progress of government projects as well as request development needs that can be inputted into budgets at various levels of government.

To increase usage of the App, some participants suggested that incentives be introduced for frequent users.

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Gov. Diri Presents N310 billion 2022 budget of sustainable growth



… happy with implementation of 2021 budget

His Excellency, Senator Douye Diri, Governor of Bayelsa State has presented the 2022 budget estimates of N310, 717,608,353.00 Billion Naira to the State House of Assembly for consideration.

The 2022 budget is tagged,” Budget of Sustainable Growth.”

The State Ministry of Works and Infrastructure was allocated the highest figure of N51 billion naira for capital project followed by Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources which had N12 billion naira. N4billion is the proposed figure for Education.

Because of drop in allocation, the revenue projection is slightly lower than the 2021 Budget by N19 billion indicating a reduction of about 3.54%.

The Governor who was accompanied to the presentation by the Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, also said the 2021 budget had a great performance and that many projects and achievements were recorded in various sectors including education, roads, and agriculture.

“The projects include:
• Construction of Unity Bridge in Nembe
• Construction of Elebele Bridge in Ogbia
• Dualization and Re-designing of the Tombia Round-about
• Construction of the Sagbama/Ekeremor Road.
• Construction of Yenagoa – Oporoma Road.
• Construction of AIT – Igbogene Outer Ring Road.
• Construction of Igbedi Road
• Construction of Glory Drive – just to mention a few

“Mr. Speaker, our Prosperity Government is also formulating a 30-year long-term development plan for the State, may I now proceed with a summary of the 2022 Appropriation Bill tagged “BUDGET OF SUSTAINABLE GROWTH”.

“In concluding, Mr. Speaker, I will not stop thanking God for His infinite mercies and the good people of Bayelsa State for their continuous support, patience, sacrifices and the goodwill they have extended to our Government. We are determined to continue to build confidence in our people by being proactive in the formulation and implementation of our policies.”

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EFCC Arraigns Managing Director for N6bn Deceased PHCN Insurance Benefit Fraud



The EFCC, on Thursday, 21 October, 2021 arraigned the Managing Director of PJO Ventures Limited, Cecilia Osipitan and her company, PJO VENTURES LIMITED, and INSURANCE RESOURCERY and CONSULTANCY SERVICES LIMITED before justice U.P Kekemeke of the Federal Capital Territory High Court, Maitama, Abuja on a nine count charge bordering criminal breach of trust, conspiracy and conversion of public funds to the tune of N6, 000,000,000.00(Six billion Naira).
The money was meant for the payment of outstanding insurance premiums and claims of deceased and incapacitated staff of the defunct Power Holding Company of Nigeria, (PHCN). The offence contravenes Section 311 of the Panel Code Act Cap 532 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, (Abuja) 2004 and punishable under Section 312 of the same Act.

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