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ES IDE NTS of Andoni / Opobo/ Nkoro comm unities "n two local councils o f Rivers State h.lI'e initialed severa l ef· forls 10 IIcct."te rat e growth in their areas.

The communities. like o thers in the Niger Della. Me oil-rich but that has nOI translated to development. Their roads and other infra· struclures iuein bad 5ha~ilnd thei r environment is devastated b y oil exploration and exploitation activities. The administration of Governor Chibuike Amaechi is doing a lot to address these challenges 6uI Ihe communi ties have expanded their opportunities. On!! the last three decade5, concern by both communities Hnd policymakers about the negative consequences of oil exploration and related humiln activities In the rc$.ion has led to the search for 501u-

hons to restore the environment and accelerate growth. At the regional level, we have had the 15% Oil Produdng Areas Development Fund, 3% Oil Producing Areas [)e.. velopment Fund; Oil Mine ral Areas Producing [)eveJopment Com· mission and Niger Delta Development Commission (NODe). The states are not left out. Riven State governmenl set up the Sustainable Development Agency to address the issue of sustainable de\'elopmenl. Delta Stale's version is Delta Stale Integrated Development Pr~ramme and Delta State Oil ProdUCing Areas Development Com· mission (DESOPAD"EC). Other N iger Della s tates have d ifferent sustainable de,'elopment vehicles tMt go by different nomenclatures. The oil companies that are at th e omtre of the environmental degra. dalton have also set Ufo platforms to address sustainab e development. SPOC has its Global Memorandum of Understand in g (GMOU). Mobil, Eni and Chevron ha"e similar programmes 100. All these initiatives are commendable but the communilies o r the local pe'!"lple are not in the driving seal. One undeniable implication of this scenario is th e urgent need to

• A devas latf"d Niger Della

Rivers communities inspire growth By Sylvester Moya

change o ur current development s tra tegy. And Ihat is whe re the Andonl·Qpobo-Nkoro Economic Zone Development Summit comes in. It is basiCill ll y ill platform that brings profeSSionals and stake"holders from the communities to plan for themselves and seek ~ lu tl ons to common challenges. Andoni/Opobo/Nkoro people

Plateau heals wounds · Conlinuf"d from Page 13 " But I want 10 assure you that the best way to deal with the Irauma an d gel you rself ou l of trauma associa ted with Ih ese crises is to develop the s pirit of forgiveness. HOnee you make up your mind 10 forgive and forget, the healing is automa tic anef you will feel free and fulfilled within " If all of us a re

the los.s is too painful to forgive, you will be burdened willi the Irauma of th e incident; so the best healing is to clear you r m ind by. fo rgiving and forgetting the pams In you." The sta te Commissioner for Health, Dr. Fom Pam Dakwak, in his soodwill message to the part icipants, said: "The works h op put in place by Commumty Action for Pop u lar Pa rt icipation is like a divine

structure, they are not connected 10 are found in two Local Go"emmC!flt the national grid and do not have Areas of Rive rs Sta te on the face good source of potable W<'lte r devalue they lUI" one of the mos t dis- spill" the f<'lct or being located on advantaged people in Rivers State. islands. The state governme nt is The h ....o-WAs are not accessible by building several brand new pripaved road. The Chibuil:e AmaKhi mary schools and two o ther 1,000 administration is build ing a -illun studen ts' residential seconda ry road with 10 bridges to connect al- school in the area . The environmost all the communities of the two ment is undoubtedly h<'lrsh. It is in leAs to the resl of the stilte. Aside this developmen t amleKt tha t they from Ihe challenge of road infra- have chosen todo things differently

to ~hll"Ye sustainable communi" deve.lopnEnt lhrough the "chid;' of a sum..l1 L The Andoni -Opobo-Nkoro' de velopmeJ\t summit has four com ~nents. The first Is W showcas. the laten t opportunities tha : abound in the area and invite po tential in,'nton to take advan tage and in ve.t. The second com pone,,,

the NCO which is s p o n sored by MacArthur Foundation of USA, has a two- year pea ce b u ilding project plan for eight loc al governments in Plateau

Sta te. Part iclfa n ls we re draWl from COIll_nunilies in Jos Nortl and le.s Sou t h loca governmEnts .

counse lling w hich v ictims of the crises need fo r the healing of their trauma." Ea rlier In his welcome address, o r ganiser of the workshop and pro ~ramn me manager of Commumty Action for Popul ar Part icipation (CAPP), Nelson Amanze, said it is the belief of the NCO that the trauma healing traini ng a nd counselling wi ll pave the way for th e process of ge nuine fo rg iveness and reconcilia tion in the various communities affected by cr ises. Ama n ze a lso disclosed

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'Cassava production to create over 1m jobs'


ASSAVA production wi ll create over o ne million johs

o Ag~~~ft~~ntro-r~he Jj~!~~! Akinwumi has said. He WlS speaking In Bimin-Kebbi. Kebbi State capital, where the fed· era l gove r nmen t 's agric p rogramme, Grow th Enha n ce ment Scheme (GES), was inaugurated. Akinwumi who \ViIS represerttf"d the Di rector, Fede ral Ministry o Agriculture, r-.1bucho Kreni, said the teeming youths in the state would be fully engaged in the scheme. He said the transformation plan will boost the production of highstarch and early varielies from SID-month crops tha t will shore u p food supplies and incrl"ftSe nutrition


From II"hoidlJLt Slildu. Simin K. bb

and health of t~ people. Akinw.JIN fur th er pointed ali that Nigeri I is the larges t produce of cassaV<l, "dding that federal go, ernment, Hate, local govern men and non-govemmenta l o rganisil lions will collaborate 10 train farrr ers in mcd c:m production method and supplr chain management. AkinwJtni !.aid thllt under th GES pro;;ramlne, cassava farmer in Kebbi \Vill receive 15 bundles (' high'yieldlng cassava va rieties u addition to 50 per omt subsidy or ferti liser He said the inputs will improv productiun mUiJods as weJl as in troduCt! new high·starch varietie ' and disease and pes t managemen'


'Cassava production to create over 1m jobs'


'Cassava production to create over 1m jobs'