By Unachi Ikechukwu B.
In furtherance of her aggressive sensitization and enlightenment of the citizenry on relevant national issues, National Orientation Agency, Ebonyi State Directorate organises a One day State-wide Sensitization campaign on communicating government policies, programmes and activities across the state. The event which took place on Tuesday 11th June 2019 at Onicha Local Government Area Headquarters, Isu drew participants from all walks of life especially those from federal government establishments.
In his key note address, the NOA State Director, Ebonyi State Dr Emma Abah welcomed participants from all walks of life and made it obvious that the programme was borne out of the need to sensitize and enlighten the people on the various federal government policies, programmes and activities aimed at improving the living standard of the populace.
He stated that there are many federal government establishments operational in the state which majority of the people are neither aware of their existence nor the services they render to the people hence cannot access them. Some of these federal government establishments established to improve the lives of the people significantly but whose services are least accessed by the people due to ignorance include but not limited to Central Bank of Nigeria branch in the state, National Directorate of Employment, Nigeria Export Promotion Council, National Identity Management Commission (NIMC), National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), NAPTEB, Social Investment Programme (N-Power), NDLEA, NSCDC, Nigerian Police, Federal Institutions of learning etc.
The NOA State boss reiterated the need for the citizen to know the services which these federal government provides and access them maximally to improve their living standards. He maintained that government policies, programme and activities are meant to reach the people through these Ministries, Departments and Agencies. Government policies includes, Anti-Corruption Policy, Whistle Blowing, Export Promotion Policies, fight against insecurity which includes, Anti-Kidnapping, Anti-Rubbery and Anti-Bunkering. In a paper presented from Central Bank of Nigeria, Abakaliki Branch Mr Chijioke Ahuakagha who represented Mr. Daniel Ogbogu, the Development Finance Officer of the bank applauded NOA for its giant stride in partnering with other federal government establishments to sensitize the people. He stated that apart from the core function of CBN which is the regulation of other financial institutions, it undertakes developmental programmes such as job creation through its over twenty different areas of intervention programmes. Some of these areas of interventions include various anchor borrowers’ programmes such as Agric Business Micro Small Enterprises Scheme, which started in 2018. It entails identifying what you are interested in that can generate employment, but not in buying and selling so as to grant you a loan of between 3 million to 10 million naira after three months training with NDE. Maximum repayment period is seven years. Other areas of intervention is Agricultural Credit Guarantee Fund (ACGF) and Micro Small and Medium Entrepreneur Development Fund and many others aimed at improving the economic status of the people through job creation.
Another paper was presented by Mr. Kenneth Agunwa (HOD Agric Department) from National Directorate of Employment (NDE). He stated that NDE which was established in 1987 was set up to design a policy that would create mass employment. He made it obvious that NDE does not give job, rather it directs employment – self-employments. He affirmed that NDE train people in every aspect of skill acquisitions which are located in the three Senatorial zones at Iboko, Ishiagu and Ikwo. They equally teach people on how to write good business plan.
In his paper presentation, Mr Donatus Nwogbolo, an Assistant Director with Nigeria Export Promotion Council asserts that one of the core mandates of NEPC was to coordinate and promote exports in Nigeria. Their mission is to spearhead the diversification of non-oil products in the country and make the world a market place;. They equally have market information about export products. They run products on export plan, export financing and other logistics. He opined that NEPC links individuals and groups to off-takers that will help market their products without hitch. He encouraged the people to come and register and get their export certificate at an affordable rate at their office, Block F Unity Square Secretariat, Abakaliki. In a similar development, Mr Ken Agbafor (Head of Operations) from National Identity Management Commission (NIMC) in his paper presentation maintained that the function of NIMC and the benefits inherent in one having National Identity Number (NIN) cannot be overemphasized. He stated that NIN which has 13 security appellate is equivalent to social security number in U.S.A. He upheld that NIMC is the mother of all other data capturing Agencies in the country, stressing that NIN will in no distant time be a sole determinants of every other transactions in the country. He said their motto is Register once and be known for live. He challenged all who were yet to register to do so without further delay as the benefits therein abounds.
Questions and contributions were entertained from the cross section of participants. The programme had in attendance over 200 participants from different parts of the state, among whom were HRH, Ezeogo Agom (Ph.D.) represented by Chief Felix Ogo, HRH Ezeogo Ambrose Ogbu of Isu autonomous community. Bishop James Okoroafor Kalu of Presbyterian Church of Nigeria, Rev. Emmanuel Obasi – Secretary CAN, Onicha LGA, Director Crime Officer, Onicha LGA. SUPO Veronica Elom, Mr Onyekachi Obasi, NYSC Local Government Inspector Onicha LGA, Zonal Inspector of Education, Elder Ukaegbu, among other heads of federal establishments, Youth Corps members, Women groups, Youth Organization, Public Servants in attendance.
The occasion was chaired by Elder Ukaegbu, a zonal Inspector of Education in the area.