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RSG Pushes For PPP Bill

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Rivers State Government says it is drafting a bill to govern its Public Private Partnership (PPP) ­policy in the state.

The proposed bill tagged “Rivers State Infrastructural Development Law 2009 is to guide the infrastructural development of the state, particularly the partnership arrangements with the private sector, be forwarded to the State House of Assembly for deliberation and passage into law.

The State Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice Mr. Ken Chikere, stated this Wednesday night while riding Government House correspondents on the outcome of the State Executive Council (EXCO) Meeting in Port Harcourt.

The Justice Commissioner said Exco deliberated on the proposed bill which when passed would guide Public Private Partnership in infrastructural development in the state.

Mr. Chikere said the EXCO also deliberated on the issue of Rivers indigenes seeking entrance into the Armed Forces and resolved to give necessary logistics support to enable them gain admission into military educational institutions such as the Nigerian Defence Academy and the Nigeria Police Force.

He also disclosed that Risonpalm. which occupies a strategic place in the economic development of the state. would be revived, adding that the state welcomes partnership with individuals and organisations, local and international that are willing to invest in the establishment.

According to him, “we are talking seriously with people who are also partners in Risonpalm. with a view to reaching mutual agreement with them on how to move the establishment forward and help to actualize the economic objectives of the present administration for the benefit of the state and the community at large”.

Also speaking, the Commissioner for Urban Development Mr. Osima Ginah said the Exco deliberated on the issue of the planned development of waterfronts. adding that it has agreed to hold a stakeholders meeting next week, to properly inform and enlighten the people of Rivers State on the need for urban renewal as well as the re­development of the slum settlements.

The Urban Development Commissioner explained that during the meeting. stakeholders would be allowed to make necessary contributions towards the state’ s urban renewal programme before the demolition of the waterfronts take place.

He disclosed that Exeo had directed the Ministry of Urban Development to commence the demolition of waterfronts in areas where compensation has been paid.

On the issue of painting of buildings and changing of their roofs to aluminum. Mr. Ginah said Exco has decided that the state government would show good example by changing the roof on all government property to aluminum. as well as renovate and paint the buildings for others to follow as a way of demonstrating commitment

Assorted sea food on display at a recent  World Food Day celebration event held at  the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt. Photo: King Osila

Assorted sea food on display at a recent World Food Day celebration event held at the Isaac Boro Park, Port Harcourt. Photo: King Osila

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More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining

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As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’ 
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth. 
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.

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Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project   -Akawor

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The  PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them. 
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.

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PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations

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Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations. 
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.

Stories by Corlins Walter

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