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French Envoy Hails Amnesty For Militants

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The French Ambassador to Nigeria, Monsieur Jean-Michel Dumond has expressed optimism that the recent amnesty granted militants by the Nigerian government would bring peace ad stability to the Niger Delta.

Ambassador Michel Dumond, who said this during the French national day celebration in Port Harcourt, organised by Total Nigeria Limited, also expressed confidence that the local authority will do its best to enhance peace in the region

The French envoy also said that the recent visit by the French prime minister to Nigeria and Rivers State showed the level of cooperation between the two countries.

Also speaking, the Honourary Consul of France in Port Harcourt and Deputy Managing Director Total Upstream, Mr Roger Poirier said that France and Nigeria shared many things in common, adding that total was doing so much to promote good relations between the two countries.

In her speech, the Rivers State Commissioner for Education, Dame Alice Nemi Lawrence said that the ministry has put in place measures that could promote the teaching of French language in the state, and described the language as one of the most important in the world

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FG Set To Establish 18 Modular Refineries On Oil-Producing States

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The Federal Government, last Wednesday, said it was working to establish three modular refineries in each of the oil producing states, particularly in the Niger Delta region.
Going by the plan, the government would have to establish about 18 refineries in the country’s six major oil producing states in the Niger Delta, including Rivers, Bayelsa, AkwaIbom, Delta, Edo and Cross River.
It said the objective was to halt the illegal artisanal refining activities going on in oil producing areas and its impact on residents in the affected locations.
The Minister of State for Environment, Chief Sharon Ikeazor, disclosed this in a statement by the ministry in Abuja.
She said, “In a bid to find alternative sources of livelihood for artisanal refiners and to encourage them to disengage completely from their illegal activities, the Federal Ministry of Environment in collaboration with the Office of the Senior Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs and other critical stakeholders, are working on the establishment of three modular refineries per state in the oil producing areas as a pilot scheme to engage them (artisanal refiners).
“These modular refineries are intended to be 100per cent designed and manufactured in Nigeria using the expertise of government institutions such as the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Federal University of Petroleum Effurun and Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria.
“Others include Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs, Niger Delta Development Commission, Petroleum Technology Development Fund, Nigerian Content Development and Management Board, National Agency for Science and Engineering Infrastructure, etc.”
She said the government would also train the artisanal refiners on environmental management, including skills required for oil spill management and remediation.
“The main objective is to enable those participating in illegal/artisanal oil refining to transit into operation of modular refineries to be run legitimately as a business under proper technical, commercial and environmental regulation,” Ikeazor stated.
She added, “It is also the intention of government that other artisanal refiners that cannot be absorbed in the pilot modular refineries will be congregated into business clusters and the Alternative Livelihood Fund in the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project be utilised to set up businesses for them, especially on the management on spent oil to engage them.
“These measures will help to drastically reduce the menace of artisanal refining, oil theft and pipeline vandalism to the benefit of our environment and bring prosperity to the oil host communities in the Niger Delta and to our nation at large.”
The minister noted that the menace of artisanal refining, oil theft and pipeline vandalism were largely responsible for the devastating degradation of the Nigerian environment, especially in the Niger Delta region.
“In fact, the much talked about Port Harcourt soot is caused by the activities of artisanal refineries due to the indiscriminate ‘cooking’ of stolen crude oil which releases very thick black smoke into the atmosphere, and later settles on surfaces as soot,” Ikeazor stated.
She noted that in order to address this issue, the National Oil Spill and Response Agency (NOSDRA) annually embarked on sensitisation campaigns to host communities in the oil producing states.
Ikeazor said the campaigns were through the agency’s disaster risk reduction programme that focused on the socio-economic implications of artisanal refining, oil theft and pipeline vandalism and the need to bring these illegal activities to an end.
“Similarly, the ministry has sought the support and collaboration of the Minister of Defence and the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources in tackling the menace,” she stated.

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Rivers Monarchs Begin Another Round Of COVID-19 Vaccination, Today

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Members of the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers will, today, begin another round of COVID-19 vaccination exercise in the state as part of the state government’s policy of ensuring that all Rivers people and residents of the state get fully vaccinated from the pandemic.
A statement signed by the Secretary to the council, Dr. Ogwuokwa Jonah, and made available to The Tide, last Monday, invited all government recognised traditional rulers to turn up at the council’s secretariat in Port Harcourt, for the crucial exercise.
The statement reads in part, “I am directed to invite you to take part in the forthcoming COVID-19 vaccination exercise scheduled for Wednesday,January 19 through Friday, January 21, 2022, at the council’s secretariat.
“Vaccination begins at 10.00am each day. Please, note that there are other free medical examinations that have been arranged for you during the period.
“You are entitled to 15 persons either from your family or area/district council. Kindly attend during the turn of your LGA”, the statement added.
According to the statement, Abua/Odual, Akuku-Toru, Ahoada-East, Ahoada-West, Andoni, Asari-Toru, Bonny and Degemawould receive their vaccinations today.
To be vaccinated tomorrow are traditional rulers and members of their families from Eleme, Emohua, Etche, Gokana, Khana, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor and Oyigbo local government areas.
However, monarchs and their families from Opobo/Nkoro, Ogu/Bolo, Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni, Okrika, Omuma, Port Harcourt and Tailocal government areas are due to get their shots on Friday.
The statement appealed to all affected traditional rulers to take the exercise seriously, and come along with the required number of persons to enable government reach as many Rivers people as possible.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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PDP’ll Surely Produce Next President -Ayu

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The National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Iyorchia Ayu has urged Nigerians to keep faith with the party as it was poised to produce the next president of the country.
He maintained that the current inept rule of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-led Federal Government, which has pulled the country backwards economically, has to be changed.
Ayu gave the assurance at the gala night hosted by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike for PDP governors at the Banquet Hall of Government House, Port Harcourt, last Sunday night.
The PDP national chairman emphasised that the APC leadership has been unable to harness the rich diversity of Nigerians into better fortunes that should strengthen the bond of brotherhood and promote peaceful coexistence.
“Unfortunately, a very poor leadership has presented Nigeria at home and abroad as an extremely divided country.
“We must change this narrative, and the only way to change this narrative and harness not just the culture, but the environment and the richness therein, is to back the Peoples Democratic Party which is determined to produce a new leadership for this country.”
Ayu also enthused that Nigeria would bounce back again with the PDP at the saddle because the project of rescuing the country and making it great was realisable.
The PDP national chairman stated that the expected leadership they would offer at the national level would change the negative characteristics associated with the APC that have been used to deepen the divide among Nigerians in the country.
“The PDP will definitely produce the next president and take the country back to the days when we were in power, when we cleared all foreign debts, when we were developing this country at reasonable speed.
“At a time, we became the richest country on the African continent. But today, we are the poverty capital of the world. All that will change”, he said.
In his welcome address, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike said the gala night was a pride to the usual meeting of PDP governors, adding that it was rotational.
He stated that such meetings have always been used to discuss salient issues of economy, politics and others that bother on how to chart a virile Nigerian society.
“It has been ritual for PDP governors to gather and meet and discuss about the welfare of the party. And this has been rotating from one state to the other.”
On his part, the Chairman of PDP Governors Forum and Governor of Sokoto, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal said the PDP governors and other party leaders were already working in synergy towards rebuilding the party.
He said the focus was to rescue Nigeria, which would also require all Nigerians of goodwill to join forces with the PDP to achieve that goal.
“All Nigerians of goodwill who believe in this country, who believe Nigeria is going the wrong direction, ought to join us.
“And like I always say, there are two divides in Nigeria today. Those who are happy with the confusion because they are benefiting from what is happening at the centre, and those of us who are truly patriotic enough to disagree with the way our country is being governed and being run.
“I appeal and beseech every Nigerian, even those in APC that are patriotic enough, to join hands with us as we continue to march towards rescuing Nigeria together.
“I believe it is our responsibility to do so, not for ourselves but for our younger ones and generations unborn.”
Governors present at the gala night were, Okezie Ikpeazu (Abia); Ahmadu Fintiri (Adamawa); Udom Emmanuel (Akwa Ibom); Mohammed Bala (Bauchi); Samuel Ortom (Benue); Seyi Makinde (Oyo); and Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi (Enugu).
Also in attendance were the deputy governors of Rivers and Zamfara, Dr Ipalibo HarryBanigo; and Aliyu Gusau; PDP National Secretary, Senator Sam Anyanwu; and several other dignitaries.

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