The management of the Nigerian Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) Company, on Monday apologised for the embarrassment caused commonwealth parliamentarians and the people of Rivers State last Saturday.
NLNG’s action came as black and white parliamentarians, who were to visit the company’s base on Bonny Island, were discriminated against.
The firm’s management insisted that the whites should be flown to the site in choppers, while the blacks must travel by sea.
The management of the NLNG gave the excuse that the jetties were considered unsafe for whites who might be kidnapped by militants.
Immediately after the embarrassing incident, the black parliamentarians refused to travel by boat and moved to the government house, Port Harcourt to express their displeasure.
The incident had led to the immediate and indefinite closure of the firm’s jetties on Bonny Island and Port Harcourt by Governor Rotimi Amaechi.
The company stated that the policy was to ensure that everyone-employees, members of the host communities, vendors and visitors travels in safety.
The NLNG’s Manager Corporate Communication and Public Affairs, Mr Ifeanyi Mbanefor told The Tide’s source that the embarrassment the policy might have caused was deeply regretted.
The firm stated that the visit of the parliamentarians to Bonny was aborted owing to misunderstanding of its transportation policy.
The company stated that the guideline put in place before the current regime was capable of being misunderstood, especially when read against the background of the present efforts of Governor Amaechi to provide a conducive atmosphere for all who live and do business in Rivers State.
It said, “The Nigeria NLNG Limited apologizes to the governor, the people of the entire state and especially the commonwealth parliamentarians, for any misunderstanding arising from the application of this policy. The embarrassment this may have caused everyone is deeply regretted.
NLNG Limited, a Nigerian Compnay and a proud citizen of Rivers State, with deep rooted and excellent relationship on Bonny Island and its over 110 contiguous pipeline communities in Rivers State, considers itself a partner in progress with the government and would not bring the people and leadership of this great state to disrepute.
Rivers government said it placed equal value on all lives, regardless of colour, race or creed, and would not be a party to any form of discrimination against any person or foreign national in the state, as a result of colour, race or creed.
The state government declared that anybody caught violating the closure order would be dealth with in accordance with the provision of the law.
The governor then apologized to the delegates who were expected to embark on a scheduled tour of Bonny Island from the NLNG’s Eastern ByPass Jetty, but were turned back because of the firm’s policy.
He promised that his administration would conduct integrity test on the jetties, to ascertain why the company was being selective on those that would use its facilities.
However, the acting Chief Press Secretary to the governor Mr Blessing Wikina, has said that the state has not received any apology from NLNG.
He said “a Press Statement from NLNG is not an apology, the management of NLNG should know what to do”.
Group Takes Disease Control Campaign To C’ River LG
In its determined efforts to take a stand and demand more committed action in the fight against pneumonia, Society for Health Enlightenment Initiative (SO-HEALTHI), a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO), took its enlightenment and advocacy campaign to IkotOffiongAmbai in Akpabuyo Local Government Area.
The event which held at Saint Peter’s Primary School, Ikot Offiong Ambai, to mark the World Pneumonia Day, saw a contingent of six selected primary schools take part in lecture sessions on pneumonia awareness by experts from the SOHEALTHI Team, climaxing with a spelling competition where winners were given pneumonia-crested exercise books and cash prizes.
At the end of the spelling competition, Amicable Ebrigor Offu and Martha Joseph Aya, both of St. Peter’s Primary School, Ikot Offiong Ambai, emerged joint best performing students, scoring 100 percent, Godsfavour Okon Eyo and Abigail Godwin Anthony, also of St. Peter’s Primary School, came second, scoring 90% apiece, while Victoria Asuquo Okon of St. Peter’s Primary School and Wendy Edet Ekpo of Jehovah Shalom Primary School, clinched third position, scoring 80percent respectively.
In her remarks, the Founder and Team Lead of the NGO, Mrs Rosemary Archibong, stated that SOHEALTHI, founded in 2006, was saddled with the responsibility of creating awareness and advocating for a pneumonia-free world in accordance with this year’s Theme: ‘Keep the Promise; Stop Pneumonia Now.’
Mrs Archibong noted that, according to global indices, the disease sickens 155 million children under five years and kills 1.6 million each year, it has become pertinent to bring this health crisis to public’s attention, encourage policy makers and grassroot organizers alike to combat the disease.
SUBEB Boss Urges Staff To Support Ayade
The Executive Chairman, Cross River State Universal Basic Education Board, Dr Stephen Odey has enjoined staff of the board to complement Governor Ben Ayade’s efforts in the basic education sub-sector by supporting him to realise his lofty programmes for the State.
He made this known in a meeting to mark his three years in office as Executive Chairman of SUBEB. Dr Odey said in spite of the financial status of the State, Governor Ayade had made remarkable impact across sectors in the State, especially in the Basic Education sub-sector.
According to Dr Odey, “he is a young man that has a lot of energy, and with ambitious plans for the state, but he is being frustrated by lack of funds”.
Speaking on the achievements recorded in the basic education sub-sector, he thanked Governor Ayade and staff of SUBEB for their support, adding that these feats could not have been achieved without the support of the Governor and hard work of Staff.
He urged staff to remain committed to their responsibilities, stating that “hard work, dedication and loyalty pays in the long run.”
Speaking earlier, the Director of Administration, Emmanuel Ojong, commended Dr Odey for the giant strides recorded in the board within this short time in Office.
He recalled the massive infrastructural developments in schools across the State, and the sanitisation of SUBEB work force to eliminate ghost workers and track down staff without requisite teaching qualifications. Ojong also poured encomiums on the Board Chairman for placing staff welfare at the forefront of his administration.
By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar.
INEC Discovers 22 Polling Booths In Politicians’ Homes In Akwa Ibom
Ahead of the 2019 general election, the Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC) in Akwa Ibom State, Mr Mike Igini has disclosed that no fewer than 22 polling booths have been discovered in the homes of politicians and other private residences in the state.
Speaking in an interview in Uyo, the state capital, Igini explained that “the polling booths are not illegal, but are located at improper places”, adding that such polling booths had been relocated to public places where voters can easily access.
“We have relocated such polling booths to proper places where the people can have access to them. Elections will hold in Akwa Ibom State and votes will count,” Igini assured, even as he warned desperate politicians against hate speeches that could inflame the polity.
He said he was on a mission to Akwa Ibom to conduct free, fair, credible and transparent exercise in line with the relevant sections of the Electoral Act and enjoined eligible voters, party agents and other stakeholders to join hands with INEC to deliver hitch-free polls which outcome would not be disputed.
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