The Rivers State Government has restated its readiness to partner with Non-Government Organisations, to alleviate poverty in the state.
The Commissioner for Budget/Economic Planning Mr. Charles Gogo said this while commissioning the new office complex of the Rivers State Community Foundation (RSCF) in Port Harcourt.
Gogo said that the state government is in support of the programmes and policies of the Foundation but stressed the need for its programme and policies to go beyond the cities to rural communities, while its activities should be made accessible in the state.
Also speaking, the immediate past president of MacArthur Foundation, Dr. Jonathan Fanton said that the foundation would support the effort of the RSCF to achieve set objectives in the state.
Dr Fanton however stressed the need for the organisation to make its policies and programmes transparent and accessible to the common man.
In his speech, a member of the board of trustees of the RSCF, Rev. Precious Omuku said members of the Foundation are people of high level integrity who do not belong to any political parties.
Rev Omuku who is also the chairman Rivers State Bureau on Public Procurement also said that every group will be carried along in the scheme of things.
Oversight Functions Take Centre Stage
Oversight functions dominated activities in the Rivers State House of Assembly in the week under review though there had been other programmes by the various legislators.
Last Monday, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie unveiled some projects he personally built to appreciate his constituents at Idoke and Edoha in Upata kingdom of Ahoada East Local Government Area.
The projects includes classrooms at Idoke and lock up shops at Edoha. He noted that they were not constituency projects but his own personal donation to the people.
Calling on the people to utilise the projects, Chairman of the Council, Barrister Benjamin Eke commended the lawmaker for his love for the people.
Tuesday last week, member representing Asari Toru ll in the House and Committee Chairman on Information and Training, Hon. Enemi George Alabo met with members of the Assembly correspondents corps.
The lawmaker said the Assembly planned to reorganise its information management policy towards improving public enlightenment and to consolidate some of the achievements of the House.
He sought for synergy between the Assembly and the press corps as a way to further inform the citizenry on what the legislature was doing.
Henceforth, he hinted that a central information structure would be set up for a unified dissemination system.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Assembly Press Corps, Ijeoma Tubosia congratulated and at the same time commiserated with Enemi George on his victory at the polls and death of his father respectively.
She said the meeting was part of steps to intimate the House authorities of a new press corp management executive.
Tubosia sought for the incorporation of the press corps in activities of the House and to ensure that the public is fully updated of its programmes.
Last Thursday, House Chairman on Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Matthew Dike and that of Employment and Local Content, Hon. Dumle Maol met with Community Liaison Officers(CLOs) in South East Senatorial District.
Dike and Maol urged the CLOs to ensure they champion the interest of their communities and that of the companies to foster peace and conducive operations for development of the state.
They stressed the need to implement Memorandum of Understanding and Local Content policy for fairness and equity for host communities of these companies.
Wike Appeals To PH Residents Over Massive Construction Work
The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has appealed to the people and residents of Port Harcourt City and its environs to bear with the State Government on the inconveniences they currently face as a result of the massive construction work in the city.
The Governor made the plea in a state-wide broadcast he made Friday night in Government House, Port Harcourt.
He urged the people to see the inconveniences as part of the sacrifices they have to make in the development of the state promising that the projects would be completed within the contract period .
Rivers State Government led by Governor Nyesom Wike has commenced construction of the three flyover bridges he promised people of the state at the inaugural ceremony of his second term administration.
Apart from the three flyover bridges, construction work is going on in parts of the Old and New Government Reserved Areas of Port Harcourt. The city is at present experiencing traffic congestion due to the fact that these massive construction work is going on simultaneously.
However, the Governor assured that his administration and other relevant stakeholders were working out measures to mitigate the impact of the traffic congestion.
Another major event that took place in Government House, Port Harcourt, last week, was the courtesy visit of the Governing Council of the National Youth Service Corps.
At the event held in the Executive Council Chambers, last Friday, the Governor disclosed that the State Government had released the sum of One hundred and thirty-two million naira (N132m) for the payment of monthly allowance to corps members serving in the state.
The State Chief Executive also announced the release of fund for the construction of a 5000 capacity auditorium, drainages, 3000 mattresses and 1500 double-bunk beds at the NYSC permanent orientation camp at Nowa in Tai Local Government Area.
He gave assurances that his administration would sustain its support to NYSC in the state to enable corps members serve better .
Leader of the delegation and Acting Chairman of the Council, Mr Binta Muazu, praised the Rivers State Governor for the huge investment his administration has made to the development of NYSC in the state.
She expressed delight at the construction of 5000 capacity amphitheatre ongoing at the permanent orientation camp, donation of SUV to the state director, the regular payment of monthly allowance to corps members serving in the state among others.
She noted that across the nation , Rivers State remained outstanding in terms of support to the NYSC and commended the Governor for his generosity.
Also last week, Governor Wike played host to some high profile visitors in Government House. Among them were the former President of Nigeria, Dr Goodluck Jonathan and his wife, Dame Patience Jonathan, who were in Brick House last Thursday .
Others were the Governor of Adamawa State, Ahmadu Umaru Fintiri who came also last Thursday and the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye who came Friday.
Meetings with the high profile visitors were private as their deliberations were not made known to the Government House Correspondents.
Governor Wike mourned the death of the River’s born Professor of Virology and former Petroleum Minister, Prof. Tam David- West, last week.
Wike noted that the late David-West was an accomplished academician who served the state and the nation well in various capacities and prayed God to give the family the fortitude to bear the loss.
Within the week under review, the Governing Council of the Eastern Bar Forum paid a courtesy visit to Governor Wike in Brick House.
The Forum led by its chairman, Long William had lauded the Governor for his huge support to the judiciary and invited him to the forum’s Quarterly meeting holding in Port Harcourt.
By: Chris Oluoh
Kom-Kom Pipeline Blast: Senate Orders NNPC To Refund N383m To FG
The Senate has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to refund the sum of N382, 203, 055.74 it claimed to have expended in firefighting operation during a pipeline explosion in Kom-Kom, Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Senate also mandated the NNPC to urgently pay the cash into the national treasury and provide evidence of compliance to its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).
These resolutions followed the adoption of the recommendations of the report of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee that investigated the pipeline explosion in Kom-Kom, Rivers State.
Recommendation 11 on the report reads: “That NNPC (NPSC) should refund to the treasury, the outrageous sum of N382, 203, 055.74 only it claimed to have used in firefighting operation in Kom-Kom and provide evidence of compliance to the Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector.”
The report also revealed that 96 persons died during the unfortunate inferno, according to the submissions of the Paramount Ruler of Kom-Kom Community, High Chief S.N. Azuh and his Secretary, Kins Okorie, which was attached to the report.
The ad-hoc committee was chaired by Senator Ibrahim Gobir.
The Senate also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately send relief materials to the fire incident victims of both Kom-Kom and Ijegun communities in Rivers and Lagos states, respectively, to alleviate their pains.
Other recommendations of the committee adopted by the Red Chamber are: “That the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company Limited (NPSC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should, without further delay, carry out proper assessment of the contaminated environments for immediate clean-up and remediation.
“That the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company Limited (NPSC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the contractors should carry out proper survey of the impact of the fire incident on the communities, determine the actual number of recorded deaths and pay adequate compensation to all victims and the affected communities.
“That NNPC (NPSC) should without further delay embark on Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) in re-laying pipelines, especially in identified hotspots where erosion has exposed the pipelines to the surface so as to conceal them from vandals as earlier advised by Lagos State Government.
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