Traders at the Rumu-Woji Mile I Market has commended the Rivers State Government for the introduction of weekly sanitation exercise in the markets every Thursday between the hours of 7.00 – 10.00am which has inculcated discipline and sanitary habit on the traders.
The commendation was made by the chairman of Rumuwoji Market Traders Association, Chief (Hon) Y.O.C. Georgewill during an interview with The Tide last Thursday.
He lauded the traders for their cooperation, but urged the sanitary officials not to wait till Thursdays before coming with their vehicles to evacuate refuse, rather they should station at least one vehicle in each of the markets, so that those who have refuse could dispose them on daily basis as this will ensure that the market is always clean.
Chief Georgewill assured the state government that his administration would not allow any trader to sell outside the market as it defaces the city. He however appealed to the committee in charge of allocation of stores at the new mile 1 market to include at least two of his members in the committee in order to identify the genuine traders.
He stressed that if they were not carried along, non traders may be allocated stores while the real traders may be denied the opportunity to own stores. He also appealed to the committee to expedite action on the allocation so that some of the traders could move over there and decongest the old market.
The pioneer vice chairman of Asari Toru Local Government Area (ASALGA) who is fondly called the Mandela of the market because of his dogged fight for the welfare of the traders, said since his assumption of office as chairman of the traders association through a court judgment of July 23, 2010, he had recorded various achievements including peace and unity amongst members.
Also speaking, the vice chairman of the association, Hon. John Amadi (JP) who is also the chairman of the market’s sanitation committee noted that since the inception of their administration the sanitation exercise had recorded a huge success in terms of cleaniness of the market, cooperation of the traders and the sanitary officials.
He said the traders had been made to realise that health is wealth, stressing that before the introduction of the sanitation exercise, the market used to be very untidy and unhygienic, but today every body is happy to buy and sell in a clean environment. He also noted that apart from the weekly sanitation, the traders also participated in the monthly sanitation exercise
The sanitation committee chairman therefore appealed to the state government to provide them with working materials to make their work easier.
More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining
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.
Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project -Akawor
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.
PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations
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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