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Dev Projects: LG Boss Seeks Ties With Civil Society

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The Mayor of Port Harcourt City Council, Hon Chimbiko Akarolo, has called on Civil Society Oganisations (CSOs) operating in Rivers State to partner with government for meaningful programmes that would better the lives of the citizenry in the state.

Hon Akarolo who made the call Wednesday during the council/ CSOs workshop on Leveraging and Linkages for Sustainable grassroot Development in Port Harcourt, said the partnership between government and CSOs would afford government the opportunity to ascertain the projects and programmes carried out in various communities to avoid duplication.

Represented by PHALGA’s Supervisor for Youths, Sports and Council Development, Mr Glory  Nnekam, Akarolo said the essence of the workshop was to identify with CSOs and to ascertain areas where there are linkages in a bid to come up with possible means of plugging such linkages for effective grassroot development.

“The CSOs should do everything possible to identify and register with the LGA so that we can give them assistance where necessary”, he said.

But in an interview with The Tide, Barrister Ransome West agreed that there is absolute need for CSOs to partner with government for effective monitoring and evaluation of activities of CSOs.

While enumerating the benefits of such partnership Barrister West noted that it would create opportunity for mutual leasing, enable CSOs to cue into the programme of government and help communities to increase knowledge and skills of current developmental issues.

In his paper presentation entitled “The Roles of CSOs as Grassroot Development Partner, Dr Lysias Culbert said since  their emergence in the 1980s, CSOs have been filling the gap created by non-existent government service at the grassroot.

Dr Culbert, who is a senior lecturer at the Ignatius Ajuru University of Education, described  CSOs as veritable vehicles of pragmatic grassroots development and stressed the need for government to strengthen CSOs in Nigeria for maximum implementation.

On her part, Ms Sylvia Briggs, the Coordinator of Women Education Association of Nigeria (WEAN) stated that because CSOs are gate keepers and play a major role in the communities, the programme was put together to develop their skills and knowledge on how to access donor funds to implement  programmes in the LGAs.

 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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Rivers

NDLEA Intercepts 100,000 Bottles Of Codeine Syrup At Onne Port

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), has intercepted and seized no fewer than 100,000 bottles of codeine syrup with a total weight of 15,325 kgs at the Onne seaport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi disclosed this in a statement issued at the weekend in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the 100mg illicit cough syrup with codeine packed in 500 cartons and concealed in a container marked MRKU 1565305, bearing made in India imported face masks, was discovered on Thursday, 10th June.
The syrup was found in a warehouse at the Onne port complex during a joint examination by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) State Security Service and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), among others, he added.
He said that the seizure followed intelligence received by the NDLEA, as a result of which the container was detained and moved to the Customs’ government warehouse within the port complex.
The NDLEA spokesman added that no importer or agent had, however, come forward to claim the container, but that efforts were ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, (NDLEA) retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as hailing the synergy between various government agencies at the Onne port.
He charged them not to rest on their oars as they continued working hard daily, to keep Nigeria safe.
In particular, he commended the Commander, officers and men of the Port Command in the Rivers capital, and their Abuja airport Command counterparts, for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs.
“The damage 100,000 bottles of codeine could have done to our youths, if they had slipped through the port to our villages, towns and cities, is unimaginable. 146.95 kgs of khat could have done the same damage if allowed to go unto our streets.
“We’ll continue to motivate our officers and men so that they can give their best in the discharge of their responsibilities across the country,” he said
“We will ultimately, with the support of all our stakeholders and partners, win the battle against illicit drug trafficking and abuse”, he said.

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Rivers

21st Century Business: Company Harps On Digital, Smart Office Technology

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The General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Xerox H.S. Nigeria Limited, Mr Femi Abidoye, has stressed the need for digital printing press as well as Smart Office operations in order to adjust properly in the 21st century office documentation system.
Abidoye, said this during the company’s business exhibition titled “ Digital Printing Press, Smart Office Technology Products And Electronic Document  Management System ‘EDMS’ held in Port Harcourt recently.
He noted that the company has made the issue of work from home a reality.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had actually challenged the people on the need to consider work from home a better business option, which he said the company was handy to provide solution.
The Xerox’s General Manager, Sales and Marketing, further said that his company has been in the forefront of sermonising against analogue system to the digital system.

By: King Onunwor

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Rivers

Finima Seeks Host Community Rights From NLNG

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Finima community has decried neglect and poor corporate social responsibility by the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG), insisting that the gas multinational has failed to recognise them as host community.
The protest staged by the community was peaceful until some youths alleged to be from Bonny  attacked the protesters, unleashing violence and vandalising properties worth millions of naira in the area.
As at the time of writing the report, nine persons were wounded in the attack and were hospitalised.
Speaking on why the community held the protest, an elder of Finima Community, Mr Dagogo Lambeth Brown said for over 30 years the community was relocated for the LNG plant in  the early 90s, the community had been sided in terms of hosting rights.
Brown stated that despite having signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the community, NLNG has reneged on what he called legacy issues. Some of the legacy issues include resettlement of indigenes from their ancestral land now used as site for NLNG, environmental, health, education and employment.
He said, “as at today there is nothing to show for hosting LNG on our land…even we have internally displaced persons in Finima.”
Woman Leader in the community, Mrs.Victoria Brown recalled that the community gave land to the federal government to build the multinational gas firm but today the firm has failed to honour and rexognise their host.
Another community woman leader, Mrs Kabaka Brown said many youths are not employed as part of the MOU.
“ We have master and doctoral degree holders who have no jobs. The jobs they give us is cleaners and security men,” she said.
On his part, Youth Leader and former Chairman of FinimaYouth , Ala Hart decried that NLNG has made billions from it soil while the community suffers.
Mr. Hart explained that the major issues of contention forms part of the Community Content Guidelines, which NLNG do not implement.
He noted that the Community Content Guidelines is part of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board established by law.
The guidelines covers employment, environment, health and general welfare of host communities which the gas giant does not implement.
Reacting to the development, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi- Williams  said the multinational gas firm had always considered all stakeholders in the community  as partners.
“ NLNG remains full committed to sustainable development in the kingdom, hinged on active community participation to drive initiatives and projects that positively impact the lives of the community,” he added.

By: Kevin Nengia

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