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Jonathan Hails UNIPORT On Academic Excellence



President Goodluck Jonathan, has expressed excitement over the high academic standard attained by the University of Port Harcourt.

At the university’s 28th convocation ceremony held Saturday, Jonathan remarked that the institution had proved itself a citadel of learning in academics, sports, research and national development, and commended UNIPORT authorities for maintaining the culture of academic excellence.

The President, who was represented at the occasion by the Minister of Education, Prof Raqayyatu Ahmed Rufa’i noted that university of Port Harcourt was the epi-centre of oil and gas in Nigeria in view of the fact that it was located at place where most multinational oil and gas companies operate in the country, and enjoined operators in the industry to build sustainable collaboration with the institution for mutual success, especially in research sponsorship.

Jonathan reiterated the strong commitment of his administration in providing conducive academic environment for better education, and challenged Nigerian universities to strive at competing favourably with their counterparts in other parts of the world.

Minister for Education, Prof. Rukayatu Ahmed Rufai described Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as an action governor, saying, she was greatly impressed with Governor Amaechi’s great achievements, especially in the education sector in Rivers State.

The minister commended the Rivers State governor for being a great friend to universities across the country and for his great efforts in the education sector in Rivers State.

“Let me particularly congratulate His Excellency, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, on your re-election. You are, indeed, an action governor and you are also obviously friendly to universities in the country”.

“Let me again commend you, Governor Amaechi for your huge support to, and construction of access road in the University of Port Harcourt, and the building of model primary and secondary schools in Rivers State,” she said.

Earlier in his address, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof Joseph Ajienka had said the new focus of the institution was to transform it to an entrepreneurial university, a change in the mission of teaching, research and community service.

Others he said include development of different polymers used in formulation of drilling fluid and oilfield chemicals and reception of two major grants, Mac Arthur Foundation Grant to establish the institute of Natural Resources and also Environment and Sustainable Development and Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA), amongst numerous others.

Prof Ajienka also noted that UNIPORT had graduated to an undisputed centre of excellence in sports by winning Nigerian University Games Association (NUGA) Cup for four consecutive times and winning West African University Games (WAUG) Cup for three consecutive times in Burkina Faso, Ghana and Ilorin, Nigeria, and had a signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Nigerian Olympics Committee (NOC) aimed at making the university an Olympics African Centre.

Ajienka said that Mr Boma Tubotamuno of the Department of Economics emerged the best graduating student with a CGPA of 4.78 on a scale of 5 points.

Some 5, 756 received first degrees, postgraduate diploma and doctorates.

A run-down of the figures shows that 14 students graduated in first class, 817, second class upper division and 1, 468, second class lower division.

Also, 308 students graduated with third class degree, 78, pass, 1, 083 postgraduate Diploma, 532 Masters’ Degrees and 98 obtained doctorates. .

Honorary doctorates were conferred on the Chairman of Stanbic-IBTC Bank Plc, Dr Atedo Peterside, Chairman of Afren Energy Services, Dr Egbert Imomoh and the Managing Director of Diamond Bank Plc, Dr. Alex Otti.


Chris Oluoh

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DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry



The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.

The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.

The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”

Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.

“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.

“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”

Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.

According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.

He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.

“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.

Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.

He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.

Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.

“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”

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Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment



Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.

The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.

The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.

Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.

“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.

“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.

The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.

Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).

He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.

Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.

Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,

Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.

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‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’



A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.

Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.

She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.

Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.

She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.

Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.

Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.

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