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RSG Plans Heavy Fines For Illegal Dredging

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The Rivers State Ministry of Environment has concluded plans to review some environmental laws to check indiscriminate dredging activities and other environmental degradation in the state.

The Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Dr. George Chimezie Nweke disclosed this last Wednesday, in an interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt.

The Permanent Secretary said, the Ministry’s decision was based on the reports from the dredging and monitoring unit of the Ministry over the indiscriminate and illegal dredging and dumping of wastes in the state capital and its environs without appropriate fine options as punishment to any defaulters in the state.

“The Ministry decided to review the environmental laws because, many of these environmental defaulters proved stubborn, even after they are arrested and prosecuted, they believe the fine for their illegal activities cannot be equated with the benefits, they enjoy.

“We want to review the law to discourage every illegal activities on degradation of the environment in the state”.

Dr. Nweke explained on the guidelines for the registration of dredgers in the Ministry, the Permanent Secretary said, the dredging firms like Hopper and Gutter Suction dredgers (24-30) are to register with N10 million each, while other dredgers are to registered with between N1 million and N3 million depending on their size.

“Dredging firm which want to be registered must meet up requirement such as Police criminal clearance certificate, current tax clearance certificate among others before the consent fee.

He called on individual and communities in the state to stop aiding and abating illegal dredging activities in their areas.

Dr. Nweke noted that some community leaders and connive with some dredging companies to engage in the illegal activities, after collecting money without minding the effect of such dredging activities.

He also particularly warned against dredging activities in Port Harcourt, Obio/Akpor, Oyigbo, Tai, Eleme and Okrika areas noting that the law prohibited such activities except there are Special Waiver from the State governor or delegated authority.

Meanwhile, the Senior Consultant, Dredging and Monitoring Unit, Ministry of Environment, Mr. Somiyewo Okikiola has reiterated the unit commitment to reduced to the minimum all illegal dredging and indiscriminate dumping of wastes in the state soonest.

 

Enoch Epelle

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Rivers

RSG Moves To ImproveYouths’ Living Standards

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The Rivers State Government has reiterated its commitment to collaborate with development partners to ameliorate the living standards of the youths in line with the new Rivers vision of the State Government, led by Chief Nyesom Wike.
The Commissioner for Youth Development, Hon. Prince Obi Ohia, who stated this at a Town Hall meeting in Ahoada East Local Government Area urged the youths to develop a mindset for positive growth and enhancement.
Hon. Ohia  assured the youths that the new vision policy of the Rivers State Government was aimed at securing a better future for youths in the state and urged them to work towards self-sustainability for a more secure future rather than solely relying on government or multinational organisations for assistance.
The commissioner, tasked  Ekpeye youths to take their destiny in their own hands by creating a clear and well articulated roadmap  for success in various fields of endeavour.
According to Ohia, if the youths must grow, they should believe in themselves and set achievable goals/targets and work assiduously towards becoming successful business owners and entrepreneurs, thereby improving not only themselves but also, the economy of the larger society .
“The Rivers State Government is willing and ready to partner with the youths in the State to change the narrative. This is why we are here on the advocacy visit cum interactive session with you, to see how to provide a platform for Youth to spring on”, he said.
Ohia urged the leadership of the local government council to do everything possible to improve the living standards of youths in the area, adding that they can do this, by providing education and vocational trainings for them.
He appealed to the local government boss to nip in the bud the rising trend of  undue interference of traditional rulers  and community leaders in the election of youth bodies, stressing that the Youths should have the liberty to choose their own leaders.
According to him,” that does not mean that the supervisory roles of the traditional rulers and community heads should not be established”.
He however, tasked the Youths of the Local Government Area to protect and own all State Government projects sited in the the Local Government Area describing them as legacies that must be bequeathed to  generations after them.
Chairman of the Local Government council, Hon. Ben Eke, disclosed that the council has been able to build a Mechanic workshop for Youths in the area to be trained in automobile maintenance.
Eke also explained that the council has renovated an atelier to train young girls from the area in tailoring and fashion designing and that the council is building a Home Economics Laboratory to train women in soap making, hair dressing and general beauty care, adding that the project would be completed in the next few months.

By: Ike Wigodo

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Rivers

Ogba Monarch Tasks Journalists On Core Values

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His Eminence, the Oba of Ogbaland, Barr Nwachukwu Nnam Obi III, has cautioned the leadership of the Rivers State Council of Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) not to commonise the body but should rather hold in high esteem the core values, objectives, missions and visions that the union represents. 
Nnam Obi stated this on Saturday, when members of the union led by the chairman, Stanley Job, paid the family of the late Oba, Chukumela, Nnam Obi II, a condolence visit in his palace at Omoku, headquarters of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni local government area of Rivers State.
The monarch added that when integrity is in place, there is no limit to how far one can go in life, while prophesying that the NUJ Chairman, Stanley Job Stanley will, not only grow from being a member, Secretary and Chairman of the union, but would become the National President, if he upholds the tenets of the profession.
The first class traditional ruler disclosed that funeral activities for the late monarch included a valedictory speech on August 11th, with service of songs scheduled for 12th, while the burial holds on the 13th, just as August 14-20 will feature traditional rites. He said that he expected the full participation of the union to witness in their lives what it took to give an Oba a befitting burial.
He remarked that he was sure that many members of the union on the entourage were not born 50 years ago when the last Oba Obi died after which his late father, took over the throne at a tender age.
Earlier, the Chairman of NUJ, Rivers State Council, Stanley Job Stanley stated that the late Oba was the grand patron of the union in Rivers State and the country at large, regretting that he died when younger members of the union needed him most to tap from his wealth of experience and knowledge.

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Nigerians Subjected To Extreme Poverty, Group Alleges

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A youth group in Niger Delta region, the United Brothers’ of Opobo Kingdom (UBOK) has stated that Nigerians have been subjected to extreme poverty and avoidable divisions under the administration of President Muha-mmadu Buhari, stressing that the only way to extricate the masses is to mobilize all legitimate forces towards ensuring that the bad government is nailed to the cross.
Speaking withThe Tide recently in Opobo Town, President of the group, Comrade Alafuro Mac-Pepple noted that the youths of the country suffer more from incidences of visionless leadership in Nigeria, as government, instead of building bridges of development, has shut the people out from employment opportunities and dearth of infrastructure.
Mac-Pepple maintained that for the past years of this dispensation, the country has continued to degenerate as there is no plan to create employment for Nigerians, regretting that there is no infrastructure in the six geo-political zones, as well as, the menace of Boko Haram terrorist war which could not be curtailed by the president and has gulped billions of dollars.
“We shall no longer watch this unfruitful leadership while continues to suffer the masses of this country they are full of empty and unrealisable pledges, as well as high-handedness while we, wallow in abject poverty in the midst of abundant resources.
The group leader also accused Buhari’s government of being incapable of accounting for the so much money recovered from dubious Nigerians in his anti-corruption fight and challenged Mr. President to tell Nigerians what he has been doing with all the recovered loots within the life span of this administration, for posterity, save and should stop subjecting Nigerians to untold hardship and penury.

By: Bethel Toby

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