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UNEP Report: Ogonis Seek Divine Intervention

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Hundreds of Ogonis gathered at the All Saints Anglican Church, Bori, Rivers State, the traditional capital of Ogoni people to seek God’s intervention over the implementation of the United Nations Environmental Assessment Project (UNEP), report.

The UNEP report which recommended some measure of compensation to the tune of $1 billion for the environmental degradation and pollution suffered by the Ogonis as a result of oil exploration in the area was concluded and handed over to the Federal Government in August 2011.

Also, a committee, headed by Petroleum Minister, Mrs Diezani Allison-Madueke  set up by government to study the report, has submitted its own report.

But nothing has come out of the exercises as the Federal government was yet to act on the reports.

Thus, the Ogonis under the auspices of the Ogoni Generation Next Project (an organisation of young professionals) and Ogoni Church Leaders Council, held a special prayer session for God to touch the hearts of the authorities for the implementation of the UNEP report.

The Ogoni people led by their political, traditional and youth leaders prayed fervently for divine intervention in the situation as well as for peace in Nigeria and Rivers State.

Speaking on the UNEP report, the Senator representing Rivers South-East Senatorial District, Magnus Ngei Abe lamented that close to one year after the report, nothing has been done to alleviate the suffering of the people.

He said that the UNEP project was initiated by the Federal Government and the Governor of Rivers State took it as a personal battle.

But the Senator expressed disappointment with the Federal Government over its non chalance to the implementation of the report.

“It is with some measure of disappointment that as we gather here to pray, I, as a Senator of the Federal Republic cannot say what is being done about the report, in spite of many representations”, he said.

According to him, the Rivers State House of Assembly, Federal House of Representatives, and Senate have all passed resolutions for the report to be implemented, but today. “We’re gathered here to pray that the president keeps not only his word but the commitment of the Federal Government of Nigeria.

The Senator declared that the Ogoni were ready to talk with government and chided the Federal government for focusing on talking with group that did not want to dialogue and whose problems were unknown.

Meanwhile, the chairman, Movement for the Survival of Ogoni People (MOSOP) Provisional Ruling Council, Professor Ben Naanen said that the people were not only calling for the implementation of the UNEP report but that Ogonis must have a say on how it is implemented.

Among other dignitaries that attended the event are the Gbenemene Tai Kingdom and Chairman, Supreme Council of Ogoni Traditional Rulers, who is also the chairman Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers, HRM, King Godwin N. K. Gininwa, Justice Peter Akere Rtd, Ogoni political heavyweights and the people’s representatives in State and Federal House of Assembly.

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DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry

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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

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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’

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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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