The Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC)
and its joint venture partners have been urged to split the communities lumped
in the newly inaugurated Wakirike cluster to facilitate the sustainable
transformation of the area.
Making the request during the signing of the new Global
Memorandum of Understanding (GMoU) for Wakirike cluster and the renewal of the
GMoU for Etche 1 and 2 clusters last Thursday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers
State capital, the Amanyanabo of Ogoloma, HRH A.T. Obubibo, said the splitting
of the cluster was necessary in order to achieve speedy development while
deepening the impact of the company’s social investment in the area.
Obubibo said that the Wakirike cluster was so large that the
impact of SPDC may not be felt by the ordinary grassroots dwellers if the 22
communities that constitute the present cluster are not split into, at least,
two development areas.
While lauding SPDC for remaining steadfast in efforts to
fashion a workable GMoU framework that would carry all stakeholders along and
bring meaningful development to Wakirike, Obubibo challenged the communities to
guarantee sustainable peace as a precursor to development and ensure mutual
respect and support for the company and governments at all levels.
Speaking, Manager, Government and Community Relations, SPDC,
Fufeyin Funkakpo, recalled the sterling achievements recorded by both Etche 1
and Etche 2 clusters during the pilot schemes in the last five years, which he
said, impacted positively on the people and transformed the development
landscape of Etche.
Fufeyin stated that as a partnership model which puts
resources directly into the hands of the people and lays emphasis on host
community participation in formulation and execution of development programmes
and projects, SPDC believes that a strategic synergy with the governments,
implementing non-governmental organisations and the communities would deliver
on set goals.
According to him, “SPDC remains committed to the sustainable
development of the Niger Delta…I believe that over time, NGOs and communities
will play bigger roles in the development of the Niger Delta, as the GMoU model
is fast gaining acceptance in government, oil industry and communities.”
“The communities, NGOs, SPDC and Rivers State Government
still have a lot of work to do to ensure that the GMoU is implemented
effectively and transparently,” Fufeyin noted, stressing that SPDC was
“committed to making the GMoUs work.”
He thanked the 22 communities in the new Wakirike cluster
for surmounting all obstacles and agreeing to partner the company for
development while also tasking the nine and 12 communities in Etche 1 and 2
clusters, respectively, to work more closely with SPDC to excel in the
transformation of their communities.
In his remarks, Rivers State Commissioner for Chieftaincy
and Community Affairs, Charles Okaye, reckoned that although Etche 1 and 2
clusters had delivered some projects to the people in the pilot five-year GMoU
scheme, but challenged all the 43 communities in Etche 1 and 2, and Wakirike
clusters to honestly and religiously work with all parties under the GMoU to
bequeath a transformational legacy for posterity.
Okaye noted his love for Wakirike people who never allowed
anyone to cheat them, and advised that while working to realise the vision
behind the letters of the GMoU, they must embrace peace, eschew violence and
exhaust all avenues of dialogue towards achieving sustainable development.
While saying that his ministry was open to address any
disputes arising from the implementation of the GMoU, the commissioner urged
both SPDC and the 43 communities to live up to their commitments in the GMoU
Also speaking, Onye-Ishi Agulu of Ozuzu, Eze Monday Amaechi,
regretted the lapses observed in the implementation of the pilot GMoU scheme in
Etche in spite of the huge successes recorded in the last five years, and hoped
that the renewed agreement would drive the speedy development of the area.
The Tide recalls that between 2007 and 2011, SPDC had
invested more than N5billion in 117 communities in 10 clusters under the GMoU
scheme for the implementation of various people-oriented development
initiatives directly selected and executed by the communities in Rivers State
The Tide gathered that out of about 60 clusters identified
in the Niger Delta, only around 27 are presently active in Rivers, Bayelsa, and
Delta Begins Rehabilitation Of Asaba -Onitsha Expressway
The Delta State Government has commenced intervention work on the failed portions of the Asaba-Onitsha end of the Benin-Onitsha Expressway, The Tide’s source reports.
The state Commissioner for Works, Chief James Augoye and his Information counterpart, Mr Charles Aniagwu, who inspected the project on Wednesday, expressed satisfaction with the progress of work.
Mr Tarek Maroun, the site contractor, Levant Construction Limited said that they began work on the 1.5 kilometer portion on Sept. 11 and hoped to complete it in one month, depending on the level of rainfall.
Aguoye said that a similar intervention was also going on at the failed portion at Ubulu-Okiti Junction on the expressway, measuring 300 meters.
He said: “Here at the Asaba bridge head, we are doing 150 meters (1.5km), the scope of work here involves the excavation of materials and filling with sharp sand.
The source reports that the deplorable state of the road posed serious nightmare to road users.
The development had forced transport fares up to as much as N1,000 between Asaba and Onitsha, especially during critical hours of the day.
The commissioners’ team also inspected the ongoing intervention at Okuovu on the Benin-Sapele-Warri federal highway.
The Site Engineer of Obakpor J.U Construction, Mr Justin Nwoko described the work as tedious but promised that it would be delivered in record time.
“This work will be handled professionally and delivered on time. We have been here for one week now, the terrain is marshy and because of the downpour it is giving us some challenge.
“However, we appeal to the people to bear with us. The job could have been done by the federal government but the Delta government is intervening to make it easier for road users,’’ Obakpor said.
The commissioner for works also appealed to motorists, who ply the route, to be patient with the contractor.
VC Backs Buhari’s Anti-Corruption War …Vows To Rid Varsity Of Graft
The Vice Chancellor VC of the University of Calabar, Prof. Zana Akpagu has stated his administration’s commitment and support for President Muhammadu Buhari anti-corruption war.
Akpagu said this during a one- day workshop with the theme:
“Eliminating Corrupt Practices and Enforcing Ethics and Integrity” organised by the institution’s Anti-Corruption and Transparency Unit (ATU) held in the main auditorium of the university Senate Chambers.
Declaring the workshop open, the Vice Chancellor, represented by the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Administration), Prof. Lucy Udida said the theme was very apt and timely, adding that corruption is counterproductive and capable of destroying the university system, hence the need for collaborative efforts to eliminate the menace.
He said his administration would not rest on its oars but will ensure that corrupt practices are eliminated from the institution, which he said, would help in the achievement of set goals and objectives.
The immediate past Chairman of the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other related Offences Commission (ICPC), Mr. Ekpo Nta, in his paper presentation titled “Instituting and Endorsing Viable Structures for Ethics and Integrity to thrive in the University System”, stated that institutional integrity cannot be achieved without personal integrity.
According to him, when an organisation or country is lacking ethical values integrity, individuals in such organisations may be seen to be corrupt; adding that unethical behaviour cannot thrive where there is a clearly defined code of conduct.
While stating that individual unethical behaviour is the reason for establishing ACTU and Servicom, he mentioned ways to fix ethical deficits to include reviewing UNICAL codes of conduct and ethics while infusing relevant provisions of the ICPC Act and encouraging departments to review same.
Friday Nwagbara, Calabar
Our Road Safety Operations, Not Punitive – FRSC Official
Assistant Route Commander, Esuku Ikpi of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Cross River State Command, yesterday declared that the activities of the agency were not punitive but correctional.
Ikpi made the statement in an interview with The Tide’s source Calabar.
He said the essence of the operations of FRSC was for the general well-being of Nigerians and not essentially to raise revenue or scare road users.
He said defaulters who were arrested were fined because if people were allowed to do what they liked, there would be total anarchy on the roads.
”We are on the roads to enlighten people but we are also aware that public enlightenment without enforcement will amount to entertainment and our officers are not entertainers, so we appeal to motorists to do the right thing.
”There are three factors involved in traffic crashes, the human factor, the environmental factor and the mechanical factor.
”So, drivers should ensure that their vehicles are in order, obey traffic regulations and drive within the stipulated speed limits of any roads.
”Drivers must ensure that they desist from unsafe attitudes such as the use of phones while driving, alcohol and drugs intake and should always wear their seat belts because road crashes are preventable if drivers adhere to safety rules,” he said.
Ikpi, who is also a public enlightenment officer for the command added that soon the corps would launch its “ember” months safe driving campaign where officers would be mobilised to work round the clock to effectively patrol the roads during the “ember” months.
”During the “ember” months, we would work for 24 hours.
”Apart from the patrol teams that close by 6p.m., we would have a standby rescue team that would work round the clock due to the impatience associated with the period.
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