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Niger Delta

C’ River Votes N18m For Forest Royalty

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The Chairman, Cross River Forestry Commission, Mr Odigha Odigha, says that N18 million has been earmarked as royalty for communities, which reserved their forest in 2012.

Odigha told our correspondent in Calabar that the state government instituted “royalty payment’’ for communities which embraced the government policy regarding forest conservation.

According to him, more funds will be disbursed in next year’s budget, while N18 million will be given out to communities who get involved.

Odigha disclosed that the state government had given out N10 million to communities which conserved their forest, pointing out  that the state would extend its forest cover by 25 per cent before 2020, while  the state government planted more than five million trees yearly using indigenous trees species.

“We do that annually and we have started that process; we planted a few hectares in 2011 and 2012 because it is a new project and a learning process, he said,

“We have a ban on logging, we need to have some form of another incentive which has a close resemblance to the (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD) programme or carbon credit.’’

Odigha said that the state government had shifted its emphasis from running an unsustainable economy, which was dependent on forest or timber exploitation, to an economy that was dependent on carbon efficiency, stressing that the government was determined to promote carbon efficiency in order to reduce the level of carbon generation.

“We are going into low-carbon economy to enhance the environment and forest under what we called the REDD Programme, adding that “the state government has signed the REDD document last month and the process is ongoing.”

He said that the state government had launched a campaign against deforestation in the state, adding that there were new agricultural techniques which enabled the cultivation of the same piece of farmland for up to 20 years without any decrease in productivity and farm yield.

“That means the forest that is standing should be left to stand as much as possible so that we can get value for the forest as per the carbon content,’’ he said.

On the issue of flooding, he described the recent flooding in the country as “unfortunate and surprising.

“It was expected because the alert and alarm has been on, if we had heeded the warnings; probably, we could have reduced the impact, even if we were not able to avert it completely,’’ he said.

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Niger Delta

Monarch Raises Alarm Over Cattle Invasion Of Farm Lands

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A Traditional Ruler in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mene Godwin Apere, has raised alarm over the invasion of farm lands in the Community in Khana local government by cattle rearers and their herds causing damages to the crops of local farmers.
Mene Apere who addressed newsmen in his home town of Kaani recently decried the activities of the herdsmen in the area which he described as “a strange phenomenon” to the people of Kaani and Ogoni in general.
He said, “my people are predominantly farmers and earn their daily living through farming but recently, their major occupation is undergoing serious threats by herdsmen who let loose their cattle to destroy the crops of our farmers, this is totally strange and unacceptable and we cannot concede our means of livelihood to the strange herdsmen”.
The monarch, who is the Mene Bua Kàani Community, said he had made several complaints to security operatives in the area, but the issue had not been given due attention.
He cautioned against the activities of some elements who allegedly collected money from the herdsmen to allow them access to farms and pointed out that such actions amounted to economic sabotage to the local communities.
He called for proper investigation of the matter by the government and stoppage of farm lands invasion by herdsmen to allow the farmers to continue with their farming activities.
A visit to the farm lands revealed evidence of damaged farm crops, while the farmers are apprehensive because of the activities of the herdsmen.

 

Taneh Beemene

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Niger Delta

179 Households To Benefit From Delta COVID-19 Palliatives

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About 179 vulnerable households across the 270 wards in the 25 local government areas of Delta State are expected to benefit from palliatives donated by the Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID).
The targeted beneficiaries will be given one 10kg bag of rice, 10kg bag of gari, one carton of pasta, two cartons of noodles, one 5kg bag of sugar and one pack of salt each, according to the Commissioner, Bureau for Special Duties, Mofe Pirah, who spoke at the flag-off of the distribution exercise.
Pirah said committees had been set up at various levels for the purpose of effective distribution to the targeted households, and said the exercise would be devoid of political influence.
“CACOVID believes if you can afford to recharge your phone with N1,000 in a month then you are not vulnerable.
“They also believe that for you to be part of this exercise, you should either have a national identity card or voter’s card for verification.
“Although some of the targeted beneficiaries are in the remote villages and do not even have phones, their community leaders know how to identify them and so, the state government has warned the exercise must be devoid of politics,” he said.
Commissioner for Information, Charles Aniagwu, on his part, re-assured that modalities were in place to ensure the items got to targeted beneficiaries.
Aniagwu called on well-meaning individuals to emulate the gesture of the Central Bank of Nigeria in conjunction with some other business concerns that provided the palliatives to support efforts of the state government to make life more meaningful for the people.
He said following prevailing economic situation in the country, the state government took the decision to reverse salaries of workers and political appointees to status quo to cushion the adverse effects of the hike in petrol price and electricity tariff.
Aniagwu said the present administration of Governor Ifeanyi Okowa remained sensitive and responsive to the yearnings of Deltans.

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Group Tasks Diri On Consultative, People-Oriented Leadership

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The Ijaw Elders Forum (IEF) yesterday, charged Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on the need for purposeful, consultative, merit-based and people-oriented leadership for the state.
The group made the call in an open letter to the governor signed by Chief Bukazi Etete, Chairman and Chief Atamuno Atamuno, Vice Chairman, and made available to newsmen.
The group, while congratulating the governor, stressed that his emergence as the new governor, after the November 2019 gubernatorial election, was an opportunity for him to render selfless service to the state.
“It is not out of place to state that Bayelsa State has not enjoyed the best of leadership since its creation and there is a general outcry for better governance.
“It is in the light of this dismal state of affairs that we call on His Excellency, to seize the moment and turn things around for the state by providing purposeful, consultative, merit-based and people-oriented leadership for the state.
“In addressing the myriad of problems facing the state and the Ijaw nation in general, we implore the state government to adopt the ‘Top 10 Desirable Qualities for Leadership in Ijaw Land.
“This demand was transmitted to your office in May especially in the area of appointing and choosing people into leadership positions.
“We also enjoin Your Excellency to adopt the Ijaw Chapter and Ijaw Nation Code of Ethics, Leadership and Governance (CELG) in dealing with the affairs of state,” the letter read.
The group also drew the attention of the governor to eight areas of focus to move the state forward.
“We implore Your Excellency to use your good office in repositioning the Ijaws; and we draw your attention to the following: the state of insecurity in the Ijaw nation; establishment of agro-allies industries.
“Youth unemployment; need to prioritise educational infrastructure and resources at all levels.
“Regular payment of pensioners; improvement in the provision of power in Bayelsa State; coastal zone development and participation in the Infrastructure Development Programme,” they added.

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