Residents of Port Harcourt in Rivers State, have called on the state government to intervene in the high cost of housing in the city.
The residents told our correspondent that unless something was done urgently by the government to address astronomical cost of housing in the state, some of them might be forced to relocate to the suburbs or out of the capital.
It was learnt that rent offered for a one room “self-contained’’ apartment is between N150, 000 and N200, 000 per annum while a one-bedroom flat costs N250, 000 to N350, 000 per annum, depending on the location.
Two-bedroom apartment, investigation revealed is offered for rent at between N400, 000 and N500, 000 per annum.
One of the residents, Mr Kelvin Onwuka, lamented that house rent in the city was fast getting out of the reach of public servants, saying that it was becoming increasingly difficult for government employees to live in good houses.
Onwuka, a civil servant said that housing was a critical social service issue and called on the Federal Government to enact laws that would regulate housing, especially rents in the country.
“Cost of accommodation in Port Harcourt is increasing by the day and it is becoming worrisome. It is high time the Federal Government made laws to control house rents and other housing issues in the country.
“Here, in Port Harcourt, the government should have a mutual understanding with landlords on what rent should be so that it can be affordable,” he said.
Another resident, Mrs Chinelo Friday, attributed the high cost of housing in the state capital to roles played by housing agents and greedy landlords.
She said that aside from the high monthly rent charged in the city, agents and some landlords demand two to three years advance payment for apartments.
A housing agent, Mr Bernard Chinda, called for a law to check the high cost of housing in the country, saying that this should be done urgently.
He said that average public servants in big cities, including Port Harcourt were suffering.
“The problem here is that the popular ‘face-me, I-face-you’ apartments are no longer in vogue; most houses have been transformed to modern structures.
“People believe that housing agents are responsible for the increasing cost of house rent in the city but that is not true because rent for an apartment cannot be beyond rate fixed by a landlord,” Chinda said.
RIWAMA Begins Sensitisation On Waste Management
The Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), has commenced an enlightenment programme to educate members of the public on waste management methods and the hazards associated with dumping of wastes at unauthorized places and outside government approved hours of 6pm to 12 midnight.
The Sole Administrator of the agency, Bro. Felix Obuah who flagged off the exercise in Port Harcourt said the public enlightenment programme was necessitated by what he described as the untoward attitude of some residents and those doing business in Port Harcourt, the state capital and its environs, who still engage in indiscriminate dumping of wastes, and outside government approved hours of 6 pm to 12 midnight.
Obuah regretted that the Agency had consistently, on many occasions and at different fora, warned residents against the indiscriminate dumping of wastes, assuring that RIWAMA would not relent in the vigorous enlightenment to ensure residents imbibe the habit of hygiene and environmental cleanliness.
The public enlightenment campaign which has kicked off saw the Enlightenment Team led by Environmental Sanitation Officers visit Miles 1, 2 and 3 Diobu in Port Harcourt.
The Enlightenment Team will on daily basis visit other areas in Port Harcourt, the state capital and its environs.
While also reminding residents and those doing business in Port Harcourt, the state capital and its environs that the ban on indiscriminate dumping of wastes on Market Sanitation Days and the dumping of wastes outside the dumping hours of 6pm-12 midnight remains in force, the RIWAMA Sole Administrator appealed to them to comply with the ban as the Agency would arrest and prosecute offenders.
Fake PHED Staff Nabbed In PH
A middle-aged man that has been parading himself as a staff of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Plc (PHED) was recently apprehended at the Aba Road axis of Port Harcourt, Rivers State.
The Tide investigation revealed that the suspect, whose name was given as Brian Claude Anucha, while masquerading as a PHED staff, had approached a customer, Emmanuel Nte, and offered to assist him to activate his account and subsequently pay his bills.
The customer was said to have given him the sum of N220,000.00 (Two hundred and twenty thousand naira) for the purpose, but the said Anucha went at large after collecting the money.
The Tide gathered that the affected PHED customer reported the incident to a staff of the company during a routine customer check and on getting the tip, the company alerted security personnel to monitor the area so as to apprehend the fraudster.
The effort eventually yielded result after a couple of days as Anucha was apprehended.
Reacting to the ugly incident, Mr. Nte thanked PHED for their prompt response and commitment to resolving the issue which led to the arrest of the fraudster. Meanwhile, Mr. Anucha has been handed over to the police. He will be charged to court for the law to take its full course.
A press statement signed by the Acting Manager Corporate Communication of PHED, Chioma Aninwe, and made available to the Tide, reiterated the earlier warnings of the company to the public against making cash payments to individuals to guard against such ugly incidents.
The statement pointed out that the Management of PHED was completely dissociated with any transaction outside PHED offices, designated banks,and accredited agents, were customers are expected to get due receipts at the points of payments.
The PHED management cautionef the public against any cash dealing with anybody on behalf of the organisation.
Nigeria’ll Not Break Up -Cleric
The National President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Francis Wale Oke, has said that in spite of the security challenges currently facing Nigeria, the country would not break up, as it is going to wax stronger and remain one united and a indivisible nation.
Oke, who made the remarks while speaking with newsmen at the end of a two-day conference tagged, ‘Supernatural Encounter’ organised by the Transformational Bishops Fellowship, Rivers State Chapter in Port Harcourt on Tuesday, said through the divine intervention of God, the country would overcome the festering challenges and also not witness another Civil War.
He said the challenges of Boko Haram, banditry, kidnapping, armed robbery, Fulani herdsmen’s threat and other atrocities would soon fizzle out and the country would wax stronger, and urged Nigeirans to remain calm and seek God’s face with prayers.
“ I want everybody in Nigeria to keep calm. Don’t be afraid. These are unusual times. Things are happening like they were not happening before. There is so much tension in the land. Let’s relax. God is in control. And let’s pray and turn to God in true repentance. Nigeria will not scatter. God will bring healing to the land and Nigeria will wax stronger, “ he said.
Oke, who is also the Chancellor of Precious Cornerstone University, Ibadan, said the conference whose focal point was to bring revival to the body of Christ and for the church to go back to the Apostolic foundation, had ushered in blessings and peace in Rivers State and Nigeria.
Against this backdrop, the PFN President pronounced blessings on Governor Nyesom Wike, his family, the Cabinet and the state government, saying, Rivers State would enjoy sustainable peace.
Oke, who presented a seminar paper titled, ‘Divine Encounter’ at the event, listed the five triggers and necessary steps the church must follow for it be truly revived.
According to him, they included salvation; prayer and fasting; giving (offering); mission; and sacrifice.
On his part, the President of Transformational Bishops Fellowship, Rivers State, Bishop Joseph Ehbohiemen said with the huge success recorded by the conference, “Expect more fire in the altar. Expect more revival in Rivers State. Things we have heard now, we will apply them. We have been revived. The body of Christ, we are growing.”
Ebhohiemen, who presented a seminar paper titled, ‘Power of Vision’, thanked the PFN President for gracing the occasion.
Also speaking, the National Vice President of PFN, South-South, Apostle David Zilly-Aggrey said Rivers State is privileged to host the PFN President, describing his visit to the state as a new dawn. According to him, PFN has over 60 million members in Nigeria. “It is a great thing to come to Rivers State and bless the land,” he said.
The Chairman of the Planning Committee of the conference and Presiding Bishop of Kingdom Life Gospel Ministries International Incorporated, Bishop Victor Uzosike said there has never been anything like the conference, describing it as amazing, and thanked God for its success.
On his part, the Financial Secretary of TBF, Bishop Ayo Odunayo said the conference lived up to expectation and has ushered the beginning of revival and restoration of the church.
The Secretary of TBF, Bishop Chris Olisah, spoke on the same breath , describing the conference as a real divine encounter in which lives were transformed.
The conference also had in attendance the Chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) in Rivers State, Apostle (Dr) Stanley Dimkpa, former Special Adviser to Rivers State Governor on Religious Matters, Bishop Winston T. Iwo, President of Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Rivers State, Bishop Dagogo Jack, General Overseer of Abundant Life Evangel Mission, Apostle Eugene Ogu and Apostle David Adedeji, among other men of God.
By: Donatus Ebi
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