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Kattey: Police Debunk N10m Ransom Demand

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Amidst rumours that kidnappers of Archbishop Ignatius Kattey are demanding for a N10million ransom for his release, the Rivers State police command says it is unaware of the purported demand.
The command’s spokesperson, Mrs Angela Agabe, who denied the rumour in a telephone interview with The Tide in  Port Harcourt  yesterday also said that no contact had been established with the kidnappers.
She said that men of the command were combing every nooks and crannies of the state in search of the kidnapped Bishop, adding that for now, no communication with the kidnappers has been made.
In her word, “our men are just coming  out from the mangrove but no contact yet”, she said.
Archbishop Ignatius Kattey, the Dean of the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion and Bishop, Diocese of Niger Delta North was kidnapped last Friday along the  Aleto bridge on the East-West Road in Eleme Local Government Area, and taken to unknown destination.
Meanwhile, the Diocesan Men’s Christian Association, Diocese of Niger Delta North says divine intervention is the only solution for the present circumstances.
In a prayer session to invoke divine intervention on the issue yesterday, the association wondered why unknown gunmen would lay their hands on a man of God.
The association’s chaplain, Rev Joshua Daminabo, the President of the association, Sir Chuks Boms and Acting Secretary, Mr Sampson Akani, who led the prayer sessions, reminded the abductors that their act was against God and His church.
They also reminded the abductors that no gate of wickedness or criminality could prevail against the church of God and Christian believers.
While describing the incident as unfortunate and insult to  God, the association appealed to all and sundry to remain prayerful for the safety and unconditional release of Kattey.
The men also prayed for the peace of the state and the nation as a whole even as they enjoined perpetrators of criminality to repent and seek the face of God.
Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday said that Nigeria would overcome the threat of terrorism, and called on all faithfuls in the country to be prayerful.
Jonathan, who made the call in a Standing Committee Meeting organised by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, in Yenagoa described terrorism as a challenge to nation building.
“We will win the war against terrorism; Nigeria is a loving country and no religion in the country preaches destruction of life and property.
“My administration will continue to secure citizens’ life and ensure that crime is curtailed,” Jonathan said.
In his address, Governor Seriake Dickson of Bayelsa, said the programme in the state was a welcome development, and solicited for prayers for the country.
“I thank Nigerians for their prayers and support to government, I urge you to keep faith and contribute your quota in the transformation of the country.
“I must say that Bayelsa is a home for all, secure and safe; I urge all citizens in the country to embrace peace and love,” Dickson said.
In his remark, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, the Primate of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, commended the president, saying that the church would continue to support the government.
Okoh said that the programme, which was tagged: “Put on the Whole Amour of God’’, was to strengthen the faith of Nigerians.
“We should put on the amour of God because His amour will always stand for us against every evil machination of the enemy,” Okoh said.

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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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