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Leaders Mourn Akhigbe’s Death

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Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe (left) present a cheque of fifty thousand naira N50,000.00 to Miss Patience Jaja (right) during the Anual Presentation of Finance Support to Law Students going for Law School from the District last Monday in Port Harcourt. Photo: Chris Monyanaga.

Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District, Senator Magnus Abe (left) present a cheque of fifty thousand naira N50,000.00 to Miss Patience Jaja (right) during the Anual Presentation of Finance Support to Law Students going for Law School from the District last Monday in Port Harcourt.
Photo: Chris Monyanaga.

President Goodluck Jonathan has extended sincere condolences to the wife, children and relatives of the former Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe who died on Monday, October 28, 2013
In a statement issued by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr Reuben Abati, yesterday. Jonathan commiserated with officers and men of the Nigerian Navy which Akhigbe once led as Chief of Naval Staff, and with the government and people of Edo on the passage.
He described Akhigbe as a “very courageous officer who patriotically served his nation to the best of his God-given abilities through-out a most distinguished career in the Nigerian Armed Forces’’.
The president joined the Akhigbe’s family, colleagues and subordinates in the Nigerian Navy, friends, associates and all who knew him in mourning the former Chief of General Staff.
“President Jonathan believes that he will live on forever in the hearts and minds of all whose lives he touched positively during his long and remarkable career of national service in military commands and in the political offices he held as a military officer.
“The president believes that Akhigbe will be especially remembered and honoured by present and future generations for serving with distinction as military governor of Lagos and Ondo States.
“He will also be remembered for serving as Chief of General Staff in the military administration that midwifed the present democratic dispensation in Nigeria and began the commendable re-professionalisation of the Nigerian Armed Forces after decades of involvement in politics.’’
He said that the president prayed that God would comfort all who mourn Akhigbe and grant his soul eternal rest.
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, has expressed his shock and sadness over the death of former Chief of General Staff, retired Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe.
In a statement issued in Abuja by his Special Adviser on Media and Public Affairs, Malam Imam Imam, Tambuwal described Akhigbe as a gentleman officer whose contributions, and that of his peers, towards restoration of democracy in Nigeria in 1999 will remain indellible in the annals of Nigeria’s history.
He said Nigerians will forever remain grateful to the Abdulsalami Abubakar-led regime which Akhigbe served as the Number Two officer, for their diligence and commitment to ensure the return of democracy to the country.
“As a proof of his commitment to democratic ideals, Akhigbe continued to render selfless services to the nation post-1999 until his death on Monday.
“Nigeria has lost one of it’s eminent sons. I extend my condolence to his family, Fugar community in Edo State, the Nigerian Navy and Nigerians as a whole,” the Speaker added.
Vice-President Namadi Sambo has commiserated with the family of the former Chief of General Staff, Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe, describing his death as a great loss to the country’’.
Our correspondent reports Akhigbe died at the age of 68 in New York on Monday.
This information is contained in a statement issued by his Senior Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Malam Umar Sani, in Abuja on Tuesday.
Sambo described the deceased as a disciplined military officer who rose to the peak of his  profession by dint of hard work and commitment and served this nation selflessly.
“He was governor, Chief of Naval Staff and the Chief of General Staff to the military administration that ensured the smooth transition to a democratically elected government.
“As a statesman, his invaluable counsel will be greatly missed by us. Indeed, his loss is a sad and great loss to the country.’’
The vice-president prayed for the repose of the soul of the deceased and for God Almighty to the give the family the courage and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.
Tambuwal also prayed to the Almighty God to give his family the fortitude to bear the great loss.
The Senate President, David Mark, on Tuesday described the death of retired Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe, as a loss of a brother, confidant, friend and comrade-at-arms.
A statement signed by his Special Adviser, Media and Publicity, Kola Ologbondiyan, said Mark recalled their days at the Nigerian Defence Academy (NDA), noting that “Mike was fearless and very diligent in our course.”
“He took these attributes to all the formations where he was privileged to have been posted either in his core military postings or political offices,” he said.
The statement also said the late Akhigbe’s death was a huge personal loss to Mark, the members of Course 3, the Armed Forces, Edo and the nation.
“But we cannot question God. He alone gives life and takes it when he so desires. We are bound by His decision to take our brother and friend at this time.”
Mark, who is the Chairman of Course 3 Alumni of the NDA, said: “We are consoled that while Mike was with us, he lived his life in the service of God and mankind.”
He prayed that God would grant the family the fortitude to bear the very painful departure.
Meanwhile, activities at the Western Naval Command and NNS Beecroft, at the Naval Base, Apapa, were low-keyed on Tuesday following the dead of former Chief of General Staff, Vice Adm. Mike Akhigbe (rtd).
Akhigbe, 68, who served under the Gen. Abdulsalami Abubakar-led military government between 1998 and 1999, died in New York, U.S. on Monday.
Our correspondent who visited the commands in Lagos yesterday observed that officers and ratings were looking sober over the demise of the admiral, who had also served as a one-time Chief of Naval Staff.
Some of the officers who spoke to newsmen on condition of anonymity, expressed shock over his death.
“We lost an officer and a gentleman whose exemplary life is worthy of emulation by every officer who aspires to be an accomplished naval officer,” a Navy Captain said.
Our correspondent, however, could not reach the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC), Western Naval Command, and some senior officers, as he was said to be on tour of some formations under his command— outside of Lagos.
Similarly, the Command’s Information Officer was also not available to comment on the development, as he was said to be on the FOC’s entourage.
Meanwhile, Commodore Kabir Aliyu, the Director of Naval Information, who confirmed the death of the admiral, expressed the condolences of the service to the Akhigbe family.
He described the late Admiral as an elder statesman whose contributions to national development would remain indelible.
Akhigbe was Military Governor of Ondo State between 1985 and 1986, and Lagos state governor from 1986 to 1988.
He served as Chief of General Staff in the Gen. Abdusalam Abubakar-led military government from 1998 till the termination of military government in Nigeria in 1999.
Akhigbe attended the Nigerian Defence Academy, Kaduna; the Royal Naval School of Maritime Operations, Dryad, Southwick, UK; Command and Staff College, Jaji; the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies (NIPSS), Kuru, and the University of Poitiers, Rouan, France.
He was one-time the Principal Welfare Officer of the Nigerian Navy Flagship, NNS Aradu; Director, Naval Plans, Naval Headquarters; Flag Officer Commanding the Eastern Naval Command, and Chief of Naval Staff.
After his retirement from the Navy, Akhigbe went to read law and became an attorney with specialisation in Maritime and Real Estate Law. He was a seasoned businessman with substantial interest in real estate.
Akhigbe hailed from Fugar, headquarters of Etsako-central local government council of Edo.

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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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