Connect with us

Front Pix

WPFD: Amaechi Tasks Journalists On Democracy Sustenace

Published

on

The Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has admonished Nigerian journalists to continue to support democracy, in order to move the nation forward.

With this year’s World Press Freedom Day (WPFD) coming barely three weeks to the historic inauguration of General Muhammadu Buhari as the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, having won the March 28 election, he said the roles of journalists could not be over-emphasized.

Governor Amaechi, who is also the Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum (NGF), through the Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs. IbimSemenitari, in Port Harcourt, urged journalists to continue to be fearless, accurate, fair and objective.

The Rivers Governor described this year’s theme for the World Press Freedom Day, ”Let Journalism Thrive: Towards better reporting, gender equality and media safety in the digital age,” as apt and timely, while calling for better opportunities for women journalists.

Governor Amaechi said, “Freedom of the press and freedom of expression are fundamental human rights and essential pillars of democratic societies and good governance. Journalists bridge the information gap.

“Many journalists have died, disappeared or in jail across the world, in their determination to bring good news to the members of the public and they must not be forgotten.

“Every effort should be made by government to ensure that journalists do their work in safe and enabling environments, while the crimes against them are prosecuted. However, the media professionals also have an obligation to ensure fairness, accuracy, decency, responsibility, impartiality and objectivity in the discharge of their duties”, Governor Amaechi said.

“Our administration has been media-friendly. Welfare of journalists is being given priority attention. We are happy to announce that we have completed one of the best Press Centres in Africa. Built from scratch and tastefully furnished to the best of international standards, the Press Centre stands as a testimonial to our belief in the critical role of the media in democracy and governance”, the governor said.

He thanked the media in Rivers state for their supportive role and show of appreciation as on May 1, 2015, during the celebration of the Workers’ Day at the Isaac Boro Park in Port Harcourt, members of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ), Rivers State Council, held big banners to show appreciation for the befitting Ernest Ikoli Press Centre.

Governor Amaechi called on members of the public to continue to support journalists to succeed, while admonishing security personnel to always avoid attacking the media professionals, who are the fourth estate of the realm.

The United Nations General Assembly, in December 1993, following the recommendation of General Conference of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), declared May 3 as World Press Freedom Day.

The day is to raise awareness on the importance of freedom of the press and to remind governments of their duty to respect and uphold the right to freedom of expression, enshrined under Article 19 of the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

It is also an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom, assess the state of press freedom, defend the media from attacks on their independence and pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the line of duty.

This year UNESCO is focusing on the need for quality journalism, especially reporting that is accurate and independent, while expressing dismay that gender imbalance still continues in the media, 20 years after the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Change, with too few women journalists able to reach decision-making positions in the media.

Continue Reading

Front Pix

90% Of Money Laundered Via Real Estate, EFCC Reveals

Published

on

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) says about 90 per cent of money laundering is done through the real estate sector.
The commission’s Chairman, Abdulrasheed Bawa, stated this while featuring on Channels TV’s Sunrise Daily, yesterday,
According to him, although the sector is monitored via the special control unit, more needed to be done.
According to Bawa, “One of the problems we have now is the real estate. 90 to 100 per cent of the resources are being laundered through the real estate.”
He said there are so many issues involved, but that they were working with the National Assembly to stop what he called “the gate keepers” as there would be reduction in looting if there is no one to launder the money.
Bawa, the EFCC boss, gave an example of a minister who expressed interest in a $37.5million property a bank manager put up for sale.
He said, “The bank sent a vehicle to her house and in the first instance $20million was evacuated from her house.
“They paid a developer and a lawyer set up a special purpose vehicle, where the title documents were transferred into.
“And he (the lawyer) is posing as the owner of the property. You see the problem. This is just one of many; it is happening daily.”
The EFCC chairman also revealed that he receives death threats often.
Asked to respond to President Muhammadu Buhari’s frequent “Corruption is fighting back” expression, Bawa said he was in New York, USA, last week, when someone called to threaten him.
“Last week, I was in New York when a senior citizen received a phone call from somebody that is not even under investigation.
“The young man said, ‘I am going to kill him (Bawa), I am going to kill him’.
“I get death threats. So, it is real. Corruption can fight back,” he said.
On corruption in the civil service, he said there were a lot of gaps, especially in contracts processing, naming “emergency contracts” as one.
Bawa said, “A particular agency is notorious for that. They have turned all their contracts to emergency contracts.”
However, he said, EFCC has strategies in place to check corruptions, one of which is “corruption risk assessments of MDAs”.
According to him, “I have written to the minister and would soon commence the process of corruption risk assessments of all the parastatals and agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources to look at their vulnerability to fraud and advise them accordingly.”
Asked if the scope of corruption in the country overwhelms him, Bawa, the EFCC boss said, “Yes, and no.”

Continue Reading

Featured

We’ve Spent N9bn To Upgrade RSUTH, Wike Confirms

Published

on

The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, says his administration has spent N9billion in upgrading structures and installation of new equipment at the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH).
He said the fact that 40 per cent of the 2021 budget of the state is dedicated to provision of quality healthcare delivery was a further demonstration of the priority placed on the sector.
Wike made the explanation at the foundation laying ceremony for the construction of a Renal Centre at RSUTH, last Friday.
The governor said he made promise to Rivers people that the best would be provided to them in all sectors of the society within his capability because of the mandate they gave to him.
“As we came on here, I just looked around and I see the changes in this teaching hospital. I can say that we have put not less than N9billion in this teaching hospital.
“If you look at the budget, the health sector alone, what it’s taking from the Rivers State Government is not less than 40 percent of the 2021 budget.”
Speaking further, Wike said the state government cannot afford to implement free medical service programme in the present economic circumstance.
While dismissing the request for a subvention for RSUTH, Wike, however, commended the chief medical director and his team for their commitment to turnaround the fortunes of RSUTH.
“I have never seen anywhere that health services can be totally free. They’re telling me that people who come here can’t pay. I have never declared that this state is going to take over the health fees of anybody.”
Also speaking, the former Minister of Transport, Dr. Abiye Sekibo, who performed the flag-off, noted that Wike’s achievements in the health sector in particular, surpass what former governors of the state had done.
Sekibo said that the governor has given equal attention to every section of the health sector by providing complete health infrastructure that was positioning the state as a medical tourism destination in Nigeria.
Earlier, the Rivers State Commissioner for Health, Prof Princewill Chike, lauded Governor Nyesom Wike for his interest in the health of Rivers people.
He noted that the renal centre, when completed, would become another landmark development project in the health sector that would handle and manage all kidney-related ailments.
In his remarks, the Chief Medical Director of the Rivers State University Teaching Hospital, Dr. Friday Aaron, commended Wike for approving the renal centre.
Aaron explained that chronic kidney disease was a major burden globally with estimated 14 million cases in Nigeria.
According to him, over 240,000 of these cases require renal replacement therapy in the form of dialysis and renal transplant.
The CMD said the building that would house the centre was expected to be completed in six months and consists of two floors.
The ground floor, according to him, would house the haemodialysis unit with eight haemodialysis machines.
He further explained that the first floor of the centre would house the surgical component where most of the sophisticated equipment for kidney transplant would be installed.
Aaron said Wike has released the funds required to build, equip the centre as well as for the training of personnel locally and internationally.

Continue Reading

Featured

Power Generation Falls 23% To 3,172MW

Published

on

Power supply in Nigeria has failed to improve on last week’s performance, as it fell by 22.9 per cent from peak generation of 4,115Megawatts on Saturday to 3,172.20MW as at 5pm, yesterday, latest data from the System Operator has shown.
According to the data, most power plants were operating far below capacity due to gas shortage with Olorunsogo Power Plant 335MW capacity; and Sapele Power Plant, 450MW capacity; completely out.
Egbin was generating at 746MW; Omoku 37.20; Omotosho (NIPP) at 105MW; while Afam was generating at 80MW.
The data showed that on the average power generation in the past seven days were 4,120.9MW on Sunday, June 6; 4,249.4 on Monday, June 7; 4,000.9MW on Tuesday, June 8; 3,720.7 on Wednesday, June 9; 3,517 on Thursday, June 10; 3,765MW on Friday, June 11; and 4,115MW on Saturday, June 12.
The International Oil Companies (IOCs), had last warned that despite Nigeria’s huge gas reserves a lot needs to be done to attract investment to the sector to develop gas reserves to boost power generation in the country.
Speaking at the just concluded Nigeria International Petroleum Summit, the Chair, Shell Companies in Nigeria/MD SPDC, Osagie Okunbor, said with 203trillion Cubic Feet of gas reserves, what was needed in the country is to deliver projects that would produce the gas.
“The challenge is not just growing the reserves but in producing these reserves for the benefits of our country. Essentially growing the reserves and delivering on the production is a function of two or three elements.
“I like to see infrastructure that is required for the development of these resources at two levels. Soft infrastructure is often the one that is more important than and that is the one that is actually drives most of what you see at site.”
“Soft infrastructure refers to the enabling environment and nothing pleases me as much seeing both the Senate President and the speaker of the house give very firm commitments about trying to pass the PIB this month.
“That is probably the big one of the enabling environment to provide the kind of stability we also need all sorts of other issues we need to that we have discussed severally in terms of sanctity of contract, stable policies and collaboration and I think we are well on our way there”, he added.

Continue Reading

Trending