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FG Lauds C’River’s Deep Seaport Initiative

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The Federal Govern
ment has lauded Governor Ben Ayade of Cross River State for his foresight  in embarking on the Bakassi Deep Seaport project, describing it as a worthy venture that will impact positively on the economic life of the country.
The Chairman, Steering and Implementation Committee for the Deep Seaport and Director Maritime Services, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Alhaji Sani Galadanchi, stated this recently when he led other members of the committee on a courtesy visit to Government House in Calabar.
Galadanchi commended Governor Ayade “on his vision to diversify the economy of the state from its dependence on  the monthly revenue from the Federation Accourt, saying this is in line with the Federal Government’s desire in moving the maritime sector forward.”
Restating the Federal Government’s readiness to partner with Cross River State Government and other stakeholders for the actualisation of the project, Galadanchi pointed out that the realisation of the deep seaport would result in an improved national supply chain, industrial capacity utilisation and huge employment opportunities.
The chairman, while regretting the delay in constituting the steering committee, said it was not intentional, just as he attributed the development to an earlier misunderstanding on the part of the officials from the state in the build-up to the constitution and inauguration of the committee.
He listed  the mandate of the committee to include, preparation of preliminary project feasibility/ proposal, the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA), work plans for project implementation and indicative budget for the project development as well as funding structure.
He assured that the committee would do all within its power to ensure the actualisation of the project in conformity with the nation’s Ports Master Plan.
In his response, Cross River State Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade who was represented by his deputy, Prof. Ivara Esu, thanked the Honourable Minister of Transport, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi for setting up the steering committee for immediate take-off of the deep seaport project, saying the port is a life-wire of his administration.
“We want to deliver on our signature projects which include the Bakassi Deep seaport that you are currently here to finalise modalities for takeoff, the 260 km superhighway that will serve as an evacuation corridor,”
While restating the state’s willingness to comply with the recommendation of the committee in executing the project,  Gov. Ayade noted that “his government was ready to work with the stakeholders in the maritime industry as well as other relevant Federal Government agencies as stipulated by law to ensure the takeoff of the project.
“Bakassi Deep Seaport is very significant to us. In fact, it is the hemoglobin in the blood. So, if it does not succeed, our dream of transforming the socio-economic landscape of this state will be a mirage,” he said.

 

Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Niger Delta

Abducted NLC Chairman Regains Freedom In C’River

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The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Cross River State chapter, Comrade Ben Ukpepi, who was kidnapped three months ago, has regained his freedom.
Our correspondent reports that Ukpepi was kidnapped from his house at CROSPIL in Akpabuyo Local Government Area of the State on March 21, 2021.
The Vice Chairman, NLC, Cross River State, Comrade Lawrence Achuta, said the victim was released on Monday by 3.30pm.
In a statement, he said, “Recall that Ben Ukpepi was kidnapped from his CROSPIL estate residence in Akpabuyo on the 21st of March 2021.
“We are very glad, and thankful to God Almighty for his safe release by the Kidnappers.
“I use this opportunity to thank the Organised Labour family in the State, particularly the Nigeria Labour Congress, the Medical and Health Workers Union and some members of his family.
“He is undergoing some routine medical checks at the moment. Once again, I thank all who stood by us throughout this difficult moment,” he quipped.

By: Friday Nwagbara, Calabar

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Set To Inaugurate Environment Vanguard

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The Bayelsa State Government is set to establish a new body charged with the responsibility of protecting the environment from degradation and other environment related causes.
This was made known to newsmen, Tuesday during the celebration of the 2021World Environment Day by the state government in Yenagoa, the state capital.
The Tide gathered that the United Nations had declared 5th June every year as World Environment Day, necessitating the Bayelsa State government to commemorate the 2021 Environment Day Tuesday, 15 June, 2021 following other activities which had earlier caused its postponement penultimate week by the state government.
Giving approvals to demands made by the State Commissioner for Environment, Iselema Gbaranbiri, as contained in his welcome address for the occasion, the State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, restated government’s commitment towards protecting the state’s ecosystems and all matters relating to the environment within the available resources of the state.
Diri noted that following his willingness to promote policies and make decisions aimed at protecting the state’s Ecosystems from further degradation, the state government recently had made approvals for the shore protection work of Obogoro community in the Yenagoa council area of the state.
He promised to do same subsequently for other affected communities of the state, assuring that government would soon work on an executive bill to set up the state ‘Environment Vanguard’.
“The prosperity government shall soon work on a legislation to set up the state Environment Vanguard”, he said.
“This vanguard, when established would work with the ministry of environment and other relevant stakeholders in the environment sector to protect our Ecosystems and environment from continuous degradation”, he added.
Meanwhile, the Bayelsa State Commissioner for Environment, Honourable Gbaranbiri, has said the ministry of environment intends to deal decisively with those who were in the habit of flagrantly disrespecting nvironmental safety rules and guidelines in the state.
Gbaranbiri cautioned people to desist forthwith from ecosystem and unfriendly environmental phenomena, just as he stated that the ministry of environment had recently apprehended some persons,(names withheld) whom he said were involved in some unfriendly activities on the environment.
He commended Governor Diri for making funds available to the ministry for the execution of various environmental functions, pleading that the governor shore up the financial provisions made available to the ministry due to rising environmental challenges.
“ I commend the executive governor, his excellency, Governor Douye Diri, for making funds available for the ministry of environment, for the execution of its functions and programmes. But I also want to plead that you increase the funding coming to the ministry, because of the increasing environmental challenges”, he said.
The Tide learnt that the theme of the 2021 world Environment Day was tagged: ‘Join the Campaign to Restore our Ecosystem’
Similarly, guest lecturer for the occasion and Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, Niger Delta University, professor, Ibaba, S. Ibaba has called on government to implement guidelines and rules governing the environment to the letter, noting that the lack of political will by state actors in managing the environment was the bane of a clean, healthy and safe environment for all.

By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa

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Niger Delta

Balyesa, United Nigeria Airline Sign MoU On Flight Operations

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The United Nigeria Airline has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Bayelsa State Government for the commencement of direct scheduled flight operations into and out of Bayelsa International Airport.
The Head, Corporate Communications, Mr Achilleus-Chud Uchegbu, confirmed the agreement in a statement in Lagos yesterday.
Uchegbu explained that according to the terms of the agreement, United Nigeria would operate four daily flights in and out of the airport.
“United Nigeria will service the Bayelsa International Airport daily from the Murtala Muhammed Airport 2 (MM2) in Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“With the MoU, the airline will commence direct flight operations to Bayelsa International Airport in July,” he said.
Uchegbu said that the MoU was signed in the presence of Gov. Duoye Diri of Bayelsa State and the state’s executive council.
Speaking, Diri noted that with the signing of the MoU, Bayelsans would begin to reap the benefits of the government’s investment in infrastructure.
The governor said that the venture would open Bayelsa, the resource base of Nigeria to the world.
Diri said the airline was chosen as partner because of its quality of service and efficiency.
The Chief Operating Officer (COO), United Nigeria Airline, Mr Osita Okonkwo, thanked the government and people of the state for choosing it.
He gave assurance that the airline would continue to offer the quality service that the airline was known for.

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