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Niger Delta

Oil Leaks Pollute Bayelsa Community

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Oil leaks from a field,
allegedly operated by the Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has polluted the Kalaba Community in Bayelsa State.
Community leaders in Yenagoa Local Government Area said that the leakage, which was first noticed in August, had been spilling crude and spreading into the swamps and forest.
They said that the situation was putting the ecosystem, in the community under threat.
They appealed to relevant government agencies to prevail on NAOC to halt the spills and carry out remediation on the site immediately.
the Paramount ruler of the community, Chief Roman Orukali, told newsmen that though officials of the company visited the area, the spill had yet to stop.
“Agip came to the site on August 5 though, they have yet to reach the area because of water and up till now the oil is still bubbling and it is heading into the fishing swamps.
“If not cleaned up in time, it will affect us adversely because the swamp is our only source of livelihood.
“They don’t attend to spillage on time, so I am appealing to the Federal Government to prevail on the company to return to the site on time and make the necessary clean up and remediation,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the youth leader of the community, Mr Samuel Opuro, said aquatic and farming activities were worst hit by the spillage.
“The spillage got to my notice on August 2 and I am very sure that the spills happened even before then.
“For the site to remain that way for over a month now, you can imagine what it means.
“When it rains, oil particles go deep into the soil and they affect farmlands; our economic trees are dying,’’ Opuro said.
Mr Alagoa Morris, a renowned environmentalist, called on the multinational oil firm to take urgent steps to stop the spill in order to avert imminent danger.
“This is rainy season; the spill will impact the surrounding swamp. This is the time when swamp fishing activities take place, but with this spill, it becomes a bad time ahead.
“That is why we are very much concerned, because the more the spill, the more the water takes it far away from the very spillage point,’’ Morris said.
The environmental rights activist, however, urged the community to exercise caution and promptly report spillage incidences in their areas to appropriate authorities to ensure timely clean up.
It would recalled that Kalaba Community had in February experienced a gas leak, which occurred underneath the Taylor Creek.

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Niger Delta

Diri Presents N311bn 2022 Budget To Assembly

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The Bayelsa State Governor, Douye Diri last Wednesday, presented a N310.7 billion budget estimate for 2022 to Bayelsa House of Assembly in Yenegoa.
The 2022 appropriation bill christened “Budget of Sustainable Growth’’ is to be funded partly from borrowing and grants from development partners, according to the governor.
During the presentation, Diri said the administration was formulating a 30-year development plan for the state.
He said when the budget becomes law, the government would build critical infrastructures, sustain urban renewal and development, create wealth and job opportunities, build human capital and strengthen agriculture.
“We intend to explore other sources of funding apart from our projected revenue and expected federal allocation.
“We intend also to borrow N45.8 billion to fund 13 per cent of the total budget estimate.
“The expected aid and grants from our development partners is estimated at N24.7 billion, which is approximately eight per cent of the total budget estimate.
“The 2021 “Budget of Growth’’ was based on a benchmark oil price of 38 dollars per barrel of oil and production capacity of 1.8 million barrels per day and an exchange rate of 379 Naira to the dollar.
“Notwithstanding shortfall in our expected revenue inflow and the rise in our internal expenditures, we gave approval to augment payment of new minimum wage to local government workers, primary school teachers and cleared minimum wage arrears.
“The 2021 Budget was framed to give the state a positive outlook and drive it to a genuine path of prosperity after the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic.
“More than 60 per cent of the capital expenditure was allocated to sectors that drive investments, economic growth, improved infrastructure, youth and women empowerment.
“This was achieved through support to trade, entrepreneurial and agricultural activities and sustainable policy formulation and implementation of ICT.
“The education sector is enjoying robust funding, infrastructure upgrade and improved policy implementation.
“We have put machinery in place to establish vocational schools and technical skills training centres to aid the training of our youths and women in skill sets that are of high demand to make them employable,’’ he said.
According to the governor, the 2022 budget breakdown shows capital expenditure of N110.980 billion, Education – N4 billion, Agriculture – N12 billion and Works – N51 billion, among others.

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Niger Delta

CSOs, Others Hold Peaceful Protest In Edo

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Members of the civil society organisations and youths in Edo State on Wednesday joined others across the country to observe the memorial of the #EndSARS protest that rocked the country a year ago.
The Tide source reports that the protest was largely peaceful, as security operatives, comprising officials of Nigeria Police, Department of State Services, DSS, Nigeria Security & Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Edo State Security Network (local vigilante), took over the Museum ground venue of the protest as early as 7.30 am.
The Museum is located at Oba Overamwen Square (otherwise known as Ring Road), in the heart of Benin City, the Edo State capital.
The security operatives were positioned inside the Museum premises and major routes that lead to the park.
Also, security vehicles were parked at strategic positions and entry points into the Ring Road and the State House of Assembly complex.
Other parts of the City also have the presence of security operatives and their vehicles.
Meanwhile, a senior police operative averted what could have degenerated to a clash between security operatives and the protesters, when a civil activist almost exchange blows with local vigilantes who manned the gate to the Museum grounds.
Trouble started when one of the activists attempted to drive his car into the Museum grounds, but was stopped by one of the vigilantes who closed the gates and requested the occupants of the car come down from the vehicle.
This infuriated the CSO member who said he was conveying an amputee victim of #EndSARS to the grounds.
The victim was reportedly amputated after security operatives reportedly rammed into him and others during the protest last year in Auchi, Edo State.

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Niger Delta

Okowa Heads Human Rights Protection Committee

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Delta State Governor, Senator Ifeanyi Okowa is leading a committee to ensure that all issues concerning police brutality are addressed.
Senator Okowa, on Wednesday, inaugurated the Committee for the Protection of Human Rights in the state, with a call on citizens to be law-abiding in all endeavours.
Inaugurating the committee, Okowa said that constitution of the committee was part of the recommendations of the Judicial Panel of Enquiry that investigated complaints of police brutality and extra-judicial killings in the state.
He recalled that a year ago, youths in the country embarked on #EndSARS, a protest against police brutality and other issues, adding that the protests shook the foundation of the nation.
“We saw a lot of our youths come out in anger against so many issues as it concerned the nation but particularly against police brutality.
“The #EndSARS has taught us, particularly the police, that we must be civil in our manner of approach while carrying out our work because no man has the right to take the life of another and more so when it is unjustly done.”
The governor said that Delta had remained relatively peaceful and thanked the youths and people of the state for their cooperation in maintaining peace.
He urged the people to live in peace and to trust the security agencies to carry out their job of maintaining peace and security in the state.
The 20 member committee include: Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Isaiah Bozimo: Comrade Ifeanyi Egwunyenga, Commissioner for Youths Development:; Solicitor-General/ Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, Mr. Omamuzo Erebe; Commissioner of Police in the state.

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