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VC Blames School Fees Saga On Communication Gap

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The Vice Chancellor of University of Port Harcourt, Prof. Ndowa Lale has blamed the controversy and protest over fees and tuition by students on the poor orientation and understanding of how universities are run.
Lale, who spoke to reporters on the sidelines of the graduation ceremony at the Claude Ake School of Governance in Port Harcourt, recently,  said the university does not charge school fees for undergraduates but tuition.
Lale suggested that non-governmental and faith-based organizations should fill the void where government cannot meet in funding students as a way of promoting education.
He insisted that whatever fees and tuition being charged currently by the university were fully approved and prescribed by the Federal Government which owns the institution.
The Vice Chancellor argued that it was wrong for students and parents to believe that the school was charging fees over what was prescribed by the government, as he explained that the current legal tussle between some students and the institution was not necessary.
In his words, “The numbers of students who are law-abiding far outweigh those that foment trouble”.
He also emphasised: “There is nowhere and no time that people went to school and did not pay school fees. There is nowhere in the world that school is free”.
Asked of his view on the ongoing strike by Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the country, Lale said that the association has the right to what it was demanding but quickly noted that, “we can only wait for the outcome”.
Lale praised the management and staff of the school for resilience and vision to make the school a world class facility despite the funding challenges.
He said, “I am impressed with the quality… it is not the size or sophistication of the graduation that counts but the commitment”.
Lale averred that soon the school and all its programmes will be the flagship in policy and business education in the country.
The University of Port Harcourt   Vice Chancellor enjoined the students to exemplify what they have learnt, “All you need is matching character with knowledge and make sure you contribute to nation building”.
He also enjoined the graduands to also support their alma mater, as that is on way to improve the learning environment and reciprocate the training gotten.
On her part, Dean of Graduate Studies, Prof. Anthonia Okerengwo

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Rivers

NDLEA Intercepts 100,000 Bottles Of Codeine Syrup At Onne Port

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), has intercepted and seized no fewer than 100,000 bottles of codeine syrup with a total weight of 15,325 kgs at the Onne seaport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi disclosed this in a statement issued at the weekend in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the 100mg illicit cough syrup with codeine packed in 500 cartons and concealed in a container marked MRKU 1565305, bearing made in India imported face masks, was discovered on Thursday, 10th June.
The syrup was found in a warehouse at the Onne port complex during a joint examination by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) State Security Service and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), among others, he added.
He said that the seizure followed intelligence received by the NDLEA, as a result of which the container was detained and moved to the Customs’ government warehouse within the port complex.
The NDLEA spokesman added that no importer or agent had, however, come forward to claim the container, but that efforts were ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, (NDLEA) retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as hailing the synergy between various government agencies at the Onne port.
He charged them not to rest on their oars as they continued working hard daily, to keep Nigeria safe.
In particular, he commended the Commander, officers and men of the Port Command in the Rivers capital, and their Abuja airport Command counterparts, for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs.
“The damage 100,000 bottles of codeine could have done to our youths, if they had slipped through the port to our villages, towns and cities, is unimaginable. 146.95 kgs of khat could have done the same damage if allowed to go unto our streets.
“We’ll continue to motivate our officers and men so that they can give their best in the discharge of their responsibilities across the country,” he said
“We will ultimately, with the support of all our stakeholders and partners, win the battle against illicit drug trafficking and abuse”, he said.

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Rivers

21st Century Business: Company Harps On Digital, Smart Office Technology

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The General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Xerox H.S. Nigeria Limited, Mr Femi Abidoye, has stressed the need for digital printing press as well as Smart Office operations in order to adjust properly in the 21st century office documentation system.
Abidoye, said this during the company’s business exhibition titled “ Digital Printing Press, Smart Office Technology Products And Electronic Document  Management System ‘EDMS’ held in Port Harcourt recently.
He noted that the company has made the issue of work from home a reality.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had actually challenged the people on the need to consider work from home a better business option, which he said the company was handy to provide solution.
The Xerox’s General Manager, Sales and Marketing, further said that his company has been in the forefront of sermonising against analogue system to the digital system.

By: King Onunwor

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Rivers

Finima Seeks Host Community Rights From NLNG

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Finima community has decried neglect and poor corporate social responsibility by the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG), insisting that the gas multinational has failed to recognise them as host community.
The protest staged by the community was peaceful until some youths alleged to be from Bonny  attacked the protesters, unleashing violence and vandalising properties worth millions of naira in the area.
As at the time of writing the report, nine persons were wounded in the attack and were hospitalised.
Speaking on why the community held the protest, an elder of Finima Community, Mr Dagogo Lambeth Brown said for over 30 years the community was relocated for the LNG plant in  the early 90s, the community had been sided in terms of hosting rights.
Brown stated that despite having signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the community, NLNG has reneged on what he called legacy issues. Some of the legacy issues include resettlement of indigenes from their ancestral land now used as site for NLNG, environmental, health, education and employment.
He said, “as at today there is nothing to show for hosting LNG on our land…even we have internally displaced persons in Finima.”
Woman Leader in the community, Mrs.Victoria Brown recalled that the community gave land to the federal government to build the multinational gas firm but today the firm has failed to honour and rexognise their host.
Another community woman leader, Mrs Kabaka Brown said many youths are not employed as part of the MOU.
“ We have master and doctoral degree holders who have no jobs. The jobs they give us is cleaners and security men,” she said.
On his part, Youth Leader and former Chairman of FinimaYouth , Ala Hart decried that NLNG has made billions from it soil while the community suffers.
Mr. Hart explained that the major issues of contention forms part of the Community Content Guidelines, which NLNG do not implement.
He noted that the Community Content Guidelines is part of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board established by law.
The guidelines covers employment, environment, health and general welfare of host communities which the gas giant does not implement.
Reacting to the development, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi- Williams  said the multinational gas firm had always considered all stakeholders in the community  as partners.
“ NLNG remains full committed to sustainable development in the kingdom, hinged on active community participation to drive initiatives and projects that positively impact the lives of the community,” he added.

By: Kevin Nengia

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