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College Denies Rift With Labour Unions

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The management of the Rivers State College of Health Science and Technology says it has cordial relationship with all the labour unions operating in the college.
The management which said this in Port Harcourt also denied the rumour that labour unions in the institution were threatening to embark on industrial action to paralyse academic activities in the college.
Registrar of the institution, Patricia Lawson told newsmen that the alleged frosty relationship with the unions which is being spread by some local newspapers was the handiwork of detractors.
She said the management might be forced to take legal action against the affected tabloid, if they failed to retract the stories.
Ms Lawson also described as false, insinuations that the sum of two hundred million naira purportedly received from the state government was mismanaged, stressing that no such money was received from the state government.
According to the management, the rumours were targeted at tarnishing the good image of not only the college, but that of the Provost, Dr Franklin Nlerum.
It further said it was only the Rivers State House of Assembly that could make laws relating to the college, stressing that until the laws are amended, it will continue to remain under the supervision of the Rivers State Ministry of Health.
According to the management, until the new bill which is now before the state Assembly is passed, issues of retirement age and salary structures as contained in the new bill would be addressed and restated the determination of the management to improve the condition of workers and staff of the college.

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Rivers

FRSC Decorates 17 Promoted Officers In Rivers Command

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Seventeen newly promoted officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps in Rivers State Command were decorated yesterday.
The command said the newly decorated officers would strengthen its operations in 2021.
The State Sector Commander, Corp Commander Salisu Galadunci, said in a statement yesterday that the newly promoted officers were among those whose names appeared on the promotion list in 2019.
He said that 17 officers from the command, cutting across different ranks, were successful.
The sector commander said that the list was approved by the FRSC Board and released by management in December 2020.
“The promoted officers were declared successful on completion of series of normal promotion exercise as supervised by the Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government.
“The list of the successful staff was released towards the end of last year, but the decoration of affected officers was delayed following their active involvement in the just concluded Operation Zero Road Traffic Crash Tolerance.
“The Zero Road Traffic Crash Tolerance exercise was flagged off on December 15, 2020 and concluded on January 15, 2021,” he said.
Galadunci said that the successful officers were Mr Monday Otubu, a Chief Route Commander, promoted to the rank of Assistant Corps Commander.
“Others are Mr Sunday Ujoh, a Route Commander promoted to Superintendent Route Commander, Mrs Kudirat Ilupeju, who was promoted to the rank of Chief Inspector from the rank of Deputy,” he said.
Galadunci urged the newly decorated officers to reciprocate the gesture by being more committed to the task of elevating the corps to enviable height, adding that “to whom much is given, much is expected”.
The sector commander advised other officers looking forward for promotion to be dedicated.

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Rivers

NDDC Unveils Skills-Driven Programme For N’Delta Youths

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The Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), has unveiled a talent hunt programme to discover and expose creative youths and women of the Niger Delta region.
The Commission said the talent hunt was meant to prime prospective artistes in the region take advantage of the thriving entertainment industry.
Speaking during a meeting with some key actors in the creative industry at the Rivers State office of NDDC in Port Harcourt, the Interim Administrator, Mr. Effiong Akwa, said that NDDC would continue to create programmes to address the challenges of youths in the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, represented by the Director, Youths and Sports, Mr. Offiong Ephraim, stated that the talent hunt programme would accommodate all categories of youths, including the physically challenged.
He affirmed that NDDC would continue to execute programmes that would engage the youths meaningfully, stating that the Commission was passionate and committed to youth development as part of measures to end youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.
The NDDC boss stressed the importance the Commission attached to partnerships that would enhance the development of youths, women and people living with disabilities.
He assured that the Commission would not relent in introducing programmes that would provide opportunities for youths to excel.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser on Youths to the Interim Administrator, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, said that it was important to debunk the notion that Niger Delta youths were not enterprising.
He stated: “We have a lot of energetic, strong and intelligent young people. We are going to train them to ensure that they are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. The creative industry is one area where young people thrive. We will partner with known artistes in the region as ambassadors to also pull the other ones up.”
Eradiri explained that the partnership with known artistes from the Niger Delta was meant to develop the talents of youths from across the region, stating, “the creative industry is one area that we can engage a lot of idle young people. We will continue to play our role in supporting institutions to create the platform to push our young people to the international society. We must keep the creative sector alive in the Niger Delta to develop young talents to showcase to the world.”
A foremost artiste in the region, Mr. Okiri Harry, who was present at the meeting, said that the Commission’s youth programme was a dream come true for those in the creative sector, noting that about 80 per cent of the entertainment industry was rooted in the Niger Delta.
He said that artistes from the region had over the years faced challenges of getting support and platforms to express themselves, stressing that “our talented youths are yearning for avenues to express themselves and that is where the Niger Delta talent hunt comes in.”
Harry said that the Niger Delta Youth Entertainment Talent Hunt, NIDETH, would organise auditions in all the nine states of the region and organise bands for them, adding, “we intend to make stars from this platform”.
He continued, “We are going to bring in all our Niger Delta Ambassadors in the entertainment industry. These great artistes will be brought in to inspire the young and up-coming ones. We know that when we engage our youths in this platform, we will not just take them off the streets but we will empower them.”
In a related development, the President of Miss Niger Delta Organization, Prince Sodin, applauded NDDC for the programme to encourage youths to realize their potentials, observing that it was important to let the world know the positive attributes of the young people in the region.

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Second Wave Of Militancy Imminent – IYC

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The leadership of the pan-Ijaw youth group, Ijaw Youths Council (IYC) Worldwide, has raised fears over second wave of militancy in the Niger Delta region if the federal government fails to completely implement the full package of the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP).
The council said the country would not survive a fresh return to militancy by aggrieved youths in the region and wondered why the government chose to play politics with an important scheme like PAP.
Recall that the Amnesty project was initiated in 2010 to take youths out of the creeks and integrate them into the society through a well-organised programme of empowerment and development of the region.
But, the IYC President, Deacon Timothy Peter Igbifa, in a statement issued to newsmen on Tuesday, said PAP’s cardinal objective of integration, empowerment and regional development had remained a mirage.
The IYC boss regretted that the Amnesty scheme had not gone beyond its disarmament phase, adding that the federal government had failed to advance the programme to the next phase because of the continuous free-flow of crude oil production.
“The Amnesty scheme has not lived up to its purpose. The Federal Government has failed woefully to take the programme beyond the disarmament and demobilisation stage because they feel they have successfully brought the youths out of the creeks and nothing is disturbing oil production. So, the government is currently playing politics with the scheme”, he said.
Igbifa said all stakeholders had waited in vain to see multiple jobs created in the region by the Amnesty Programme and the transformation of the Niger Delta into modern cities bubbling with economic prosperity and social harmony.
He said the government was toying with fire by mismanaging the Amnesty Programme as it could lead to massive return of the youths to the creeks.
But the IYC boss said the appointment of Col. Miland Dixon Dikio (retd) as the interim administrator of PAP had provided the government another opportunity to reposition the programme.
He asked the government to give maximum support to Dikio, warning that if the federal government failed to act fast in implementing the complete PAP framework, militancy would resurface in the region.
Igbifa said: “A second wave of militancy is looming in the region and it will be very difficult for the country to survive it. The only thing left for the government to do is ensure all promises contained in the Amnesty Programme are fulfilled without further.
“With the appointment of the current interim administrator, an opportunity has been opened to redeem the situation. Any attempt to maintain the business-as-usual approach to the management of PAP will lead to fresh militancy in the region.

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