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SEEFOR Spends $24m In Rivers

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The World Bank says, over $24million has so far been spent to implement the State Employment and Expenditure Results (SEEFOR) budget of 2017 in Rivers State.
The World Bank Tax Team Leader, Mr. Paminder P.S. Brar disclosed this, last Monday, in an interview with journalists in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the $24million was part of $79million budgeted for Rivers State in three years.
Brar said the $79million was expected to run for a period of three years in Rivers State, adding that with the sum expended thus far, the state was the biggest beneficiary among the SEEFOR participating states in Niger Delta region.
“We are here as part of the SEEFOR’s implementation support mission.
“The SEEFOR’s projects across the four participating states in three years are estimated at $270million, which Rivers State is the biggest beneficiary.
“The amount of money allocated to Rivers State is $79million and the money spent last year for the state was $24million”, Brar disclosed.
The World Bank Tax Team leader also disclosed that the bank supported SEEFOR projects in Port Harcourt Polytechnic with N500million for renovation of buildings and provision of equipment to run technical and vocational training in the state.
He said the full session of the technical and vocational training was billed to commence in September, 2018, adding that another team from World Bank would be expected in October and November to inspect the level of development of the project in the state.
The World Bank leader expressed satisfaction with the level of achievements by SEEFOR in the state, and promised to increase the number of starter-parks for the trainees of the Ken Saro-Wiwa Polytechnic in Bori.
Speaking, the Rivers State Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Hon. Isaac Kamalu commended the effort of SEEFOR in the state, saying that some schools in the state have been revived to encourage skills acquisition through the World Bank programme.
He expressed optimism that the gesture would boost self-employment in the state in the nearest future.
The commissioner reiterated the state government’s support as partner in the programme to achieve set goals in the development of the state.
Kamalu thanked the World Bank representative for the acceptance of the state’s request to increase the number of starter-parks in accordance with the number of the trainees in the state.
On his part, the state Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr. Kelsius Amos said the organization has achieved over 70 per cent of its target in some development areas across the four participating states in Niger Delta.
He expressed optimism that the organization would meet its target for the state by 2019 when the programme would end in the state.
Amos called on the youth to make good use of the opportunity provided them to better their future.
He said the programme that was about to start in Port Harcourt Polytechnic would be of good benefit to the youth and elders of the state, irrespective of the education level.
The SEEFOR coordinator also commended the state government for its support to achieve people-oriented projects in the state.
It would be recalled that the World Bank Tax Team was in the state last Saturday as part SEEFOR implementation support mission to ascertain the level of projects in line with the budget for the state.

 

Enoch Epelle

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DPR Plans Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy For Oil, Gas Industry

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The Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) says it is formulating a Maximum Economic Recovery (MER) strategy for Nigeria to attain maximum value delivery from its oil and gas resources.

The Director, DPR, Mr Sarki Auwalu, made the announcement during a keynote address at the 2021 Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) Nigeria Annual International Conference and Exhibition (NAICE), yesterday, in Lagos.

The conference has as its theme, “The Future of Energy –A Trilogy of Determinants: Climate Change, Public Health, and the Global Oil Market.”

Auwalu said the industry initiative was one of the outcomes of the work of the National Oil and Gas Excellence Centre (NOGEC), Lagos inaugurated in January by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said, “Following an in-depth assessment of the status of the industry, the department identified the need to formulate the ‘Maximum Economic Recovery Strategy for Nigeria’.

“This is to guarantee the actualisation of sustainable resource optimisation and the economic benefits arising therefrom.

“The framework for this industry action plan outlines six pillars or building blocks.”

Auwalu said the pillars were: Reserves Maturation and Production Optimisation, Exploration and Resources Maturation, Improved Oil Recovery and Enhanced Oil Recovery, Implementation Asset Stewardship, Performance Evaluation and Rewards Risk Management.

According to him, the draft framework has been shared with the industry, including professional associations like the SPE and the National Association of Petroleum Explorationists.

He said this was in preparation for an industry collaborative workshop to co-develop and enunciate this strategy for immediate execution.

“We count on the contributions and buy-in of all stakeholders on this crucial national assignment for our overall benefit and industry sustainability,“he said.

Auwalu said Nigeria was rising to the occasion as the ‘trigger’ for continental growth and economic transformation using its oil and gas resources to drive value for national development.

He said the DPR would continue to foster innovative ideas and create opportunities for investments and sustainability in the industry.

Auwalu said, “As always, we are enthusiastic to collaborate with all relevant stakeholders, including the SPE, toward the realisation of government’s aspirations for the oil and gas sector.

“In our role as business enablers and opportunity providers, DPR will continue to promote efficiency to meet the needs of the industry, creating value, enhancing transparency, reducing barriers and transaction costs.”

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Pensioners Urge PenCom To Implement Unpaid 15% Increment

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Pensioners under the Contributory Pension Scheme (CPS) have appealed to the National Pension Commission (PenCom) to implement their 15 and 33 per cent pension increment and other benefits.

The Contributory Pensioners Union of Nigeria (CPUN), South-West Zone, made the appeal,yesterday, during a peaceful protest held in Ibadan.

The CPUN President, Mr Joseph Idowu, while addressing newsmen said that PenCom has yet to implement the increment since 2007 and 2010 in spite of various promises.

Idowu said that their counterparts, under the Defined Benefit Scheme (DBS), had been enjoying the increment through the proactive stand of Pension Transitional Arrangement Directorate (PTAD).

“The new consequential adjustment in pension due to the latest increase in workers’ salaries and wages are also being enjoyed by pensioners under DBS, neglecting the CPS pensioners.

“No CPS pensioner has received any interest on their accrued benefits since 2007 till date.

“We require your urgent attention to ensure that arrears on this are calculated and paid at the Federal Government official rate, as at the time of retirement,” Idowu said.

The president said that his members were suffering as some of them collect as low as N3, 000 as their monthly pension which was not accepted.

Idowu also said that his members were not happy with the delay in the payment of their retirement benefits, which the commission now paid after one year of retirement, contrary to PRA Act 2004 (Amended).

He said that Section 16 (5) of PRA Act 2004 says pensioners should be paid not more than three months after retirement.

Idowu, however, commended the commission for prompt payment of their monthly pension, urging them to prioritise welfare of pensioners under the CPS.

Also, a member of the union, Mrs Clara Fumilayo, called on the Federal Government to assist the pensioners,

Fumilayo said that their monthly pension could no more buy any tangible things based on the situation in the country.

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‘Only 29% Of Babies Breastfed Due To Reliance On Breast Milk Substitute’

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A professor of Paediatric and Child Health, Alice Romoke-Nte, says the aggressive marketing of breast milk substitute by manufacturers was responsible for the gap in breastfeeding of children by mothers in Nigeria.

Nte, who is also the coordinator, Baby Friendly Initiative at the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital (UPTH) said the advertising of these baby food weakens the confidence of the mothers and makes them feel that these breast milk substitutes are better off.

She said this has left only 29 percent of Nigerian babies breastfed as a result.

Nte said the UPTH, Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt and other stakeholders were using this year’s World Breastfeeding Week to carry out aggressive campaigns to raise awareness for the need of exclusive breastfeeding.

She said the international code of marketing of breast milk substitutes would be included in steps to ensure full compliance of marketing these artificial body foods.

Rotary Clubs in Port Harcourt that joined in the rally yesterday morning for exclusive breastfeeding to mark the World Breastfeeding Week includes, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Garden City, Top Health, Seaport, Eco, Atlantic City, and Golf Estate.

Others include, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Gateway, City Valley, Passport, Creek View, Sky Waves, and Rotary Club of Port Harcourt.

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