Loan: RSG Issues Cheques To Civil Servants …Reviews Green Book Standards To Check Pollution

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The first batch of beneficiaries of the interest-free loan to civil servants by the Rivers State Government got their cheques, yesterday.
The Head of Service, Barrister Rufus Godwins made the presentation to the beneficiary civil servants in Government House, Port Harcourt, who fell among the first tranche..
Godwins described the scheme as first of its kind all over the country, as government has fulfilled its promise despite the recession.
He said, “The governor has taken the state to another level beyond paying salaries.”
The HOS noted that the scheme was aimed at reducing the financial challenges faced by workers as it was interest-free and would revolve round the ministries.
It would be recalled that, last year, the Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, announced release of the sum of N100million as monthly loan for the civil servants.
With the release of the fund and following applications from civil servants, the Head of Service, had penultimate week, announced the qualification of 2,113 persons for the first batch of the loan.
The Tide learnt that the loan was expected to revolve round the 33 ministries and parastatals of the state, especially for those from grade level 01-13.
It is expected that deductions for the loan would commence after two months’ grace and would be drawn from salaries.
Meanwhile, as a way to improve on the air quality in the state, the Rivers State Ministry of Environment has started plans to review its green book standards.
The Commissioner for Environment, Prof. Roselyn Konya, gave the indication during a public hearing for the State Environmental Protection and Management Bill 2018 (Ha-21) at the Assembly Complex, last Wednesday.
She said the review has become imperative as a lot of changes in the environment coupled with swelling pollution.
Once the bill is passed, Konya hinted that it would give birth to new laws that would govern all spheres of environmental management.
Some aspects of the Green Book, she further stated, were to standardize air quality and operations of polluters in such a way it would meet international standard for air quality control.
Earlier, Konya had during the public hearing lamented the level of environmental degradation in the state, particularly Port Harcourt, insisting that, “if one abuse the environment, the environment will also abuse you”.
The commissioner harped on the need to remove all duplicating functions and to have comprehensive Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) standards to address local needs.
The Chairman House Committee on Environment, Hon Christian Ahiakwo said the state environment laws are overdue for review, revealing that most were enacted by the military and are outdated.
He thanked the participants and stakeholders for their views, as he assured that their inputs would be added to reflect on the new law to be made by the House.