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Niger Delta

Energy Expert Blames Sabotage On Host Com Exclusion

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The decision by the Federal Government to delay the implementation of the community engagement standards in Niger-Delta may have resulted in the spate of unwholesome activities in the region, an energy expert, Meka Olowola, has said.
Olowola in a chat with newsmen yesterday argued that the inability of the government to review its strategy and approach to conflict resolution in the region is having negative consequences on the country’s oil earnings.
The negative consequences of the activities according to him, include pipeline vandalism, crude oil theft and other untoward practices in the region, adding that the development has slowed down oil production in Nigeria.
Speaking on strategies to reducing vandalism and theft in the sector, Olowola said the implementation of the engagement standards is inevitable, if the country must put an end to such activities.
He emphasised the need for Federal Government to review the comprehensive standards and principles of community engagement put forward by sustainability inclined stakeholders in the sector led by the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, Facility for Oil Sector Transparency and Reform (FOSTER II) in Nigeria, CSR-in-Action.
He said standards are products of painstaking research and will help in laying solid structures to tackle community conflicts and reduce oil theft as well as illegal bunkering.
He identified commitment to acceptable engagement standards across the value chain as a panacea to incessant conflicts in communities that play host to oil and gas exploration companies and counselled that Nigeria should enforce the much-needed discipline in the oil and gas sector, which according to him is currently marred with violence and corruption.
Olowola said the challenges facing both oil companies and communities in the Niger Delta region could be prevailed over with proper stakeholder engagement and communication.
He stressed that the need for oil companies to engage in multilayered dialogue with host communities and the government could not be overestimated, saying the community engagement standards gives insights as to how this can be achieved using real-life scenarios.
He specifically said: “The rising tension between oil companies in the upstream sector and their host communities call for a multi-stakeholder engagement approach. Companies need to see their host communities as business partners and as such must do everything possible to ensure that the relationship is mutually as beneficial as possible. The change of outlook will invariably impact the attitude of members of oil-producing states towards companies”
‘’Following the establishment of clear communication lines between all stakeholders, oil companies must proceed to launch sustainable and far-reaching CSR activities.
“The practice of CSR transcends charitable donations and companies need to obtain a full understanding of this fact which will change the conduct of firms across the nation. The Community Engagement Standards codifies the best approach to optimising the gains of the oil & gas sector”

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Niger Delta

SEEFOR Empowers 500 Youths With Starter Packs, Shops In Rivers

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The State Employment and Expenditure for Result Project (SEEFOR) in Rivers State has issued cheques of N100,000.00 each to rent shops for over 500 graduates of the state’s craft development centres who earlier received its starter packs for self-employment in the state.
The State Coordinator of SEEFOR, Mr Kelcious Amos, who officially supervised the disbursement of the funds in Port Harcourt, said the process was the second phase of the empowerment programmes to the young graduates of craft development centres across the state.
According to him, the graduates who were selected from different schools including from technical colleges and school-to-land programmes centres in the state, were earlier provided with starter packs of all kinds of electrical, welding and mechanical.
“What we are doing here today is part of the process we started some years ago to skill-up youths from various governments craft development centres, technical colleges and school-to-land centres across Rivers State.
“Precisely today, we are supporting them with N100,000.00 each to get a workshop, where the starter packs will be used to start their own businesses.
“They should use the opportunity to get themselves workshops to earn a living in life.
“Our next step of action is to disburse working capital of N50,000.00 each to enable them operate in the workshop but that will be after they might have rented the shops” the SEEFOR Coordinator explained.
Amos said that the project would ensured that the young school leavers in the state have their own businesses even before they further them education.
He also advised parents and guardians to monitor their wards and children to ensure proper management of the fund provided for their.
Also speaking, the Director Crafts, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Obisike Anthony, commended SEEFOR for providing starter packs and fund for the youths to start their life after schools.
Anthony urged the young graduates to take the project serious, saying that the project was to ensure that they live a better life in the state.
Also speaking at the occasion the Principal Government Craft Development Centre, Port Harcourt, China Ameka, and Director, Planning,Research and Statistics Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Mr Samuel I. Nwokugha commended SEEFOR for the projects.
They urged the recipients to ensure the money is judiciously used for the purpose it was provided.
Mr Nwokugha appealed to SEEFOR to extend the projects to the youths in the rural areas as means to reduce restiveness and social vices in the state.

 

Enoch Epelle

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Niger Delta

2019: NDDC Trainees Protest Over Neglect In PH

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Some youths of Niger Delta region undergoing the 2019 NDDC ICT training have alleged of being shortchanged by consultants handling the programme.
The youths who said this during a demonstration in Port Harcourt also alleged of being brutalized by secretary Agencies at the commission’s headquarters in Port Harcourt.
The alleged of being denied accommodations, especially those from Rivers State after being forced to sign the accommodation paper, while starter packs and other post training Assembly was denied them.
The protesters also alleged that the training was not allowed to run its full course of three months as proposed, adding that they were only given three weeks tutorials and asked to go.
The youths numbering over 200 further demanded for post training benefits and starter packs to enable them start up businesses after the training, and for their transport allowances and accommodation benefits be paid to them.
Reacting to the protest, a consultant to the commission on the programme, Mr. Ebi Chimezie, denied that the trainees were short-charged in the programme.
Chimezie, who was in charge of trainees from Abia, Delta and Cross River States, said all the trainees who sat for the final examinations have recivered their allowances.
He also expressed the commission’s willingness to reaccommodate those who embarked on the protest adding that the programme was designed by the commission to create opportunities for graduates from the region to become employers self employed with a view to contribute to the development of the region.

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Niger Delta

Community Lauds Wike Over Market Completion

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The Rumuwoji Community Council (RCC) in Port Harcourt, Rivers State have commended Governor Nyesom Wike for keeping his promise of rebuilding the Mile One Market, which was gutted by fire over a decade ago.
They however faulted claims that the Rumuwoji Market popularly called Mile 1 Market may be renamed by the State Government and urged the people of the State to continue to support the Governor in his vision of a New Rivers State.
The Chairman of the RCC, Hon Isaac Chibueze Wigodo who disclosed this in a statement said such claim of renaming the market is misleading, saying though he was not speaking for the State Government it is not true that renaming the market is being contemplated.
The RCC is the apex decision making body of Rumuwoji Community of Abali, Rebisi in Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of Rivers State.
Wigodo in his statement issued on Monday was reacting to a publication in a local tabloid that the State government may have the market renamed, just as he urged the public to disregard such misleading information which he said was concocted to create confusion amongst the people.
“Although, i do not hold brief for the state government, it has not come to our notice and the government we know will not think in that direction,” adding that the writer was only trying to cause confusion between the chiefs of Port Harcourt and Rumuwoji the community, Wigodo said.
He further said that the place has been named Rumuwoji Mile Market even before the civil war, alleging that the author of the said publication who is from a neighbouring community probably wants the name of his community to be added.
”The report is misleading and fall short from the ethics of journalism profession. Nobody from the state government or chiefs as stated in the story spoke of the purported move to rename the market,” Wigodo noted, noting that the aim of the author was clearly to create confusion.

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