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Niger Delta

CRSG, Zenith Bank Move To Boost Agric Value Chain Policy

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The efforts of Governor Ben Ayade to industrialise Cross River State through its agricultural value chain policy got a major boost with the announcement of a partnership between the state government and Zenith Bank.
This followed a visit by the management of the bank led by its Group Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Ebenezer Onyeagwu to the various agricultural-processing factories located at the Ayade Industrial Park in Calabar.
Speaking to newsmen after touring the factories, Onyeagwu said Governor Ayade deserves commendation for his foresight, initiative and determination to create an economy for the state through industrialisation.
According to him, “the essence of all of these factories is what we have been talking about in this country. What I have seen here are factories that are not just integrated but are also properly linked
with the ecosystem.”
He said beyond partnering with the state to deepen the agricultural value chain efforts of the government, his bank is willing to also provide advisory support services to the government.
“When the projects grow and get into incubation level, we could start looking at providing and supporting the government with advisory services to diversify and expand the ownership and move it to private
sector that would manage it,” he said
On economic impact of the Ayade industrialisation policy, the Zenith bank boss expressed optimism that the projects would create jobs, put food on the table and help raise the people’s standard of living.
“It would help change the economic narrative of Cross River and Nigeria as a country. I think Governor Ayade deserves commendation,” Onyeagwu stated
While expressing his joy at the collaboration between his state and the bank, Governor Ayade used the occasion to disclose he had signed a contractual deal with John Del of USA via Tata to supply the state with equipment for land clearing and soil preparation in furtherance of his Agro- Industrialisation drive.

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Niger Delta

PAP Under Buhari Has Failed, Agitators Insist …Allege Corruption In NSA’s Office

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A militant group, the Joint Revolutionary Council (JRC), has said that the Presidential Amnesty Programme (PAP) under the President Muhammadu Buhari-led Federal Government is a monumental failure.
The group attributed the failure of the amnesty programme to what it termed as the ‘greed, inefficiency and incompetence in the Office of the National Security Adviser (NSA) under whose purview the programme had been housed since 2015.
The JRC, in a statement issued yesterday, and signed by its Joint Spokesperson, Cynthia Whyte, a copy of which was obtained by The Tide in Port Harcourt, called on Buhari to immediately remove the Amnesty Programme from the direct supervision of the NSA, alleging that the latter has turned the programme into his personal Automated Teller Machine (ATM).
The statement, which was addressed to President Muhammadu Buhari, reads, “Mr. President, the Presidential Amnesty Programme under your watch has failed. The singular reason for the failure of the Presidential Amnesty Programme is the incompetence, inefficiency, malfeasance, greed and corruption in the Office of the National Security Adviser, under whose watch the Amnesty Programme has been domiciled since July, 2015.
“The Presidential Amnesty Programme has since then, been transformed into the personal ATM machine of the National Security Adviser, guaranteeing him of withdrawals of millions of dollars on scheduled basis.
“As a result of the demand to service the Office of the National Security Adviser, the Presidential Amnesty Programme, run by lackeys appointed by the NSA, continues to run short of the funds it requires to service its main operational purpose and mandate, thereby short-changing the thousands of ex-militants on whose account the Presidential Amnesty Programme was founded.
“First, it was Brig-Gen Paul Boroh, who was appointed as coordinator of the Amnesty Programme in July, 2015. His appointment was terminated in March, 2018, amidst allegations of fraud, embezzlement and recklessness. The entire story was not told.
“Now, it is Prof Charles Dokubo, whose appointment was announced on March 13, 2018,” the group said, adding that the failure of the programme has led to the increase in illegal oil refineries across the Niger Delta region.
“The failure of the Amnesty Programme has, thus, resulted in an astronomical rise in the proliferation of illegal oil refineries across almost all the nooks and crannies of the Niger Delta.
“More than 250,000 barrels of crude oil is diverted daily for the operation of these illegal oil refineries which are present in almost every community in the Niger Delta, and which are owned and operated by former militant leaders and their followers who have laid down their arms but have lost faith in the Amnesty Programme.

 

Dennis Naku

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Niger Delta

We’re Set For Project Assessment, NDDC Confirms

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The former acting Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Dr Joi Nunieh, has said that the commission has empowered its Project Assessment Committee to begin visits to project sites in communities across the Niger Delta region.
Nunieh spoke during a courtesy visit to the NDDC headquarters in Port Harcourt, by some chiefs from Kula, in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of Rivers State, under the auspices of concerned citizens of Kula Kingdom, recently.
The former NDDC boss said that through his findings in the just concluded contract verification exercise, the commission had been able to reduce its indebtedness to contractors and consultants considerably.
She declared: “We are ready to begin the assessment of the project which will entail going to the sites and it would be a name and shame exercise.”
Nunieh emphasised that the Interim Management Committee (IMC), which she heads, would not succumb to pressures from contractors who want to be paid even before validation of their claims.
The former NDDC boss urged the Kula chiefs to support the IMC and stand with the NDDC to ensure the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region, noting that the story of the region would not be complete without a mention of the contributions of Kula as an oil-producing community.
Nunieh said that the assessment committee had worked out a schedule for the visit of project sites in various communities, including Kula, to inspect on-going projects, emphasising that no contractor would be paid without evidence of work done.
She said: “I want to assure you that we will visit your community for site inspection. We expect your people to receive us. We will look at the measurements and every detail of work done and if they are accurate, we will pay.
“I want to say that I am privileged to be at NDDC at this time. The money for the execution of projects is not mine. It belongs to the Federal Government and if a contractor does well, I don’t see why he will not be paid,” she stated.
Earlier in their presentation, the Concerned Citizens of Kula, led by Anabs Sara-Igbe, appealed for the investigation, reconsideration and completion of abandoned NDDC projects in Kula and other communities in the Kingdom.

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Niger Delta

Don Tasks FG On Prison Reforms, Lists Benefits

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Professor of Theatre Arts and Film Production, University of Port Harcourt, Professor Henry Bellgam, has called for the relocation of prisons from city centres to the rural communities through public private partnership (PPP).
Speaking with The Tide yesterday in Port Harcourt, Bellgam said that the move was imperative following the recent jail breaks in Abuja and other parts of the country.
According to him, “This call, which is in line with global best practices, would bring the best”, noting that it will check the incessant jail breaks in Nigeria prisons.
He said, “It will be difficult for the prisoners to escape and blend with local population, stating that prisons in rural areas.
“Furthermore, such prisons would have land for correctional facilities that would equip the prisoners with new skills, preparatory to life after jail.”
Professor Bellgam, also stated that the Federal Government should be committed to building more new correctional centres across the country.
Bellgam, further said the PPP procurement option was one of the issues to be considered by the ministry charged with such responsibility.
He expressed support for the reforms of the prison system, the PPP plan offers, but emphasised that the proposal should be thoroughly reviewed with all stakeholders.
The erudite scholar explained that issues regarding the correct valuation of the prison when implemented would benefit the government.
He, however, said discussions should commence in the earliest regarding the issue which involves most states, including, Ogun, Lagos, Akwa Ibom and Imo, which should accept the relocation of the prisons in their states.

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