The Senate has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to refund the sum of N382, 203, 055.74 it claimed to have expended in firefighting operation during a pipeline explosion in Kom-Kom, Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Senate also mandated the NNPC to urgently pay the cash into the national treasury and provide evidence of compliance to its Committee on Petroleum (Downstream).
These resolutions followed the adoption of the recommendations of the report of the Senate Ad-hoc Committee that investigated the pipeline explosion in Kom-Kom, Rivers State.
Recommendation 11 on the report reads: “That NNPC (NPSC) should refund to the treasury, the outrageous sum of N382, 203, 055.74 only it claimed to have used in firefighting operation in Kom-Kom and provide evidence of compliance to the Committee on Downstream Petroleum Sector.”
The report also revealed that 96 persons died during the unfortunate inferno, according to the submissions of the Paramount Ruler of Kom-Kom Community, High Chief S.N. Azuh and his Secretary, Kins Okorie, which was attached to the report.
The ad-hoc committee was chaired by Senator Ibrahim Gobir.
The Senate also urged the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to immediately send relief materials to the fire incident victims of both Kom-Kom and Ijegun communities in Rivers and Lagos states, respectively, to alleviate their pains.
Other recommendations of the committee adopted by the Red Chamber are: “That the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company Limited (NPSC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should, without further delay, carry out proper assessment of the contaminated environments for immediate clean-up and remediation.
“That the Nigerian Pipelines and Storage Company Limited (NPSC), a subsidiary of Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) and the contractors should carry out proper survey of the impact of the fire incident on the communities, determine the actual number of recorded deaths and pay adequate compensation to all victims and the affected communities.
“That NNPC (NPSC) should without further delay embark on Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) in re-laying pipelines, especially in identified hotspots where erosion has exposed the pipelines to the surface so as to conceal them from vandals as earlier advised by Lagos State Government.
Rivers Begins Fruit Garden Market Allocation, Today
The Rivers State Government will today kick-off the process for the allocation of shops at the newly completed and commissioned ultra-modern Fruit Garden Market in the D/Line area of Port Harcourt City Local Government Area of the state.
This indication was contained in a statement signed by the Chairman, Committee on Allocation of New Ogbum-na-Abali Fruit Garden Market, Dr Bariere Thomas in Port Harcourt, yesterday.
According to the statement, “The committee on allocation of stalls/stores at the new Ogbum-Abali Fruit Garden Market has rolled out its time table as follows: Friday, February 28, 2020 at 10am prompt is for the distribution of forms to original 205 traders of the market. They are to come to the meeting with their proper identification”.
It also added that the distribution of forms to the other fruit/vegetable sellers who were not part of the original 203 to collect expression of interest forms would begin, tomorrow.
The statement further explained that on “Monday, March 2, 2020 is for the return of completed application forms by all applicants preceding the balloting exercise the same day”.
The committee emphasised that it would continue with the process on Tuesday, March 3, 2020, with the allocation and collection of certificates by the established original 205 and those who were successful in the balloting.
It, therefore, advised all affected persons to comply with the scheduled timeline for the allocation of the stalls to enable government complete the process without hitches in orer to achieve set goals.
Association Tasks Old Boys On Alma Mater
The Okrika Grammar School Old Boys Association (OGSOBA), has called on members of the association to work towards the development of the school.
Speaking at a dinner night organised by the association at Hotel Presidential in Port Harcourt, recently, as part of events marking the 80th anniversary celebration of the body, the National President of OGSOBA, Sam Nwakohu, appealed to members to take matters concerning the school seriously.
He stated that the school has assisted many of the old boys to be what they are in the society, in terms of discipline and otherwise.
“I implore all of us to take matters pertaining to the development of the school as seriously as we take our personal progress.
In this age, our students need to be educated in an improved environment and with better facilities for learning in terms of academics and extra curricula activities “ Nwakohu said.
The National President noted with dismay that the association could not finish a building project for over 15 years.
“We should try and improve infrastructure of the school. It is not pleasant to note that we could not complete one building for over 15years. While most of us have houses in UK, US and some living in mansions”, he stated.
Also speaking, the chairman of the anniversary committee, Engr. Daso Derefaka, appealed to members to consider the school’s progress.
While noting that the school was currently in need of major repairs, especially auditorium, he thanked members that attended the anniversary and reunion celebration.
By: Tonye Orabere
Oversight Functions Take Centre Stage
Oversight functions dominated activities in the Rivers State House of Assembly in the week under review though there had been other programmes by the various legislators.
Last Monday, Deputy Speaker, Hon. Edison Ogerenye Ehie unveiled some projects he personally built to appreciate his constituents at Idoke and Edoha in Upata kingdom of Ahoada East Local Government Area.
The projects includes classrooms at Idoke and lock up shops at Edoha. He noted that they were not constituency projects but his own personal donation to the people.
Calling on the people to utilise the projects, Chairman of the Council, Barrister Benjamin Eke commended the lawmaker for his love for the people.
Tuesday last week, member representing Asari Toru ll in the House and Committee Chairman on Information and Training, Hon. Enemi George Alabo met with members of the Assembly correspondents corps.
The lawmaker said the Assembly planned to reorganise its information management policy towards improving public enlightenment and to consolidate some of the achievements of the House.
He sought for synergy between the Assembly and the press corps as a way to further inform the citizenry on what the legislature was doing.
Henceforth, he hinted that a central information structure would be set up for a unified dissemination system.
Earlier, Chairperson of the Assembly Press Corps, Ijeoma Tubosia congratulated and at the same time commiserated with Enemi George on his victory at the polls and death of his father respectively.
She said the meeting was part of steps to intimate the House authorities of a new press corp management executive.
Tubosia sought for the incorporation of the press corps in activities of the House and to ensure that the public is fully updated of its programmes.
Last Thursday, House Chairman on Community and Chieftaincy Affairs, Hon. Matthew Dike and that of Employment and Local Content, Hon. Dumle Maol met with Community Liaison Officers(CLOs) in South East Senatorial District.
Dike and Maol urged the CLOs to ensure they champion the interest of their communities and that of the companies to foster peace and conducive operations for development of the state.
They stressed the need to implement Memorandum of Understanding and Local Content policy for fairness and equity for host communities of these companies.
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