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Three Flyover Bridges: Wike Seeks Traders, Residents’ Cooperation …As RSG Moves Ease Of Doing Business Council Inauguration To Monday …Sets Up Task Force To Enforce Illegal Private Schools’ Closure

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The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has called on traders and residents to cooperate with the Rivers State Government to deliver the Rebisi, Rumuogba and Okoro-Nu-Odo flyover bridges on schedule.
Wike, yesterday, moved from Shop to Shop at Rebisi (Former Garrison) and Rumuogba (Former Artillery) flyover bridges sites, personally appealing to the traders and residents to vacate the buildings marked for demolition.
The governor urged the traders and residents to make sacrifices, since the flyover bridges will be in the interest of all residents of the state.
He said: “I have come to speak to them, let them appreciate our efforts better. Now times are hard, but they have to understand with us.
“I took it upon myself to personally explain to them that the time we notified them has elapsed. But I have extended it to Tuesday next week, after which demolition will start.
“I am here because I don’t want Julius Berger to have excuses. These bridges must be delivered on schedule”.
Wike said that though the exercise is painful, all residents must contribute to ensure the flyover bridges are delivered.
“I am here to personally appeal to the people because I feel their pain. But this is a sacrifice everyone must make for the state to move forward.
“To do three flyover bridges the same time is not an easy task. Therefore, we must work hard to achieve the target. The Target is that Julius Berger must hand over the three flyover bridges on February 20, 2021.
“It is about one year from now, the time will elapse and people will start saying nothing was done. We don’t want such a situation”.
Wike said that the Rivers State Government has paid compensation to the owners of the marked houses, pointing out that they were duly notified that the demolition would take place. He, however, said that he decided to visit the traders to give the entire process a human face.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Government has moved the scheduled inauguration of the committee on Ease of Doing Business originally scheduled for today, to next Monday.
A statement signed by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, yesterday, said that the postponement was due to other pressing engagements of the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike.
The statement reads: “This is to inform you that the earlier scheduled inauguration of members of ‘The State Ease of Doing Business Council (EoDBC)’ by His Excellency, the Governor of Rivers State, Chief Nyesom Wike, has been postponed, due to other pressing state engagements.
“The inauguration will now hold on Monday, January 13, 2020.
“The time and venue remains the same – 11:00 am, the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt.”
Earlier in a statement, the commissioner had indicated that the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike would inaugurate the members of the State Ease of Doing Business Council (EoDBC), today.
The statement had said that the event will take place at the Executive Council Chamber of Government House, Port Harcourt by 11am.
According to the statement, the council will be chaired by the state Deputy Governor, Dr Ipalibo Harry-Banigo, while the Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning would serve as Secretary/Coordinator.
The statement further said the chairman, or representative of the House Committee on Commerce, the chairman, or representative of the Internal Revenue Service, representative of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) and the President, Rivers State chapter of the Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, as well as one other to be appointed by the governor on public interest would serve as members.
It, therefore, urged all members to be seated by 10:30am.
The statement had read, “The Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, will on Friday inaugurate the members of ‘The State Ease of Doing Business Council (EoDBC)’.
“Members of the Council are: Deputy Governor, Chairman, Commissioner, Ministry of Budget and Economic Planning — Secretary/co-ordinator, Commissioner, or representative of Ministry of Commerce, member, Attorney General and Commissioner or representative, Ministry of Justice, member.”
Others include are, Commissioner, or representative, Ministry of Finance, member, Chairman, or Representative, House Committee on Commerce, member, Chairman, or representative, Internal Revenue Services, member, a representative of the Central Bank, member, President, Nigeria Chamber of Commerce, (Rivers State), member, President, Nigeria Entrepreneurs and Investment Forum (Rivers State), member and one other to be appointed by the Governor on Public Interest.
“All members are expected to be at the venue by 10:30am,” the statement said.
“I am here to give this construction process a human process. You supported me, but this is for the good of the people”, he said.
Wike was accompanied by officials of the Rivers State Ministry of Works and Engineers of Julius Berger Nigeria Plc.
The governor also inspected ongoing reconstruction of major roads in the Old GRA Residential Area of Port Harcourt.
Also, the Rivers State Executive Council has approved the setting up of a Task Force to enforce the closure of illegal private schools across the state.
Addressing journalists after the First State Executive Council meeting presided over by the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike at the Government House, Port Harcourt, last Wednesday, the Commissioner of Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim said that the Task Force will ensure that only approved schools operate in the state.
He also stated that the State Executive Council set up two committees to allocate stalls at the Ogbunabali Fruit Garden Market and the Rumuwoji Market.
He said that the two Executive Council Committees have up to the end of the month to conclude the allocation of the stalls.
He said: “Government is desirous to ensure that the people of Rivers State enjoy the dividends of democracy during the second term of Governor Wike.”

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Trans-Kalabari Road: Banigo, Stakeholders Condemn Abduction Of Expatriate

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Kalabari traditional rulers and stakeholders have condemned the recent abduction of an expatriate staff of Lubric Construction Company working on the Trans-Kalabari Road.
Speaking at a meeting at the Government House in Port Harcourt, last Friday, Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo said she was deeply pained by the unfortunate incident carried out by unknown miscreants.
According to the deputy governor, who said that the State Chief Executive Officer, Nyesom Wike, was desirous to bring more development projects to Kalabari Kingdom, regretted that this act was capable of discouraging him.
“I want to reiterate that our governor is very desirous to do more developmental projects in our communities, there are many more things he has in the card to do for us, and if we allow this ugly thing to surface, that attitude will discourage him”, the deputy governor noted.
Banigo, who said that perpetrators of the heinous crime did not drop from the sky, insisted that they were community people, and must be fished out and dealt with decisively, while calling for the immediate and unconditional release of the abductee.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the Greater Port Harcourt City Development Authority, Chief Ferdinand Alabraba, expressed regrets that a project as important as the Trans-Kalabari Road would be tampered with by persons who do not mean well for the Kalabari people.
“If their intention is to run down the good works of our dear governor, over a project which the Kalabari people have been yearning for over the years, then, I am sure God Almighty will not allow them to get away with this dastardly act of kidnapping one expatriate”, Alabraba stressed.
Alabraba further said, “It is important that we talk to ourselves and ensure that everything possible is done to ensure immediate release of the victim, and ensure that measures are put in place to forestall this type of thing in the future”.
Presenting a seven-point communique, Amanyanabo of Minama, King Iboroma Talbot Pokubo, who represented the Amanyanabo of Abonnema, King Disreal Gbobo Bobmanuel, demanded for the immediate and unconditional release of the expatriate, and reassured Governor Wike of their unwavering support for the governor.

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Buhari Approves Incorporation Of NNPC, Appoints Board Members

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President Muhammadu Buhari, has directed that the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited be incorporated.
He also approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited with Senator Ifeanyi Ararume as chairman.
The Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Mr Mele Kyari, was appointed chief executive officer.
This was contained in a statement by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, saying that the president acted in accordance with the Petroleum Industry Act 2021.
The statement read, “President Muhammadu Buhari, in his capacity as Minister of Petroleum Resources, has directed the incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited.
“This is in consonance with Section 53(1) of the Petroleum Industry Act 2021, which requires the Minister of Petroleum Resources to cause for the incorporation of the NNPC Limited within six months of commencement of the Act in consultation with the Minister of Finance on the nominal shares of the company.
“The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA 2021.
“Also, by the power vested in him under Section 59(2) of the PIA 2021, President Buhari has approved the appointment of the Board and Management of the NNPC Limited, with effect from the date of incorporation of the company.
“Chairman of the board is Senator Ifeanyi Ararume, while Mele Kolo Kyari and Umar I. Ajiya are chief executive officer, and chief financial officer, respectively.
“Other board members are; Dr Tajudeen Umar (North-East); Mrs Lami O. Ahmed (North-Central); Mallam Mohammed Lawal (North-West); Senator Margaret Chuba Okadigbo (South-East), Barrister Constance Harry Marshal (South-South); and Chief Pius Akinyelure (South-West).”

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Reject Buhari’s Fresh Loan Request, SERAP Tells NASS

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The Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) has urged the Senate President, Dr Ahmad Lawan; and Speaker of House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila; to reject the fresh request by President Muhammadu Buhari, to borrow $4billion and €710million.
SERAP said if such request must be granted, the Federal Government should publish details of spending of all loans obtained since May 29, 2015.
The group also expressed fear that if the fresh request is granted, it may take Nigeria’s to over N35trillion.
Buhari recently sought the approval of the National Assembly to borrow $4,054,476,863 and €710million, on the grounds of “emerging needs.”
The request was contained in a letter dated August 24, 2021.
In an open letter dated September 18, 2021, and signed by SERAP Deputy Director, Kolawole Oluwadare, the organisation expressed “concerns about the growing debt crisis, the lack of transparency and accountability in the spending of loans that have been obtained, and the perceived unwillingness or inability of the National Assembly to vigorously exercise its constitutional duties to check the apparently indiscriminate borrowing by the government.”
SERAP said, “The National Assembly should not allow the government to accumulate unsustainable levels of debt, and use the country’s scarce resources for staggering and crippling debt service payments rather than for improved access of poor and vulnerable Nigerians to basic public services and human rights.
“The country’s public debt has mushroomed with no end in sight. The growing national debt is clearly not sustainable. There has been no serious attempt by the government to cut the cost of governance. The leadership of the National Assembly ought to stand up for Nigerians by asserting the body’s constitutional powers to ensure limits on national debt and deficits.
“Should the National Assembly and its leadership fail to rein in government borrowing, and to ensure transparency and accountability in the spending of public loans, SERAP would consider appropriate legal action to compel the National Assembly to discharge its constitutional duties.
“SERAP notes that if approved, the country’s debts will exceed N35trillion. The government is also reportedly pushing the maturity of currently-secured loans to between 10 and 30 years. N11.679trillion is reportedly committed into debt servicing, while only N8.31trillion was expended on capital/development expenditure between 2015 and 2020.
“Ensuring transparency and accountability in the spending of loans by the government and cutting the cost of governance would address the onerous debt servicing, and improve the ability of the government to meet the country’s international obligations to use maximum available resources to ensure the enjoyment of basic economic and social rights, such as quality healthcare and education”, SERAP added.

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