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Wike Is A Good Product -Nsirim

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The Rivers State Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim has said that those saying the state was not safe were trying to cause capital flight for businesses to relocate from the state, arguing that Governor Nyesm Wike, as a good product, was doing fantastically better than his peers in the country.
Nsirim stated this during an interview with the members of Editorial Board of The Tide in Port Harcourt, last Friday, shortly after addressing staff of the corporation and those of the Rivers State Printing Press in continuation of his familiarisation tour of parastatals under his ministry.
He said cases of insecurity, experienced in the state were not different from what go on in Lagos, Kaduna, Abuja, Sokoto, Zamfara, and other cities in the country, saying that such unguarded criticisms were part of the negative perception being sold out to the public.
He further said that it was in the light of such negative narrative that his ministry initiated ‘Our State, Our Responsibility’ campaign to change such negative views, and called on the media to assist in promoting the state government’s policies and programmes.
“You see, that is the negative perception that has been sold out there, and that is why those of us in the media need to join hands with the government to change that negative narrative. And that is why we are involved in the ‘Our State, Our Responsibility’ campaign.
“The truth of the matter is that the de-marketing that is ongoing is a deliberate strategy by those who understand the potentials of our state to deny us our God-given rights. They know that if Rivers State is de-marketed, there will be capital flight.
“Businesses will move away from here, so, we don’t become that industrial hub that we are supposed to be. So, the insecurity that people talk about in Rivers State is not different from what happens in Lagos, it is not different from what happens in Kaduna, from what happens in Kano, Abuja and other major city centres of this country.
“But those who understand the political economy of news have leveraged on it to ensure that they spread deliberate falsehood all the time about our state. You and I live and do business here. There are people who call and ask: how are you managing in Port Harcourt? They ask those questions, and make it look like there are bullets flying all over.
“That is why all of us need to join hands to change that negative narrative. Of course, there is a political economy to it that people are pursuing, and they have involved a section of the media to do that to the state, which we all need to stand up and correct.”
While noting that his appointment was a call to greater service, the commissioner used the forum to list some of his plans as commissioner, including building partnerships with media stakeholders.
“We are going to build a strategic plan, and also build a strategic partnership with major stakeholders who have something to do with the media in the propagation of government policies and programmes,” Nsirim stated.
Speaking with The Tide, General Manager of the RSNC, Mr. Vincent Ake, re-echoed the charge given by the commissioner, and called on staff of the corporation to be ready for more work.
“The commissioner has come, and he has charged us to work harder. He has said we should roll up our sleeves, and do the much we can to ensure that the newspaper is sustained. And everybody should be ready to work because there is no food for a lazy man.
“Everybody should be innovative in whichever area you are. I am open to innovation. All we need is let the ideas come in, and we will implement them,” Ake stated, and assured staff that the management would organise training and retraining programmes to sharpen their skills and competences for greater productivity.
He explained that the welfare initiatives of the present dispensation were part of a deliberate policy to motivate staff to put in their best to fast-track the capacity and ability of the corporation to break even and step into an era of profitability.
Ake, therefore, thanked the commissioner for coming, just as he reminded him that The Tide was his home, and he should be free to visit anytime.
See pp. 16, 17.

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Senate Resumes Work On MTEF/FSP, Next Week

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The Senate Committee on Finance, yesterday, said it would begin legislative work on the 2021-2023 Medium Term Expenditure and Fiscal Strategy Paper (MTEF/FSP) on Wednesday, August 19.
The Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Adeola (APC Lagos West), disclosed in a statement made available to journalists in Abuja, adding that invitations have been sent to ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) of the government with presentations to make on the document.
Adeola, in the statement signed by his media aide, Kayode Odunaro, said the MDAs were to appear before the Senate Joint Committee on Finance, and National Planning.
He noted that there was need to examine the rationale for pegging the price of crude oil at $40 per barrel and a projected crude oil production of 1.86 million barrels per day (mbpd), in the MTEF/FSP document.
He  said, ”We are kick-starting the process on Wednesday with Government-Owned Enterprises (GOEs) like NNPC, NCC, NPA, Customs Service, NIMASA, DPR and others, followed by the Ministry of Finance and its agencies, and subsequently, all revenue generating agencies”.
The lawmaker called on heads of MDAs to be prepared to defend their projections “as the Joint Committee intends to present the report to the Senate in plenary immediately on resumption from its ongoing vacation in tandem with the desire of the upper chamber to pass the 2021 budget in December.”
Adeola insisted that there was need for thorough scrutiny of the MTEF/FSP document in view of the fluid nature of the world economy following the disruptive impact of Covid-19 pandemic and the vagaries of the international market for crude oil and its attendant effects on the nation’s sources of revenue.
According to him, “There is a need for all stakeholders to come together to critically study the fundamentals of the ‘new normal’ forced on the global economy by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“With the instability witnessed in the price of crude oil at the international market and the sluggish world economy with some nations falling into recession, there is a need to assess our situation critically and be realistic about our revenues sources for budgets going forward”.

 

By: Nneka Amaechi-Nnadi, Abuja

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Take Off Of National Senior Citizens’ Centre Underway, FG Assures

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The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar Farouq, has said plans are on the way to build a centre for the old people.
Farouq, according to a statement by her Special Assistant on Strategic Communication, Halima Oyelade, said this at a meeting with the Coalition of Societies for the Rights of the Older Persons in Nigeria (COSROPIN) in Abuja, yesterday.
“She assured members of the coalition that the ministry is working toward the successful take-off of the National Senior Citizen’s Centre,” the statement said.
It read further: “According to the Minister, a law establishing the centre is already in place. When operational this centre will among other things identify needs, opportunities, and training of senior citizens and provide recreational, sports, educational, health and social programmes and facilities designed for the full enjoyment and benefit of senior citizens.
“Responding, the President of the COSROPIN, Senator Eze Ajoku, thanked the Honourable Minister for the Covid-19 Palliatives, the group had received to cushion the effects of the pandemic.
“He then briefed the minister on activities of the coalition which include following up on the National Policy on Aging, pursuing non-contributory health insurance for older persons, enumeration of older citizens as well as the Older Persons Rights and Privilege Bill which according to him had passed second reading at the Senate.
“He asked for the minister’s support in the actualization of these initiatives.
“The Honourable Minister assured the coalition of the ministry’s support adding that older citizens are one of the key vulnerable groups that are of concern to the ministry.
“She further noted that most of them have been of service to the nation in their prime and still have a lot to offer due to their wealth of experience.
“The ministry will, therefore, ensure it gives due attention to issues concerning their well-being while ensuring it carries them along in the structuring and take-off of the National Senior Citizens Centre.”

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World Powers Deny Us Weapons To Fight Insurgency, FG Cries Out

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The Federal Government has appealed to the world powers not to be weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, made the appeal, yesterday, when he featured on the News Agency of Nigeria Forum in Abuja.
“I want to use this opportunity to say that the international community can help us better than they are doing right now.
“To fight terrorists we need platforms and weapons.
“When the international community is weighed by unsubstantiated arguments to deny the country of vital platforms and weapons to fight insecurity, you cannot turn round to accuse the country of not fighting terrorism,’ he said.
The minister buttresses the claim, saying “certain world powers have refused to even sell to us certain vital weapons.”
“For more than two to three years now, we have paid for certain vital weapons that they have not released to us and they even refused to give us spare parts.
“I think our appeal to them is that they should please help Nigeria to provide us with these sensitive platforms so that we can fight insecurity more effectively.”
The minister said for Nigerians to fairly assess the efforts of the Federal Government in the fight against insecurity, they should compare where the country was pre-2015 and today.

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