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Rivers Fishermen Decry Illegal Bunkering, Want Govt’s Support

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Worried by the negative impacts of illegal bunkering on the aquatic life in rural areas and the incessant attack on fishermen by sea pirates, the fishing folks in Rivers State have called on the state government to come to their rescue.
The call was made during an interview with some fishermen on Monday, in Port Harcourt.
Speaking to The Tide, a fisherman, Ene Dimabo, said that since the advent of illegal bunkering in the state, the aquatic life had never been the same.
According to him, “I am a fisherman and that is my traditional occupation. I have been in it for about two decades, what we are catching now as fishermen cannot be compared to what we used to in the yester years. Formerly, we used to catch assorted fish species like snapper, tilapia, sardine, mullet and others, but today most of these species have gone into extinction due to the activities of illegal bunkering.
“The fisherman today is faced with the impact of illegal bunkering and the violent act of the sea pirates on fishermen. We are passing through a very critical condition to be able to fish. It is life and death, the sea pirates who are so heartless will not spare even the last piece of fish in your boat, that is if you are not abducted.
“I am therefore, calling on the state government to give priority attention to fishing sector because that is what our parents at home used in surviving. Illegal bunkering and sea pirates should be checked”.
Another fisherman, Ibibo Dango said, “the major challenge fishermen are facing in the state is lack of government support and attention. The fishing implements and gears are not easily accessible and to make a fisherman fully independent and self reliant, one has to be fully equipped with the fishing gadgets which are cost intensive. We therefore, call on government to support the fishing sub-sector if we must achieve the state government’s policy thrust on agriculture.
“The issue of illegal bunkering and its attendant negative environmental impact is beyond lip service it rather need scheck on the big time sponsors”.
A fish seller, Felicia Dokubo told The Tide that before now, her mother in the village used to pick periwinkle, oyster, shrimp and other sea foods at the swamps close to them, but noted that, since the bunkering activities started in the state, most of the seafood had disappeared.
She said, “my mother at home can no more practice her traditional occupation of fishing, due to pollution and the little you manage to catch, the sea pirates will surrender you, brutalise you, at times kill or abduct you and collect all the fishes in your possession. Government should do something to help us”.

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CIBN Holds Virtual AGM, Elects Olugbemi 21st President

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The Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria (CIBN) has elected Prof. Bayo Olugbemi as the 21st President of the institute, alongside other officers whose tenure would run from 2020 to 2022.
The announcement of Olugbemi’s emergence, along with other elected officers, was one of the highlights of the institute’s virtual Annual General Meeting on Saturday, where it reviewed the 2019 financial and operational reports.
The meeting which was coordinated and chaired by the outgoing president of the institute, Dr Uche Olowu, had members participating from across the world.
Speaking on the 2019 operations, Olowu informed members that the Institute had made noteworthy improvement as a reference point in the country and across the globe.
He said that all the CIBN subsidiaries from the Centre for Financial Studies to the Press were maintaining winning ways and would continue to experience improved performance.
In the area of capacity building, he said the Institute had reviewed the syllabus of flagship Associate of Chartered Institute of Bankers (ACIB) qualification in conjunction with a top consulting firm (PwC).
According to him, this is in a bid to keep the ACIB qualification relevant and ensure that the contents meet with global standard.
He said that the electronic library which consisted electronic books, journals and other resources provided round-the-clock information and had been acquired by the CIBN Library for easy access to its users.
Olowu said that a former president of the Institute, Dr Olusegun Aina, had been re-elected as Chairman of the Global Education Standard Board.
He also said the Institute had expanded its examination centres to Liberia, bringing the number of foreign examination outposts to five, with one in Katsina State, Nigeria.
In the area of collaboration, Olowu said that the Bankers’ Committee had approved Ethics Certification for staff of banks.
He said that 87,000 bank staff had registered on the e-learning platform, while a sizeable number had completed the certification programme.
At the event, the National Treasurer of the Institute, Prof. Deji Olanrewaju, gave the financial highlights of the Institute in 2019.
Also, Mr Mark Ariemuduigho of Baker Tilly International Nigeria, external auditors of the institute, gave reports for 2019 financials and stated that the financial position of the CIBN was in agreement with the book of accounts.
The Chairman of the CIBN Audit Committee, Mr Babatunde Oduwaye, affirmed that the accounting and reporting policies of the institute were in accordance with legal requirements and ethical practices.

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Oil Price Rises Above $34, As OPEC Meets, Today

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The international oil benchmark, Brent crude, extended its gains last Friday, climbing to as high as $34.91 a barrel on rising hopes of a new global deal to cut crude supply.
Brent soared as much as 47 per cent last Thursday for its highest intraday percentage gain on record.
The upturn in crude oil prices came after the United States President, Donald Trump, said he expected that Saudi Arabia and Russia would agree to new oil production cuts.
Brent had fallen to an 18-year low of $22 per barrel as at last Monday as a coronavirus-driven lockdown severely reduced oil demand amid an escalating price war between Saudi Arabia and Russia.
The Federal Government, which was looking to generate 32.34 per cent (N2.64tn) of expected total revenue from oil, was forced to propose the reduction of the benchmark to $30 from $57 on the back of the sharp drop in oil prices.
The Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and its allies, led by Russia, are working on a deal for an unprecedented production cut equivalent to about 10 per cent of global supply, an OPEC source said, according to Reuters.
Oil prices slumped 65 per cent in the first quarter of this year on a demand slump caused by the global coronavirus outbreak and moves by Russia and Saudi Arabia to flood the market after their failure last month to extend much smaller OPEC+ supply cuts.
A meeting of OPEC and its allies, a grouping known as OPEC+, has been scheduled for Monday, (today) the Azerbaijan energy ministry said, but details on the distribution of production cuts were thin on the ground.
Trump said last Thursday that he had spoken with both Russian President, Vladimir Putin and Saudi Crown, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and they had agreed to reduce supplies by 10 million to 15 million barrels per day out of total global supply of about 100 million bpd.
Trump said he did not make any concessions, such as agreeing to a US production cut – a move forbidden by US anti-trust legislation.
The Head of the International Energy Agency, Fatih Birol, said that even if OPEC+ cut supply by 10 million bpd, global oil stocks would build by 15 million bpd in the second quarter.
“With a now discussed cut of 10 million bpd … the oil industry would get at least three weeks more room to prepare for hitting the wall when there are no more places to put the excess production,” said Rystad Energy’s Per Magnus Nysveen.

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Four Firms Bid For Purchase Of Stock Exchange Building In PH

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Four companies have bidded for the purchase of the abandoned 17-storey Nigerian Stock Exchange building along Aba Road, Port Harcourt.
The four companies which include,Center Escencia, Techno Construction Limited, Techno Metal Plastic Nigeria Limited and Estate 2000 Construction Limited, made their intentions known during the competitive bidding ceremony organised by the Rivers State Ministry of Housing for the purchase of the building.
The Rivers State Commissioner for Housing, Elder Tasie Nwobueze told newsmen at the ceremony that the process was fair and transparent.
Elder Nwobueze said tenders for the purchase of the building was published in some national newspapers, adding that so far, four companies which met the criteria were participating in the bidding process.
He said the ministry’s Tenders Board would assess the various applications with a view to selecting the best among them.
According to him, the committee may not necessarily look at the highest bidders but competence will be brought to bear in who gets the building.
Also speaking, the Permanent Secretary, Rivers State Ministry of Housing and Chairman of the Interministerial Tenders Board, Mr Felix Odungweru, described the bidding process as very transparent. \
Odungweru said that the state government was out to ensure that the building is restored to its original concept of 17 floor.
He said the committee would analyse all the submissions of the bidders to determine their eligibility and make recommendations to the state government.

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