A non-governmental organisation, Support Initiative for Sustainable Development (SISD), has urged oil producing states to give account of revenue accruing from oil exploration activities in their states.
The group said such account should be rendered to the communities which bear the brunt of oil activities.
Executive Director, SISD, Pastor Philip Kalio, who made the demand at an enlightenment workshop, also urged oil producing communities to demand for accountability and transparency from the governors of the oil producing states.
Speaking from the sidelines of the workshop held in Port Harcourt, Kalio said that the workshop was necessitated by the outcome of a study conducted by two eminent scholars on the impact of the oil and gas sector on quality of life of Nigerians.
According to him, the outcome of the study showed that the people in rural communities were suffering as revenue accruing from oil was not impacting positively on their lives.
Kalio suggested that a separate body to manage the funds from the 13 per cent derivation be set up in oil bearing communities while advising governors of oil producing states to create alternative sources of revenues since oil is a diminishing resource.
He also identified corruption as the bane of development in the country.
In a related development, the Head of Service, Rivers State Civil Service Commission, Mr Rufus Godwins, has attributed the abnormal behavioural changes in humans, especially the increased rate of suicide and other anti-social behaviours to climate change, arising from oil exploration activities.
Godwins who made this known while speaking in a keynote address at the millennium lecture of Chief Obidike Nwonodi in Port Harcourt said oil exploration in the Niger Delta region has caused a lot of damage and devastation to both the environment and the people and could be responsible for the change of attitude exhibited by most people in oil producing states.
The Head of Service called on individuals and corporate organisations to work together in the task of creating a safe environment.
By: Tonye Nria-Dappa
Private Medical Doctors Offer Support To Check Spread Of COVID-19
Private medical doctors in Nigeria under the aiges of Association of General and Private Medcial Practitioners of Nigeria (AGPMN) have expressed their readiness and willingness to play their role in stemming the spread of the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
The association which said this at a media briefing in Port Harcourt however,urged for incentives to support its members.
National President of the Association, Dr Ugwu Iyke Odo, who read the text for the briefing said the doctors were ready and willing to play their professional role to their nation now as ever.
“What is happening is at best a force majeure, an act of God that is beyond the calculation and expectations of any man and the management of which cannot and must not be confined to any regular theories of routine. It is an unusual situation and demands unusual solution’’
Dr Odo also lamented the increase in the cost of medical equipment, adding that it is affecting the running of private hospitals in the country.
“Cost of providing medical services have gone up astronomically while medical bills remain the same and still unaffordable by poor Nigerians, who do not have health insurance.
“What this translates into is that the private doctors and other private health care providers of health are bearing a great burden for the nation and need to be supported and rescued ‘’he said.
The association president also urged the nation to unify its systems and people into one, and said that the health sector should work collaboratively and in synergy.
“In particular, the private sector who are the first respondents need all the support that government can afford at this time.
“This is the time for the government to speak for all and care for all and provide for all more than ever before,’’ he said.
The association used the occasion to commend the doggedness shown by both the federal and Rivers Sate Governments in managing the crisis, and stressed the need for both governments to go the extra mile to support the entre health system irrespective of sectoral divide with medical supplies, including personal protective equipment, medicines and consumables.
RIWAMA Urges Service Providers To Step Up Delivery
The Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah says the agency is challenged by the circumstance of the period more than ever to step up action and has ordered that the service providers rise up to the demand.
Bro. Obuah noted that being in forefront of the relentless efforts of the State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to ensure that the checkmate of the coronavirus pandemic was watertight, all service providers must work round the clock to rid all nooks and crannies of the state of any refuse dump.
He said for no reason will any service provider be found wanting this time, stressing that the sit-at-home and/or curfew order by the state government exempts all workers on essential duties including the service providers and their workers.
The RIWAMA sole administrator reminded service providers of the fact that their services were indispensable as the panacea for the dreaded decease for now centred on healthy living and should work assiduously to keep the state clean and healthy.
Bro. Obuah also urged the service providers working with the agency to ensure that their drivers and workers were protective gears like hand gloves and medical masks as well as applying all other control measures while carrying out their duties.
COVID-19: Taxi Drivers Defy CRSG’s Order
Taxi drivers in Calabar have defied the order by the Cross River State Government to carry only two passengers at a time to stop the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in the state.
Our correspondent, yesterday went round the city to ascertain the level of compliance and spoke with some taxi drivers.
Our source reports that taxi drivers were still going about their normal business of carrying two passengers in the front seat and four passengers at the back, bringing the total to six passengers.
A driver simply known as Etuk said that the order was impossible to be carried out in the state.
He said that most of the drivers that were involved in commercial transportation business in the state did that with hire purchase vehicles and the owners of the vehicles were not interested in what the government was saying.
According to him, all the owners want is their weekly money as agreed.
He said: “All the owners want is their money as agreed with the driver from the beginning.
“So, how do we meet up with payment if we pick only two passengers per trip? How do we maintain the vehicle, fuel them, buy tickets and meet up with the agreed amount with the owners of the vehicles?’’
Another taxi driver, Mr Asuquo Edem, said it was not enough to just give orders, the state government should look at how practicable these orders were.
“People have been ordered to stay at home, meaning that the number of passengers have reduced drastically.
“Yet, you are telling a taxi driver who hardly sees two passengers because of the lockdown to carry just two when he has mouths to feed at home. How will they survive?
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