Rivers State Head of Service, Rufus Godwins jas urged the federal government to increase the one million narea penalty fine for default in cleaning up oil impacted sites and environments.
The Head of Service stated this at the maiden edition of Chief Nwobidike Nwanudi memorial lecture organised by Selemati Foundation in Port Harcourt.
According to him the stipulated amount for failure to cleanup affected environment by oil spiillers was insufficient to carry out the cleanup as well as compensate victims of the pollution.
He said that oil companies that are contributing to environmental degradation in the Niger Delta region should be sanctioned and made to face the law.
Godwins while speaking on the theme “The Impact of Environmental Pollution on Human Health and the Challenges of Interpretation and Enforcement of Environmental Laws and Regulations in the Niger Delta,” said Niger Delta region had borne the brunt of oil exploration and has flaring for about Sixty-four years.
“ The reprehensible apathy by government and the multinational companies towards the remediation of the deplorable condition of the Niger Delta environment, with its attendant systematic has been acknowledged even by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), the country’s giant regulatory authority of the oil and gas sector.
The keynote speaker also called for a more proactive and responsive approach by National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) to ensure safe, effective, and appropriate monitoring and response to public alerts on pollution.
Also speaking Chairman, Board of Trustees of Selemati Foundation, Mrs. Judith Nwanodi, said the foundation was established with the vision to inspire Nigerians to be global academic leaders with transformative impact on the lives of marginalized people through their research in the fields of environmental studies, law and medicine.
She said the Founation had the objectives of funding innovative research in the fields of environmental studies, law and medicine, improve infrastructural services in community health centres in the Niger Delta region, hold biennial memorial lectures with the audience participation in Nigeria, Great Britain, Canada and the United States of America, and a host of other objectives.
By: Iragunima Benice
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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