The Sole Administrator of the Rivers State Waste Management Agency (RIWAMA), Bro. Felix Obuah, has declared that he would not relent in promoting tourism and hospitality in Rivers State and Nigeria at large.
A press release signed by his Special Adviser on Media and Publicity, Jerry Needam, last Monday, and made available to The Tide, said Bro. Obuah made the declaration shortly after receiving the prestigious award from the management of the nation’s top tabloid, The Sun Newspaper, in his office in Port Harcourt.
Obuah said he would seize every opportunity given to him by God to engage in ventures that would improve the welfare of humanity.
At a brief ceremony which was witnessed by senior management of The Sun group of Newspapers, led by its Managing Director/Editor-in-Chief, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, principal officers of RIWAMA, leadership of Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni (ONELGA) Legislative Assembly, some members of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Special Advisers to Governor Nyesom Wike, former Commissioners, Bro. Obuah said his foray into the hospitality and tourism industry was driven by his passion to create employment opportunities to the teeming youths in the state as well as making Omoku, the headquarters of ONELGA, the tourism destination of the state.
Bro. Obuah, who is the immediate past Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, described The Sun newspaper as a credible news medium where investigative journalism is exemplified, praying that the Almighty God would make the newspaper to excel beyond the shores of Nigeria.
He said he had since learnt that every act of benevolence shown to mankind is richly rewarded by God, adding that it gave him the conviction and motivation to do more.
Bro Obuah, who is also the Founder/Sole Sponsor of Go-Round Football Club of Omoku, said he regarded his choice for the award as a privilege and an act of grace as, according to him, there were tens of thousands of others eminently qualified for the award.
He expressed gratitude to God and to the cross-section of Nigerians who deemed him fit for the award and pledged his devotion to the promotion of hospitality and tourism not only in Rivers State but Nigeria as a whole.
“I draw my inspiration from the exemplary style of His Excellency, Chief (Barr) Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, CON, Governor of Rivers State who is leaving no stone unturned to make Rivers State the tourism hub of the nation.
“I dedicate this award and many more to come, first to God Almighty whose abundant Grace on me made this possible; to Governor Wike, ‘Mr. Projects’ and the Governor of our time, and to the generality of thegood people of Rivers State and the less privileged in society for their continued support to what we are doing in the State”, said Obuah.
He berated former Governor Rotimi Amaechi over attempts to demolish his Krisdera Hotels and Resorts, an edifice which today has showcased him to the world.
“My gratitude goes to Governor Nyesom Wike who in spite of all odds stood by me and revoked what the former governor wanted to do to the hotel. Amaechi knew that the hotel would bring development, employment and tourism for our people, but because of political differences, he felt it should be demolished”, Bro. Obuah said.
Earlier, while handing over the award plaque and certificate of Award to Bro. Obuah, the Managing Director/Editor-in-chief of The Sun Publishing Limited, Mr. Onuoha Ukeh, had commended Bro. Obuah for what he called his tireless quest for hospitality and humanitarian services to mankind.
He also revealed that the award presentation to the RIWAMA boss would alongside other recipients, be aired on three national and cable television channels November 28, 2020 with the title: “The Sun Award Night”.
Ogoni Youths Give FG 14 Days To Fix East-West Road
No fewer than 400 youths under the aegis of Ogoni Youth Federation (OYF), yesterday, staged a peaceful protest at the Eleme axis of the East-West Road, giving the Federal Government 14 days ultimatum to mobilize to site and fix the road or have economic activities in the area grounded.
The protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions to press home their demands, trekked from Akpajo Junction to Refinery Junction in Eleme LGA, chanting solidarity songs to register their discontent over the neglect of the road.
Addressing newsmen during the protest, President General of the Ogoni Youth Federation, Comrade Legborsi Yaamabana, said it was regrettable that the road, which was a major route to the economic hub of the nation, has remained in a deplorable state, only becoming a death trap that has terminated the lives of innocent Ogonis.
Yaamabana, who described the mass action of the youths as a ‘warning protest’, said if the contractors handling the road were not immediately mobilized to site, then, the youths will have no option than to shut down all economic activities in the area.
He said, “we cannot continue to watch our people being killed on daily basis by tankers because of the poor state of Eleme axis of the east west road, we are calling on the Federal Government to as a matter of urgency fix the road and save our people from untimely deaths as a result of the sorry state of the road, the only bridge on the road at Aleto has collapse but nothing is being done to avert the disasters faced by our people daily”.
Yaamabana also called on the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Senator Godswill Akpabio to constitute a substantive board for the Niger Delta Development Commission to address the development needs of the Niger Delta region, noting that the use of interim management for NDDC was “diversionary, self serving and not in the interest of the development of the Niger Delta region”.
The OYF president general also called on the Federal Government to exonerate Ken Saro-Wiwa and his compatriots who were extra-judicially murdered by the late Gen Sani Abacha military junta, and given post-humours honour as martyrs of democracy in Nigeria, while the ideals of justice they stood for should be upheld.
Also speaking, the immediate past secretary of the Ijaw Youth Council, Eastern Zone, Comrade James Tobin, who joined the protest in solidarity, decried the neglect of the East—West Road by the Federal Government, and called the immediate fixing of the road to save the teeming road users from untold pains and death.
By: Taneh Beemene
Rising Prices Push 7m Nigerians Below Poverty Line -World Bank
The World Bank has said that rising prices pushed about seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020.
This was contained in a press statement titled, ‘Critical reforms needed to reduce inflation and accelerate the recovery, says new World Bank report,’ released by the World Bank’s Senior External Affairs Officer of Nigeria, Mansir Nasir.
The press statement was released, yesterday, in line with the latest World Bank Nigeria Development Update.
It was acknowledged that the Federal Government “took measures to protect the economy against a much deeper recession” but it was recommended that certain policies should be set for a strong recovery.”
The statement read, “The NDU, titled ‘Resilience through Reforms,’ notes that in 2020, the Nigerian economy experienced a shallower contraction of -1.8 per cent than had been projected at the beginning of the pandemic (-3.2 per cent). Although the economy started to grow again, prices are increasing rapidly, severely impacting Nigerian households.
“As of April, 2021, the inflation rate was the highest in four years. Food prices accounted for over 60% of the total increase in inflation. Rising prices have pushed an estimated seven million Nigerians below the poverty line in 2020 alone.”
Quoted in the statement, the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Shubham Chaudhuri, identified some of the challenges faced by the country and recommended a way forward.
“Nigeria faces interlinked challenges in relation to inflation, limited job opportunities, and insecurity.
“While the government has made efforts to reduce the effect of these by advancing long-delayed policy reforms, it is clear that these reforms will have to be sustained and deepened for Nigeria to realise its development potential,” Chaudhuri said.
Also quoted is the World Bank Lead Economist for Nigeria and co-author of the NDU, Marco Hernandez, who also gave a recommendation.
“Given the urgency to reduce inflation amidst the pandemic, a policy consensus and expedite reform implementation on exchange-rate management, monetary policy, trade policy, fiscal policy, and social protection would help save lives, protect livelihoods, and ensure a faster and sustained recovery,” Hernandez said.
Inflation Dips To 17.93% In May, NBS Confirms
Nigeria’s inflation rate dropped to 17.93 per cent in May, 2021, from 18.12 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) revealed this in its monthly Consumer Price Index report released, yesterday.
The drop in the headline inflation in May was the second consecutive month this year.
The report indicates that the consumer price index (CPI), which measures the inflation rate increased by 17.93 per cent (year-on-year) in May, 2021, which is 0.19 per cent points lower than the rate recorded in the preceding month.
According to NBS, food inflation dropped in the same month from 22.78 per cent recorded in April, 2021 to 22.28 per cent in May, 2021.
The report reads, ‘‘All items less farm produce which excludes the prices of volatile agricultural produce stood at 13.15 per cent in May, 2021, up by 0.41 per cent when compared with 12.74 per cent recorded in April, 2021.
‘‘The highest increases were recorded in prices of pharmaceutical products, garments, shoes and other footwear, hairdressing salons and personal grooming establishments, furniture and furnishing, carpet and other floor covering.
‘‘Others include, motor cars, Hospital services, fuels and lubricants for personal transport equipment, cleaning, repair and hire of clothing.
“Other services include personal transport equipment, gas, household textile, and non-durable household goods,” the NBS added.
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