The Chairman, Senate Committee on Local Loans and Foreign Debts, Senator Clifford Ordia says that federal projects executed by the Rivers State Government met global standards.
Ordia stated this, yesterday, when the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike led members of the Senate Committee on Local Loans and Foreign Debts and House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management on a verification tour of federal roads executed by the state government.
The projects verified include, the reconstruction of Ikwerre Road from Education to Agip Flyover Junction, construction of flyover at Agip-Rumueme-Abacha roundabout and the construction of the flyover on East-West Road at Obiri-Ikwerre with rotary turning and service lanes.
Others are, the 41.26 kilometres dualization of Airport/Isiokpo/Elele/Omerelu section of Port Harcourt-Owerri Road, construction of Eleme Junction Flyover and Interchange and the construction of Phases One and Two of Ada-George Road.
Wike also led the team on an inspection of the Rebisi, Rumuogba, Okoro-Nu-Odu, Rumuola and GRA flyover bridges under construction by the state government
Speaking, Ordia commended the state government for the quality of roads that were constructed.
He advised other state governments to emulate the Rivers example by applying for the execution of federal projects in order to complement the efforts at the centre.
“In line with Section 88 of the 1999 Constitution, the Federal Government has requested for the resolution of the National Assembly for the approval of the reimbursement of N78.9billion through the issuance of promissory note to Rivers State.
“We have gone round the eight projects, and I can sincerely tell you that the projects were executed in line with international best practices.
“It is not easy to see quality projects executed this way. We have seen that most of the projects were executed by renowned contractors in Nigeria who are also working for the Federal Government.
“I want to thank the Rivers State Government under the leadership of Governor Nyesom Wike for what they have done in terms of infrastructural development,” he stated.
Also speaking, the Chairman, House Committee on Aids, Loans and Debt Management, Hon. Ahmed Safana, said that members of the committee were satisfied with the federal projects executed by the state.
He noted that members of his committee were impressed and proud of the developmental strides of Governor Wike.
Responding, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike thanked members of the committees for the physical verification of the projects.
He stated that the decision of the state government to execute federal roads was to promote the socio-economic development of the state.
“I am happy that members of the committees saw all the projects executed by the state government.
“It is the duty of the committees to go back and present their reports and take a final decision.
“Our responsibility is to enhance economic activities by making sure that our people live comfortable lives.
“If these roads are not constructed it will affect businesses and impact negatively on economic activities in the state,” he said.
Don’t Hide Under Guise Of Curfew To Shut Operations, RSG Warns Banks, Others
The Rivers State Government has warned companies, business operators and financial institutions in the state not hide under the guise of the curfew imposed by the government to shut down operations that may help undermine the economy of the state.
The warning comes on the heels of attempts by some firms, business owners and financial institutions to close their doors to customers in the state following the imposition of 24-hour curfew by the state government on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area, and some parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor local government areas.
The government’s action, last Wednesday, was sequel to some untoward criminal activities and attempts to cause chaos and breakdown of law and order by certain unscrupulous elements, ostensibly hired by enemies of the state to disrupt the peace currently being enjoyed by residents of the state.
In a statement by the state Commissioner for Information and Communications, Pastor Paulinus Nsirim, the government warned that any entity found to have taken advantage of the directive to subject the people of the state to any unnecessary hardship would be resisted, and those culpable sanctioned.
The statement reads, “It has come to the attention of the Rivers State Government that some members of the business community are using the curfew imposed in some parts of the state as an excuse to cripple government and economic activities.
“Commercial banks and other businesses are supposed to be open for normal services.
“Therefore, commercial banks where government accounts are operated are advised not to join those involved in any unpatriotic act or lose their patronage.
“For the avoidance of doubt, curfew was imposed only at Oyigbo Local Government Area, Mile One, Mile Two, Iloabuchi, Emenike, Ikoku and Oil Mill areas of Port Harcourt.
“All other parts of the state are expected to be fully open for business,” the statement added.
Earlier, the Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, had imposed a 24-hour curfew in the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state.
Wike, in a state-wide broadcast, last Wednesday, also announced that the curfew also extends to Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikowu and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt Local Government Area as well as Oil Mill area of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state.
The governor explained that the decision to impose the curfew was taken after a State Security Council meeting which held at the Government House, Port Harcourt earlier on Wednesday.
Wike stated that while the state government appreciate and commend the peaceful nature of the ongoing #EndSARS protests, it was becoming clear by the day that the protest had been hijacked by hoodlums to unleash carnage.
“Earlier today, some hoodlums attacked and destroyed police stations and court buildings in Oyigbo Local Government Area of the state. Another set of hooligans were also on rampage at the Ikoku spare parts markets disturbing public peace and damaging property”.
Wike asserted that the state government cannot watch helplessly and allow trouble-makers to take the laws into their hands and use the current situation to create a state of panic and insecurity.
To this end, he said consequently, the State’s Security Council had decided to impose curfew in some parts of the state to secure lives and property.
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on Mile 1, Mile 2, Emenike, Ikoku and Iloaubuchi areas of Port Harcourt from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.”
“A 24-hour curfew has been imposed on the entire Oyigbo Local Government Area from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020; a 24-hour curfew has also been imposed on Oil Mill area in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area”, he said.
The governor has therefore directed security agencies to enforce the curfew with effect from 6.30 p.m. today, 21st October, 2020.
Similarly, local government chairmen have also been directed to mobilize vigilantes and work with security agencies to ensure that no hoodlum is allowed to disturb the peace or destroy lives and property in their local government areas.
“We urge all citizens to remain vigilant and report all suspicious characters to the security agencies for immediate action. Let me appeal to our youths not to allow themselves to be used to roll-back the peace we are enjoying in the State under any pretext” he added.
#EndSARS: PDP Diaspora Initiative Flays Buhari For Rights Abuses, Killings
Following the recent killings of innocent and unarmed protesters in Lagos and other parts of the country by armed soldiers, the US-based organization of Nigerians living abroad, PDP Diaspora Initiative (PDPDI), has issued a solemn condemnation of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration for killing innocent Nigerians and violating their rights.
The organization made its position known to newsmen in an October 21 press statement released through its National Publicity Secretary, Chidi Igwe, yesterday.
According to the statement, “it is obvious that Nigerians from all sections of the country have lost confidence in President Buhari and his administration and the Nigerian youths want a change in direction for a better future.
“Imagine what is going on in our country right now! Buhari’s administration sent his armed soldiers and police to intimidate peaceful protesters and suppress their voices,” the PDP Diaspora Initiative founder and National Chair, Victoria Pamugo, exclaimed.
“When they realized the brave Nigerian youths are not buying the nonsense Buhari’s government is trying to sell and that Buhari has failed in his attempts to keep the Nigerian youths quiet, the government resorted to violence and took up arms against innocent and unarmed citizens who are protesting against police brutality, injustice, corruption and mismanagement of the country by their president and his cronies. Buhari’s armed soldiers opened fire on peaceful protesters, killing many innocent people and causing many more injuries,” Pamugo lamented.
“The youths they are killing are our children, brothers, sisters, cousins, uncles, etc. What sin did they commit?” she asked.
“They have not done anything wrong!” she noted.
“They are just expressing their constitutional right of peaceful protest and assembly. They did not do anything wrong. They were not burning buildings.
She also noted that the youths are angry because their government has disappointed them and called for an end to corruption, embezzlement and police brutality.
Oil Spills: Environmentalists Berate SPDC For Defying Regulatory Compliance
Environmentalists yesterday berated the Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC) for poor compliance to regulatory verdict on oil spill matters in its operational fields in the Niger Delta region.
They recalled that the spill regulatory agency, National Oil Spills Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA), had fined SNEPCO, a Shell subsidiary 3.6 billion dollars for the Bonga, facility in December 2011.
The oil firm however went to court to challenge the fine and lost at the Federal High Court.
A fact-check on the claim indicated that Justice Mojisola Olatoregun of a Federal High Court in Lagos, had on June 20, 2018, upheld the 3.6 billion dollars fine imposed on Shell by NOSDRA, dismissing Shell’s case.
However, Shell declined to pay the fine.
The environmentalists under the auspices of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria (ERA/FoEN), at a forum with spill impacted communities in Ikara, Bayelsa State, applauded NOSDRA for its objectivity.
Mr Alagoà Morris, the Head, Bayelsa State Office of ERA/FoEN, who represented the Acting Executive Director of the group, Mr Chima Williams, spoke on the theme: ‘Resisting Regulatory Capture’.
The NGO frowned on alleged frequent disregard to regulatory directives on oil spill incidents and wondered if the oil firm was self-regulatory, adding that a situation where an operator disagreed frequently with regulators “is unhealthy’’.
“As indicated in the theme, this event is unique as it seems to discourage any attempts at regulatory capture.
“One of the main areas of disagreements between stakeholders in the oil industry is in cause of spill as a lot depends on it.
“While there is nothing wrong in any stakeholder contesting whatever is declared as cause of spill, there are certain things to be considered in arriving at declaring the cause.
“In Nigeria, oil industry regulators are supposed to be referees. NOSDRA and state ministries of environment are the regulators.
“As a grassroots organ-isation, ERA has been working with several communities over the years. Ikarama community is one of those communities. From our records, Ikarama is the community with the highest frequency of documented oil spills.
“The oil spill along Shell’s Adibawa-Okordia delivery line on November12, 2011, was one of the clear cases of corrosion incidents,” Morris said.
Newsmen reported that SPDC had rejected the conclusion of NOSDRA that the November 12, 2011, leak on the Adibawa-Okordia pipeline was due to corrosion leading to the subjection to further ultrasonic tests and scans which confirmed the pipe was corroded.
Mr Musa Idris, the Director-General of NOSDRA had told The Tide source that the agency took the steps to ensure that its conclusions were validated by scientifically accepted best practices.
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