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Visitors Berate PH Airport Management Over Poor Sanitary Condition

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Visitors to the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, including those who do business at the airport, have berated the airport management for failing to provide toilet facilities for them.
Some of the airport users who were aggrieved over the poor sanitary condition of the airport chided the airport management for not being proactive in providing places of convenience for people that visit or do business at the airport.
According to them, people who come to the airport to receive travellers and those that do business at the airport are entitled to places of convenience since they are not allowed into the terminal building.
Explaining her predicament to airport correspondents on Monday, Ms Clara Elekwachi who came to receive her brother at the airport, said it was surprising that she could not find a place to ease herself, even as a woman.
She alleged that she was denied access to the airport terminal building, while the administrative block toilets were locked, pointing out that the only place open to her was the open car park field which she couldn’t make use of.
“You people are pressmen, and you are here and do not want to report this. This will not happen in other airports. Or is it because it is Rivers State?
“How can one be here for several hours, with all the delays in flight, and the management can not provide a place of convenience, and everybody is expected to use the open field.
“No wonder, everywhere is smelling, because you can see everybody including children toilet there, since there is no alternative place of convenience to use”, she lamented.
Also complaining, a travel agent, Mr Ambrose Dike, said the actions of the airport management since the airport resumed operations after the Covid-19 lockdown left much to be desired.
He said that everybody that do private business at the airport, including travel agents, car rentals and hire business operators, among others, had been shut out.
“We have been all subjected to operate under sun and rain. As I talk to you now, there is no shed for us, including those that come to receive their people, all of us stay here, under rain or sun, yet the management collect revenue and rent.
“The most annoying thing is that even women can not have access to the convenience; and look at how this car park field has been messed up, because it is the only place they want people to use”, he said.
Another airport user who did not want his name published, but came to receive his boss at the airport on Monday, rated the airport low in terms of sanitation and convenience.
“This type of thing is happening in a big airport like this, and the manager is keeping quiet, under his watch. It is shocking”, he said.
Efforts made by aviation correspondents to speak with the airport manager, Mr Felix Akinbinu, on Monday, was not successful, as he was said to be having series of meetings.
The Tide, however, learnt that the airport management decided to deny people access to toilet facilities at the terminal building in adherence to the Covid-19 protocols.

 

By: Corlins Walter

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More Youths Engage In Artisanal Refining

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As unemployment bites harder amidst rising cost of living, more youths in rural communities in Rivers State are now going into artisanal refining business to earn a living.
The Tide reliably gathered that some youths residing in Port Harcourt City were gradually moving to rural communities for bunkering business otherwise known as ‘kpo-fire’ 
Narrating his experience to The Tide, Mr Godwin Ibeneme who resides in Rumuekini in Akpor, said he was introduced into the kpor-fire business by his father.
Ibeneme, who hails from Ibaa/ Obelle area of Emohua Local Government Area, said his father compelled him to join other youths who were thriving in the business in the community.
“My father came to my house here in Rumuekini, and told me to come to the village, that other young men are making it through kpo-fire’ bunkering since I have lost my job.
“ I didn’t waste time to give it a trial, because I had really looked for what to do, since I lost my job at a fast-food company. Since then, I can tell you that I have been taking care of myself, unlike before when everything looked hopeless”, he explained.
The Tide also learnt that the kpo-fire’ business was currently thriving in Isiokpo axis of Ikwerre Local Government Area of the state.
A resident of the community who pleaded anonymity, told The Tide that there was a high level of discrimination in the business.
According to him, he decided to engage himself at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, to hustle for his daily bread, instead of staying idle.
The Tide recalls that the Federal Government had promised to build modular refineries in the Niger Delta region since 2019 as an alternative to illegal oil bunkering in the region as well as to create employment for the youth. 
The Tide also reports that three years after the promise was made, nothing has been done in that regard.

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Oyigbo Cassava Plant, Legacy Project   -Akawor

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The Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb. Desmond Akawor, says the cassava plant project, being executed by the Rivers State Government in Oyigbo is a legacy project that will generate huge employment for Rivers people.
He said the project was well thought out and would stand the test of time to tackle unemployment as well as ensure food availability in the state.
Akawor made the remarks during an interaction with journalists at the weekend in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the cassava plant which was supposed to be executed by the previous administrations, was initially planned to be a joint venture between the state government and some organisations, but that the other partners did not pay their counterpart funding.
“The steps taken by the Wike-led administration to bring this project to life without the counterpart funding is commendable, because of the huge economic benefits it will give to the state.
“Many people have also been employed at the construction sites of flyovers being executed by Julius Berger. Eighty percent of those working there are indigenes, while the company provides the expatriates”, he said.
The  PDP chairman also hinted on the plans of the state government to privatise the Buguma fish farm and banana farm, among others, so as to make them more viable.
He said that the state government had not abandoned the projects initiated by the previous administration, but was thinking on what to do with them. 
Akawor maintained that the employment of 5,000 persons into the civil service was still ongoing, saying the government is only taking time to ensure that indigenes of the state are employed.

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PH Airport Resumes Skeletal International Flight Operations

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Skeletal flight operations have resumed at the international wing of the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa.
This follows the lifting of the curfew that was imposed in the state by the Rivers State Government to check cases of insecurity in the state.
The Tide’s checks show that many of the airlines that operate international flights are yet to resume flight operations, even though the coast is clear for them to resume operations.
The Cronaux Airline, it was gathered, is the only airline at the moment that has fully resumed international flight.
Other airlines that operate at the international wing, like the Lufthansa Airline, Turkish Airline, and Ethiopian Airline are yet to resume operations. 
The Acting Head of Corporate Affairs, FAAN, Kunle Akinbode, confirmed the resumption of international flight operations at the airport, last Friday, saying the international wing is now open for international airlines to operate.
He explained that the curfew that was imposed in the state delayed the resumption of international flights operations, even when issues of Covid-19 standard protocols had been addressed.
“Now that the curfew is over and the international wing is open for flight operations, it is left for each of the airlines to work out its own schedule for operations.
“It will not be the duty of the airport management to sort things out for them and know when to resume. I know that some have started. Lufthansa has said they will resume next month, August”, Akinbode said.
The Tide reports that the international wing of the Port Harcourt Airport had been shut since the Covid-19 lockdown, and did not reopen when other international airports in Lagos, Abuja and Kano among others reopened for international operations.

Stories by Corlins Walter

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