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NDDC Unveils Skills-Driven Programme For N’Delta Youths

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The Niger Delta Development Commission, (NDDC), has unveiled a talent hunt programme to discover and expose creative youths and women of the Niger Delta region.
The Commission said the talent hunt was meant to prime prospective artistes in the region take advantage of the thriving entertainment industry.
Speaking during a meeting with some key actors in the creative industry at the Rivers State office of NDDC in Port Harcourt, the Interim Administrator, Mr. Effiong Akwa, said that NDDC would continue to create programmes to address the challenges of youths in the Niger Delta region.
The NDDC Chief Executive Officer, represented by the Director, Youths and Sports, Mr. Offiong Ephraim, stated that the talent hunt programme would accommodate all categories of youths, including the physically challenged.
He affirmed that NDDC would continue to execute programmes that would engage the youths meaningfully, stating that the Commission was passionate and committed to youth development as part of measures to end youth restiveness in the Niger Delta.
The NDDC boss stressed the importance the Commission attached to partnerships that would enhance the development of youths, women and people living with disabilities.
He assured that the Commission would not relent in introducing programmes that would provide opportunities for youths to excel.
Also speaking at the event, the Special Adviser on Youths to the Interim Administrator, Engr. Udengs Eradiri, said that it was important to debunk the notion that Niger Delta youths were not enterprising.
He stated: “We have a lot of energetic, strong and intelligent young people. We are going to train them to ensure that they are prepared for the challenges of tomorrow. The creative industry is one area where young people thrive. We will partner with known artistes in the region as ambassadors to also pull the other ones up.”
Eradiri explained that the partnership with known artistes from the Niger Delta was meant to develop the talents of youths from across the region, stating, “the creative industry is one area that we can engage a lot of idle young people. We will continue to play our role in supporting institutions to create the platform to push our young people to the international society. We must keep the creative sector alive in the Niger Delta to develop young talents to showcase to the world.”
A foremost artiste in the region, Mr. Okiri Harry, who was present at the meeting, said that the Commission’s youth programme was a dream come true for those in the creative sector, noting that about 80 per cent of the entertainment industry was rooted in the Niger Delta.
He said that artistes from the region had over the years faced challenges of getting support and platforms to express themselves, stressing that “our talented youths are yearning for avenues to express themselves and that is where the Niger Delta talent hunt comes in.”
Harry said that the Niger Delta Youth Entertainment Talent Hunt, NIDETH, would organise auditions in all the nine states of the region and organise bands for them, adding, “we intend to make stars from this platform”.
He continued, “We are going to bring in all our Niger Delta Ambassadors in the entertainment industry. These great artistes will be brought in to inspire the young and up-coming ones. We know that when we engage our youths in this platform, we will not just take them off the streets but we will empower them.”
In a related development, the President of Miss Niger Delta Organization, Prince Sodin, applauded NDDC for the programme to encourage youths to realize their potentials, observing that it was important to let the world know the positive attributes of the young people in the region.

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Rivers

NDLEA Intercepts 100,000 Bottles Of Codeine Syrup At Onne Port

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The National Drug Law Enforcement Agency, (NDLEA), has intercepted and seized no fewer than 100,000 bottles of codeine syrup with a total weight of 15,325 kgs at the Onne seaport, Port Harcourt, Rivers state.
NDLEA Director, Media and Advocacy, Mr Femi Babafemi disclosed this in a statement issued at the weekend in Abuja.
Babafemi said that the 100mg illicit cough syrup with codeine packed in 500 cartons and concealed in a container marked MRKU 1565305, bearing made in India imported face masks, was discovered on Thursday, 10th June.
The syrup was found in a warehouse at the Onne port complex during a joint examination by officers of the Nigeria Customs Service, (NCS) State Security Service and the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control, (NAFDAC), among others, he added.
He said that the seizure followed intelligence received by the NDLEA, as a result of which the container was detained and moved to the Customs’ government warehouse within the port complex.
The NDLEA spokesman added that no importer or agent had, however, come forward to claim the container, but that efforts were ongoing to track the owner for further investigation and prosecution.
Babafemi quoted the Chairman, (NDLEA) retired Brig. Gen. Buba Marwa as hailing the synergy between various government agencies at the Onne port.
He charged them not to rest on their oars as they continued working hard daily, to keep Nigeria safe.
In particular, he commended the Commander, officers and men of the Port Command in the Rivers capital, and their Abuja airport Command counterparts, for their vigilance and commitment to the task of ridding Nigeria of illicit drugs.
“The damage 100,000 bottles of codeine could have done to our youths, if they had slipped through the port to our villages, towns and cities, is unimaginable. 146.95 kgs of khat could have done the same damage if allowed to go unto our streets.
“We’ll continue to motivate our officers and men so that they can give their best in the discharge of their responsibilities across the country,” he said
“We will ultimately, with the support of all our stakeholders and partners, win the battle against illicit drug trafficking and abuse”, he said.

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Rivers

21st Century Business: Company Harps On Digital, Smart Office Technology

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The General Manager, Sales and Marketing, Xerox H.S. Nigeria Limited, Mr Femi Abidoye, has stressed the need for digital printing press as well as Smart Office operations in order to adjust properly in the 21st century office documentation system.
Abidoye, said this during the company’s business exhibition titled “ Digital Printing Press, Smart Office Technology Products And Electronic Document  Management System ‘EDMS’ held in Port Harcourt recently.
He noted that the company has made the issue of work from home a reality.
According to him, the Covid-19 pandemic had actually challenged the people on the need to consider work from home a better business option, which he said the company was handy to provide solution.
The Xerox’s General Manager, Sales and Marketing, further said that his company has been in the forefront of sermonising against analogue system to the digital system.

By: King Onunwor

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Rivers

Finima Seeks Host Community Rights From NLNG

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Finima community has decried neglect and poor corporate social responsibility by the Nigerian Liquified Natural Gas(NLNG), insisting that the gas multinational has failed to recognise them as host community.
The protest staged by the community was peaceful until some youths alleged to be from Bonny  attacked the protesters, unleashing violence and vandalising properties worth millions of naira in the area.
As at the time of writing the report, nine persons were wounded in the attack and were hospitalised.
Speaking on why the community held the protest, an elder of Finima Community, Mr Dagogo Lambeth Brown said for over 30 years the community was relocated for the LNG plant in  the early 90s, the community had been sided in terms of hosting rights.
Brown stated that despite having signed an MOU (Memorandum Of Understanding) with the community, NLNG has reneged on what he called legacy issues. Some of the legacy issues include resettlement of indigenes from their ancestral land now used as site for NLNG, environmental, health, education and employment.
He said, “as at today there is nothing to show for hosting LNG on our land…even we have internally displaced persons in Finima.”
Woman Leader in the community, Mrs.Victoria Brown recalled that the community gave land to the federal government to build the multinational gas firm but today the firm has failed to honour and rexognise their host.
Another community woman leader, Mrs Kabaka Brown said many youths are not employed as part of the MOU.
“ We have master and doctoral degree holders who have no jobs. The jobs they give us is cleaners and security men,” she said.
On his part, Youth Leader and former Chairman of FinimaYouth , Ala Hart decried that NLNG has made billions from it soil while the community suffers.
Mr. Hart explained that the major issues of contention forms part of the Community Content Guidelines, which NLNG do not implement.
He noted that the Community Content Guidelines is part of the Nigerian Content Development Monitoring Board established by law.
The guidelines covers employment, environment, health and general welfare of host communities which the gas giant does not implement.
Reacting to the development, the NLNG General Manager, External Relations and Sustainable Development, Eyono Fatayi- Williams  said the multinational gas firm had always considered all stakeholders in the community  as partners.
“ NLNG remains full committed to sustainable development in the kingdom, hinged on active community participation to drive initiatives and projects that positively impact the lives of the community,” he added.

By: Kevin Nengia

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