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NCAA’s Visit Rekindles Hope For Certification Of Bayelsa Int’l Airport

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Barring any unforeseen circumstances, the Bayelsa International Airport will be licensed to commence full commercial operations by the relevant federal aviation regulatory authorities before the end of this month.
The state Deputy Governor, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, disclosed this during a meeting with the management and staff of the Airport together with its host communities in Government House, Yenagoa, at the weekend.
According to Senator Ewhrudjakpo, the state is expecting a visit from the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) on the 23rd of this month, which might culminate in the certification of commercial flight operations in the Airport.
The state number two man, therefore, called on all stakeholders to make last ditch efforts towards getting the Federal Government’s operational licence.
Highlighting the importance of the airport, he appealed to the host communities to be patient, assuring that the present administration was poised to addressing their concerns according to extant best practices in the aviation industry.
Making reference to how airports within and outside the country have transformed the economy of their operating environments, the Deputy Governor urged all the stakeholders to have a bigger picture as expected benefits from the airport were beyond immediate financial gains.
Senator Ewhrudjakpo, therefore, cautioned them to employ dialogue as a means of resolving any pending issues, stressing that protests and disruption of activities around the airport will only delay its licencing.
“This is no time for protest. It is rather, a time for more cooperation and hardwork for us to achieve what we need to get our airport operate fully. If government is still owing you any money as balance for compensation, that should not make you to demonstrate”, he said.
“We are appealing to you because by the time the airport starts operating, you all know the benefits you will all get as workers, landlords and host communities. Government will look into your demands and take appropriate steps to address them”, he added.
“We must look at and focus on the bigger picture because sometimes if you don’t focus on the bigger picture, you continue to cry because of the immediate sparrow.
The tears in your eyes will deprive you from seeing the stars. The stars are always there, but (most times), it is because of the tears in our eyes that make us not to see the stars.However, the good news is that, officials of the NCAA are coming on the 23rd and by the grace of God when they come on that day, and before they leave on the 25th, we are expecting that they will kindly give us our licence”, he noted.
In their remarks, some members of the state House of Assembly, Mrs. Ebiuwou-Koku Obiyai, Mr. Wisdom Fafi, Mr. Oforji Oboku and Mr. Felix Bonny-Ayah, all appealed to the landlords to be patient with government as regards the issues of compensation and employment.
Also speaking, the Commissioners for Information, Environment as well as Budget and Economic Planning, urged the host communities to endeavour to make necessary sacrifices to attract development through the airport and its ancillary services.
Speaking on behalf of the landlords, the Amananaowei of Amassoma, Chief Graham Naingba, Spokesman of the Airport Landlords Forum, Mr Yenigha Ebimode, amongst others assured the state government of their cooperation to enable the airport begin full operations.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
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Eradiri Faults NDDC Leadership Structure Wants Agric As Top Priority

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The Special Adviser to the Sole Administrator of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) on Youths, Udens Eradiri, has faulted the leadership structure of the commission, saying it has not helped the cause of the Niger Delta in the last 25 years.
Describing the leadership structure of the NDDC as faulty, he said that the faulty leadership structure was the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari ordered for a forensic audit in the commission.
Eradiri who is the former president of the Ijaw Youths Council (IYC)
disclosed this while speaking to aviation correspondents, last Friday, shortly on arrival at the Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, from Abuja. 
He said the outcome of the forensic audit would be used to do a wholistic reorganisation of the organogram of the commission.
According to him, the wholistic review of the organogram of the NDDC will help in putting the leadership structure in order, and enable things to function properly.
“The leadership structure of NDDC in the past years had been faulty, and that was why the President said there should be forensic audit, which would be used to do a wholistic review of the organogram of NDDC, so that it can function properly.
“The new board is coming soon, but the whole process will pass through the National Assembly to be cleared”, Eradiri said.
On the achievement of the present NDDC management, the special adviser said that the Effiong Akwa led administration had recorded some landmark achievements compared to the last 25 years. 
He said that the present interim management within two years completed and commissioned the headquarters of the NDDC, which had been left for over 25 years.
He also said that the completion of the East-West road project had intensified under the present management, adding that NDDC has also supported states on sanitation through donation of trucks.
Eradiri, however, admitted that the present interim management had not taken a firm stand on agricultural development even though it has been working with the Central Bank of Nigeria on the Anchor Borrowers Scheme.
“I believe that the only tool to use and get ourselves out of the quagmire we find ourselves is agriculture, and I think that the NDDC can design its own scheme on how to grow agriculture as a deliberate policy.
“This will bring change that will grow the region’s economy. We must talk about agricultural processing, and we can put palm oil into sachet, and even students can be buying them,” he said.

By: Corlins Walter

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Nigeria Lost N851bn To Oil Theft, Sabotage   – NEITI

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Nigeria lost N851.84bn ($2.78bn) to oil theft and pipeline sabotage in 2019, the Nigerian Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI)   has said.
NEITI said this in its latest oil and gas industry audit report.
NEITI stated that it arrived at the estimate after using an average price of $65.61 per barrel and an average exchange rate of N306.42/$ .
It, however, noted that there was a significant reduction of 21 per cent from the previous year, where 53.28 million barrels were lost.
Losses such as these are recorded by companies whose crude volumes are carried through pipelines easily compromised by saboteurs.
The report also stated that some oil terminals recorded no production. These included Aja operated by Bayelsa Oil, whose license was revoked by the government.
Others were Asaramatoru and Oyo managed by Prime and Allied/CAMAC who were reportedly inactive for the year.
Nigeria earned a total of N10.49tn ($34.22bn) from crude oil and gas sales. This was a marginal 4.88 per cent increase from 2018 revenues of N9.99tn ($32.63bn).
The total crude oil production recorded was 735.24 million barrels, a 4.87per cent increase from 701.10 million barrels reported in 2018.
A total of N2.145tn ($7.011bn) was the domestic sales proceeds in 2019 from 107.24 million barrels of crude oil. This was 0.36 per cent lower than the domestic crude sales of 107.63 million barrels in 2018.

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Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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Some residents in the 23 local government areas of Rivers State have urged the newly sworn-in council chairmen in the state to come up with good agricultural and developmental policies that will transform the grassroots.
They also urged the council boss to take pragmatic steps and actions towards tackling security challenges to encourage business activities thrive in their domains. 
Some of the residents who spoke with The Tide at the weekend, noted that the local government administration in the state had not faired well in terms of real development in recent times, and urged the new council helmsmen to change the narratives. 
A resident of Emohua Local Government Area, Mr Charles Amadi, noted that no real development had taken place in the area, lamenting the dearth of companies and small scale industries in the area.
He, therefore, called on the new chairman, Dr. Chidi Lyoid, not to solely depend on the monthly allocation, but to go all out to attract small scale companies to the area so as to create employment opportunities as well as generate revenue for the council.
He also urged the new chairman to invest in agriculture, especially farming and fishing.
On his part, Mr Ebenezer Otamiri who lives in Etche, urged the Etche council boss, Obinna Ayanwu, to consolidate on the achievements recorded in his first tenure, especially by building more markets for the people, as well as initiate good agricultural policy to drive the economy of the area.
He also urged the council boss to tackle the issue of electricity and security in the area, saying electricity and security are key to the development of the area. 
In his own charge, Mr Mene Geoffrey Dekaa who hails from Bori in Khana Local Government Area of the state, called on his new council chairman, Bariere Thomas, to show capacity and competence in the area of security.
He noted that the issue of security has left native imprint in the development of the area, saying many investors have left Bori, the headquarters of the council, for other places.
“Because of security challenges, many people have left Bori to build houses and invest in Nonwa- Tai, and Eleme.
“Areas like Kono-Boweeh communities are no go areas, as people there can hardly sleep. So if the chairman can work with government recognised traditional rulers and security agents, security issues will be tackled, and people’s confidence will be restored, and business activities will move on”, he said.

By: Residents Task New Council Chairmen On Dev, Agric Policies

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