President Umru Yar’Adua has advised the Niger Delta region to embrace peace and support development initiatives in the region.
The president also reaffirmed his administration’s readiness to invest in power to eradicate poverty.
President Yar’Adua, who is on an official visit to Bayelsa State, arrived the peace park, venue of the civic reception held for him by his host, Governor Timpre Sylva, in company of the Minister of Solid Minerals, Mrs. Daezani Madueke and Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, Governor of Rivers State.
However, both senators and members of House of Representatives representing the state in the National Assembly were absent. An Abuja source confided that the legislators did not accompany the president because they said they were not invited by the state government. But a top government official denied this saying they were sent letters of invitation.
Yar’Adua, who expressed his administration’s preparedness to transform the Niger Delta, urged those he described as merchants of violence to change their ways.
But to those who genuinely took up arms to draw attention to the sad situation to the region, he said, “we have heard you and we are ready to work with you to move the Niger Delta forward in the interest of its long-suffering people.
“But to those hiding under the cover of legitimate protest to feather private nests, those merchants of violence, I say to you: change your ways, the people of Niger Delta have seen through your antics and will soon expose you”.
He urged all the people to give the administration a chance to earn their trust.
The president expressed hope that soon, “the region will be transformed into a development hub not only for Nigeria but also for the West African sub-region, in a way that will surpass the recent post-conflict transformation of Angola. But this cannot happen without peace and partnership.
“This is why we are strongly committed to prompt payment of all statutory allocations due to the region and to continued support to interventionist agencies like the NDDC. This is also why we created the Ministry of Niger Delta to coordinate our holistic approach to he transformation of this region.”
He, however, noted that all these would come to naught without peace, without trust, and cooperation of stakeholders.
“Let me therefore use this opportunity to state categorically that our amnesty offer to militants is not a ruse. It is for real “he said, and stressed that the administration would continue to put in place every measure that would bring about peace.
He said the complaints of the people of the region have been noted and expressed his determination to work with them to uplift the state and the region.
Speaking on power, he said it would impact on the lives of Bayelsans.
According to him, regular supply of electricity would improve the productive capacities of Bayelsans and deepen opportunities for growth and prosperity.
The administration, according to him, believes power represents a principal pathway out of poverty for Nigerians.
“Clearly, we need to fix electricity as quick as possible”.
“This is why electricity is accorded a priority position under critical infrastructure in our 7-Point Agenda. And this is why we are not wavering in our commitment to generating and distributing 6,000 MW by the end of this year, and 10,000 MW by 2011. There are enormous challenges ahead but the targets will be met”.
RSG Tasks New Cooperative Executives On Principles
Rivers State Government has tasked the newly inaugurated executive officers of Port Harcourt Revival Multi-Purpose Co-operative Society Limited (PRMCSL) to ensure they uphold the principles and rules of the co-operative society in the World.
Speaking during the launching and inauguration ceremony in Port Harcourt, the Permanent Secretary (PS), Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Rivers State, Mr Lawson Ikuru, said he was delighted to see co-operative society ongoing in the state.
He stated that the key thing about Co-operative society is that it constitutes a vehicle for wealth creation.
Unfortunately, he noted, “overtime it has not really worked out well as a result of proper information”.
Ikuru, who spoke through the Senior Registrar of Co-operative Society of the Ministry, Mr Charles Nwabuike, said all over the world the practice and principle of Co-operative Society remains, nothing that “what makes it different is the function of two things: commitment and information”.
The Permanent Secretary charged the newly inaugurated executive of PRMCSL to get it right from the beginning of the inauguration
“Co-operative Society is about people of like mind, who come together, pulling their resources to do business that will benefit their lives.
“No body is forced into co-operative society, it is voluntary. So, the executive should play the game in line with the law, and ensure that the co-operative act is put in pleace.
“Co-operative Society believes in the ethical value of honesty and openness. It’s not a social club, not a secret society, but a business”, Ikuru said.
Also speaking, the Chairman of the inauguration, Chief Eugene E. Nkwota, commended the founder of the organisation, Mr Nwosu Reginald Oguchi, for creating opportunities for people to do business.
He stated that as members of the co-operative society, they should continue doing the right thing all the time to ensure they move the business forward.
Earlier in his key note address, the director of Universities of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Business School, Port Harcourt, Prof Emeka J. Okereke, said “the co-operative society is an organization that is formed by a group of people whose primary objective is the promotion of the economic interest of its members”.
He tasked the executive to use to the organisation to turn members into entrepreneurs, innovators, wealth creators among the 41.5 million MSMEs in Nigeria.
Meanwhile, Mr Oguchi, wholo is also the Chairman, BOT/President of PRMCSL, said the focus of the organization “is to promote micro, small and medium enterprises using members subscription.
He thanked all the guests who came from far and near to grace the occasion, saying that “Revival Co-operative will focus more on investment, especially on Agro-business value chain and export”.
By: Lilian Peter & Kiadum Edookor
Don Urges Fish Farm Establishment To Boost Economy
A university Don, Professor Fayeofori Gbobo Bob-Manuel, has called on the Federal and State Governments to focus more attention on Fisheries and Aquaculture value chain through the establishment of large scale fish farms all over the country because of its potential economic benefits to the nation.
Professor Bob-Manuel made the call while delivering the 43rd inaugural lecture at Ignatius Ajuru University of Education (IAUE) on the topic, “Blue Ecosystem Resources: Unharnessed Black Gold for Sustainable Development in Nigeria”, on Thursday.
He also called on Local Government Council Chairmen to redirect the focus of the youths from oil bunkering to fish farming, and oil companies operating in the country on the need to establish fish farms as well.
The Professor of Fisheries and Aquaculture further encouraged Nigerian Universities to grow fish as part of their integrated Agricultural programme in order to make the University community self-sufficient in its fish needs.
He revealed that despite the abundance of water bodies, Nigeria spent 30 billion naira importing fish in the last quarter of 2020, with about 1.2 billion US dollars’ worth of fish imported into the country annually, describing the development as “a serious drain on the country’s scarce foreign exchange.
Noting that if concerted effort is not made by both government and the private sector to improve domestic fish production, fish importation would continue to be on the increase, leading to greater drain on foreign exchange.
According to him, “Nigeria is endowed with blue ecosystem resources which lie unharnessed under its waters, oceans, seas, rivers, lakes, and creeks.
“If the resources in the nation’s waters are properly harnessed they could give the economy a boom and make Nigeria rank among the fastest growing economies in the world without oil and gas.
“Fisheries and aquaculture make up three to four percent of the country’s GDP, contributes to fulfilling the population’s nutritional requirements, accounts for about fifty percent of the supply of animal source food and an important source of essential dietary nutrients.”
He, however, noted that despite the potentials for fish production through aquaculture, artisanal and inland fisheries, domestic fish production still falls far below the demand.
According to the inaugural lecturer, increased human activities through industrialisation, urbanisation, population growth and overall man’s greed to over exploit mother nature have created a serious threat to all kinds of life through pollution, which has become a global problem.
He affirmed that since all other life forms depend directly or indirectly on water, aquatic pollution is often regarded as a great concern to man.
Prof. Bob-Manuel lameted that the exploration and exploitation of crude oil and its related activities in the Niger Delta have impacted negatively on the aquatic fauna in the region, constituting a threat to the biodiversity of fishes.
The effects, he observed, “is that local indigenous people who do not have improved standards of living, are suffering from the serious damage to their natural environment”.
He estimated that a proper clean-up of the region, including full restoration of swamps, creeks, fishing grounds and mangroves could take twenty five years and is bound to affect fisheries and aquaculture production because of the limitation the situation places on harnessing the potentials in the sector.
Nigeria, according to Professor Bob-Manuel, ranks 160 out of 166 countries with regards to progress towards meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals, hinting that five million more rural poor and the low income group in Nigeria live in poverty and suffer from malnutrition.
The University Don, therefore, called for a ban on the importation of fish, while advocating massive production of fish for domestic consumption and export.
He also made a case for fresh water and brackish water fish culture to grow fish in the rural areas where there is a ready market to save a lot of foreign exchange.
Additionally, he said, there should be “a substantial increase in fish supplies needed to bridge the demand and supply gap in coming decades with the use of modern technology and improved farming practices to support sustainability of production”.
In his speech, the Vice Chancellor of the university, Professor Okechuku Onuchuku, commended the inaugural lecturer for stressing the need to use natural resources to grow the economy and improve the general well-being of the people by focusing more on the fisheries value chain.
He also thanked him for advocating proper management of the environment in order not to destroy the growth of the future economy while trying to meet up today’s needs.
Also speaking, the Acting Registrar, Mr Donald Okogbaa, lauded Professor Bob-Manuel for the expository lecture and for doing justice to the topic, adding that the points raised should be a food for thought for everyone.
By: Sogbeba Dokubo
PH Law School Campus Excites Ikwerre Monarch
As the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, continues to receive praises over the commissioning of the Nabo Graham-Douglas Campus of the Nigerian Law School, the Eze Oha Evo III, King Leslie N.Eke,Eze Gbakagbaka, has expressed excitement over the project, saying “it is a welcome development”.
Eke made his feelings known when he spoke with newsmen at his palace in Woji Community in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, yesterday.
He said there was no better way to project law education in the state and its environs than what the Governor has done.
According to him, the newly built Nigerian Law School campus in Port Harcourt will not only boost law studies in the state, but will encourage business activities within the area.
“Law School Campuses usually come with a lot of business activities. Port Harcourt Campus will fall in the same direction.
“The Law School Campus established in Port Harcourt is one of the super decisions of the Governor Nyesom Wike-led administration. People are now convinced that the Governor has the interest of the State at heart”, he said.
The Evo monarch praised the State Governor for the initiative and execution of the project, adding that those who opposed the establishment of the school in the State did not have the interest of the State at heart.
He also called on those who may be willing to do business in and around the campus to ensure that they obey the rules and regulations as will be provided by the management of the school.
Another advantage of the campus, he stated, is that it will enable potential law students to visit the campus on excursion to serve as a morale booster.
Noting that the standard of the school supersedes all other campuses in the country, he said, “it was built in accordance with best international standard.”
By: King Onunwor
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