The Rivers State Governor, Rt. Hon Chibuike Amaechi has commended the Skye Bank for the huge investment it has undertaken in the transport sector reforms in the state.
The governor, who was very much excited over transport infrastructure that Skye Bank has put in place to transform transportation in the state, said that the bank’s efforts so far has given challenge to the people of Rivers State who mostly depend on government patronage without investing.
Amaechi made the commendation while speaking at the second Rivers State Transport Summit recently with the theme “The Rivers State Transport Sector Reform; the Journey so far”,
According to him, “over 20 per cent success of the transport system reforms is from partnership and funding by Skye Bank Plc”.
He therefore urged private individuals to also key into the transport sector reforms in the state by investing in the sector, and as well appealed to the Skye Bank management to increase the funding of the scheme by providing more vehicles to meet up with the high demand of commuters.
Also, the wife of the governor, Dame Judith Amaechi, who also is the founder of Empowerment Support Initiative (ESI) in the paper she presented at the summit titled “ Emerging Role of Women in Commercial Transportation; prospects and challenges” pointed out that Lady Cabbies scheme she pioneered is one of the intervention programmes of her NGO, aimed at creating women participation in the transport sector to enable them generate regular income.
She said “the ESI Lady Cabbies is one of the foremost gender commercial transport co-operative group in Nigeria and is managed by ESI”.
Mrs Amaechi also pointed out that the scheme is a boost to the commercial transportation of the state, and in line with the transport reforms programme of the present administration, and that the scheme is also financed by the Skye Bank in partnership with ESI.
On his part, the Commissioner for Transport, Hon George Tolofari said the partnership with Skye Bank Plc has been rewarding, adding that they have been able to build new and modern bus shelters and lay-bys, as well as acquire over 106 buses, currently plying the roads, and over 200 taxis to ease transportation in the city.
Speaking earlier, the Executive Director, Risk Management and South – South operations of Skye Bank Plc, Mr Ibiye Ekonye has said that the Bank has invested over N3 billion on the transport scheme, adding that the bank will continue to partner with Rivers State Government.
He said the bank has introduced a new face of transportation in Port Harcourt; the Port Harcourt City Bus Service (PHCBS) which was launched on June 2nd 2008 to reduce the suffering of Port Harcourt dwellers and also create employment.
The Skye Bank risk management director described the bank as the financier of the transport sector reform in the paper he presented titled “Conceptualisation and the PPP strategy driving the transport sector reform”.
He said that the bank has evolved a reliable and efficient mass transit system in three phases’ medium term (bus), Marin in the medium term and rail for median and larger.
Farmer Cries Out Over Cattle Invasion
A farmer in Aluu Community in Ikwerre Local Government Area of Rivers State, Mr Nwo Nna, has cried out over cattle invasion of his farmland and crops.
Nna made this known in a chat with newsmen in Aluu recently.
He said that the most worrisome aspect of the development was the neglect by the herders of the Anti-Grazing Law passed by the Rivers State House of Assembly.
The farmer who discribed such as vexatious and provocative, appealed for intervention by relevant agencies in order to secure their future.
“I got to my farm on Saturday morning only to see my vegetables, cassava, yam and the entire farm devastated by cows”, he said.
He expressed regrets that his farm, which was not at the road had experienced such attack for the second time.
The farmer noted that it would have been a different ball game, if he had met the herders in his farm.
“The saving grace was that I did not meet them. They should be called to order to avoid problems”, he said.
He also sought for urgent intervention of the Rivers State Government, Myyetti Allah and other relevant authorities to warn the herders to keep off people’s farms in the interest of peace.
The farmer further explained that it was becoming a regular practice for herders to parade their cows along the roads, and such cows stray into farm lands and destroy people’s means of livelihood.
While declaring that Rivers people are hospitable, the farmer warned stranger elements, who do not have respect for the laws of the land as well as terrorise other people’s means of livelihood, to take their lawlessness elsewhere.
Other farmers who also responded called for the establishment of a system that monitors the activities of herders.
According to them, it will enable those who take their cows into farms to be identified and adequately sanctioned in the event of any invasion by the cows.
This, they said will bring a lasting peace and as well serve as a deterrent to others.
By: King Onunwor
EFCC Blames Frauds In Banking Sector On Insiders
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission last Wednesday said most frauds in the banking sector were perpetrated by insider Information, Communication Technology employees.
Head, Cybercrime Section of the EFCC, Abbah Sambo, made the declaration at a national seminar on Banking and Allied Matters for judges in Abuja recently.
Sambo, who represented the EFCC Chairman, Mr Abdulrasheed Bawa, at the seminar, said that most banking sector frauds handled by the commission showed that bank employees aided the acts.
He also expressed regrets at the increasing rate of cybercrime in spite of efforts by the commission to tackle it.
Sambo observed that in years past, young people involved in cybercrime were not ICT savvy, but today, it was ICT graduates that are the champions in perpetrating the crime.
He attributed the increase in cybercrime to moral decadence and peer group influence.
“The rate at which young men are perpetrating cybercrime is seriously alarming.
“When we arrest these criminals, one major reason they give for going into the crime is peer influence.Their friends are into it and they want to run with guys that drive the best cars and have the best girls in town”, he said.
He hinted that most times when the criminals were arrested, a lot of assets on them, are registered in the names of their parents.
“Cars in the names of their mothers and houses in the names of their fathers. There is a fundamental issue relating to decay in moral coverage in the society,’’ he said.
Sambo said that the greatest challenge in fighting cybercrime was the knowledge gap, and noted that the criminals were getting more sophisticated.
According to him, the criminals had the ability to talk to one another seamlessly by sharing knowledge, unlike law enforcement agencies.
“A lot of the people trying to combat the crime in the field tend to lack the drive because they do not have adequate training,’’ he said.
He stressed the need for adequate sensitisation and engagement with youths, especially from secondary school level to let them know the ills of crime.
The two-day seminar was organised by the Chartered Institute of Bankers of Nigeria in collaboration with the National Judicial Institution.
SEC Frowns At Resurgence Of Ponzi Schemes
The Securities and Exchange Commission has frowned upon the resurgence of Ponzi schemes and illegal fund managers in the country’s financial sector.
The Director-General of SEC, Mr Lamido Yuguda, made the observation of the development at an enlightenment workshop with the staff of the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and National Planning on in Abuja over the week.
Yuguda said that the unlawful schemes had continued to enjoy massive patronage of the populace and remained a source of concern for regulators in the financial sector.
According to him, the commission was poised to continue to apply measures and seek the cooperation of relevant stakeholders toward combating the activities of these Ponzi schemes.
He expressed regrets that the upsurge of the schemes had undermined the reputation of the financial markets and dampened investors’ confidence, among other things.
“SEC firmly believes that the country’s capital market can attain its potential if market operators and participants contribute their respective quotas to the growth”, he said.
He also explained that SEC was committed to always ensure and maintain an environment that was enabled by the appropriate regulatory framework, timely and affordable access to market.
“The commission is also committed to zero tolerance for infractions, heightened investor confidence and awareness, innovative product development and good governance practice”, he said
“There is the need to restore investor confidence and improve the participation of retail investors in the market.
He further pointed out that the demography of investors in the country’s capital market showed that the young population do not participate in the capital market, and only a few Nigerians invested in the capital market.
The situation, he said, created a huge challenge to the market growth and the commission and added that it was striving to change the narratives by instilling a fair, transparent and orderly market.
The Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, represented by Mr Stephen Okon, Director Home Finance, urged investors to take advantage of the various initiatives in the market.
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