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Proffering Solutions To Post Amnesty Challenges



the paralysis in the LGAs is a security challenge because a lot of the councils have failed to embark on projects that would involve the youths.

Barely three weeks after the amnesty period expired, experts in the state have proffered measures through which the authorities can contain the challenges that would trail the exercise.

The experts made public their views during the study tour of officers of the Nigerian Defence College, Abuja in Rivers State.

A security chief in the state while speaking on the successes and challenges of security agencies in the state decried the lack of adequate technology and facilities to strengthen security.

He stated that with enormous arms proliferation in the region, the level of policemen and surveillance need to be beefed up to reduce violent crimes and other social vices.

Citing kidnapping as one vice that needed to be curbed, he advocated for new legislation to regulate ownership and acquisition of GSM telephone lines.

He argued that GSM had aided kidnappers in the crime of abducting people, saying if a law was promulgated to enable network providers to aid security agents in tracking down the hoodlums, kidnapping would be curbed.

The security chief, who decried the poor number of police personnel to keep surveillance over the state, recommended the need to provide close Circuit Television (CCT) to monitor the metropolis.

Also, he suggested that  serious checks on the state’s borders should ber mounted to avert the infiltration of criminal elements into the state.

The Rivers Police Chief revealed that majority of the kidnapping cases are being perpetrated by neighbouring states of Abia and Imo.

The same view was held by the state Director of State Security Service, Mr. Bassey Etteh who described the challenges in the state as unique due to its economic importance as the hub of oil and gas activities.

With the influx of people into Port Harcourt, Mr. Etteh observed that security had become difficult coupled with the challenge at the waterfronts.

He decried a situation where the waterfronts developments had been given an ethnic colouration, thereby making it difficult for the government to redevelop the area.

The SSS boss, called on the authorities to provide employment for the state’s teeming youths, saying when youths are unemployed, they fall prey to social vices.

He pointed out that the challenge of containing the after effects of  militancy would be made more difficult if developments at the local areas were

 not given priority attention.

His words, “the paralysis in the LGAs is a security challenge because a lot of the councils have failed to embark on projects that would involve the youths.”

Mr. Etteh, however, commended the state Government for evolving youth programmes, especially the rehabilitation programme which in his view had been a major success in accommodating those who have benefited from the amnesty.

If the rehabilitation exercise is sustained, he submitted that it would be difficult for the militants to go back to their old ways, as they would be easily re-integrated into the society.

In his submission, Chairman of the state Rehabilitation Committee, Chief Albert Horsfall represented by Chief  Emmanuel Chike remarked that since the establishment of the body in 2008, it had achieved tremendous achievements in the area of rehabilitating repentant militants.

So far, he stated that the body had trained about 200 youths in different trades and skills in order to provide them gainful employment after their training.

Part of the scheme, he stated was the collaboration the SRC had struck with some microfinance banks, on how to provide soft loans for the repentant militants.

In his words, “there is need to salvage the youths now,” warning that the way things were going the state might experience a generational gap and huge loss of manpower.

Already, he disclosed that plans were underway to absorb another 300 youths, following the graduation of 200 last month.

Currently, he said, the objection of the scheme was being met but pointed out that the Committee is facing the challenge of expanding the facility to accommodate more of the ex-militants due to the amnesty programme.

To further ensure that the youths were kept on track, he disclosed that a monitoring team had been established by the committee to oversee their activities after graduation.

In a similar vein, Chairman of the State Sustainable Development Agency (RSSDA), Mr. Bolaji Ogunseye said the agency was established to curb youth unemployment.

With emphasis on agriculture, education and skill acquisition, Mr. Ogunseye said so far the body had expended not less than N1 billion on projects.

Prior to its establishment, the RSSDA’s boss stated that there was high unemployment rate with youth apathy to productive ventures.

He submitted that there was need to change the  entitlement mentality by the youths. This he explained exists because a lot of the young people in the state believed that they were supposed to be paid some money without involving in any productive venture.

Harping on the need for entrepreneurship amongst the youths, he tasked tertiary institutions and other educational institutions to go beyond producing job- seekers to enterpreneurs.

As a result of the huge gap in the nation’s educational institutions to train future entrepreneurs, he declared that the agency had introduced the Graduate Work Experience, (GWE).

Under the scheme, he stated that jobless graduates had been linked with employers of labour. At present, he said it was being run with the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN).

About 78 banks he claimed had absorbed some of the youths and beneficiaries get stipends of about N40,000 paid to them by the RSSDA and employers.

Mr. Ogunseye disclosed that by next month another batch of 100 graduates would be involved, before they would be engaged some security checks would be  conducted on them.

Another scheme evolved by the agency in curbing youth restiveness, Mr. Ogunseye asserted was in the area of scholarship. With scholarship, he stated, youths are transformed by accessing good education facilities within and outside the country.

The RSSDA boss disclosed that about 500 indigenes of the state were now in various countries of the world studying special crouses in oil/gas, medicine and engineering. “We have about 190 students in the UK, about 100 are being packaged again.

“We have 146 in Canada, 97 in Singapore in IT and management and 115 in India for IT. The world needs about 45 million in the IT industry and India cannot provide enough and so we want Rivers State to be amongst those that would fill in those spaces.

Commenting on the political, social and economic realities in Rivers State, Secretary to the State Government, Hon. Magnus Abe told the NDC participants that the present administration is doing all it can to empower the youths.

Hon. Abe insisted that almost all policies of the Amaechi led administration were directed towards giving the youths a new lease of life.

Most especially, he noted, that young people were majorly involved in the governance of the state, noting that more than half of the councillors in  local councils were youths between the age of 25 and 35 years thuggery.

He said, “there is no barrier in this administration, as far as one is capable of showing the right qualities. The only thing we are not doing is that from the inception, we said we are not going to be involved in hungry and savage character. It is a taboo in our system.”

On ways to curb the Niger Delta impasse, Hon. Abe noted that the states in the region were forming a synergy in the area of economic cooperations; a fallout of the economic summit held in Calabar few months ago.

He further declared, “Between us and Bayelsa we have been able to improve in the areas of cooperation.”

In his submission, Commandant of the NDC, Rear – Admiral G.J. Jonah opined that they are in support of the vision and strategy adopted by the Rivers State Government in empowering the youths.

For the amnesty to be fully realised, he stressed  the need for sustainability of the programmes on ground. In addition, he said the youths need to be fully integrated into the society through value orientation and productivity.

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NPA Pledges Safe Navigation Of Vessels On Warri Pilotage District



The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has assured navigational safety for all stakeholders operating legally in the Warri Pilotage District, despite the urgent need for breakwater reconstruction.
This is just as NPA pilots enabled the safe berthing of inbound vessels – MT Zonda and MT Stellar as well as outbound vessel MT Duke, MT Vardar and MT Igbinosa last week with six vessels at anchorage outbound and inbound for Bonny Island, Koko and Escravos.
NPA stated that although the Escravos breakwaters constructed to prevent the siltation of the Warri channels had collapsed decades ago, it has concluded the survey and mapping of the channel.
The authority also noted that it is at the conclusive stages of securing relevant approvals for the best financing option to fund its reconstruction and has put measures in place to ensure safe berthing of legally operating vessels in the spirit of trade facilitation.
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer of NPA, Mohammed Bello-Koko, said the up-to-date local and international training as well as simulation and maneuverability competence building of the highly experienced pilots of the NPA, have ensured zero incidences of vessels running aground.
Bello-Koko said the authority had procured and installed adequate buoys for the Warri channel and realigned the entrance buoys as well as docked and reclassified vessels.
He said the authority has also stipulated frequent simulation training and retraining for all the pilotage crew to enable them to respond to the exigencies of the channel.
According to him, the occasionally reported incidents of vessels running aground cannot impede the channel, as they are vessels operating illegally without NPA’s marine pilot onboard.
He said the vessels ran aground because they veered off the channel and safety-marked areas due to incompetence.
Bello-Koko said to enhance domain awareness capability to detect and frontally keep illegal vessels at bay, the authority recently awarded consultancy for the installation of Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) across all its port locations with the first phase already completed.

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Most popular toys in 2018



Every year some toys emerge as popular among children across all ages. These toys are considered a “must have” by most kids and are often on their Christmas wish list. The year 2018 is no different with some toys making it to the favorite list of most children. Most times, the toys vary in terms of size, color and design giving kids a chance to choose the ones that appeal to them. Nevertheless, it is essential to start your shopping early to get the best deals without having to stretch the available funds.

What to look for when buying toys in 2018

Apart from having your kids’ preferences in mind when purchasing toys in 2018, you should also check if they are suitablefor children.Some of the things you should consider when buying toys are listed below.

  • Age of child – Most toys have a label that indicates the age of the child that is allowed to play with them. Ensure that you read the label before buying a toy, so that gets all the benefits meant to be derived from using it. Age-appropriate toys contribute to the development of children, making it vital that they get the right type of plaything.
  • Safety – Majority of the favorite toys can be a great addition to your child’s collection in 2018. However, it is essential to check the toys for corners, sharp edges, and harmfulpoints which might not have been mentioned on the warning label. Toys that are easy to dismantle and have loose parts should also be vetted to see whether they are appropriate for the child. Focus on buying toys that cannot lead to injuries and are durable for different kinds of play.
  • Affordability-The price of toys vary from one store to another, with some being cheap and others quite expensive. When going shopping, have a budget that will guide the quality and quantity of toys that you can purchase for your children. You can consider buying one expensive toy that is their favorite and adding others that are low cost to achieve a balance.
  • Versatility –Toys that can only be used for a short time or appeal to children of a specific age group may not be the best ones to buy for kids. Go for toys that can be used to entertain and educate the child over a long period without them getting bored.
  • Durability –Most children, especially toddlers enjoy picking apart toys as a way for them to explore its workings. It is therefore vital to buy toys that made from sturdy material, and all their parts are screwed on tightly so that they are not easily spoilt. Also, ensure that paint used on the toys do not easily peel off and are non-toxic.

Top 6 favorite toys in 2018

The number of toys launched in 2018is many with several appealing to both boys and girls of different ages. Some of the toys that have been ranked as favorites this year include:

  • LEGO Harry Potter Hogwarts Great Hall Building Kit

The game is designed to resemble Hogwarts Great Hall Building in the popular Harry Potter movie. It is 878 pieces which when arranged reveal the Great Hall which is a famous building in the film. Some of the pieces that stand out are the treasure room, spiral staircase, and potions room. Popular figurines are also part of the set with characters such as Nearly Headless, Nick, Harry Potter, Albus Dumbledore, Ron Weasely, Hagris, Draco, Professor NacGonagall and Susan Bones among others.

  • Barbie Care Clinic Vehicle

Barbie has been part of the favorite toy list for many years, and in 2018 she is in charge of a mobile clinic. She has a twenty piece set that includes a gift shop, exam room and waiting room which are used to tackle emergencies of varying magnitudes. The ambulance in the collection has lights as well as siren sounds that are turned on using a button which is quite exciting for kids who are three years and older.

  • Paw Patrol – Ultimate Rescue Fire Truck

Kids that love the Paw Patrol cartoon will enjoy playing with the truck whose sounds, and flashing lights keep them entertained. The truck has a Marshall who sits in the cab looking out but can also jump into the fire cart when they need to rescue animals. The extendable ladder and working claw are fun to use to save animals stuck in trees.

  • Smart Learning Home

Fisher price has always focused on making playtime fun for babies for many years. In 2018, they introduced a toy that helps small children learn about the weather, numbers, and shapes. The interactive toy also has sounds, music, and lights to keep your baby entertained. To find out more about interactive toys for babies, visit

  • Sesame Street Lets Dance Elmo

Elmo is loved by many children that have interacted with him and his friends on the Sesame Street show. In 2018, he is dancing and grooving to different types of music, making him an excellent toy for children working on their motor skills. The toy has musical modes namely songs, colors and animals which gives kids a variety to choose from. When the modes are changed, Elmo begins to wiggle, or dance and the color on his heart begins to turn as well.

  • Radio Flyer busy buggy

Toddlers that are active and always on the move will enjoy having this ride-on toy. The carriage has several features that make its fun to ride over short distances. Some of the fancy features that make it one of the most interactive toys in 2018 include an adjustable dashboard, horn, moving windshield, and sliding beads among others. Active youngsters get to develop their motor skills as they cruise within the home while adjusting their reflective mirror.

Overall, no matter the choice of toys you buy for your children, ensure that they are educational, fun and safe.


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CRFFN Registers 5000 Freight Forwarders




More than 5,000 freight forwarders have so far registered with the Council for the Regulation of Freight Forwarders in Nigeria (CRFFN) in its on-going membership drive.

The CRFFN Director (Education and Research),  Mr Alban Igwe,  told our correspondents  on Thursday in Lagos that the initiative was part of efforts to re-organise the freight forwarding business in Nigeria.

He said that freight forwarders, who failed to register with the council, would at the end of the exercise be regarded as fake businessmen.

According to him, the council plans to enforce its operational code which allows only registered members to practise.

“The registration, which started last year, is on-going. The enforcement, which should have started already, will start shortly as soon as all logistics are on ground.

“We have a tribunal that will try all illegal freight forwarders and any forwarder found guilty will be sentenced.

“Education of freight forwarders continues because over 70 per cent involved in the business do not have more than school certificate,” he said.

Igwe said that the association had concluded plans to conduct intensive training across the country in line with the provision of the Act that established the council.

He said that education remained the key role of the CRFFN in assisting freight forwarders to acquire professional skills and knowledge.

Igwe said that the council had signed memoranda of understanding with 10 training institutions to facilitate achievement of this objective.

The CRFFN Director also said that the training programme had made it possible for interested freight forwarders to acquire PHD degrees, stressing that the era of quacks had gone.

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