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Awaiting CARNIRIV 2009



Rivers State could be one of the richest states in the country in view of its enormous crude deposits and acquatic riches but that the wealth derivable from its rich cultural heritage cannot be over estimated. The cultural plurality of the state and a lot of tourist potentials which so far remain underdeveloped can blow the investment potentials of the state to unimaginable heights if developed. In a couple of weeks from now, Rivers State Cultural village, Elekahia, will be agog again. The wild drum beats that dictate the rhythm of seemingly possessed dancers, masquaredes of all shapes, boat regatta, the floats and various cultural troupes, reflecting the true culture of the state will mount the stage to celebrate Carniriv 2009. For the past months, radio and television jingles of the Rivers State ministry of Culture and Tourism have been stimulating millions of enthusiastic cultural lovers whose urge for the fiesta grows to melting point. Little Miss Mercy Clifford is anxious to behold the treat. “I am anxious to see the Carniriv 2009 . I long for Amanikpo, Nwotam, the legendery Otobo dance and thousands of beautiful dancers will surely thrill me to no bound.” Miss Clifford, 15 and a student of Ojims College, Rumuji in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State told The Tide On Sunday that fixing of the CarnirIv from 12th – 20th December by the Rivers State government was good because it will not conflict with her studies since many schools would be on holidays and “that means the cultural festival will not conflict with my academic programmes”. Though the Carniriv 2009 is twenty days away from today, many persons have started to express their views concerning the event. To some, the cultural displays afford them the opportunity of reflecting on the original life, culture and tradition of the various ethnic groups that make up Rivers State, particularly before the intrusion of Western culture, while few others view the event beyond the thrills and colours of the fiesta to the socio-economic importance. Comrade Christian Kokoriko said Rivers State could be one of the richest states in the country in view of its enormous crude deposits and acquatic riches but that the wealth derivable from its rich cultural heritage cannot be over estimated. Comrade Kokoriko, a tourist and president of league of character clubs, Nigeria explained that the cultural plurality of the state and a lot of tourist potentials which so far remain underdeveloped can blow the investment potentials of the state to unimaginable heights if developed. “Take for instance beaches alone, several beaches can be developed, water sports and unique cultural heritage abound to attract both local and foreign investors to the state”, he said. Also speaking in a similar vein, Mr. Charles Nweke stated that some artifacts and shrines in the state could be properly developed to showcase the life and tradition of the state. “The Amadioha Ozuzu which is in Etche Local Government Area has acquired international status but we do not give it all it deserves .” “Let the government take steps to develop them as they are points of attractions”. Mr. Nweke who is the Chief Cultural Officer, Etche Local Government advised the state government to make comprehensive documentary of the ceremony and other cultural attractions in the state for export and preservation. “This can be in book forms for sale or film and other forms of preservation,” he maintained. Responding also, Prof. John Agberia said oil economy comes and goes but the culture endures with the society. Describing culture and tourism as the live wire of the people, Prof. Agberia who is the head of department of Fine, Applied Arts and design, University of Port Harcourt said Carniriv has a lot of economic potentials that could boost the economic profile of the state. “The celebration will bring in money to food vendors, transporters, the communication industry and hotels in Port Harcourt to mention a few.” He also believed that if the festival was properly documented in various art forms, it could be sold within Nigeria and could as well be exported outside the country to attract foreign exchange. But it appears that Mr. Joshua Mike has started to reap the fortunes of the event already. Mr. Mike, a designer of floats and other art materials said he was already designing three floats for some local government councils and a corporate body for the next month’s event. “It’s one of my best periods in business because of the boom that goes with it. To design a float, I charge between N500,000, N1.2 million depending on how complex the float is. Apart from the float, other cultural materials and designs which come with Carniriv bring a lot of money to the artists,” he said. In his own reaction, Eze Sylvanus Ogbueri, the Onwanagbara Oha of Omuma regretted that oil has taken the attention of the state for too long and noted that the wealth of Rivers State goes far beyond oil economy. “You can’t quantify the socio-economic gains derivable from our rich culture. We have come of age, let this administration with its interest on culture preserve the various displays, package them in the forms of books, films, cassettes, carved art forms for local and foreign market”, he said. Apart from the money it will bring into the state, such arrangement, he said, will portray the image of the state outside as a rich one made up of happy people. “It will go along way in correcting the negative impressions in some countries that Rivers State, albeit, Niger Delta was in crisis and this would attract more foreign investors who yearn for a conducive business environment”, he maintained. He stressed the need for the state to look beyond oil just as Cross River State had done with the TINAPA project, noting that such step will lead to diversification of economy. However, a man of God, rev. Charles Amadi had a different view about the cultural festival. He said the festival has religious or spiritual angles. “The gathering of some cultural troupes, particularly the masquerades whose members pass through various stages of initiations invokes some evil spirits. They affect not only the participants but spectators”, he revealed. The clergy explained that such spiritual traits manifest after some new yam festivals and cultural carnivals as some persons get possessed by the evil sprits behind these displays. The man of God advised that such ancient heritages should be modified so that the aspects that go with spiritual undertones could be removed and men of God should be involved in the entire organization. “At this modern era, people are talking of Christianity, such mystical and spiritual displays with emphasis on modern images and water spirits would be abhorred and the only way the government can achieve this is by involving true men of God in its organization”, he advised. Hon. Eric Ejigini in his own contribution, commended the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi and the Honourable Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Hon. Marcus Nle-Ejii for reviving Carniriv and making it an annual event. He regretted that the festival went comatose for years until the present administration revived it. Hon. Ejigini, former supervisory councillor for Youths and Sports, Port Harcourt city Local Government Area, appealed to the state House of Assembly to back the celebration with legislation so that it would outlive the present administration. He also called on multinational organizations and other corporate organizations in the state to show more concern by playing active roles. The politician also called on Niger Delta development Commission (NDDC) to build its own float and present its own cultural troupe during the occasion. “By so doing, they would be playing their social responsibility to the state that has been hosting them and protecting their operations”, he remarked. The honourable Commissioner, Mr. Marcus Nle-Ejii said “a people without history are not in existence. A people without language are dumb, without culture, you are lost and anti-social”. He said it was for these reasons and more that the Rivers State Ministry of Culture and Tourism was poised to preserve the rich history, unique languages and project the cultural identity of the state. Mr. Nle-Ejii who spoke to The Tide On Sunday through his press Secretary, Gloria Ogan said “the event is being heralded by Miss ECOWAS Beauty Peagent which took place on November 14, 2009 and between 9th -12th, we have the ion film festival. Immediately after that, carniRiv stays till 20th December,” he said. The Commissioner said aside the cultural representation by the twenty-three local government areas in the state, contacts had been made to get more troupes from outside the state. The celebration which was initiated in 1988 went comatose only to be revived by the present administration last year. During last year’s edition, people feared that it would not be a success because of the security challenges in Niger delta region but Governor Amaechi surprised all doubting Thomases when he went ahead against all odds to organise a successful carnival. The governor also made the cultural event an annual ritual and has taken steps to develop it to an international standard. Hon. Ejii said Carniriv was aimed at re-awakening Rivers people’s cultural pride and values as well as to unveil a people with the most beautiful culture in Nigeria and the world. “It is indeed a festival that parades the pride and the true image of the people of Rivers State”, he remarked. Barrister Paul Awoyesuku, Chairman of Akuku-Toru local Government council said the council was coming out with a bang. “We have already set up a committee to organise ours and ensure our participation in Carniriv is better than ever before. We are coming out with a bang”. Also speaking on the level of preparedness, the Rivers State Police command said it would provide adequate security throughout the period of the festival. The command’s PRO, Mrs Rita inoma-Abbe promised, “we have all the machineries and resources to provide the needed security and there will be no hitch, I can assure you everything is going to be smooth.” Chris Oluoh

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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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