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RSG Wants Govt Media To Be Competitive

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The Rivers State Government has charged state media organs to de-emphasise the use of government stories and pictures on the outside pages of the newspapers and as major news on radio and television stations and strive to compete with the independent and privately-owned media in the state and the country at large.

Rivers State Governor, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi who threw the challenge last Friday at a Dinner/Award night at the Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, organised by the Rivers State Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) as part of its 2009 Press Week, said government was not interested in the use of stories emanating from its activities as a priority.

The governor, who was represented at the event by the Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mrs Ibim Semenitari, said a situation where state media organizations splashed four to five stories emanating from activities of the governor on front and back pages with related pictures or used government stories as major news on radio and television had made them boring sources of information for majority of the reading, listening and viewing public.

Mrs Semenitari stressed that the over reliance of the state media organs on government stories had seemingly narrowed the vision of most reporters in the government media, thereby making it difficult for them to undertake investigative and developmental journalism.

She regretted that most of the stories in the state media lacked depth, intellectual dexterity and purposefulness, emphasising that the dependence on stereotypes was neither enhancing their capacity to inform nor educate the people.

Semenitari noted that in a highly competitive environment, it was meaningless and unprofitable for government media organs to concentrate on use of unworthy government stories, adding that while stories with high public interest potentials should be given prominence, those that were likely to put off the greater majority of readers, listeners and viewers should be played down in order to be commercially viable.

The commissioner pointed out that the government was committed to restructuring, repositioning and adequately funding the state-owned media in order for them to break even and compete with the private media establishments in stories for stories, advertisements for advertisements, saying that government as a business-man would commensurate returns on its investments, and therefore would not tolerate unproductive, indolent and lazy staff in the affected media organizations.

Earlier, chairman of Rivers State Council of NUJ, Mr Opaka Dokubo, had said journalists reflect, take stock and unwind, while also rewarding deserving members and past leaders as well as the state governor for his courage, exemplary leadership and transparency in governance.

Also speaking, Sen. Benneth Birabi tasked journalists to see themselves as mirrors of society, be constructive in their criticisms and strive to avoid yellow journalism, and commended the leadership of the NUJ in the state for putting together such an all-embracing programme for its members.

 

Susan Serekara-Nwikhana

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Registrar Lauds RSG For Sponsoring Candidates To Write Neco Exam

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The Registrar of National Examination Council (NECO), Prof. Dantari Ibrahim Wushishi, has commended the Rivers State Government for its patronage in sponsoring candidates in public schools to write NECO examination.
The Registrar made the commendation over the weekend when he visited the State Commissioner for Education, Dr. Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma in his office in Port Harcourt.
He disclosed that Rivers State was the first among other States to patronise NECO and to also support their operations in the State, adding that the gesture was because of the government’s high regard for education of its citizens.
He stressed that the examination body is highly challenged to continue to provide, quality service to the nation, hence, the running cost of the council is from funds generated from registration fees from candidates of which Rivers State is given high patronage.
In his words, ” The Federal Government does not give us any appropriation to conduct the examination. Federal government only provides personal cost for payment of salaries. Whatever we do to conduct examinations and deliver to nigerian are all generated from registration fees and other sundry fees associated with the examination”, he said.
Responding, the Commissioner for Education, Dr Ovy Chinedum Chukwuma, said registration of candidates for the examination is a direct result of the high premium the state governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara placed on education in the State.
In his words, “we have deep commitment and partnership with NECO and we are ready to do more, “adding that the Ministry will not fail the expectations of NECO on them and encouraged them to place NECO globally, such that it would be recognised all over the world.
The commissioner and the registrar with their different teams also monitored the on going NECO Examination together in the State.

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15 States Risk Severe Flooding This Month -FG

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The Federal Government has issued a warning about potential severe flooding in 15 States due to heavy rains expected later this month.
The Federal Ministry of Environment, through its spokesperson, Haruna Ibrahim, announced that these States should brace for significant rainfall from July 21 to July 25, 2024, which could lead to widespread flooding.
According to the release, the states are, Adamawa State, Benue State, Jigawa State, Borno State, Kebbi State, Kano State, Kaduna State, Katsina State, Kogi State, Nassarawa State, Niger State, Plateau State, Sokoto State, Taraba State, Zamfara State
Steps for Effective Flood Preparedness
1. Stay Informed: Monitor weather forecasts and heed local alerts. Use trusted sources like government websites, local news stations, or radio for real-time updates.
2. Emergency Kit: Assemble an emergency kit that includes non-perishable food, water, medications, flashlights, extra batteries, and crucial documents. Keep it in a place that’s easy to access.
3. Elevate Electrical Units: Lift electrical systems and appliances above expected flood levels. Disconnect them during heavy flooding to avoid electrical hazards.
4. Use Sandbags: Deploy sandbags to shield your home. Arrange them effectively to redirect water away from critical areas.
5. Secure Loose Items: Fasten down outdoor items such as patio furniture and garbage bins to prevent them from becoming hazardous in strong winds.
6. Evacuation Plan: Familiarize yourself with local evacuation routes and plan accordingly. Determine safe locations or higher grounds for refuge.
7. Flood Insurance: If you reside in a flood-prone zone, consider getting flood insurance since typical homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
8. Communication Plan: Set up a reliable way to stay in contact with family during a crisis. Make sure everyone knows the emergency plan.
9. First Aid Skills: Acquire basic first aid knowledge to help yourself and others in emergencies.
10. Avoid Floodwaters: Never attempt to walk or drive through floodwaters. They can be unexpectedly deep and forceful, presenting severe dangers.

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Jonathan Urges NDDC To Complete Abandoned Projects In N’Delta 

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Former President Goodluck Jonathan has urged the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) to prioritize the completion of abandoned projects in the region.

He also encouraged state governments within the Niger Delta to collaborate closely with the NDDC, so as to foster efficient synergy to achieve legacy goals.

This is as the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, has emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the Niger Delta.

Speaking at the Niger Delta Stakeholders Forum 2024, at the Obi Wali International Conference Center, Port Harcourt, Rivers State, the former President commended the Minister and the NDDC board and its management for their effective performance so far and advised them to complete all abandoned projects.

On his part, the Minister of the Niger Delta Development and Chief host, Engr. Momoh, while speaking on the theme, “Renewed Hope for Sustainable Development of the Niger Delta Region,” emphasized the urgent need to address environmental sustainability and economic diversification in the region.

The Minister in a statement by his Special Assistant on Media, Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah, highlighted efforts like the Ogoni Clean-up Project and initiatives for cleaner energy such as Compressed Natural Gas (CNG).

Momoh stressed the importance of diversifying the Niger Delta’s economy by investing in various sectors and pointed out the region’s untapped potential in tourism and the blue economy.

He assured the audience of the government’s commitment to infrastructure development, citing recent projects like the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

He said that the summit’s theme was a call to action, aligning it with the ‘Renewed Hope Agenda’ of President Bola Tinubu’s administration and emphasizing the need for collective effort to harness the region’s resources and cultural heritage for sustainable development.

He also emphasized the need for peace and security in the Niger Delta, urging all stakeholders to address the root causes of unrest and conflict.

Momoh advocated for inclusive development that reaches every community, prioritizing the empowerment of women and youth.

In his remarks, President of the Senate, Godswill Akpabio commended the Ministry of Niger Delta Development and the NDDC’s board and management for their commendable work.

He highlighted the stalled East-West Road project, emphasizing the need for strategic project management and continuity.

A former Governor of Cross River State, Mr. Donald Duke called for investments in agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, and technology to ensure the region’s long-term prosperity.

The event, co-hosted by NDDC Managing Director Samuel Ogbuku and Board Chairman Chiedu Ebie, was graced by former President Goodluck Jonathan; Senate President Godswill Akpabio, who represented President Tinubu; Senator Adams Oshiomhole; former Cross Rivers Governor Donald Duke; former Bayelsa State Governor Seriake Dickson; and traditional rulers from across the Niger Delta.

Other attendees included Senator Asuquo Ekpenyong, HM Ekperikpe Ekpo, Ondo State Governor, Lucky Aiyedatiwa, the Abia State Deputy Governor, Senator Monday Okpebholo, and Minister of Interior Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo.

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