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Extending Love To The Needy



inspite of the harsh economic realities, Nigerians remain a charitable people. Philanthropic minded individuals, groups’ churches and organisations take turns to present to the home some gift items which are mainly food items, toiletries and clothings.

In every society, particularly in the developing  countries of the world there exists a special class of persons whose members are incapacitated in one form or the other.

Among this special class are the motherless babies or orphans, physically challenged and the elderly people.

This class which many choose to refer to as the less privileged can hardly fend for themselves because of their pathetic conditions, hence depend on donations and assistance from the government, Churches, Non-Governmental Organisations and public spirited individuals to provide for their daily needs in life.

Today, however, the precarious socio-economic reality in these countries worsened by present global economic meltdown is posing a serious threat to the economy of individuals and most corporate organisations. The question then, is how do the members of this special group who depend on the free will donation of members of the society survive?

Our correspondent who visited the Elderly Peoples home, Port Harcourt reports that inspite of the harsh economic realities, Nigerians remain a charitable people. Philanthropic minded individuals, groups’ churches and organisations take turns to present to the home some gift items which are mainly food items, toiletries and clothings.

Matron of the home which situates at 33 Harbour Rod, Port Harcourt, Rev. Sister Maureen Gertrude Okeke told The Tide On Sunday that maintaining the home which was opened in 1978 is a big challenge.

She said public spirited individuals and organization mainly visit during the festive period to extend some hands of assistance to the inmates.

“Some come with various gift items to support us, some come to pray and I thank them for remembering us. The bible said if you help this class of people, it is to him that such help are rendered unto and the Lord will reward with”, she  said.

However, the home with 18 inmates is faced with the problem of electricity supply since the eratic power by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) is not enough for the inmates who need light always  to warm their water for bath because their body can no longer tolerate cold bath.

Rev. Sister Okeke said what appeared like a ray of hope in that direction came to the home on June 2nd when His Excellency the Governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi paid a visit to the home as part of his birth day celebration. The governor donated N1 million to the home and was said to have promised the home a 60KVA generator for power supply.

But the matron said the home is still expecting the generator and expressed hope that with that, the problem of power would be over.

She also mentioned the absence of a bus as another problem in the home. We only have an old car which was donated to us few years ago. But we need a bus to take the inmates out for sight seeing.  We need television to enable them relax, we need medical experts to come and check their health at regular intervals and we call on the government, companies and individuals with means to come to our assistance”, she appealed.

The inmates of the home inspite, their old age quarrel like babies and curse at the least provocation.  They accuse each other of stealing their money and body effects and another major attribute is that such sickness as high Blood pressure, arthritis, optical and flegetfullness are common with them.

Sister Favour who led a delegation of Trinity Women Assembly on visitation to the home urged Nigerians to form the habit of visiting and providing care to such homes. “If they see you come around them they feel happy and loved and such happy moments can add more days and years to their lives”, she said.

Continuing, the woman leader said “not just visiting and caring for the elderly in the home, wherever you see elderly people, show them love, care for them. It is not a curse to be old. They were once as young as we are today so that’s why we are here to spread blessings to them.

Speaking in similar way, Mrs Rita Okwakwere said “it is the wish of every person to be old but unfortunately some of the persons at the elderly peoples home do not have those to care for them so individuals, Churches and other organizations should find time t come and see how they are fairing.”

“We came to see how they are fairing, bring them cloths for Christmas period and provide whatever we can to make them be part of celebration,”, said Mrs Okwakwere who was one of the delegates of an estate in Port Harcourt.

She said the delegates moves from one orphanage  to the other, elderly peoples Home and other such areas that less privileged people could be found to extend some love to them.

The Rivers State Government through the Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation runs the Motherless Babies Home in the old Township and the Rehabilitation Centre at Iriebe in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area where mentally challenged persons are camped and cared for.

The Rivers State Government distributed about 55 wheel Chairs to persons with disabilities during the occasion marking this year’s International day of Persons with disabilities. The chairs were donated by Free Wheel Chair Mission USA.

Speaking at the occasion which took place at the Rivers State House of Assembly, wife of the Governor, Mrs Judith Amaechi said the present administration in the stae is concerned about the physically challenged stressing that they are not  left out in the developmental and empowerment plans of government.

Hon. Commissioner for social Welfare and Rehabilitation, Joe Philip Poroma also remarked that the physically challenged need full access to social services, employment, education, income generating opportunities, recreational facilities as well as full political participation.

The Commissioner commended the donor agency for its kind gesture and urged the beneficiaries to make good use of the wheel chairs to better their lives.

Dr. Theresa Ogidi Alaeze who represented the donor agency said the agency was poised to helping people especially those the society think has nothing to offer to them and challenged good people of the state to always be of assistance to persons with disabilities knowing that it could happened to anybody at anytime.

The representative stressed the need for the state government to incorporate the physically challenged into the running of the present administration.

Chairman of the occasion, Apostle David Zilly Aggrey commended the present administration for its efforts in uplifting the plight of the physically challenged in the state and urged other organisations to emulate the good gesture of the free wheel chair Mission USA to positively affect the lives of the less privileged among them.

The Rivers State Chairmen of South South Physically challenged indegenes, mr. Fabian Chigozie Obodo commended Governor Amaechi for granting a Special busary scheme to all Dsiabled students in the higher institutions valued at N500,000.00 each.

Mr. Obodo called on the government of Nigeria to give special appointment of special adviser to the President, governors and local government Chairmen on Disable matters to give the disable persons sense of belonging in the running of the government at the federal, states and local government levels.

He stressed that the physical challenges confronting his members does not mean that they lack abilities to perform well and promised to deliver if such appointments were giving to the members.

Mr. Ibrahim Ahiabu, Public Relations Officer Assocation of Ghanians in Nigeria told The Tide on Sunday  that Nigerians are very hospitable and charitable people but urged them to find time to visit the homes of the less priviledged more regularly.

He said by showing concern to those in such pathetic positions, attracts the blessings and favour of God to the lives and families of those who show care.

Mr. Ahiabu said it is in appreciation of the plight of the less privileged that the association visits such homes during the festive periods to pray with them and thank God for His grace and mercies.

One fear expressed by few persons however is that some of the beggers on the road could equally use the money given to them to the spiritual homes where the fortunes of the giver could be affected negatively.

Mrs Grace Williams, one of those who habour such fear said atimes I have something to give to them and I equally have the sympathy but my fear is that when you give them the money, the wicked ones among them could use the money to the shrine or spiritual homes and this can affect the lives of the people.

Reacting to this, Rev. Nnaji Nicolas said such fear is baseless for the children of God who have faith. All you need do is pray over such money  and I can tell you the gift will be a source of blessing to both the receiver and giver.

But if the receiver of such help thinks evil, definitely, evil will follow him or her in many fold.

He urged public spirited Christians to consider it as an investment to give to the needy in the society to lighten up their spirit and faces.

“By giving to them, you express love to the receiver and to God who created him or her and God in return will surely double your blessing,” he said.

Apart from giving such gifts as a form of assistance, some also believe that if a woman has difficulty in conceiving, there is the tendency that God can favour her with child if she gives to the motherless babies home and receiving prayers from the inmates.

“I tried it and it worked. My cousin also tried it after about three years after marriage and no pregnancy and it works. So I believe that such  attracts God’s favour”, said one respondent who would not want her name in print.


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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