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Niger Delta

Amaechi To Oversee UNEP Inspection

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The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has begun its inspection of the polluted communities in Nigeria’s Niger Delta. A lack of maintenance, oil tapping, and damage to oil infrastructure and facilities over the last 15 years have left the oil-rich region highly polluted.

According to authorities, the findings of the environmental assessment will be used to make recommendations on the appropriate levels of solvency needed to revitalise the land to a condition that is environmentally suitable, on the basis of international standards. UNEP’s final assessment report is expected to be published by end 201 0.

The Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) has budgeted $9.5 million for the assessment project, at the request of the Government of Nigeria. The project is being overseen by the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

Oil spills officially recorded by the Department of Petroleum Resources, show that between 1976 and 1998, over 2.5 million barrels of oil have been spilled into the Delta environment. Observers have reported that leaking pipelines, running through villages, farms, creeks and rivers in the Niger Delta, are a major source of pollution, sickness and economic ruin for the people of the oil-rich region.

Nigeria’s oil wealth has been exploited for more than 45 years. But while oil companies including Shell, Exxon Mobil, Total, and Elf, have profited from the resource, local communities live with the daily pollution caused by nonstop gas flaring – where the gas associated with oil extraction is burnt off into the atmosphere.

According to the World Bank, by 2002 flaring in the country had contributed more greenhouse gases to the Earth’s atmosphere than all other sources in sub-Saharan Africa combined – and yet this gas is not being used as a fuel. Nobody benefits from the energy it contains. As such, it is a serious but unnecessary contributor to climate change, the impacts of which are already being felt in the region with food insecurity, increasing risk of disease and the rising costs of extreme weather damage.

The particles from the flares fill the air, covering everything with a fine layer of soot. Local people also complain about the roaring noise and the intense heat from the flares. They live and work alongside the flares with no protection.

Farmland polluted by oil is rarely rehabilitated, destroying livelihoods. Fish contaminated by oil cause sickness among the people and further economic ruin as fish stocks decline. Observers say the pollution cleanup rates have been awful and more and more land in the Delta is being destroyed.

There is an equivalent of one Exxon Valdez oil spill in Nigeria oilfields yearly for the past 50 years. These spills emanate from malfunctioning oil well heads and severely corroded and poorly maintained surface pipeline networks that crisscross the area.

However, UNEP holds as its mission to provide leadership and encourage partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling nations and peoples to improve their quality of life without compromising that of future generations.

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Niger Delta

NSCDC Graduates 169 Personnel In Calabar

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defense Corps (NSCDC) in Cross River has graduated 169 personnel of the corps for the first batch of their training.
Speaking on Tuesday in Calabar, Mr Samuel Fadeyi, Commandant of NSCDC in Cross River, said that the graduates had completed their first three months training at the state headquarters of the command.
Fadeyi said that they were to proceed to Katsina State for another three months training before their deployment to various commands of the corps across the country.
He said that the personnel were those that were taken in 2019, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the exercise was stalled.
He explained that 5,000 Nigerians were recruited nationwide in 2019 for the training to become full personnel of the corps.
“We are glad today to witness the passing out parade of these 169 personnel from Cross River. In 2019, NSCDC got the approval to recruit 5,000 Nigerians into the corps.
“This is the first round of their training; they are expected to undergo another training before they will be deployed to various commands across the country,” he said.
He commended the Commandant General of NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Audi, for providing the command with the necessary equipment and facilities to carry out the training and other operations.
Also speaking, the Commandant General of NSCDC, who was represented by Mr Bassey Bassey, a Deputy Commandant General, congratulated the graduates for scaling through the first phase.
Audi said that NSCDC had been equipped and better repositioned to fight all forms of illegalities in the country.
The state Governor, Prof. Ben Ayade, who was represented by Dr Alfred Mboto, Permanent Secretary, Special Services, Governor’s Office, said the recruitment had reduced unemployment in the state.
The Tide reports that security chiefs in the state ranging from the Navy, Army, Police, Nigeria Immigration Service and the Federal Road Safety Corps were present at the event.

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Niger Delta

Police Nab Seven Suspected Cultists, Recover Ammunition

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Edo State Police Command says its men have arrested seven suspected cult members in the State.
This was contained in a statement signed by Deputy Public Relations Officer, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, and made available to The Tide’s source in Benin.
The source recalls that the police command last Friday arrested and presented seven cult members, allegedly members of Eiye and Aiye cults.
Iwegbu listed the suspects as Andrew Owhoyavwosa (22), Joseph Meshak (25), Osazee Solomon (35), Godswill Obasohan (25), Charles Odiase (52), and Okoh Peter (68).
They were arrested by Ekiadolor Sector, within Ekowe Community, while the seventh one was arrested at Igbe Road, in Auchi Etsako West LGA of the State.
According to her, the arrest is to check the menace and excesses of cultism in Edo State and also unnecessary killings in the State.
“On the 02/07/2022, operatives of Edo State Police Command, Ekiadolor Sector, while on routine township patrol within Ekowe Community and environs, intercepted some suspected cultists at the Community Youth House.
“The suspects, on sighting the police operatives, took to their heels from the scene of their unlawful assembly.
“This action attracted the attention of the operatives and they gave them a hot chase which led to the arrest of the six suspects.
“On the spot search conducted at the scene led to the recovery of two locally made single barrel guns, one locally cut to size single barrel gun, 30 live cartridges, one first aid box, Kolanuts, eggs, cowries, one dead chicken, seven handsets and cash sum of thirty-seven thousand Naira,” she said.

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Niger Delta

Diri Seeks Ijaw Culture Preservation In US

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Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, has called on diaspora Ijaws to instill the values, culture and tradition of ijaw in their children.
Diri made the call at the gala night to wrap up the 2022 Ijaw Diaspora Convention in Newark, New Jersey State in the United States of America.
“A man who has no culture is lost. The beginning of a man’s culture is language and then his dressing. So, I count on you to ensure the sustenance of the rich Ijaw culture.
“My physical presence here should tell you the importance I attach to the cause of Ijaw nation.
“I am equally happy with what this group is doing, bringing all Ijaws in diaspora together.
“Consciously, we must continue to preserve and promote the Ijaw culture and tradition wherever we find ourselves. That applies to all of you abroad”, he said.
Diri urged the diaspora Ijaws to support efforts of the government to attract investment opportunities to their state.
He used the opportunity to keep the diaspora Ijaws up to speed about development in the state, including the ongoing construction of the three senatorial roads.
“Through the three senatorial roads, we are connecting many riverine communities by roads. We also want to ensure that all our Local Government headquarters hitherto not linked by road are connected.
“For the Sagbama-Ekeremor road in the Bayelsa West, we are working to ensure the completion and commissioning during the 3rd anniversary of our government
“In Bayelsa Central, the Yenagoa-Oporoma road is progressing with the bridge to connect Angiama Community to Oporoma, the Southern Ijaw Local Government headquarters awarded.
“Just about two weeks ago, the last one in the East, Nembe-Brass road was flagged-off after decades that the road had been on the drawing board,” the governor said.
He urged them to ensure they work closely with the national executive of the Ijaw National Congress (INC).This he said they could do by adding their voices to trending national debates and promotion of the culture of the fourth largest ethnic group in the country.
In his address, the Chairman of the occasion and member representing Sagbama/Ekeremor Federal Constituency in the Federal House of Representatives, Dr Fred Agbedi, stressed the need for the Ijaw people to continue to unite.
Agbedi urged those in diaspora to always contribute to the development of their state back home.
The President of Ijaw Diaspora Council, Prof. Mondy Gold, expressed the appreciation of the council to the governor and other top Ijaw leaders for their attendance and participation.
He said that the forum had formed a strong network across the globe to stand firmly together for the progress of Ijaw nation.
Other dignitaries present at the occasion were Amb. Tijjani Mohammed-Bande, Nigeria Permanent Representative to the UN, Amb. Ben Okoyen, Nigerian Amb. to Cuba, and Amb. Lot Egopija, Consul-General of Nigeria in New York, among others.

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