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How NDDC Project Breeds Crisis In Rivers Communities Apart



While the contentious road project is presently routed through Kaa community to Ataba on the volition and consideration of NDDC, the people of Kereken-Boue, represented by their council of chiefs had already registered their discontent through a petition to NDDC.

The coastal communities of Kaa, Kereken and Kono Boue, all in Khana Local Government Area of Rivers State have been long-time neighbours. They share a common boundary and enjoy relative peace, harmony and communal cohesion.

But a harp disagreement over the routing of the on-going Ataba road project, awarded by the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, has severed the hitherto cordial relationship and mutual co-existence the communities once enjoyed. Presently, there is apprehension among the erstwhile neighbours as the mutual trust appears to be adrift on daily basis. The communities are apparently pitted against themselves.

While the contentious road project is presently routed through Kaa community to Ataba on the volition and consideration of NDDC, the people of Kereken Boue, represented by their council of chiefs had already registered their discontent through a petition to NDDC over what they considered a deviation from the old master plan of the defunct Oil Mineral Producing Area Development Commission OMPADEC on some projects.

In the petition which a copy was exclusively obtained by The Tide On Sunday, the people of Kereken represented by their paramount ruler, His Royal Highness, Gabriel Samuel among other chiefs and elders welcomed the planned extension of road to Ataba. The community stated that the development will ease transportation difficulties and promote peace and development among the neigbouring communities.

But the Kereken community also expressed dissatisfaction in strong terms over what they considered a contravention of the old OMPADEC master plan which routed the Ataba road project through the Bori-Boue axis.

To press home their demand, the community in the petition called for a rethink on the survey and contract work until after genuine consultation with concern parties had been amicably discussed.  The chiefs of Kereken Boue also raised alarm in the petition over the extraneous pressure on them by youths of the community who may be dissatisfied with reasons that may be given for the diversion of the road project from the Boue axis. 

The intriguing clash of interest over the routing of the said road project had however, culminated in a litany of accusations among the affected communities, and this had, flared up a brewing crisis in the area.

Trouble started when youths from Kereken community allegedly posed threat to Kaa community over the said diversion of the road project from their axis. 

Reacting to the threat, the people of Kaa community sent a delegation to Kereken to verify whether the aggrieved youths had the consent of the council of chiefs and elders.

But the paramount ruler of Kereken denied complicity with the youths over the threat, stressing that they only had scores to settle with NDDC.

The situation worsened when some youths from Kono-Boue, stormed Kaa community, alleging that one of their kinsmen, Mr. Manyie who went on a fishing expedition under a heavy storm on the 12th of April 2010, never returned. The youths solicited that Kaa should be part of the search party to find the missing  man. The corpse of Mr Manyie was later discovered and the people of Kono-Boue concluded that the man may have been killed by Kaa people. The case was reported to the divisional police station at Bori for further investigation. This flared up tension in the area, as Kono-Boue and Kereken-Boue people resident in Kaa community moved out of the community.

As a reprisal attack, one Mr Goodluck Deewii, a cyclist from Kaa community was allegedly abducted at Kono-Boue while carrying a passenger to Kereken. According to the community development committee chairman of Kaa, Mr Jumbo Nuga, the said Mr Goodluck Deewii is yet to be seen either dead or alive till the moment. Apart from, Deewii, Mr Nuga alleged that there had been two unsuccessful kidnap attempt on women from Kaa by Kono-Boue people.

Although the divisional police station in Bori had mediated into the crisis, the communities now live under the siege of fear, as they keep vigils over the possibilities of intruding attackers.

The worse affected are students from the conflicting communities who are presently writing the senior school certificate examination at the Government Secondary School Kaa. Kaa a commercial centre in Khana has also witnessed a decline in business activities as people now operate under fear and tension. The people are therefore inviting the presence of security operatives to put the situation under control. Apart from the vigilance of the police on the issue, the Khana Local Government chairman, Hon Greg Nwidam had also waded into the crisis.

Part of the interventionist measure of the Khana Local Government Area chairman was the summoning of a peace meeting at which all stakeholders in the affected areas attended.

Reports, had it that the peace meeting was duly attended by the deputy speaker of the Rivers State House of Assembly Hon Dumnamene Deekor, the member representing Andoni Constituency, Hon. Ikunyi Ibani, the security operatives, chiefs and CDC members from, Ataba, Kereken, Kono-Boue and Kaa communities among others. Chairman of Khana Local Government , Hon Greg Nwidam promised to put the situation under control, restore peace in the area, and ensure the smooth implementation of the project. Following the brewing crisis among the affected communities, there had been an abrupt stoppage of work at the project site.

When contacted, the contractors handling the Kaa-Ataba road project, ATAFRANK Nigeria Limited confirmed that there was a temporary withdrawal from site following obvious threats, Managing Director of the company, Mr. Atajit Francis, told The Tide On Sunday that it was imperative to get a thorough investigation on the issue to ascertain the truth on the matter.

He said at no point in time was he lobbied by any of the communities, but the project was advertised and his company tendered and got the job.

He added that “every project had its own challenges but such challenges must not be allowed to degenerate into crisis, as projects was all about development”. He also cautioned about speculations on the issue at stake stressing that the temporary withdrawal from site was for safety reasons and the company will mobilise to site as soon as the situation normalise.

Commenting on the issue, the Assistant Director of Corporate Affairs, NDDC, Sir Innocent Nwaigwe said before embarking on a project budgetary considerations and project designs are taken into consideration. By this, he said every project is carried out along budgetary estimation.

According to Sir Nwaigwe, no NDDC project is intended to cause problems among communities rather the objective is to bring sustainable development in the beneficiary areas.

He said the issue of diversion of project was out of stake as engineers no where it would be possible to start off to get the best alignment and avoid negative impact on the communities in practical terms, Sir Nwaigwe said, “it was not the policy of NDDC to use money meant for development project to pay compensation that may arise from demolition or infringement on existing structures, when such infringement could be avoided. Rather, he said, every design is for convenience and the best impact on the communities.

He blamed the conflicts among the communities on ignorance of NDDC policy objective and emphasised that NDDC projects should not be used to instigate crisis.

He called on any aggrieved community to dialogue with the commission for due consideration and not to harass contractors or fight their neighbours.

He also assured that the new board of the NDDC was poised to bring sustainable development to all parts of the Niger Delta and this is practically demonstrated through its mega projects, sprawling across the Niger Delta region.


Taneh Beemene

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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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