Fishermen operating in the Atlantic shoreline in Akwa Ibom have attributed the current fish scarcity in the area to the frequent oil spills from the Qua Iboe oil fields.
The coastal communities near the Qua Iboe oil export terminal operated by Mobil Producing Nigeria in Ibeno, Akwa Ibom, experienced periodic oil spills in the last six months.
The fishermen under the aegis of Artisan Fishermen Association of Nigeria (ARFAN), said the incessant spills had made the fish to migrate into the deep sea where their members could not reach.
Rev. Samuel Ayadi, the association’s chairman in Akwa Ibom, told newsmen in Eket that fishermen now required higher capacity outboard engines to operate in the deep sea.
He said, “We now go as far as Bonny in Rivers before we can get crayfish and Bonga fish”.
“And you can only get there with high capacity outboard engines of 40 horse-power and above, which most of our members cannot afford”.
“The few people who have it spend so much money in fueling the engines with very little catch, so they place high prices on the little catch to recover high cost of fuel”.
“That is why fish is scarce, when you spend money to fuel the outboard engines you have to sell it at higher prices to recover your expenses, otherwise you will operate at a loss”.
“You need about 150 litres of fuel to power a 40 horse-power outboard engine for a trip where you have to contend with the industrial trawlers and on a bad day, you come back empty.’’
He said that prices of fish had gone up from about N500 per kg to N1,200 per kg, while a stick of bonga fish containing 20 pieces which sold for N150 now sells for N500.
Also a basin of fresh crayfish, which sold for N3,000 at the waterside, now goes for between N7,000 and N8,000.
Ayadi said that fishermen often went beyond Nigeria’s territorial waters in search of fish and were frequently harassed by the Cameroonian gendarmes who seized their outboard engines, fishing gear and also extorted money.
NCDMB Partners Varsities, Others On Research, Development
The Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board, NCDMB has said it is willing to partner with more universities and other research institutions towards the development of the nation’s hydrocarbon industry.
This, the board stated yesterday in Port Harcourt, the Rivers State capital at a workshop it organised for media stakeholders.
The Tide which monitored the exercise reports that the NCDMB Director for Research, Planning and Statistics, Patrick Daziba Obah stated this during his paper presentation tagged: ‘R&D As Pathway for Deepening Nigerian Content Implementation.”
The 2021 NCDMB capacity building workshop for media stakeholders had as its theme, ‘Sustaining Nigerian Content Amidst Shifting Energy Landscape: The Role Of The Media”.
Obah noted that no oil producing country could maximise its energy potentials without research and planning, saying that following the importance the board attaches to the development of the oil and gas sector, the board has set aside USD50,000,000 for research and development in the industry.
He expressed worry that though the research fund was depleting due to the figures already deployed for Research in various institutions, the NCDMB was confident that the harvest obtainable from the deployment of the funds was enormous.
“The NCDMB has set up research centres through partnership with various universities in Nigeria in partnership with some of the IOCs. We’ve partnered with the federal universities of Technology Owerri, FUTO, Akure and Minna. We’ve other centres of excellence in the University of Port Harcourt, the Niger Delta University and we hope to add more to our list of partnership”.
“But we needed more partnership with other organisations in terms of increasing the depleting research funds”, he said.
Earlier in an opening remark, the General Manager, Corporate Communications and Zonal Coordination of the NCDMB, Dr Ginah Ginah scored the board high on its achievements, saying that the rationale behind the setting up of the content board is being achieved gradually.
He noted that the various oil and gas infrastructure under execution in different parts of the country, some inaugurated and others at various phases of completion were a direct result of the board’s willingness to change the narrative of the oil and gas sector for the better, commending the media for its roles and partnership with the board towards the development of the oil and gas industry.
Highpoints of the programme were presentations by two academics of the University of Port Harcourt, Professors Aniefiok Udoudo of the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies and Chijioke Nwaozuzu of the university’s Emerald Energy Institute, which were tagged, ‘Retooling Competencies for the Changing Media Landscape’ and Dissecting the Petroleum Industry Act(PIA), respectively.
Meanwhile, in a recap of the presentations at the event, the Manager, Corporate Communications of the NCDMB, Barr. Naboth Onyesoh commended the lead presenters and other participants for making the event meaningful.
He added that the importance of the media to ensuring a stronger and virile content board cannot be over emphasized, noting that the board was headed towards better partnership with the media and other stakeholders in the oil and gas sector.
By: Ariwera Ibibo-Howells, Yenagoa
NDBDA Boss Recommits To Develop Region
The Managing Director of Niger Delta Basin Development Authority (NDBDA), Engr. Mark Daso Derefaka, has reiterated that every state within the region would benefit from his administration.
Derefaka stated that under his leadership, he would ensure things are done rightly.
He stated this shortly after he was conferred with an Award Of Good Administration and Governance, by Coalition and Supporters of Democracy and Good Governance, in his office in Port Harcourt.
According to him, the special recognition for his good works, will spur him to do better and ensure that the region feels the expected development.
“We must work for everybody to feel the presence of the Authority. I also want everybody to participate in the building process of the region we all belong to.
“We are determined to change the narrative of the Authority, because other people cannot do it for us.
“I can tell you that with the little resources in our disposal we have achieved much within the short period I resumed office.
“This honour is not for me alone, it is for the entire management and staffers of this Authority, because together we achieve all these success” Engr. Derefaka said.
He thanked the organization for the recognition and advised them to continue in their good works..
Earlier, the Coordinator of the group, Comrade Bob Achor, said the group had responsibility to identify individuals or groups who have contributed towards the development of the region, and consequently, recognize them.
According to him, since Engr Derefaka assumed office, the region has witnessed tremendous deveploment, urging him to keep the flag flying
He used the forum to call on other Niger Delta leaders to emulate him for the interest and development of the region.
Monarch Lauds FG Over Rural Dev Project In Community
The traditional ruler of Obonoma Community in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the State, Chief Enenibo-ofori Dateme-Obonogina, Obonogina IX has lauded the Federal Government for including the community in its rural development scheme.
He said this during the commissioning of a one kilometer asphalt farm road constructed by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Obonoma Community.
Dateme-Obonogina a former Commissioner for Information in the State, said Obonoma community would continue to appreciate the gesture, adding that the project would boost the economy of the community.
“The Onuayan-Ekein” who was represented by Chief Minabo Hamilton particularly said the project would help farmers and fishermen in the community to move their produce to the market.
He said the road needed extension to include some communities in the Kingdom.
The monarch, who pledged to ensure proper maintenance of the road project, also urged the Ministry to consider the area for a solar power project.
Also speaking, the Chairman, Community Development Committee, Obonoma, Mr. Faith Lawson Jack said the community appreciated the effort of the Ministry in the award and completion of the road project.
He said Obonoma with a large landmass was yearning for more development projects, assuring that any project constructed in the community will be properly maintained.
Also speaking, Mrs. Gloria Gaze said the women would benefit more from the road as they are more into farming activities. She said the road has increased the number of cassava farms in the community thereby boosting garri production in the area.
Earlier, the State Director Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development Mr. Tobin Ebi said the project was part of federal 0government effort to improve the conditions of rural dwellers in the country.
By: John Bibor
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