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When Editors Gathered In Port Harcourt



Among media workers, editors are the most busiest. Aside their normal duty of ensuring that media contents are thoroughly scrutinised and packaged, they are also involved in the day-to day running of their organisations.

But last week, they took an official three days off not only to unwind but to take stock of their activities. The venue was Port Harcourt and the topic was “Oil, Gas and the Post -Amnesty issues”.

It is not strange that a lot of them had in their newsrooms edited stories and issues from the Niger-Delta without having a first hand information about the region.

Fortunately, the conference afforded them an opportunity to have first hand information of the so-call hot bed of the nation.

This is not the first time the Nigerian Guild of Editors (NGE) conference has been held in Port Harcourt, according to its President, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye, who is also the Deputy Managing Director of the Vanguard Group of newspapers.

His question set the tone of the conference, when he asked, “why would the Guild choose Oil and Gas, Post-Amnesty and the Nigerian Editor.

Mr. Adefaye explained that  this year’s theme was put together in order to school the media executives on the operations in the oil and gas industry considering the huge revenue it rakes into the national purse.

According to the NGE president, Oil contributes more than 90 per ent of our foreign exchange earnings. It brings more than 50 per cent of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI)”

Despite these huge economic contribution, Adefaye lamented that oil and gas has brought hardship and violence to  the nation.

Safe for the amnesty declared by late President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua, he observed that the region and indeed the nation would have now been thrown into political and economic crisis.

It was in the light of this he said the editors had chosen Port Harcourt as their venue for discussing. In his view, the conference is an agenda refocusing one, considering the upcoming 2011 elections.

With the elections just around the corner, the NGE boss challenged editors and journalists, “to put public policies on the agenda even as the politicians play their game.”

In her remarks to declare the forum open, Minister of Information and Communications, Prof Dora Akunyili said aside from the stocktaking activity, editors should also join in the crusade to rebrand the country.

Prof Akunyili frowned at a situation where editors only publish negative stories about the country. She said such action not only dampen the image of the country but stifles the patriotic zeal which editors of the old were known for.

She declared, “ there are many good things in these country which I don’t  see reflected in the copies which the journalists mills churn out day-in-day out”.

The former NAFDAC boss was of the view that journalists and editors most especially  can spearhead   the crusade to rebrand Nigeria through agenda setting, canvassing of positive values and a celebration of developments in society which have ennobling potentials.

However, governor of Rivers State, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi lamented the sorry state of the region despite its huge oil and gas reserves.

Governor Amaechi, who described the people of  Niger Delta as “oppressed and depressed”, tasked the editors to use their medium to canvass for change.

He remarked, “you have the sacred duty to communicating to every stakeholders of this nation that there is something diabolically unjust about the state supervised economic oppression of a region that contributes 80 per cent of government revenues.

The Rivers State governor said, editors are the conscience of the nation. He stated that because of their role of improve society through effective communication they have a very important duty to transform the country.

He added, “ Nigeria needs editors who would hold elected servants accountable to the mandate of the people who elected them”.

His view on accountability was re-echoed by visiting President of the World Editors Forum (WEF), Bertrand Pecquerie, who stressed the need for the media to fully assert itself as the fourth estate of the realm.

By holding those in authority accountably, Mr Pecquerie averred that good governance would be enthroned.

Most of the papers presented at the conference was aimed at mirroring the oil and gas industry how to upgrade the knowledge of the editor in understanding the intricacies in the sector.

After brief comments by the chairman of the occasion, Rtd Major-Gen I.B.M Haruna, who was also former federal commissioner for Information during Murtala-Obasanjo regime, executive secretary of local content development  commission, Mr. Ernest Nwapa.

Mr. Nwapa informed the editors that the country was making progress with its local content polices. For instance, he explained that with the management of the commission in 2004, the agency  became independent since it was  formerly driven by the Nigerian National Petroleum Commission (NNPC).

He disclosed that the federal  government was evolving Nigeria Content Development Fund so as to fully tap the resources accruable from the sector. The fund, he stated would tax one per cent of every contract under the sector

So far, he said about 150,000 have been created in the sector, but lamented that these kobs are mostly dominated by foreigners.

The Nigerians Local Content Development Commission Secretary remarked that while the post-amnesty was still on-going the federal government was tinkering with the idea of creating more industries and employment in the sector.

More issues and grey areas cropped up after President of Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee presented his paper titled, “ oil exploration and the environment.”

Mr. Mitee’s paper took snipe at the various federal government polices, which according to him have deprived the people of the Niger Delta their God-given resources.

With their environment and ecosystem plundered, the MOSOP president noted that the time has come  for the federal authorities to fully address the plight of the people in the region. He was of the view that the issues go beyond  the post-amnesty programme.

On the second day, the editors were treated with more eye popping sleaze from the sector. Prof Asisi Asobie of the Nigeria Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative (NEITI) said behind the huge profits and revenue witnessed in the sector, the sector is mired in deep corruption. For instance, he said most of the oil firms do not given accurate statistics of the country’s oil production.

By shielding certain information from the Nigerian public, he explained that the country’s resources are stolen brazenny, as most of the foreign oil firms evade tax and royalties due to their communities.

He said activities of the oil/gas sectors need to be reported deeply and creatively due to lack of transparency and accountability by the industry players.

Prof Asobie disclosed that so far, the body has recovered 500 million dollars as under payment from oil firms royalties to the states.

Also he said that even the NNPC was equally involved following investigations. He asserted that the study conducted by the body reveal that the corporations account was in the deficit of N655billion.

The university don argued that the huge task of transforming the sector lies in the hands of the  mass media, civil society  groups an the communities, who according to him should demand accountability and transparency from the sector players.

One way to ensure accountability in the oil sector according to Mr Stanley Ebochukwu was in adequate reportage and coverage.

As a business beat, Ebochuku said the sector should be given a deeper and incisive coverage”, it is a good development for most news medium taking interest in covering the sector”, he added.

He was of the view that oil/gas sector was not only economically viable for the newspapers but for any mass media which takes special interest in its reportage.

However, when the issue of preventing further violence and resurgence that beset the sector came up, former NDDC managing Director, Timi Alaibe said measures are being put in place to prevent instability that rocked oil /gas production last year.

Alaibe said the kidnapping of foreign nationals who dominate the sector has equally reduced following amnesty declared by the federal government last year.

Currently now, the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Matters said the comatose post-amnesty exercise was being revived. “ We are at the stage of demobilising (camping) and rehabilitating the militants”.

He stated that when this was finally achieved, the militants would be re-integrated into the society. Nevertheless, he insisted that the long term solution was to provide infrastructure and the upgradement of the human resources of oil bearing communities.

“By emasculating the minority groups and if the economic oppression persist, then militancy would not be eradicated”, he warned.

Governor’s of Delta and Kano states, Dr Emmanuel Uduaghan, Ibrahim, Shekarau and the Deputy Governor of Lagos who represented Governor Babtunde Fashola, all stressed the need for good governance as  pathway to peace and development in the country.

Shekarau declared, “ unless we return back to attitudinal change and patriotism, then we can’t have peace and development in the country”.

As the two day conference drew to a close , one thing according to WEF President, Mr. Pecquerie was missing: “ The editors didn’t thoroughly discuss core professional issues. The number of governor were too much.

On the other hand, he observed, “ Perhaps they know why they invited them and I am also happy that the editors have formed such a forum. I think it is a beginning for professional development.

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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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