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Amaechi Tasks NBA To Press For Power Concession

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 Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State has appealed to the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA) to join hands with the state government to press for concession of the Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Network in favour of state control, to ensure steady power supply in the state.

Governor Amaechi made the appeal Friday when a delegation of the state branch of the Nigerian Bar Association led by the Chairman of the Port Harcourt Bar, Barrister Worgu Boms paid him a courtesy call at Government House Port Harcourt.

The governor, who expressed concern that there was much challenges in the system, told the visiting lawyers that the appeal became imperative because he had personally taken some radical steps towards the concession bid but was yet to record any breakthrough.

“The first radical step I took as it pertains to power was a letter to the federal government requesting PHCN to relinquish everything about power generation, and distribution in Rivers State”, the State Chief Executive stated as he explained that the problem with power was not the constitution but the lack of political will to take decision.

He further hinted that he and his counterparts from Akwa Ibom, Cross River and Bayelsa States, which are covered by the Port Harcourt distribution centre, had also jointly fulfilled all necessary requirements requested by the Federal Ministry of Power and the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) to that effect.

The governor said the governors had “even gone ahead to establish a company known as The Fourth Power Nigeria Limited to handle the generation and distribution of electricity for the four states but there has been no response from the agencies”.

Governor Amaechi, who disclosed that the state has no problem with generation but distribution said that government was targeting 24-hour power supply before the end of the year, noting that the State Ministry of Power and PHCN are presently changing transformers in parts of the state capital.

The Electricity Act according to him, only permits the state government to participate in the electricity distribution network only where the federal government does not have its presence and any power facility provided by the state where such presence is, automatically belongs to the federal government without any obligation on it to refund any money to the state.

He said for instance, most of the injection stations being used in the state were built by the state government but are now the property of the federal government, asserting that Rivers and Akwa Ibom States have the capacities to run their own independent power projects.

Governor Amaechi maintained that with steady supply of electricity, security and deregulation of the petroleum sector the nation’s economy can be transformed because more investors would be attracted.

The governor used the occasion to also appeal to the lawyers to educate the public on the relevance of the state’s Social Welfare Bill before the state legislature that has attracted a lot of criticism adding that such act was needed to raise funds to augment the funding of the model secondary schools, as government plans to run a totally free education so that children of poor parents can afford quality education like the children of the rich.

Earlier, the Chairman of Port Harcourt Branch of the NBA Barr Worgu Boms, who led the delegation of the Port Harcourt, Ahoada and Isiokpo Bar, had told the governor that the delegation was at Government House to thank him for the past collaboration between the state government and the association and to offer whatever advice that would be food for thought to the government to promote good governance.

Barr Boms, who emphasized the correlation between public expectation and the relevance of regular power supply to the economy of the state and the nation, urged the state government to re-examine the electricity act and exploit available opportunities to improve power supply in the state, pointing out that the act did not prohibit any state from setting up its own power company.

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I’ll Provide Solid Representation, If Elected -Banigo

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Rivers State Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, has assured the people of Abua/Odual Local Government Area that she would provide undivided representation if voted into the Senate in 2023.
Banigo gave this assurance when leaders and critical stakeholders of the Peoples Democratic Party had a meeting with her, at the Government House in Port Harcourt to map out campaign strategies, yesterday.
The deputy governor said, she was excited that the meeting was held for the stakeholders to understand themselves, to ensure the party wins at the elections in 2023, adding that by the grace of God the local government area would be better than what it is now, if she emerges as the Rivers West senator.
In a related development, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Ipalibo Harry Banigo, who is the Rivers West Senatorial District Candidate of the PDP in the upcoming polls, has also met with leaders of the PDP in Ahoada East Local Government Area, where she urged them to reach out to their constituents and encourage the collection of PVCs.
“We must realize that with this new Electoral Act, the votes will surly count, as this 2023 election is not going to be like the previous elections, there will be a difference, people should not be afraid to pick up their cards and vote, they should not be lackadaisical about it, they should keep their cards safe and on the day of election they should come up and cast their vote, because this time every vote will count”.
She said the campaigns would be unit based and urged them to reach out to those in their units.
“Make sure you have unit executives in each of the wards, so we can have a door to door campaign”, Banigo said.
In his remarks at the meetings, the Vice Chairman of the Rivers West Senatorial District of the PDP, Dr. Nname Robinson Ewor, said there is a need for members of the PDP to go out and establish their presence in all units’ wards and constituencies, stressing that the nature of this upcoming election would be different from previous elections.

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Ariolu, Others Welcome Ex-Deputy Guber Candidate To PDP

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Chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Council, Barrister George Ariolu, has led other party faithful, including Chairman of PDP, Ward 6, Kingsley Nna; Chairman of PDP, Ward 9, Collins Wobo Chukwu; and Obio/Akpor PDP Secretary, Kingman Ogbonna; to receive a bigwig and stakeholder of the All Progressives Congress (APC) from Rumuogba in Ward 6, Chief Williams Igwe, into the PDP.
Receiving the former Deputy Governorship Candidate of the then Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) at the Obio/Akpor PDP Secretariat, Rumueme, Ariolu expressed delight over his decampment from the APC to the PDP, describing it as an indication that the party was waxing stronger.
Ariolu, who was greeted with euphoria by the LGA PDP Chairman, Chidi Amadi, who also welcomed the former deputy governorship candidate at the secretariat, promised to work closely with Igwe to build the party ahead of the forthcoming election.
He pointed out that the foundation of the PDP was built on togetherness, stating that collectively, the party would achieve more.
Ariolu thanked Igwe for wholeheartedly accepting to come back to the party.
According to him, Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, has separated governance from politics following his relentless battle to promote the interest of Rivers people.
Also speaking, Chairman of the PDP in Obio/Akpor, Chidi Amadi, said the reception of Igwewas a fulfilment of an age-long dream, and a welcome development for members of the party, expressing joy over the event.
He further commended Ariolu for his strong support and leadership towards the sustenance and growth of the party.
In his remark, Chief Williams Igwe affirmed his loyalty and commitment to the PDP in its quest to oust the APC and fix the broken state of the country’s socio-economic and political fabrics.
He described the reception as a homecoming for himself and his supporters who would be formally received at a formal event which would be organised by the state party chairman, adding that PDP remains a major political party which will unite the nation.
He added that his decision to defect to the party was well-thought-out, and called on others to join hands with the Rivers State Government to rebuild the socio-economic fortunes of the state.
According to him, he believed that it was time for him to cross over to join hands with the Rivers State governor in moving the state forward.
The former Deputy Governorship Candidate was also received by PDP Chieftain, Barrister Temple Ejekwu; Obio/Akpor PDP Woman Leader,Gloria Wonodi; Barrister Kelvin Akani; and members of Obio/Akpor PDP Executive.

By: Nelson Chukwudi

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NNPC Posts N674bn Profit

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The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPC Ltd) has declared a profit after tax of N674billion for the financial year ended December 31, 2021.
The profit represented a growth of 134.84per cent when compared with N287billion profit in 2020 which was recorded under the old Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), NNPC Ltd, Malam Mele Kyari, said this at a news conference, yesterday, in Abuja.
“NNPC progressed to a new performance level, from N287billion profit in 2020 to a N674billion profit after tax in 2021 climbing higher by 134.8per cent year on year profit growth,’’ he said.
Kyari also said that it recorded an increase in total assets from N15.86trillion in 2020 to N16.27trillion in 2021.
Speaking on the group’s financial position, Kyari said the corporation’s total liabilities decreased by 8.3per cent to N13.46trillion during the review period from N14.68trillion in 2020.
The GCEO said its shareholders funds position rose N2.81trillion representing 144per cent year-on-year.
“The performance would have been greater if the operations in the year under review were free from incessant vandalism, crude oil and products theft, among others.
“Details of the performance of NNPC and the respective subsidiaries as well as that of National Petroleum Investment Management Services (NAPIMS) will be published on our website www.nnpcgroup.com for stakeholder’s perusal.
“We look forward to achieving greater performance to support our growth aspirations and to create more value for our stakeholders as we drive full commercial operations under NNPC Ltd.,’’ he said.
He recalled that in September 2021, President Muhammadu Buhari approved the publication of the 2020 NNPC Group Audited Financial Statement, in which NNPC declared a profit after tax of N287billion for the first time in 44 years.
Kyari said that in spite of the challenging operating environment, it strongly believed that the corporation had the potential to sustainably deliver better value to it esteemed shareholders.
He said it sought to become a dynamic global energy company of choice to its customers, partners and over 200million shareholders comprising of all Nigerians.
Kyari noted that the corporation in 2019 rolled out deliberate policies and initiatives aimed at reducing costs and eliminating losses while adopting technology to entrench transparency, accountability and performance excellence (TAPE) across its various functions.
He said the NNPC had recorded significant improvement over the past three years, turning up the curve from losses to profits.

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