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Rivers

PHED Denies Fraud, Extortion Of Customers

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The Port Harcourt
Electricity Distribution Company (PHED), has denied charging customers above the approved N15.09 per kilowatt electricity rate to boost its revenue profile.
PHED’s Corporate Communications Manager, Mr. Jonah Iboma who spoke with newsmen in Port Harcourt on Friday said it was impossible to charge above the approved price as relevant agencies were regularly monitoring its activities.
He said that it was not possible for its officials to extort and exploit electricity customers, especially as the Nigeria Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) and some relevant agencies were constantly monitoring its operations.
“I can really not react to what this so called Human Rights group is saying because they are not in existence and I think anybody can come up with anything in the name of trying to air their views.
“If they really have issues let them come to us and we are ready to discuss; then they will see how we arrive at the cost that we send to our customers.
“Added to that is the fact that PHED is the only Disco (Electricity Distribution company) in Nigeria that is offering customers meters free-of-charge.
“That is to say that if you want a meter, we have a finance scheme with Eco Bank that allows a customer to acquire meter free-of-charge.
“It tells you that meters are available for people if they are really willing (to acquire one); and the fact that we provide meters does not solve the problem of proper billing of customers or consumers.
“NERC has approached us to give them overview of how we have designed the scheme, so that other Discos can also adopt it,” he said.
Iboma challenged the Institute of Human Rights and Humanitarian Law (IHRHL) to provide evidence to prove that it charged electricity users in Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Calabar and Rivers states above the NERC approved rate.
He alleged that some politicians in its areas of coverage were using their positions to deliberately bypass their pre-paid meters which had negatively impacted on the company’s revenue generation profile.
Our correspondent reports that the spokesman was reacting to a statement credited to the IHRHL which accused PHED of manipulation and extortion of customers through “disproportionate and fraudulent” estimation of electricity charges.
The Human right group claimed that electricity customers using pre-paid meters and those without meters were being charged above the NERC approved rates.
“IHRHL condemns this practice which amounts to crude economic exploitation and fraud of which, if decisive steps are not taken to stop this illegality; the matter will be taken to court,” the group warned.

Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Lloyd (left) with House member, Hon John Olu, during a press briefing shortly after the 2015 Appropriation Bill presentation on the floor of the House, recently.

Leader of Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon. Chidi Lloyd (left) with House member, Hon John Olu, during a press briefing shortly after the 2015 Appropriation Bill presentation on the floor of the House, recently.

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Rivers

Pharmacists Laud Firm Over Fake Drugs Detector

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The Pharmaceutical Society of Nigeria (PSN) has commended RxAll, a health technology company, for introducing RxScanner into the country’s market at its 2021 conference in Port Harcourt.
Commenting on the product after its unveiling, Olusola Porter of the University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, said: “This technology will positively impact the counterfeit drugs market in Africa, especially Nigeria.”
Also, Uchechukwu Eloere of EBY-Care Pharmacy in Abia State, said he had wanted an innovation that could give information about drugs that have been scanned even if the specific drug was not in the database, adding: “RxScanner did just that in the demo.”
Another pharmacist, Anthonia Anaegwu of the National Orthopaedic Hospital, Enugu, said she had a quality control laboratory set up in his hospital and he needed RXScanner to be used in his laboratories and the hospital, while Charles Ronari of the Bayelsa State chapter of PSN, said he was excited about this innovation and requested a special presentation of the demo in the state.
Representative of the National Agency for Food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), requested to know how many drugs were in the database, just as Oluseyi Olarerin explained that RxScanner was regularly updating to ensure that the number of drugs were in line with what is available daily in the market.
Oluseyi added that RxAll is in partnership with various regulators across the globe to ensure that the updates of drugs are done appropriately, thus numbers would continue to grow as manufacturers enlist drugs approved by various regulators globally.
Speaking, Chief Executive Officer of RxAll, Adebayo Alonge, said: “We serve clients in pharmaceutical settings where accuracy is critical because the health and well-being of patients are on the line.”

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Rivers

How We Intend To Revitalise Agriculture – Wike

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The Rivers State Government has announced its plan to revitalise agriculture and empower rural farmers.
The state governor, Chief Nyesom Wine gave the hint during his budget presentation to the State Assembly, saying the state plans to use the agro sector to improve security through job and wealth creation.
According to Wike, a proposed 16billion budget is earmarked to boost the sector.
He explained that with the injection of funds, the agric sector will be stimulated, as there is expected to be direct participation from citizens in agricultural activities.
The governor was of the view that with huge water and land resources available in the state, the agric sector will be revamped and made attractive.
Besides that, he said 0ver N4billion has been earmarked for youth’s empowerment.
The essence of the youth empowerment scheme, he stated is to latch on different sectors such as agriculture to give value to the future generation.
On the aspect of women empowerment, Chief Wike said N3.4 billion has been budgeted for them, so as to give them leverage in tapping opportunities in the polity.
Meanwhile, Speaker of the Assembly, Rt Hon Ikuiyi- Owaji Ibani has commended the governor for his prudence and utilisation of state funds effectively.
He said so far, the state budget over the years has performed well in adding value to the citizenry and smooth governance.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Rivers

NIESV Urges Synergy To Curb Flooding

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Worried over the incessant floods ravaging parts of the state as a result of the rains, the Nigerian Institution of Estate Surveyors and Valuers have called for a stakeholders meeting to mitigate the flood menace in the state.
Chairman of NIESV Rivers State Branch Hamilton Odum said the stakeholders meeting with the ministry of environment became necessary following the large scale of destruction of properties floods have caused in the state.
Odum said the environmental summit with the theme “Flooding in Port Harcourt City: Issues and Mitigation Strategies” would also engage professors and experts in the environment, on ways of ending the ravaging floods in Port Harcourt.
‘’With the increasing climate change, we are bound to experience rising sea levels and more intense rainfalls that will certainly lead to greater flooding in our cities and urban centers.
“We are all witnesses to the unprecedented flooding in the city of Port Harcourt this year. If measures are not taken we will witness more flooding in greater dimension and intensity come next year.
“Flooding causes damages to property and endangers the lives of human and other species. For NIESV, we see this as a social responsibility to act in best interest of the environment and society as a whole.
“We are motivated to hold this symposium to bring stakeholders in the environmental field to fashion out best practices on flood prevention and develop flood risk management strategies for the good of the city and its residents’’, he said.
On their part, one of the partners of the environmental summit, Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Sea Port, said Rotary clubs are worried over the state of flooding in the state and is partnering to take action to end the menace.
President of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Sea Port Akin Sodipo said Rotary could apply the lessons it had learned with fighting polio to build awareness and inspire action around projects which promote the environment.
The Service Project Director of the Rotary Club of Port Harcourt Sea Port, Prince Jenewari Eleki said the club’s collaboration with the ministry of environment is timely so that the recommendation after the meeting will be effectively implemented by the state government.
He said the Rotary club of Port Harcourt Sea Port would continue to collaborate with organizations to impact on the environment.

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