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Niger Delta

Poor Funding, Institutional Weakness, Bane Of N’Delta Roads – Nihe

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L-R: Mr God’spower Green (member Media Board, Ogan Mainland Church, Assemblies of God Nigeria), Mr Belema Tariah (member), Miss Ugochi Ihemmadu (member), Mr Julius Onos (chairman), Mr Edward Inyango (Secretary), Mr Wisdom Jonathan (member) at the donation and unveiling of Glass Information Board by the Church  Media Board to mark this year’s Media Day by Rivers District Assemblies of God Nigeria last Sunday.         Photo: Igbiki Benibo

L-R: Mr God’spower Green (member Media Board, Ogan Mainland Church, Assemblies of God Nigeria), Mr Belema Tariah (member), Miss Ugochi Ihemmadu (member), Mr Julius Onos (chairman), Mr Edward Inyango (Secretary), Mr Wisdom Jonathan (member) at the donation and unveiling of Glass Information Board by the Church Media Board to mark this year’s Media Day by Rivers District Assemblies of God Nigeria last Sunday. Photo: Igbiki Benibo

The Nigerian Institute of
Highway Engineers (NIHE), a division of the Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE) has identified inadequate funding and institutional weakness as key challenges facing roads in the Niger Delta region in Nigeria.
The Principal Consultant, PEAL Consultant Limited, Engineer Mayne David-West, stated this at the 2016 Lecture/Award/Induction and presentation of newsletter by the NIHE in Port Harcourt.
In his lecture titled, “Road Sector Reform: An Imperative for Sustainable Road Development in the Niger Delta”, David-West captured the state of roads in the Niger Delta.
According to him, “many roads or stretches of roads are in poor conditions. About 40 per cent of the total length of roads in the region falls into this category.
“Most communities in the wetland areas of the Niger Delta are without roads and are difficult to reach. Most of the roads within the rural settlements are neither tarred nor well-graded.
“Most of the village roads lack side drains, which means that surface water normally runs into the roads and foot paths, thus accelerating erosion and rendering them virtually unusable in the rainy season”, he said.
Engineer David-West, who was represented by Engineer Saka Tajudeen also attributed the deplorable state of the East West to lack of maintenance.
“The road was built without accepting the need to set aside funds to maintain and preserve its asset value. It, therefore, deteriorated into ruination for several years before a contract for the reconstruction and upgrading was awarded in 2006.
“The problem of bad roads in the Niger Delta has become an embarrassing stigma. In many parts of this region, normal interaction has been frustrated by bad roads. Vehicle owners are in distress as their vehicles are not used optimally”, he said.
He described the proposed “Road Sector Reforms” as a welcome development, but expressed worry over the NDDC Act.
The Road Sector Reform is a welcome idea to the Niger Delta Region. This is particularly so because the function of NDDC as provided by the Act are nebulous, hence until management and Board of NDDC exercise substantial discretion, the commission may do everything and achieve nothing.
“So, an independent institution to drive Road Sector Reforms, domiciled in the NDDC and funded by both the National Roads fund and NDDC is the healing balm for sustainable road development in the Niger Delta Region’, he said.
 

Sogbeba Dokubo

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Niger Delta

Eno Sacks Commissioner For Special Duties

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Akwa Ibom State Governor, Umo Eno has relieved the Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr Bassey Okon, of his appointment with immediate effect.
Secretary to the State Government, Mr Enobong Uwah, disclosed this in a statement in Uyo on Monday.
Uwah, who did not give reasons for the commissioner’s sack, directed him to hand over all state government properties in his possession to the Permanent Secretary.
He thanked the former commissioner for the period he served the state, and wished him well in his future endeavours.

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Niger Delta

Check Oil Pollution In N’Delta, Stakeholders Urge Oil Firms

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Stakeholders in host communities have demanded that oil companies be compelled to address adverse health impact of oil exploration in the Niger-Delta.
They made their position known on Monday during a public presentation of the research report on the impact of oil extraction on women’s health in Otuabagi community in Bayelsa.
The Tide’s source reports that Dr Emem Okon, Director, Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre, an NGO, championed the event.
The source also reports that Otuabagi Community within the Oloibiri District in present Ogbia Local Government Area is where crude oil was discovered in commercial quantity in Nigeria in 1956.
Okon said the report highlighted the adverse consequences of oil extraction which had profound negative impact on health and livelihood of women in Otuabagi community.
She said research revealed that several of the participants had hydrocarbons in their blood sample more than World Health Organisation (WHO) threshold and therefore demanded for compensation from oil companies and government.
“There is, therefore, a need to demand for compensation and restoration of polluted sites as well as health actions to keep us alive and to resist death, poverty and injustice”, she said.
She stated that the findings and data would serve as a tool for policy makers, community leaders and all those who strove for a more equitable and sustainable future.
Meanwhile, Dr Bieye Briggs, a public health physician and head of the research team, said from the findings of the report, it was revealed that there was very high and unacceptable level of exposure of the people to hydrocarbons.
Briggs advocated for the Federal Government to carry out health audit in Otuabagi community and other oil producing areas in the Niger-Delta region.
He explained that such audit was with a view to instituting intervention program to halt and reverse the impact of oil exploration.
Similarly, Chief Daniel Amangi, the traditional ruler of Otuabagi community, commended Kebetkache Women Development and Resource Centre for undertaking the project and urged the Federal Government to focus on developing the community.
Amangi also called for the immediate implementation of the recommendations of the research findings for the overall benefit of the people.
In the same vein, Alagoa Morris, a stakeholder, lamented that life expectancy was lower in the Niger-Delta region than in other parts of the country due to the hazards caused by oil exploration.
He called for compensation to be paid to host communities to ameliorate the health impact of oil extraction in the region.
The ceremony also featured a drama presentation by Otuabagi women and panel discussion on the findings of the report.

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Niger Delta

Court Orders AAU Graduate’s Car, iPhone’s Forfeiture To FG

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A Benin High Court on Monday ordered the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to sell a Toyota Venza 2012 model, recovered from a graduate of Biochemistry from Ambrose Ali University, Ekpoma, Osadolor Edomwonyi.
The EFCC charged Edomwonyi with internet fraud.
Delivering judgment, Justice Efe Ikponmwonba, sentenced Edomwonyi to three years imprisonment.
The judge also ordered the forfeiture of an iPhone 13 Promax, recovered from the convict .
He also ordered that balances in his Opay account, Kids Bank account and Access Bank with which he was charged and convicted to the Federal Government through EFCC and the accounts be parmanently closed.
The convict prayed the court for a plea bargain agreement.
Ikponmwonba, however, gave him an option of fine in the sum of N100,000.
Earlier, the EFCC counsel, Mr I K Agwaisaid, said the convict committed an offence contrary to the provisions of Sections 6 and 8 (b) of the advance free fraud and other fraud-related offences Act 2006 and punishable under Section 1(3) of the same Act.
The prosecutor said in a plea bargain agreement, Edomwonyi pleaded guilty to the one-count charge of possession of fraudulent documents.

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