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RSG Approves Civil Servants’ Interest Free Loan Disbursement

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Civil servants in Rivers State now have cause to smile, as the State Government has approved the disbursement of funds for the interest free loans promised them few months ago.
Rivers State Head of Service, (HOS), Rufus Godwin disclosed this when he featured as a guest on a Radio programme monitored by the Tide in Port Harcourt, the state capital on Wednesday; pointing out that in addition to their salaries this month, the workers would start going home with the loans.
Godwin recalled that the State Governor, Barrister Nyesom Wike had few months previously promised to introduced an interest free loan for civil servants between levels 01 to 13, expressing happiness that the governor has fulfilled that promise.
Godwin said, “I am using this opportunity to break the news that all civil servants in the state are yearning to hear. His Excellency on his own promised that he was going to introduce an interest free loan scheme to civil servants.
“Historically that loan was introduced in 2003, but along the line it fizzled out. At that time it carried some interest on it. Then the Governor came in and few months ago he said he was going to surprise the civil service.
“He (the Governor) has to package a loan scheme that will be interest free for civil servants from level 01 to level 13. That is those who are not in the directorate cadre. And we have worked out all the details and today to the pleasant surprise of civil servants through my office His Excellency has approved the release of the first tranche of funds for the disbursement of loans to civil servants.
“So, the civil servants are not just going to have their December salaries, they will be going home with an interest free loan that is repayable within 24 months. If your retirement service in not within this two years you are qualified.

By: Dennis Naku.

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Rivers

NSCDC Promises Security For Critical National Infrastructure

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Rivers State has reiterated its readiness to provide adequate security for Nigeria’s critical infrastructure.
The NSCDC Commandant in the State, Mr Michael Ogar, stated this recently while addressing newsmen in Port Harcourt.
Ogar, who was represented by the spokesman of the command, DSC Olufemi Ayodele, said the command would achieve that by trailing and arresting those engaged in bunkering and oil theft in the State.
The commandant said the command was against illegal bunkering and other forms of economic sabotage that would ruin the nation’s oil and gas sector.
Ogar called for co-operation from members of the public to enable the corps achieve its set goals.
He said with the synergy of sister agencies, the corps would work to ensure safety of national assets in the oil and gas sector.
Ayodele said the NSCDC would always map out strategies to fight illegal oil bunkering to safeguard critical national assets.

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Rivers

Mitee Criticises FG Over HYPREP Audit

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A former President of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP), Ledum Mitee, says the intended audit ordered by the Federal Government on Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) may affect the ongoing clean-up exercise in the area.
Mitee, who said this in a press release made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt also alleged that the auditing may be aimed at using the funds meant for the Ogoni clean-up for the 2023 elections.
The former MOSOP President also expressed doubt that the announced audit of the project would not also go the way of the recent audit on Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
It would be recalled that the Minister of Transportation, speaking on behalf of President Muhammadu Buhari, announced that the President had ordered HYPREP to be moved from the Ministry of Environment to the Ministry of Niger Delta Ministry Affairs.
A day after, the Ministry of Environment refuted that directive, quoting the President in a circular, which it said ordered that HYPREP be moved back to Environment Ministry.
In the release, Mitee expressed the hope that the situation will not go the way of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).
According to him, “Remarkably, the statement by the Environment Ministry stated that the President had ordered a full audit of the accounts of HYPREP from inception to date. I hope it is not a repeat of the NDDC experience, where, in the face of serious mind-boggling revelations about corruption, a so-called forensic audit was ordered which has perennially been ongoing, creating the excuse for business as usual, especially when viewed against the backdrop of the following:
“The HYPREP draft budget for the remaining part of this year that has exponentially risen to a record $300 million compared to last year’s budget that was a mere $35 million. Curiously, the current budget pegs the exchange rate at N411 to a dollar.
Continuing he said, “Opaque contracting processes, which have been dominated by the wishes of the supervising Ministry evidenced by unqualified companies being shortlisted and awarded contracts for remediation.”
Mitee expressed regrets that despite the huge sums of money being voted into HYPREPs nothing much is being felt by communities in the area.
“There have been incessant complaints by communities and other stakeholders that despite huge expenditures, HYPREP has not impacted on the communities. “he said.

By: John Bibor

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Stakeholders Want Legislation For Power Enhancement

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As power supply in the country continues to pose a major challenge in economic activities and other sectors, stakeholders have tasked governments at all levels on the need to have a legislative framework to boost power supply.
This was part of the points raised by stakeholders at the Power-To-Power Summit organised by the Port Harcourt Chambers of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Aggriculture (PHCCIMA) in Port Harcourt recently.
In his opening remark, the PHCCIMA President, Eze Mike Elechi, explained that the event was timely and its content deliberately planned.
Elechi noted that its need and relevance had become paramount in the life of the people, city, state, region and the entire country.
“We have carefully identified the need to examine the power situation in Nigeria and come to the conclusion not to sit, dwell, and complain about the well known problems, but to identify the solutions and at the same time, turn these solutions in to business opportunities”, he said.
The PHCCIMA President also identified solutions and opportunities as an underlying focus in many sessions, workshops and exhibitions.
Sir Elechi further revealed that the administration of PHCCIMA under his watch will take into consideration the practical and relevant business trends as it affects Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in the state and region.
“Needless to say that power has been a fundamental challenge in productivity and services for the same SMEs in question.
“We expect that this gathering will be able to look into the following areas:
“Existing energy technologies that can be modified and made more user friendly for local application and maintenance.
“Local manufacture or assembly of relevant energy appliances and tools as a business.
“Exploration of alternative sources of power that are environmentally friendly and have a significantly reduced carbon footprint.
“Possible small and medium scale energy solutions that can be embedded to provide uninterrupted power to a circumscribed community, with it also being done as a business venture; and develop regulatory guidelines for government to consider”, he said.
According to him, such will make room for more private investment in the power sector and overall consumer Energy sector.
“Consequently, I hereby call upon government at the state and federal level to consider legislation and guidelines which allow for more entry in to the energy supply sector.
“Also, to improve the enabling operational environment that will encourage aggregation of existing players, to provide power to businesses and communities” , he said.
He, however, expressed hope that, if such legal framework is provided, “the economy will benefit tremendously from power improvement and growth, which will positively affect economic growth, GDP, productivity, employment. This will ultimately address the current security situation in the country.”

By: King Onunwor

 

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