Today is Christmas Day.
It is another opportunity to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. As expected, the atmosphere is electric. The mad rush is noticeable everywhere. Human and vehicular movement is unprecedented in Port Harcourt.There are desperate attempts by residents to meet the expectations of family members and loved ones. This is because love is in the air. In the midst of all these, our correspondent combed the Garden City to find out how the residents feel about today.
Mrs Chibuzor Martins, food stuff dealer
This year’s Christmas, it’s well oh! I don’t see anything serious about the Christmas this year. People have been complaining, even workers, they say no money is flowing in the system. Workers are lamenting that even the salary when paid is not enough because they have incurred debts that need to be settled before the salary arrives.
There is very low patronage this year than other years. This year what I experienced instead of sales is people coming to ask about the price of things, but they don’t come back to buy them again. Look at it now, today is December 24th and yet no sales.
I wonder when we are going to sell out all these goods we have bought and hoping to sell them this Christmas. There is really nothing to show about this year’s Christmas, but we have hope for a better tomorrow.
We would still celebrate Christ’s birth as it remains the reason for the season, so whether sales, or no sales we would still celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ because His coming is the reason why we are alive.
Mrs Doris David, business woman
Christmas is a season to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, so whether there is money, or no money, we must thank God for life because there are many people in the hospital who have money, but cannot celebrate the Christmas.
As the Federal Government has declared Tuesday, 25th, Wednesday, 26th December, 2018 and Tuesday, 1st January, 2019 as public holidays to mark the Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year celebrations respectively, we must take advantage of these public holidays to enjoy ourselves while we are alive.
It would be recalled that the Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Bello Dambazau, had made the declaration on behalf of the Federal Government in a statement signed by the ministry’s Director of Press, Mohammed Manga last Wednesday evening.
This is a period when Christians should think and reflect on God’s gift for us and so I want all Christian faithful in Nigeria to use this period in praying earnestly for the betterment and development of our country, Nigeria.
While I also expect that the Federal Government make life comfortable for Nigerians because there is serious hunger in the country and almost all businesses in Nigeria can no longer thrive with the harsh economic system in the country.
Mrs Amaka Shefiu, provision dealer
This Christmas, there is nothing to show for it because up to this time, there is no customer to buy our goods. We are just managing by the grace of God. There is no money, people are complaining of no money.
By this time last year, we sold reasonably although it cannot be compared to sales we made last three years. If it were during the Jonathan administration, by this time, we would have packaged goods for customers to use as souvenirs but this year, not even one person has asked that we wrap gifts for them to use as souvenirs.
This year is the worst year I have ever witnessed in my Christmas sales as there is a very high decline in our sales.
Augustine Eze, mason worker Christmas is very hard to me as there was no money anywhere despite the hard labour I am doing. My family has no food and we cannot travel home for Christmas like we did last year.
During the President Goodluck Jonathan administration, there was enough money in my hand and me and my family members travelled home on time for Christmas and New Year, but this year, it’s very difficult for me to see food to put on the table for my family members.
I am very hard working and ready to do any menial jobs, but I will work and no money to pay me for it.
I am not happy at all because I have never celebrated the birth of Jesus Christ without money. I cannot buy Christmas clothes for my children and wife and they are not happy too.
Pastor Kingsley Munachim
This Christmas is very good because it brings life to me, my family and the entire world. This is why I said the Christmas is very good whether there is money or not.
I am grateful that I am alive because there are many people who are on the hospital bed now and they cannot see the brightness of the day, but I am sound and healthy enjoying this Christmas harmattan, so I give God all the glory.
Nwibari Dick, newspaper vendor
There is nothing to celebrate about this Christmas. All I am looking for is money to settle some outstanding demands confronting my family this season. I am struggling to make ends meet, yet, it is as if I am doing nothing. I want the local, state and the Federal Governments to find a way to provide jobs for the people, so that it would go a long way in ameliorating the suffering of the people.
Emohua Admin Building For Delivery In December
By: Theresa Frederick & Wokoma Emmanuel
The Chairman, Emohua Local Government Area (LGA), Dr. Chidi Lloyd, says the Council’s administrative building being executed at the headquarters is expected to be delivered in December ahead of the next phase of project commissioning by his administration.
He said the administrative building will upon completion provide comfortable office accomodation for members of the management committee and principal officers of the LGA.
The Council Chairman disclosed this during an unscheduled visit to project sites within the council headquarters.
He charged the contractors handling the project to comply with the agreed delivery date and specification of the project, with a view to delivering it before the next phase of project harvest by the LGA.
Meanwhile, work has commenced in ernest at the proposed site for the construction of a vaccine cold chain and office complex for Emohua Local Government Primary Healthcare Center, following the council chairman’s approval, in line with his administration’s commitment to improving healthcare services in the LGA, as well as the working condition of staff of the council.
Dr. Lloyd during the project inspection said the construction of the vaccine cold chain became necessary following the absence of any cold storage facility for vaccines and other temperature controlled pharmaceutical instruments in the local government area.
According to him construction of the office complex was also conceived by his administration to provide comfortable working environment for staff of the primary healthcare center who had over the years blamed their negligence to duty on the insufficiency of the office space at the healthcare center.
The Council Chairman said no staff of the Primary Healthcare Center would have any reason to justify their negligence to duty after the completion of the project.
At the ongoing construction of the local government legislative council complex and the 350 seater ICT studio named after Chief Emeka Woke, being executed simultaneously at the council headquarters.
The Emolga council boss expressed satisfaction with the progress of work at the project sites and encouraged the contractor handling the projects to intensify efforts to ensure that they are delivered on time.
Dr. Lloyd was joined by the Vice Chairman of Emohua LGA, Hon Mrs. Edna Nyeche.
Andoni Youths Disown Group
Some youths in Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State under the aegis of Obolo Community Youth Leaders Council (OCYLC) have disowned the purported existence of a group known as Obolo Youth Stakeholders.
This was contained in a press release made available to newsmen in Port Harcourt.
According to the group, there is no youth body with the name Obolo Yotuth Stakeholders in Andoni LGA, describing those behind the purported group as faceless individuals who are out to cause disaffection in the LGA.
“Firstly, there is no such organisation like Obolo Youth Stakeholders in Andoni, at least to the best of our knowledge”, the statement noted.
Noting further that the purported group cannot even speak for their respective community youths, the Obolo Community Youth Leaders Council also claimed that some of those behind the purported group have applied for a merger with it, a request which it turned down.
It noted that since OCYLC formation in 2018, it has been on the field interfacing with relevant stakeholders on how to get the youth involved in the oil and gas industry.
The release, signed by Comrade Amini Moses Clifford, the Chairman, stated that “to achieve this, we have discussed with our brother and leader, Hon.Timothy Igbifaa, the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC) National President, and urged him to use his good office to fast track these opportunities, adding that the effort has yielded results as Total Energy has implemented most of their agreements with Andoni.
They listed some projects carried out by Total Energy in Andoni to include the award of Several scholarships, skill acquisition programmes, employment through the award of contract to local contractors, construction of roads at Ikuru Town, and donation of learning materials to schools in the area.
The group commended the Andoni Council Chairman, Barrister Erastus Awortu, the Traditional Rulers Council, and the President of IYC for putting smiles on the faces of Andoni youths.
By: John Bibor
Federal Agric Ministry Empowers 30 Rivers Poultry Farmers
In a bid to encourage agricultural growth, the Federal Ministry of Agriculture has empowered 30 poultry farmers from Rivers State.
This was part of a 2-Day training/empowerment programme organised by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture in partnership with the Rivers State Ministry of Agriculture.
The 2- Day training, taking place at the Rumuodomaya office of ADP, saw starter packs handed over to the 30 beneficiaries drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of the State
In his speech, the Programme Manager, Rivers State Agricultural Development, Vitalis Chindah, said the empowerment would enhance food security and alleviate poverty.
Chindah hinted that the training would prepare small holder poultry farmers to appreciate poultry business.
“The small holders farmers who constitute 75% farming population will make maximum use of the platform,” he stated.
He noted that the poultry industry played vital role in reducing malnutrition, poverty and promoting economic growth.
“The farmers’ efforts in producing eggs, chickens are vital sources of animal protein and maybe the only source for high quality protein for the poor and venulrable in the society
“It is essential for capacity building, strengthening the business economically by developing knowledge of trainers on production practices to, enhance market strategies that will enable farmers perform effectively to enhance household income and food security.
“It will also reduce poverty and sustain the economy. It will remove misconception, and give right direction to the small holders farmers”, he said.
He commends the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural development for demonstrating the political will in agricultural development by ensuring regular payment on agric businesses and supporting farmers and providing necessary incentives for farmers.
According him, the vision of the Ministry is to work with relevant stakeholders to build an agric economy capable of delivering prosperity and meeting domestic food security through extension services.
He encouraged the beneficiaries to take it serious and warned that they should not sell the starter packs.
Also speaking, representative of the Director, Federal Ministry of Agriculture, Extension Department, Gloria Iboroma, said the empowerment would make them be independent.
She charged the beneficiaries to sustain food production in the country, saying the exercise was taking place simultaneously across 23 states of the federation.
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