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Environmentalist Tasks Building Experts On Professionalism

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Following the incessant building collapse in Nigeria, an environmentalist, Mr Gafar Odubote has urged building experts to adhere to standard building practice to avoid re-occurrence.
Odubote, an environmental advocate told Newsmen that building collapses could be avoided.
The expert said that building collapses were not necessarily natural occurrences or disasters but indicators of structural failure and poor maintenance that could be avoided.
“Building collapse is a risk that can be prevented. Most building collapses are not from natural causes or disasters but as a result of structural failure and lack of proper maintenance.
“It is time professionals that are not adhering to the international best standard in building practices should not just pay penalty fines but be jailed and lose their licenses permanently.
“The environmental measures that can be taken by the government and constituted authorities are to identify buildings that do not meet up the standards and ensure they are brought down.
“With the recent building collapse in Lagos Island, it shows that a gradual depletion of the building has been going on over the years, which the constituted authorities failed to bring down even though they allegedly claimed that they marked it for demolition,” he said.
Odubote called on stakeholders in the building industry to advocate and sensitise local builders and Nigerians on the need to put up quality standard structures.
“The Nigerian Society of Engineers (NSE); Building Collapse Prevention Guild (BCPG); Nigerian Institute of Builders (NIB); and other civil societies should unite in creating advocacy on raising awareness for people to carryout proper design of their buildings.
“Adequate subsoil tests should be carried out before designs are done and the engagement of certified professionals for the building construction should be engaged.
“The government should be effective in monitoring the building construction process, both before and after.
“The advocacy should also target the professionals not to compromise quality, supply sub-standard materials and also contractors engage untrained builders, and the Nigerian construction industry should be totally sanitised.
“People should learn the basics of concrete mixing for buildings and not to cut-corners or give contractors unrealistic timelines, when the foundation is wrong the building will definitely collapse,” Odubote said.
The expert also urged Nigerians to do a feasibility study on any building or apartment they choose to rent to avoid being victims of collapsed buildings.
“Before renting an apartment; request for the structural plan/design of the building and request for professionals to help in reviewing.
“The tenant should request for the report of any structural stability tests carried out by professionals in the building; which will show the state of such buildings.
“A tenant should look for any major structural cracks in the wall or gaps in the floors.
“He should understand the history of the area, the terrain and typography. A building does not suddenly collapse without any prior warning signs,” he said.

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We’ll Do More With Your Support, Fubara Assures Rivers People 

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…Vows To Deliver Standard Healthcare Facility In Degema

RIvers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, has assured that his administration would not be distracted in its bid to give Rivers people the best that will improve the quality of lives in the State.

Fubara gave the assurance while speaking with newsmen shortly after being conducted round the entire premises and structures of the Zonal Hospital, Degema Town in Degema Local Government Area on Saturday.

According to him, nothing will ever distract the attention of his administration to take its eyes off the ball in ensuring that Rivers people get the best that will improve the quality of life that they lead.

The governor noted the concern over the absence of a befitting healthcare facility in the area, but stated that the right things and steps are being taken to address the situation.

He emphasised that his administration was giving greater attention to issues of healthcare, education and agriculture so that Rivers people can access quality services from those key sectors.

The governor said: “We are here this afternoon, just like what happened yesterday (Friday), and if you could remember, I said part of our areas of concern, going forward, will be healthcare services.

“And yesterday, I did mention that we were on inspection to check the Bori Zonal Hospital covering that particular senatorial district, and will also go and see those in Degema, Ahoada and Omoku.

“But, we are here in Degema today to assess the level of work ongoing. As you can see, we don’t have a befitting and standard healthcare facility here. And that is why we need to put this place in order to make it standard.”

Fubara explained further that, “Part of the areas that have just been explained to me on my visit this afternoon is the area earmarked for staff quarters: doctors and nurses; areas that will be used to develop a modern mortuary and a laundry, because a medical facility must have a standard laundry.

“So, they have also shown me what they are doing, and the foundation for the laundry that is also almost completed.”

He assured Rivers people that they would not only get critical road infrastructure delivered to them, but that they would also be given  other social amenities and services that will ensure wholesome protection for them including quality healthcare services.

He said, “Like I said, my target for 2025 is going to be healthcare, education and agriculture. This is just the start. We are here to assure our people that no matter what it is, we still have our eyes on the ball.

“I will urge the good people of Degema to continue to support us; that this government is purposeful and understands the needs of the people.”

The governor assured the people of Degema, Kalabari Kingdom, and indeed, the entire people of Rivers State that his administration would not compromise quality service delivery and good governance, just as it will not disappoint the people who painstakingly voted for him to govern the State.

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Fubara Acknowledges Role Of Church In Building Decent Society

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The Rivers State Government says it recognizes the crucial role faith-based organisations play in the social and moral fabric of the society.

Rivers State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, stated this while speaking at the 36th Anniversary Celebration of Foundation Faith Church, Salem City of Faith, Rumuomasi in Port Harcourt, yesterday.

Represented by his deputy, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu, Governor Fubara said the work of the church complements government’s effort to build a stronger and more compassionate Rivers State, noting that this year’s theme “Rescue,” resonates deeply with both our spiritual and civic duties.This was contained in a statement by the Head of Press, Deputy Governor’s Office, Owupele Benebo, yesterday.

Fubara said in times of challenge, uncertainty and change, we are all called to be agents of rescue in our families, neighbourhoods and State, adding that Foundation Faith Church has continued to be a beacon of hope and a source of rescue for 36 years through outreach programmes, counselling services and spiritual guidance.

The State Chief Executive who commended the Church for lifting countless individuals from despair to hope and from darkness to light supported the Church with the sum of N20 million.

 

In his Sermon, the founder of Foundation Faith Church, Archbishop Sam Amaga, who spoke on the theme “Rescue,” drawn from Jude 1:23, said the Church was sent on a Rescue Mission to the Earth by Jesus Christ to save unbelievers from hell, noting that “we were first reconciled to God by Christ in order to rescue other people.”

According to him, Evangelism should be the burden of every believer and not a Church department reserved only for the Pastors.

He stressed that as followers of Christ, Christians must embrace the habit of soul-winning.

Also speaking, the National Coordinating Bishop of Nigeria, Foundation Faith Church Worldwide, Bishop Ogoliegbune Hillary, said although the journey has been tough, God has helped His handmaiden and Founder, Archbishop Sam Amaga, throughout these 36 years by equipping him with His grace and mercy.

He commended the Rivers State Government for supporting and identifying with the Church.

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ALGON WARNS AGAINST PLANNED PROTEST IN RIVERS

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The Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON), Rivers State Chapter, has alerted security agencies, especially the police, the Rivers State Government and the public on the consequences of the planned protest by the former local government chairmen and former members of the state House of Assembly and National Assembly members in the state.

Addressing a press conference in Port Harcourt on Sunday, ALGON Chairman, Prince Ichemati Ezebunwo, warned that the protest was a sinister plot to cause anarchy and chaos with a view to destabilizing governance, and creating excuse to actualize their design for a state of emergency in the state.

Ezebunwo said, “We are drawing the attention of the general public to the planned protest by the immediate past local government chairmen, former House of Assembly members, and National Assembly members loyal to the Federal Capital Territory Minister, Chief Nyesom Wike, against the Nigeria Police Force (NPF) manning the 23 local government councils across the state.

“The planned protest is not in the interest of the local governments and the state in its entirety. Rather, it is a calculated attempt by enemies of our dear state to paint the people of the state in bad light, unleash mayhem while at it, and use it to further buttress their inordinate call for the declaration of a state of emergency in our dear state”.

He explained, “We emphatically state that we, members of the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria, Rivers State Chapter, and our people are in support of the police decision to take control and protect all local government council secretariats until further directive on the matter.”

Ezebunwo stated that since assumption of duty of the caretaker committee chairmen, no one has attempted to forcefully take over or gain access to any of the local government secretariats in line with the Governor’s directive, until the police withdraw or remove whatever barriers put in place to protect government assets.

He added, “We want to categorically state that we are not in any way linked to the planned protest, as it is inimical to the progress and well-being of the people of the state, considering the sinister plots by some desperate politicians to take advantage under the guise of protest, to cause chaos and destabilise governance in the state.

Ezebunwo, who is also Port Harcourt City Council caretaker committee chairman, called on the Inspector General of Police, Kayode Egbetokun, and the state Commissioner of Police, Olatunji

Disu, to swiftly swing into action, and ensure the maintenance of law and order by checking any illegal protest in the state.

He said, “Therefore, we call on all law-abiding citizens of our dear state to discountenance the planned protest and go about their lawful and legitimate businesses.

“We wish to place on record, that should there be a breakdown of law and order as a result of the planned protest, the organisers and their sponsors as enlisted above should be held responsible”.

He used the opportunity to thank Rivers people for their massive support to Governor Siminalayi Fubara, and his people first Government, which according to him, is delivering the dividends of democracy to Rivers people.

He noted, “We want to thank Rivers people for their continued support for the Governor of Rivers State, His Excellency, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, GSSRS, and his administration, which is delivering the enviable dividends of democracy to Rivers people”.

All the 23 local government council caretaker committee chairmen signed the press statement.

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