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2023 : People Should Assess Candidates On Performance – Peterside 

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A university teacher, Dr. Sofiri Peterside, has tasked voters to be more selective by voting candidates with track record of performance in 2023 general elections.
Dr. Peterside who is a fellow of the Centre for Advanced Social Science gave the advice in a phone-in programme organised by Silverbird Communications in Port Harcourt.
According to him, most of the presidential candidates are those who have held public positions and are coming to governance with experience.
He opined that electing such candidates should be based on their past performance and legacies while in office.
Dr. Peterside who is also a senior lecturer in  the Department of Sociology, at the University of Port Harcourt said the electorates must exercise their franchise as enshrined in the constitution, stressing that any thing short of this would lead to the emergence of wrong leaders.
Lamenting the state of affairs in the country, the university don argued that it is difficult to disconnect bad governance from poor leadership.
He said that one way to change the situation of things is for the electorates to elect those with good records of performance who can bring their experience to bear.
“A major political setback is the problem of “godfatherism” which breeds mediocrity and failure of political office-holders to be accountable to the people.
“For the presidency, those qualified should be those who have attained the constitutional age, have demonstrated leadership abilities in the past and those with good records in office”, added.

By: Kevin Nengia

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Water Taxi Scheme Trainees Appeal For Absorption Into Civil Service

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A group of Rivers State indigenes numbering about 19, under the aegis of trainees trained by the state government on water taxi scheme in Portugal in 2010, have appealed to the State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara to absorb them into the civil service.
It would be recalled that on November 27, 2010, the then state government under former Governor Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi sent 20 indigenes of the State to Portugal for training on the technical ability to manage its water taxis.
The trainees were trained in two categories as skippers and engineers. However, 14 years after, the trainees are yet to be absorbed into the civil service under the Ministry of Transportation to showcase their training expertise.
Speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt over the weekend on behalf of the affected trainees, Engr Agia Ibikari Barasua in company of Engr Bobmanuel Tekena, Engr Lemmy Praise Machismo and Capt. Geoffrey Johnson appealed to the state Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara to look into their matter and absorb them into the civil service as life has been unbearable to them.

He said that the scheme was a making of the state government an managed by the ministry of Transportation , adding that the then Commissioner for Transport Hon George Tolofari and the permanent secretary, Mr Gogo Isong were the drivers of the one month training scheme in Portugal .
He averred that the state government had promised them that they will be absorbed and deployed to the marine Transport Department in the Ministry of transport upon the return back to the state at the end of the training excise.
Ibikari however, noted that since their returned from Portugal efforts made by them for the state government to absorbed them into the civil service by the previous government had not been fruitful.
He told Journalists that they have lost one of their colleague and others are struggling to cope with the economic hardship and appealed to Governor Siminalayi Fubara to look into their plights and so as to enlist them into the civil service scheme.
“Some of us were working before were selected for the training by the state government with all assurances that will regularise our employment status when we are back but since them but we have about three or four of them that were nominated from the ministry of transport and immediately they are still working till now but for us nothing has happened” he stated.

Akujobi Amadi

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Children’s Day: NAPPS Appeals To FG For Tax Holiday

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Nigeria Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) has made an appeal to Federal Government for a significant tax holiday for private school owners in the country.
The association has also called for government’s more robust collaboration with private schools for a brighter and more inclusive future of Nigerian children.
NAPPS, while making the appeal noted that besides the numerous contributions of private schools in complementing Federal Government’s efforts in achieving quality educational standard for the nation , many private schools have catered for the developmental needs of children from less fortunate backgrounds.
These were contained in a statement signed by the National President Nigeria Association of Proprietors of Private Schools (NAPPS) Samira Jibir on the occasion of 2024 Children’s Day celebration.
Her words “Today, we celebrate the joy, and boundless potential embodied by our children and reaffirm our commitment to their holistic development and well-being. In Nigeria, where our youth represent a substantial portion of the population, investing in their education and welfare is not just a moral imperative but a strategic necessity for the progress and prosperity of our nation.
“Education is not a solitary endeavor. It thrives on a strong partnership between parents, educators’ communities and the government. Parents are the first teachers in a child’s life, and their involvement is essential for a child’s success. NAPPS encourages active parental participation in school activities, curriculum discussions, and open communication with teachers”.

Nneka Amaechi -Nnadi, Abuja

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NOSDRA Faults Woke’s Appointment …Says DG’s Position Not Vacant

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Uneasy calm is now pervading the offices of the National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) in Abuja and other parts of the country, following the announcement by the Federal Government that Mr Idris Musa has been replaced as the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the agency, with former Rivers State Commissioner for Special Duties and former Chief of Staff, Government House, Port Harcourt, Engr Chukwuemeka Woke.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Ajuri Ngelale, recently announced that Engr Woke had been appointed as the new Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NOSDRA, after being rejected by Ogun State to head the Ogun-Osun Water Basin Development Authority, following protests that trailed his earlier appointment by the Federal Government.
Since the announcement was made, feelers indicate that it has not gone down well with majority of workers of the agency across the country and other insiders of the agency.
NOSDRA workers and other insiders in the Abuja office in particular, are said to be forlorn, dejected and sad over the development, as some of them are alleged to be wearing long faces, and have appealed to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to rescind the decision since the position of Director General in the agency is not vacant, with Musa who they described as a square peg in a square hole, and a core professional and gentleman to the core, firmly in the saddle, having served only one year of his second tenure of four years.
According to them, President Tinubu was misled to have thought that the position of Director General in the agency was vacant, for which reason, he had gone ahead to appoint Engr Woke as the Director General and Chief Executive Officer of the agency.
While reiterating that the position of Director General of NOSDRA is not vacant, they fingered the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Chief Nyesom Wike for orchestrating the plot to remove Musa from office and replace him with his kinsman and loyalist, Engr Woke, who served under him as Chief of Staff, when he was the Governor of Rivers State.
They said Musa has three years running to complete his tenure, and expressed delight that he has been repositioning the agency since his appointment in 2019.
The workers and insiders said the NOSDRA helmsman has been piloting the affairs of the agency without blemish and has also been giving the welfare of the workforce top priority, even in the face of debilitating challenges and paucity of funds, stressing that the Director General is not only very sincere but a man of integrity.
Musa, they noted, has also been working hard to reposition the agency and make it result-oriented, contending that it would be unfair and unjust to replace him,when he has not committed any infraction to warrant that, and called on President Tinubu to rescind the decision and allow the Director General to fully serve and complete his four-year tenure.
The workers and insiders further expressed displeasure that Musa is yet to serve half of his second tenure of four years, pointing out that they are highly shocked over the development and the appointment of a politician like Engr Woke to head the Federal Government agency at this critical time, an agency they said, is purely professional-oriented and highly technical.
It would be recalled that Musa was reappointed as the Director General of NOSDRA by former President Muhammadu Buhari in the twilight of his administration last year, for a four-year tenure, barely a year ago, following his excellent track record of performance and achievements.
Both the workers and other insiders of the agency see the Director General as a father figure, and described him as a workaholic and astute administrator, who knows what he is really doing at the agency based on his rich resume’ and
wealth of experience.
The workers and insiders, who pleaded anonymity, said it would be a welcome development if President Tinubu rescinds the decision to replace Musa and allows the affairs and activities of the agency to continue to run uninterrupted, describing the Director General as a vibrant, energetic, competent, hard working, dedicated, committed, calm, kind, compassionate and level headed officer, who has the technical savvy and professional know-how to run the agency.
Musa, a devoted Muslim who hails from Kogi State holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Geography from the University of Ibadan and two Master’s Degrees in Business Administration and Urban and Regional Planning from the University of Ibadan and University of Illorin, respectively.He also has several professional certifications and memberships, both locally and internationally.
Known for his vibrant and energetic personality, Musa was appointed the Head of Operations of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project(HYPREP) in Port Harcourt in 2017, a position he held until his appointment as Director General and Chief Executive Officer of NOSDRA in 2019.
He equally has extensive experience in oil spill management and has served on various high-powered committees, including the committee that worked on the preparation of the documents leading to the establishment of NOSDRA. He has also participated in various international trainings, seminars and workshops.
The Director General represented Nigeria on the 10-man Board of Pollution Crime Working Group of the International Police(INTERPOL), and has received multiple awards in recognition of his services, including the Bureau of Public Service Reforms Distinguished Goztech Trailblazer Award and the Nigerian Environmental Society Honorary Fellow (FNES) HON, which he bagged in October, 2023.

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