About 10 cooperative societies, under the umbrella of Ekpeye United Cooperative Union thronged the premises of Green River Project (GRP) Extension Office, Ukpeliede in Ahoada-West Local Government Area, to mark the 10th anniversary of their conglomerate.
The occasion was also used to honour three stakeholders.
The Tide reports that GRP is a department of Nigerian Agip Oil Company, concerned with the promotion of agriculture in its host communities.
Speaking, the Chairman of the occasion, Prof. Victor Akwujuru of the Rivers State University, noted that the occasion warranted the jubilation that coloured the atmosphere.
He said that it was heart lifting to see cooperative societies cropping up in a rural area, to tackle food insecurity and joblessness.
Prof. Akwujuru, who doubles as an estate mamgerment expert and renowned farmer, expressed hope that the existing cooperative societies would sustain the tempo of their hard works while new ones emerge to join them.
The chairman charged the respective cooperative societies to look at the long term, rather than the short term benefits of their works.
In his address, the president of Ekpeye United Cooperative Union, Mr Ihuowo. Alabo Monday said. “Operating as a group of this nature has not been very easy in the Ekpeye communities’ environment.
I therefore extend my kudos to members, for refusing to live by stereotyped environmental bondage and forging ahead to build an enviable cooperative organisation. Our vows mean as much today as they did more than a decade ago’’.
The president thanked the GRP for their support and encouragement to the union, through capacity building, timely provision of farm inputs, building and commissioning of agricultural infrastructure, providing access to micro credit and financial assistance through awards as well as provision of extension officers, including, Mr Iyke Moses, Mr Felix Ogbonna and Chief Charlie Samuel.
Ihuowo, post humously recognised the contributions of the founding members of the union, namely, the former secretary and treasurer, Late Chief Amanukpo Robinson and Late Deacon Gibson Echikwa, respectively.
He noted that the union had recorded a number of success stories and in this context, a dividend of N10,000 each was presented to all the cooperative groups in good financial standing.
The president, who is also an accountant, announced the union’s target to establish a revolving loan of N1million annually for farmers or groups at an interest rate of less than 10 per cent.
He appealed to the management of GRP to avail the union the opportunity to participate in and nominate youths for skills acquisition programmes, as well as revival of the micro-credit scheme to individual cooperative societies.
Ihuowo called on secondary school authorities in the LGA to participate in GRP programmes as obtained in other zones and states of Nigeria.
While the beneficiaries of dividends included, Umanunye Cooperative Society (Ukpeliede), Young Farmers Cooperative Society (Akala-Olu), Uzodhu Cooperative Society (Idu-Ekpeye), Obuma cooperative Society (Enito 1), Ogoda-Ahoada Women Cooperative Society (Ogoda), the individual awardees were; Dr Joyce Ordinioha, Dr Okezie Ebiriker and Mr Ihuowo Alabo in appreciation of their invaluable services to the union.
Dr Ordinioha, who spoke on behalf of the awardees said, they would be spurred to render more services to the union and the public at large.
By: Agimo Benson
NLNG Train 7: Stakeholders Re-Negotiate Workers’ Salaries
Stakeholders in the Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) Train 7 project are renegotiating salaries of workers of the company in Bonny.
This is sequel to a high-powered meeting held at the instance of the Chairman of Bonny Local Government Area, Dame Anengi Barasua Dagogo-Wilcox, to address the situation.
The meeting, which ended on a positive note with a resolution by all stakeholders to renegotiate the salary structure of workers in the NLNG Train 7 project, was the basis for the May 7, 2022 protest by workers in Bonny.
The meeting, presided over by Dame Dagogo-Wilcox, at the Government Lodge, was attended by representatives of the Nigeria LNG Ltd, Train 7 contract handlers, Saipem, Chiyoda and Daewoo (SCD’JV), Bonny Chiefs Council, and Bonny Kingdom Local Content Compliance Committee (BKLCCC).
Other attendees are Bonny Integrated Recruitment Centre (BIRC), Bonny Youth Federation (BYF), Bonny Professionals Union and Staff Trade Unions of the contracting firms.
According to a statement issued by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary of Bonny Local Government Council, Boma Waribor, the stakeholders reviewed the existing Memorandum of Understanding that was relied upon by the contracting firms, and found that the processes that culminated in its drafting were not exhaustive.
Moreover, he said, “being a document that was produced in 2015, it cannot be relevant in 2022, making it defective and deserving of review as a way of preventing further disagreements and other social unrests”.
On her part, the Local Government Chairman advised that the company’s workers in Bonny be accorded what is due them following the rising cost of living and the need for them to measure up accordingly, with a promise to “follow up closely until there is a common ground for all parties concerned in the shortest possible time”.
She aligned with the general view on the need for renegotiation and advised that the trade unions, BKLCCC and SCD’JV, “go back, renegotiate and ensure that all parties are favourably disposed with regard to an improved workers salary and welfare packages”.
Chairman of the Workers Union, Charles Edward Hart, assured the stakeholders that his team would work collaboratively towards achieving the right salary baseline for workers and a document to buttress this was presented to the SCD-JV representatives.
By: Wokoma Emmanuel
NMA Assures On Health Workers’ Hazard Allowance Payment
The offer to increase the hazard allowance of health workers in all government establishments across the country by the Federal Government would be brought to fruition by the end of this month.
Outgone President of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), Prof. Innocent Otobo Ujah, revealed this at the 62nd Annual General Conference/Delegates Meeting of the association in PortHarcourt, at the Weekend.
Ujah noted that the increase in the allowance was successfully negotiated during the outgone tenure, stating that the payment would become operational by the end of this month.
He recounted that the NMA within the tenure witnessed a high level of interest and commitment by not just members of the association, but also elders in positions of authority in the medical profession, an act which, he said, had made the association more visible in recent times.
According to him, the visibility was further highlighted by the act of the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, when he involved the NMA in the Foundation Laying of the College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University.
Describing it as a historic moment and of no mean feat, Ujah commended the State Governor for his show of confidence and regard for the association.
In his words, “the association’s renewed relevance was further highlighted when Governor Nyesom Wike invited the NMA leadership to lay the foundation stone of the College of Medical Sciences, Rivers State University, on Saturday, June 5, 2021”.
He continued that “it was indeed a historic moment and of no mean feat as it was a demonstration of the confidence and regard for integrity His Excellency has for my person and our dear association”.
While noting that the tenure came at the heat of the COVID-19 pandemic with the inauguration of the National Officers’ Committee (NOC) in May, 2020, the Professor of Obstetrics and Gynaecology recounted that the association pulled through following its intensed advocacy and constructive engagements within and outside the country.
In his reaction, a member of the association told TheTide under anonymity that the hazard allowance when paid would “boost the financial power of the health workers in meeting up with the biting economic situation faced by citizens of the nation”.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
FG Seeks Support Over N6bn Water Project In Ogoniland
The Hydrocarbon Pollution and Remediation Project (HYPREP) has called on residents of Ogoniland in Rivers State to support the ongoing execution of six water projects in the area.
HYPREP’s Project Coordinator, Ferdinand Giadom, made the call in Alesa, Eleme, Rivers State, during his inspection tour of the water project sites.
The Minister of Environment, Dr Mohammed Abubakar, had in March 2021 flagged-off phase one of the project in four Local Government Areas in Ogoniland – Eleme, Gokana, Khana and Tai.
Giadom said the Federal Government had come up with a sustainable plan to ensure the ongoing water project served Ogoni people for decades to come.
“The reason for the project’s sustainability is that it is one thing to provide water and another for the water to subsist.
“The essence of these is to look at a sustainability plan that would serve both the needs of the present generation and future generations of the Ogoni people.
“So, all hands must be on deck to install a system that will sustain the standard of portable drinking water”, he said.
The project coordinator gave the assurance that all water facilities across the four LGAs would be of the same standard.
“We will ensure that the quality of water is up to the standard of the World Health Organisation (WHO) drinking water limit, and that will be consistent in the future.
“The future we are talking about is not five years or ten years, but maybe 20 years and far beyond that,” he added.
Also speaking, a water governance expert in the inspection team, Prof. Johnson Otu, lauded the speed of the project and called for its sustenance.
He said the team, however, noticed some technical issues that needed adjustment to ensure the water scheme met its desired target.
“We will discuss the technical issues with the contractors so that things can be put rightly in shape for the future sustainability of the project.
“Overall, HYPREP is on the right path of delivering the project for the good of the Ogoni people,” he said.
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