To check the environmental menace occasioned by black soot in parts of Rivers State, Governor Nyesom Wike has directed the chairmen of local government councils, particularly Port Harcourt City to go after all the illegal crude oil refining sites and shut them down with immediate effect.
He also directed all council chairmen and community leaders to locate, identify and report to his office all those behind illegal bunkering and crude oil refining sites in their localities for prosecution.
Wike, in his 2022 New Year message, said the directive stems from failure of the Federal Government and its security agencies to rein in those behind illegal oil bunkering and artisanal crude oil refiners in the state.
“As a state government, we have drawn the attention of the Federal Government to this problem, and requested for its intervention to stop the activities of illegal bunkering and artisanal crude oil refiners, which have been identified as the main sources of the soot pandemic.
“Unfortunately, the Federal Government has remained inexplicably silent over our request, and even complicit, to a large extent, with the security agencies actively aiding, encouraging and protecting the artisanal refiners to continue with their harmful activities unabated.”
The governor said the state government has equally appealed, without success, to persons engaging in the illegal business, to consider its negative effects on the economy, environment, public safety and public health, and disengage from it.
Wike assured that his administration would continue to do its best to meet the aspirations of citizens for a more peaceful, safe and secure society throughout the year 2022.
“We will continue to pursue our objectives for a stronger and more sustainable economy centred on fiscal discipline, revenue growth, job creation, and improved standard of living for all residents.
“We will continue to accelerate our development with the sustainable delivery of quality roads, bridges, schools, hospitals and other socio-economic infrastructure, and complete all ongoing development projects across the state.”
The governor reminded all government recognised traditional rulers that they were, at all times, subject to the authority and directives of the state government, and not to other allegiances, culture or otherwise.
“Therefore, the consistent absence of some first class traditional rulers, especially the Amanyanabo of Okrika, the Amanyanabo of Ogu, the Amanyanabo of Kalabari and the Gbenemene Nyo-Khana from participating in state functions is unacceptable and will no longer be tolerated.
“Should they, therefore, continue to absent themselves from state functions or in the regular meetings and activities of the State Traditional Rulers Council, we would have no option than to direct their immediate replacement.”
The governor commended the security agencies for working round the clock to make and keep the state peaceful, safe and secure throughout 2021.
To make the state safer, the governor said, government would from the second week of January, 2022, commence demolition of all shanties and makeshift structures in identified crime hotspots in Port Harcourt, particularly the Illaobuchi area of Diobu.
He warned that all those attempting to resume illegal trading activities at the closed Oginigba slaughter market have one week to vacate or be arrested and charged to court.
Wike stated that government would take over most vacant plots or uncompleted buildings in the Old and New Government Reservation Areas (GRAs) and some other parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor councils that have been hijacked and inhabited by criminal elements.
The governor said government would recover and restore all landfilled or reclaimed wetlands and demolish all structures erected on natural water channels spanning from the Eastern Bypass area up to Abana and Eleme streets in Old GRA as part of measures to check perennial flooding challenge in parts of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor councils, adding that only those with genuine government permits and allocation papers would be duly compensated.
Wike announced the immediate ban on activities of cart pushers who have become notorious for indiscriminate scavenging of manhole covers, and directed law enforcement agencies to arrest and prosecute anyone who attempts to violate the ban.
He further banned the disposal of refuse on the streets or open spaces in both the Old and New GRAs of Port Harcourt City and Obio/Akpor councils; pasting of posters, fliers, pictures, artworks, placards or inscriptions on or under flyovers, bridges, concrete walls, and safety barricades along the roads, adding that government would establish environmental marshals to enforce compliance with state sanitation laws.
The governor directed the chairmen of Port Harcourt City, Ikwerre, Obio/Akpor, and Oyigbo councils to, within three weeks from January 1, impound and or remove any trailer or articulated vehicle parked on the streets beyond 48 hours in their respective administrative jurisdictions.
Concerned about the operations and socially harmful activities of nightclubs within residential areas of the state, the governor placed an immediate ban on all nightclub activities, including night-time trading and street prostitution along Sani Abacha Road and surrounding streets in Port Harcourt to stop the harmful effect of the depraved activities on the moral development of children and society at large.
“No responsible government should continue to tolerate the open display and solicitation of sexual services, drug abuse and public intoxication that takes place along the streets and public areas abutting some of these nightclubs, lounges and bars by the youths, some, as young as under 14 years.”
The governor expressed sympathy to the victims of the recent fire incidences in the state, especially those who lost loved ones and valuable property.
He said the government would continue to strengthen the State Fire Service, and urged members of the public also take responsibility to prevent or avoid some of the fire incidents from happening.
Wike expressed concern over the poor compliance with the existing COVID-19 protocols by citizens and the effect on the transmission of the disease in the state.
He enjoined all residents to make themselves available for testing and vaccination whether it is for the first, second or booster jab.
By: Taneh Beemene
See Fubara’s Victory As God’s Design, Wike Tells Rivers PDP
Rivers State Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike has described the victory of Hon Siminialayi Fubara at the gubernatorial primary of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state as God’s design.
The PDP gubernatorial primary held, last Wednesday, at the Dr. Obi Wali International Conference Centre in Port Harcourt.
Wike, who spoke after Fubara was declared the winner of the primary, said so many people strove to clinch the slot but only one person can emerge.
The governor also declared that with the victory of Fubara, Rivers PDP now has a candidate that will fly its flag in the 2023 governorship election.
“I never knew I’ll be governor when I became governor. You have also heard what the candidate said that he never knew he will become PDP candidate.
“But to the glory of God, he is the candidate of PDP. This is because power comes from God. Whoever God says will be, will be.”
Wike pointed out that when it comes to producing the governor of the state, all tribes need to work together on it because no one particular tribe can do it alone.
He said because his administration has performed credibly well in the state, any candidate that the party presents will easily win in the 2023 general election.
“With the performance of our administration, and with what we have achieved in this state, there is no candidate that PDP will present that will not win election.
“Our campaign focus will be like this, that we made promises to the state to do roads and other projects, ask us, have we done them? Yes, we have.
“We will ask them (other parties), what have you done for Rivers State? Certainly nothing. So, who tells you that any other party can come and win this state? Let no one deceive you about that.”
Wike explained that after the presidential primary, PDP leaders in Rivers State will set up a team that will work to ensure that the party wins the 2023 gubernatorial election.
He expressed optimism that those who believe in the party will be dutiful in working for the candidate to win.
In his acceptance speech, Hon Siminialayi Fubara, the immediate past Accountant General of Rivers State, described his victory as evidence of grace.
He called on all party faithful to support his victory and the new drive to consolidate on the achievements of Wike’s administration.
“It is victory for Fubara. It is victory for the party. It is not just victory for the party, but victory for moving the state forward.
“The purpose of this special event this night is also to consolidate on the achievements, on every side, of this present administration.
“We are going to work together to sustain the work that this administration has already done for us.”
In his opening address, the Chairman of PDP in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor said the party was poised to conduct a peaceful and successful gubernatorial primary.
Akawor explained that the party was delighted to have conducted peaceful congresses in the 319 wards and 23 local government areas of the state, including primaries for state and National Assembly.
Declaring the result of the gubernatorial primary, Chairman of the Electoral Committee, Prof. Walter Mboto, said Hon Siminialayi Fubara, polled a total of 721 votes to emerge PDP candidate for the 2023 governorship election.
He explained that Isaac Kamalu polled 86 votes to emerge second position, while Dax Alabo George Kelly polled 37 votes and Tammy Danagogo polled 36 votes.
Also, he said, Chief West Morgan polled 4 votes, David Briggs 4 votes and Brother Felix Obuah polled 2 votes, while eight votes were voided.
“The delegate list that we have has a total number of delegates expected to vote as 980. Total number of accredited out of this 980, 898 delegates were accredited. The total number of votes cast in this election is 898. The total number of valid votes cast is 890. 8 votes were voided.”
FAAC: FG, States, LGCs Share N656.602bn Revenue
The Federation Account Allocation Committee (FAAC) has shared a total sum of N656.602billion as April 2022 Federation Account Revenue to the Federal Government, states and local government councils.
This was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of a virtual meeting of the FAAC for May 2022.
The N656.602billion total revenue comprised distributable statutory revenue of N461.189billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue of N166.522billion, the sum of N8.891billion being excess bank charges recovered and augmentation of N20billion.
In April 2022, the total deductions for the cost of collection were N29.609billion and the total deductions for transfers and refunds were N147.651billion.
Director (Information, Press and Public Relations), Office of the Accountant General of Federation, HenshawOgubike, said in a statement, yesterday, that the balance in the Excess Crude Account (ECA) was $35.377million.
The communiqué confirmed that from the total distributable revenue of N656.602billion; the Federal Government received N257.611billion, State Governments got N201.256billion and the Local Government Councils received N149.251billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared to the relevant states as 13percent derivation revenue.
Gross statutory revenue of N635.037billion was received for the month of April 2022.
This was lower than the N933.304billion received in the previous month by N298.267billion.
From the N461.189billion distributable statutory revenue, the Federal Government received N217.412billion, the State Governments got N110.275billion and the Local Government Councils received N85.017billion.
The sum of N48.485billion was shared with the relevant States as 13percent derivation revenue.
In the month of April 2022, the gross revenue available from the Value Added Tax (VAT) was N178.825billion.
This was lower than the N219.504billion available in the month of March 2022 by N40.679billion.
From the N166.522billion distributable Value Added Tax (VAT) revenue, the Federal Government received N24.978billion, the State Governments got N83.261billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N58.283billion.
The Federal Government got N4.684billion; the State Governments received N2.376billion and the Local Government Councils pocketed N1.831billion from the N8.891billion Excess Bank Charges recovered.
The N20.00billion augmentation was shared as follows: the Federal Government received N10.536billion, the State Governments got N5.344billion and the Local Government Councils received N4.120billion.
According to the communiqué, in the month of April 2022, Petroleum Profit Tax (PPT) and Excise Duties increased marginally, while Oil and Gas Royalties, Import Duty, Companies Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) all recorded significant decreases.
Children’s Day: FG Establishes Family Court In 16 States
Ahead of this year’s International Children’s Day celebration, the Federal Government has established family courts in 16 states to ensure child-friendly justice for children, either as victims or as offenders of violence.
The Minister of Women Affairs, Pauline Tallen who disclosed this at a press briefing on Tuesday noted that the establishment of family courts resulted from the effective advocacy and sensitisation for effective implementation of the Child Rights Law across the country.
According to her, the theme for this year’s celebration is ‘Strengthening Supportive Systems for the Protection of the Nigerian Child; A Wake-Up Call.’
The minister noted that despite efforts by the government and other stakeholders, children were still vulnerable and victims of abduction, ritual killings, rape, child marriage, domestic abuse, and others.
She said, “As a ministry, we are sometimes overwhelmed with these issues and it will seem as if we are not doing enough.
“More worrisome is the recent increase of violence in schools, where children are physically and sexually abused online and offline.
“In the meantime, the ministry, in collaboration with relevant stakeholders, has developed policies and carried out a series of programmes to ensure the safety of children.
“The establishment of family courts in 16 states of the federation is a direct result of the effective and sustained advocacy”.
Tallen also said that to ensure the safety and protection of children, she also reconstituted the technical working group on ending violence against children in the country.
Business4 days ago
Group Proposes Economic Turnaround Agenda
Business4 days ago
Foreign Education Gulps $221m In Three Months – CBN
Business4 days ago
CEOs, NADDC Meet To Chart Path For Auto Industry
Business4 days ago
Sign Federal Road Bills Into Law, Expert Urges Buhari
Rivers4 days ago
‘Wike’s Presidency, End To Leadership Inequality’
Business4 days ago
NMDPRA Unveils Regulations On Gas Pricing, Pipeline Tariff, Others
Business4 days ago
NADDC Begins Talks On Automotive Financing With CBN
Business4 days ago
NCC: N208bn 4G Telcos Investment To Boost Internet Speed