The managements of Port Harcourt Electricity Distribution Company (PHED) and Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC) have agreed on strategic partnership to improve service delivery to their various customers and publics.
Both organisations made the commitment during a courtesy visit by the management of the corporation to the electricity distribution company (DisCo) in its Moscow Road headquarters in Port Harcourt, last Friday.
Speaking at the event, Managing Director of the company, Dr Henry Ajagbawa, said that PHED was committed to working with the newspaper outfit to increase public awareness on the challenges facing the DisCo, the opportunities offered by the operating environment, and the prospects for improved services to energy consumers in the four franchise states of Akwa Ibom, Bayelsa, Cross River and Rivers.
Ajagbawa, who was represented by the Chief Services Officer, Ochuko Amah, said the company was doing its best to create the necessary awareness on its obligations to energy consumers and the people’s responsibilities to the DisCo in the four states, but added that PHED was willing to do more as there were rooms for improvement.
He noted that since the birth of PHED about eight years ago, enlightenment campaigns have been consistently implemented across all the franchise states to create awareness on the dangers of vandalisation of electricity assets, consequences of energy theft, and the blow-back of refusal to pay for electricity consumed by customers.
The managing director added that in addition to media campaigns and public education initiatives, special community liaison officers/teams have been engaging beneficiary communities to further deepen interactions with the aim of fostering understanding and cooperation while creating buy-in of stakeholders to protect PHED facilities and also ensure improved revenue inflow.
He said that PHED has also been implementing impactful corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes that contribute to national development in many ways through interventions to enhance quality education, healthcare delivery and social development in communities, particularly among the vulnerable ones.
Ajagbawa said, “On our CSR, during the COVID-19 pandemic era in 2020, we donated over 1,400 bags of rice, we held a women’s week in 2020; we visited the Motherless Babies’ Home in Port Harcourt in 2020; we supplied complete set of school bags to one of the state government-owned primary schools in Port Harcourt.
“We sponsored Innovate Arts Academy for schools worth over N2.8million in Bayelsa State in 2021; we sponsored school children’s competition in 2021; and most recently during the 2022 Children’s Day, we donated over 1, 000 writing materials to schools in Rivers and Cross River states,” he said.
He said that the initiatives were designed to build confidence in the people as a good corporate citizen working to enhance the livelihoods and living conditions of customers in the franchise states, adding that people in communities need to see PHED staff as friends and facilities as critical infrastructure they should protect at all times.
Responding to the corporation’s request for smoother working relationships and collaborations, Ajagbawa said that PHED was ready to escalate its media penetration and presence to reach more target groups and customers, just as it was committed to fashioning novel strategies to improve partnership with RSNC to deliver quality services to the people.
In his remarks, the General Manager, RSNC, Chief Ernest Chinwo, thanked the management of PHED for the warm reception, and said that the management of the corporation was at PHED to seek areas of mutual collaboration.
He said that as a newspaper publishing outfit, which was also involved in other commercial printing jobs, the corporation desperately needed the support of the DisCo in the regular supply of electricity, especially on its production days: Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Chinwo said that the partnership has become even more compelling because of the rising cost of alternative sources of energy due to high cost of petroleum products and inflation, and suggested possible channels of collaboration that could add value to their respective businesses.
“The RSNC, most people know us as publishers of The Tide, but we are more than just that: We do all kinds of commercial printing jobs. In fact, we have a full commercial printing department, and we can do a lot of content designs and printing for agencies, organizations and individuals.”
He said that although the corporation was paying its bills regularly, it was also ready to open more areas of synergy to guarantee a win-win business solution to both partners and their various stakeholders.
The general manager expressed surprise at the huge investments PHED has made to sharpen its CSR interventions in the four franchise states, and the serious challenges it was facing, and added that The Tide was desirous of working with the DisCo to further engage the people with a view to improving the operating environment for profitability.
“Most people are not aware of the many CSR interventions you have been making in your franchise states and the serious challenges posed by the massive vandalisation of your infrastructure and assets, sustained energy theft, huge debts owed by electricity consumers who refuse to pay bills, and frequent attacks on your staff by people who are deliberately trying to run away from their responsibilities.
“Maybe, you are not communicating the issues enough to the populace. Therefore, you need to do more. We offer you our platform to tell your stories on a regular basis,” Chinwo said.
He also said, “Of the state government-owned newspapers in the whole of South-South and South-East, and indeed, Nigeria, we make bold to say that we are not just outstanding but we are the most regular on the newsstand. We come out three times a week and we are reliable and steady. Sometimes, when special occasions demand, we come out four or five times a week. We have been in the business of serving the Government and people of Rivers State, and of course, Niger Deltans and Nigerians for more than 50 years. And we are still very strong competitors in the business and confident about the future”, he added.
By: Nelson Chukwudi
Your Resilience Has Kept You Afloat, PHALGA Boss Tells RSNC … Says The Tide Remains Long-Term Partner
The Mayor of Port Harcourt City Local Government Council, Sir Alwell Ihunda, has praised the giant strides and resilience of Rivers State Newspaper Corporation (RSNC), publishers of The Tide Newspapers more than 50 years after its establishment by the Rivers State Government.
Ihunda, who said this during a courtesy call by the management of RSNC, said the council was elated that The Tide has consistently remained on the newsstands for more than 50 years, adding that the council was looking forward to joining in the celebration of the golden jubilee anniversary of the corporation.
The mayor, who was represented by the council Secretary, Barrister Chile Kay Owuru, said The Tide has continued to deliver on its mandate and serve the Government and people of Rivers State in spite of obvious challenges.
He also praised the newspaper for standing behind the council during the recent struggle to ensure that the provisions of the Constitution were no longer brazenly breached by the Federal Ministry of Internal Affairs, which had been conducting marriages at illegal Marriage Registries across the country.
Ihunda also said the council would work to ensure that all commercial transport vehicles operating between #1 to 10, Ikwerre Road and under all parts of the Abali Flyover relocate to the main Abali Motor Park, which has been renovated and upgraded by the council to accommodate more vehicles.
He regretted that the commercial transport and illegal business activities taking place around the area have facilitated the operations of criminal elements who have been terrorising unsuspecting members of the public, and assured that the council was synergising with relevant authorities to restore sanity to the area.
The mayor also assured that the public health issues associated with the huge refuse dumpsite at Njemanze Street in Rumuwoji (Mile One) area would be addressed.
Ihunwo further promised to work out partnership strategies that would enable both the corporation and the council mutually leverage the opportunities that abound in the RSNC’s Business Development portfolio, especially in the area of commercial printing jobs, among others.
Earlier, the General Manager of the corporation, Chief Ernest Chinwo, said the meeting was initiated with the understanding that the mayor would use his position to facilitate mutually beneficial engagements between the council and the RSNC while also creating value added window to interact with the membership of ALGON in the state with a view to eliciting their support and partnership to boost the corporation’s fortunes.
Chinwo said every Rivers man should be proud of The Tide as the only surviving state-owned newspaper regularly in the newsstands since its founding, noting that the newspaper has continued to wax stronger despite all the challenges since it was established in 1971.
According to him, The Tide was the only surviving paper on South-South and South-East that has been regular on the newsstands, saying that the corporation was not only involved in newspaper publishing but also undertakes all kinds of printing jobs.
The general manager also called on the mayor to look into the health hazard posed by the refuse dumpsite at Njamanze Street, stressing that the site has recently constituted serious threat to the health of the people in the area.
He also called the attention of the mayor to the proliferation of illegal motor parks and markets around the Abali flyover and along the rail line, adding that criminals have used the area as fertile ground for perpetrating all kinds of unwholesome activities.
By: John Bibor
Kick Insensitive APC Govt Out With Your PVCs, PDP Charges Nigerians
As the 2023 elections gather momentum, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has charged Nigerians to kick the All Progressives Congress (APC) out with their Permanent Voters Card (PVC)
PDP National Publicity Secretary, Debo Ologunagba, stated this, yesterday, during a sensitisation campaign for the collection of Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) in Abuja.
The party’s national publicity secretary; National Women Leader, Prof. Stella Effa-Attoe; and National Youth Leader, Mohammed Sulieman; led the campaign around the streets of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
Ologunagba said the campaign was to sensitise Nigerians, particularly youths and women on the need to participate actively in the democratic process by collecting permanent voter cards and ensuring that they participate in the 2023 general election.
He said, “Against the backdrop of the fact that we have an APC government that is insensitive, that is rudderless, that completely failed this country, they lied to us in 2015, came to power by fraud and propaganda.”
Ologunagba lamented that the APC-led Federal Government has made life difficult for most Nigerians.
He said, “As the party of the people that believe in the sanctity of life and that our children need the future where on their own, they can achieve their goals and live a life where they can aspire to be anything in Nigeria.
“So, we are urging all youth and women to come out en mass to pick up their PVCs and those who have not registered to take advantage of the window now available by Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) to come out and register”.
He assured the electorate that their votes will count in 2023, adding that “we have seen how APC has destroyed the country, get your PVC and vote them out”.
Also speaking, the PDP National Youth Leader, Mohammed Suleiman, said the failure of the APC government was enough to motivate Nigerians to kick them out.
“We have seen what is happening in the country, the rate of unemployment, insecurity, students, is at home for over five months and the economy is messed up. So, we believe those comments you’re seeing on social media will turn to vote come 2023.
“We have 36 state youth leaders, we have six zonal leaders, we’re all working together to mobilize Nigerians so that they can vote for the PDP come 2023″.
See IOCs’ Divestments As Blessing, NUPRC Charges IPPG
The Chief Executive of the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), Gbenga Komolafe, has urged stakeholders in the petroleum industry, especially the Independent Petroleum Producers in Nigeria (IPPG) to look at the brighter side of the divestments of International Oil Companies (IOCs) as many opportunities for local players abound.
Komolafe gave the charge at the opening dinner of the ongoing Nigerian oil and gas conference holding in Abuja, yesterday.
According to him, local players now have a golden opportunity to prove their mettle by leveraging the local content window in value addition and optimising the development of the nation’s hydrocarbon resources.
He emphasised the need for indigenous players across the value chain to deploy their ingenuity in promoting vibrancy and capacity utilisation in the industry
“As a regulator, the commission is not oblivious of the threat posed to the development of the Nigerian hydrocarbon industry by the divestment of the IOCs.
“The impetus for divestment by the IOC is mainly attributable to the hostile upstream petroleum environment arising from crude oil theft and energy transition as a global response to the advocacy for reduction in carbon emissions.
“Our view as a commission is that IPPG and other prospective indigenous players should perceive the IOCs’ divestment in some of the upstream assets as an opportunity rather than a threat to the development of the Nigerian upstream petroleum sector,” he said.
Speaking further, Komolafe noted that indigenous companies presently contribute about 30percent of the nation’s crude oil and 20percent of the gas production, as well as 40percent and 32percent of oil and gas reserves, respectively.
He also informed that seven indigenous companies are among the top 20 companies with the highest oil reserves in Nigeria.
He further disclosed that 57 fields were offered for awards in 2020 to indigenous operators, resulting in the issuance of 102 Petroleum Prospecting Licenses (PPLs) by the commission on June 28, 2022.
“It is worthy to note that Nigeria has the largest participation of local independents in the domestic oil and gas industry activities of all petroleum-producing countries in Africa arising from the robust local content policy.
“It is estimated that the energy demand across Africa in 2040 would increase by about 30percent compared to the current level. Consequently, the divestment of the IOC away from our onshore and shallow water terrains presents a massive opportunity for new operators of those assets, which the IPPG is better positioned to take advantage of in order to meet the increasing energy demand.
“The commission expects the IPPG to stay competitive, optimise future energy security and be resilient in our oil and gas extractive industry”, Komolafe stated.
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