To avert social disorder and crisis in Oyigbo Local Government Area of Rivers State, the Oyigbo Eke Market Traders’ Association (OEMTA) has passionately appealed to the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to urgently intervene in the lingering crisis between the association and the local government council authorities with a view to resolving the lingering impasse over allocation of shops at the rebuilt market complex in the area.
The group threatened that they were ready for a show down with the council authorities, if the Chairman of the council, Hon Okechukwu Akara, continues to ignore their appeals in the allocation of shops at the market.
Speaking to journalists at the International Human Rights Protection Initiative office in Port Harcourt, over the weekend, the Coordinator of the association, Comrade John Ihua, said the action of the Oyigbo council chairman was appalling and undemocratic, adding that the appeal to intervene in the matter became necessary following the inhuman was the council authorities were handling their grievances.
The human rights advocate said that over 200 members of the association have been subjected to untold hardship as a result of the inability of the council to honour an agreement it entered into with members of the association before the reconstruction of the market.
According to him,the Oyigbo Local Government Council, in 2012, under the administration of Chief Felix Nweke, entered an agreement with the Eke Market Traders’ Association, where a memorandum of understanding (MoU) was reached that each trader should pay the sum of N2,000 as commitment fee for the rebuilding of the market,adding that any member who paid the amount was meant to get back his or her shop upon completion of the market.
Ihua told newsmen that upon the completion of the first phase of the project,the council failed to allocate the shops to the original traders but promised that it would be compensated in the second phase.
“Now,the second phase is nearing completion at the reserved area in the market by the present administration led by Hon Okechukwu Akara. But rather than heeding to the pleas of the traders, he has started selling forms to new applicants, ignoring the original owners of the shops who hadcommitted their hard-earned money into the project for the past 13 years”, he stated.
The human rights advocate appealed to the state chief executive to order the Oyigbo council chairman to do the needful and honour the agreement entered into with the traders in other to avert looming crisis and civil unrest in the area.
In their various emotional speeches,Chairman of the Oyigbo Eke Traders’ Association, Mr Okorie Nwero, and a female trader, Mrs Janneth Nweze, said life has not been easy with them since they lost their shops.
They appealed to the state Governor, Chief Nyesom Wike, to come to their aid, and save them from the present sufferings and hardship,adding that their children have been prevented from going to school due to lack of money.
“We borrowed this money with interest, and the interest is still running.Some of our colleagues have passed on”, they lamented.
When contacted on phone,the Legal Adviser to Oyigbo Local Government Council,Barrister Stephen Nweke, urged the traders to be patient as the matter was before a competent court of jurisdiction,adding that the council would abide by the outcome of the court decision on the matter.
By: Akujobi Amadi
FG Adopts Innovative Approach To Fund Climate Change Mitigation
The Federal Government has adopted innovative approach, including carbon tax, to fund the mitigation of the impact of climate change in the country.
The Director-General, National Council on Climate Change, Dr SalisuDahiru, disclosed this to newsmen in Lagos.
Dahiru spoke on the sidelines of a technical workshop on Agro Climate Resilience in Semi-Arid Landscapes (ACReSAL) project, yesterday.
Dahiru said that President MuhammaduBuhari, in creating the council, adopted an innovative approach because the council was going to be the main vehicle that would drive his climate change policy and agenda.
“So, he decided to adopt an innovative approach that will provide sufficient funding and in a timely manner.
“This is to ensure that the council is able to operate, function and discharge responsibilities with little hindrance.
“So, two things are associated with the funding; the major funding source will be the budget.
“But within the Act establishing the council, there is going to be the introduction of Carbon Tax,” Dahiru said.
The DG said that carbon tax was done all over the world because of the grave existential threat of climate change.
“If we do not deal with climate change, climate change will deal with all of us.
“So, this carbon tax will have to come in because that’s the only way that we can clean up our environment and refresh the air,” Dahiru said.
He said that there would be the establishment of a climate change fund, where the government, the private sector and development partners would make contributions.
Dahiru said that another way the council hoped to raise fund was through the establishment of a Redd Plus registry.
“We can demonstrate through the Redd Plus programme, which is called reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation.
“If we show that we are no longer cutting down the forests, that we are conserving the forest, then, we will be eligible to be paid carbon credits.
“This is calculated based on how much emissions we have prevented from going to the atmosphere as a result of conserving the forest that will also be fed into the funding of the activities of the council.
“And then we will also have this support from the International Organisation for Climate Change.
He said “we are able to do clean projects; projects that will add to our ability to fulfill our obligations under the nationally determined contributions to climate change mitigation in the world”.
“Then development partners under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) will provide additional support to the country,” Dahiru said.
Nigeria Losses 400,000 Barrels Daily To Oil Theft, FG Laments
The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Chief Timipre Sylva, has affirmed that the country loses 400,000 barrels of crude daily via oil theft.
Sylva stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to the Imo State Governor, Senator Hope Uzodinma, at the Government House, Owerri.
He described the development as a “national emergency”.
Sylva regretted that the nation had fallen short of OPEC daily quota, from 1.8million barrels to 1.4million barrels, due to crude theft.
The minister warned that such a huge economic loss was capable of crippling the nation’s economy if not given the seriousness it deserved.
He expressed concern that the menace had persisted, in spite of the efforts by the federal and state governments to arrest it.
Sylva said the problem of crude theft could not be handled in Abuja alone.
“It is a national emergency because the theft has grown wings and reached a very bad crescendo.
“This is because the thefts are taking place in the communities that host the oil pipelines.
“As a result, it has become necessary to involve the stakeholders, especially the host communities.
“And because of the height and orchestrated nature of the menace, Nigeria could not take the advantage and opportunities that abound in the gas production.
“This is because no investor would want to invest where there is incessant insecurity and vandalism of the infrastructure,” he said.
The minister, therefore, appealed to the stakeholders to collaborate to solve the problem.
We’ve Disbursed N100bn To Pharmaceutical Manufacturers, Buhari Boasts
President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the Federal Government has disbursed a total of N100billion to indigenous pharmaceutical manufacturers and healthcare investors as loans to expand their capital base and boost local production of medicines and medical consumables.
Buhari said this, yesterday, while receiving the new executive members of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) at the Presidential Villa in Abuja.
The president said the loan was extended through the Central Bank of Nigeria’s support to the private pharmaceutical sector.
He added that the Health Sector Reform Committee chaired by Vice-President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo, was currently exploring models for revitalising the nation’s healthcare system, in ways that improve quality of care and the benefit package to care providers.
On brain drain in the health sector, the president said he has directed the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, to look into ways of turning “brain drain” to “brain gain” by engaging top Nigerian medical experts in the Diaspora in knowledge and skills repatriation.
He urged the NMA and other stakeholders in the health sector to support initiatives by the Federal Government and work with the committees set up to chart a fast track to a health system that best meets the needs of Nigerians in the 21st Century.
The president also commended the association, which is the umbrella body of all medical practitioners in Nigeria, for consistently choosing peaceful resolution of differences on matters pertinent to the National health system.
“I commend our medical professionals for their contribution to Nigeria’s exemplary management of the COVID-19 pandemic, the control of malaria, HIV and Tuberculosis, and other feats also achieved by Nigerian doctors in the Diaspora.
“Our response to COVID-19 pandemic has been praised internationally and your members are key parts of this success.
“I recall that in the last quarter of 2021, the immediate past NMA Executives visited me and presented recommendations for the health sector, which included, the review and amendment of NHIS Act; upgrading and equipping existing health institutions; loans to fund hospital equipment; the repeal and re-enactment of the Medical and Dental Practitioners’ Act; and Appeal for more funding for the four newly established Universities of Medical Sciences.
“I am pleased to inform you that most of these recommendations have been addressed, whilst further action is being taken to study those involving cross-cutting administrative processes with legal implications,” Buhari was quoted as saying in a statement issued, yesterday by the Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina.
Buhari further congratulated former NMA President, Dr.Osahon Enabulele, on his emergence as the president-elect of the World Medical Association, the first Nigerian to hold the position.
While wishing him a successful tenure, the president expressed hope that Enabulele would use his position to support improvement in health care delivery in Nigeria and lower income countries.üÿ
He also wished the new executive members of NMA a successful tenure, urging them to earnestly continue to serve as arbiters of peace and progress.
The Minister of Health, Dr OsagieEhanire, who led the medical practitioners to the meeting, affirmed that the doctors have been good partners with his ministry, helping to regulate the health profession as well as stressing quality service delivery.
In his remarks, the NMA President, Dr Uche Rowland Ojinmah, said the new National Officers Committee (NOC) was elected on May 21, 2022.
Ojinmah commended Buhari for his “steadfast war against corruption, assent to the National Health Insurance Authority (NHIA) Act which will improve the health indices of our nation, the constitution of the Health Reform Committee under Vice President YemiOsinbajo, and the various infrastructural projects embarked upon by the Buhari administration.”
He, however, enjoined the president to ensure full and appropriate implementation of the NHIA Act, provision of “adequate work equipment, conducive work environment and necessary budget support”, as well as elongation of the retirement age for medical consultants to 70 years and 65 years for non-consultant doctors and other healthcare workers.
Others include implementation of the hazard allowance circularised in December 2021 with the arrears as well as the setting up of a Health Bank.
The NMA president also requested a representation of the Federal Government at the inauguration of Enabulele in Berlin, Germany, later in the year.
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