Governor Nyesom Wike has said that the Rivers State Government has finalised plans to award contracts for two additional flyovers to reduce traffic congestion in Port Harcourt and its environs.
He disclosed that the two flyovers, which would be the 11th and 12th to be awarded by his administration since 2019, would be located at Rumuokuta by Ikwerre Road and NTA-Choba Road by Location Junction in Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, adding that the projects would be completed within the next 10 months.
Wike stated this after inspecting ongoing construction work at the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Disease Diagnostic and Treatment Centre; the Ogbum-nu-Abali sandfill; Rumuepirikom; Orochiri-Worukwo; Nkpolu-Oroworukwo flyovers; in Port Harcourt, last Monday.
The governor maintained that his administration’s huge investment in infrastructure in the past seven years has undeniably laid solid foundation for sustainable growth of thestate.
According to him, the sterling performance of his administration would indisputably ensure the electoral victory of thePeoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidates for the office of the governor, Senate, House of Representatives and state House of Assembly in the 2023 general election.
“We are going to award 11th and 12th flyovers any moment from now. I have made the promise before, and I am not going to go back. It will be record-breaking in the history of this country that a state government was able to embark on 12 flyovers, not in eight years. You’ll remember these flyovers started in 2019, my second tenure. It is not that we started in 2015.
“For you to do 12 flyovers in four years’ time, I don’t see who has broken that kind of record. It is commitment. This is the campaign for us. This is the campaign for those who are running for Senate, campaign for those who are running for House of Representatives, campaign for those who are running for House of Assembly, campaign for those who are running for governor. We have shown to the world that we can do it, and we have done it.
“And I do know my successor will take from what we have done because he is part of what is going on in government. He knows everything. He will not want to bring down the standard. The standard we have set in this state, it will be difficult for anybody to bring it down. For me, I am very happy.”
Wike revealed that the state government would, through an irrevocable standing order, fund the two additional flyovers from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).
He expressed delight that his administration has been able to fulfil its social contract with the people of Rivers State, whose support in the last seven years have been overwhelming.
“You must give the people the best. Rivers people deserve the best, and whatever it takes for me to give Rivers people the best, I will do it, it doesn’t matter how much it will cost me. What is important is Rivers people getting the best in their lives. And nobody in Rivers State today, except you’re very wicked, except in your DNA is wickedness, that will not be happy with what we have done.”
Wike remarked that Nigerians were beginning to prove that politicians can no longer take them for a ride by making promises that they cannot fulfill.
According to him, the PDP in the state has performed and Rivers people can attest to it.
The governor declared that Rivers people would never allow those who conspired with their cronies to defraud the state of its assets while in office to impose a governor on them.
“In Rivers State, what is our campaign? Rivers people, have we delivered or we have not delivered? Not people coming to tell Rivers people, I will do this, no. I was a minister, what did you bring to your people? What you are bringing to us is somebody whom you connived with to carry our money to be governor. Rivers people will say no; they’ll not agree. So, everybody show your work. What have you done? What have you given to Rivers people?”
In his remarks, the Managing Director of Julius Berger, Dr Lars Ritcher, who accompanied the governor during the inspection, assured that the projects would be completed in record time.
FG Mulls Introduction Of Private Firefighters
The Federal Government says it is proposing to broaden the scope of the National Fire Academy to accommodate private firefighters to address fire incidents across the country.
The plan, if carried out, would lead to the emergence of private firefighters in the country.
Speaking after his first official inspection tour of the academy, the Minister of Interior, Olubunmi Tunji-Ojo, said the fire service could have certified private firefighters like the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps’ private guards.
He added that private firefighters were needed to enhance the fire service’s operations as well as improve their response time.
This was contained in a statement by the Minister’s Media Adviser, Alao Babatunde, yesterday.
The statement partly read, “Today, we have over 3 million private guards certified by the NSCDC. We can have something similar for the fire service. We need private fire service men to enhance our service and response time. The President’s #RenewedHope agenda has charged us to be innovative if we must change the narrative.
“As a matter of fact, this is another innovative way to generate revenue because we expect that anyone looking to become a safety or security guard should get trained and certified by this academy.”
Tunji-Ojo urged all institutions and recreation centres to engage certified fire and safety personnel trained by the academy when the plan materialises.
He said: “A lot has been done, but there is still a lot more to be done. With what I have seen here, I can guarantee you that we will work very hard to see that this facility will not only be useful in training officers of the fire service but also for the private sector.
“We must make fire safety a personal affair. Every institution, commercial and social recreation centre should have certified fire and safety personnel, trained by this facility.
“All public and commercial buildings and infrastructure such as banks, hotels, malls, restaurants, or even government buildings should have first responders that can administer basic fire fighting remedy while waiting for the arrival of a full operation squad of the country’s Fire Service”.
Decentralise Pipeline Surveillance Contracts, Ondo Ex-Militants Urge Tinubu
A group of ex-militants in Ondo State, on Wednesday, called on President Bola Tinubu to revisit the pipeline surveillance project and decentralise the awarding of the contract.
The group, under the auspices of the Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard, said decentralisation of the contract would enhance the security of pipelines on waterways.
This was contained in a statement issued by the Public Relations Officer of the group, Chief Lucky Ajiroba.
The statement is titled, ‘Call on His Excellency President Bola Tinubu to re-visit the pipeline surveillance contract.’
The group faulted the last administration for awarding the contract to only one company, saying the purpose for which the contract was awarded was not achieved as the security situation of the pipelines was getting worse.
The statement read, “We are the members of Ondo State Niger Delta Coastal Vanguard. The group led by Akogun Job Omotuwa comprises ex-militants in the state who voluntarily submitted their arms and ammunition in response to the good gesture of the Federal Government of Nigeria under the amnesty programme in the year 2017, and we have shown our unwavering allegiance to the terms of the amnesty initiative of the government.
“The overall effects of all these are: it has increased considerably the quantum of oil production, it has substantially increased the revenue accruable to the Federation account, and ultimately it allows peaceful coexistence among the people of the oil-producing communities of the country.
“We are aware of the sterling enterprise of this administration to improve on the security architecture of the Nigeria state and all its apparatus, with a particular reference to the pipeline surveillance and secured waterways.
“The last administration made a giant stride by awarding the pipeline surveillance to a sole company in the Niger Delta Area. It is not out of place to state that the purpose upon which the contract was awarded for was not achieved as the situation of the security of the pipeline was worse than ever before since their collaborative effort was not enough to support the constituted military authorities.
“The failure of this was ascribed to the centralization of the contract. In view of this perennial failure, there has been avalanche of agitation from every quarter that the pipeline security contract should be decentralized for the purpose of achieving the desired goal of the Federal Government which is in the best interest of the entire citizens.”
The group, which commended the President for its efforts in repositioning the country’s economy, opined that each ex-militant leader in the Niger Delta Region be identified, and the pipeline security contract be split among them.
Assembly Tasks Delta Govt On Rising Prostitution, Drug Abuse
The Delta House of Assembly has passed a resolution urging the State Government to take drastic measures against rising cases of drug abuse and prostitution in the state.
This followed the adoption of a motion by Mrs Bridget Anyafulu (PDP-Oshimili South) at plenary in Asaba.
Presenting the motion, Anyafulu decried rising cases of open sex trade and use of illicit drugs among youths in the state, especially in Asaba and environs.
“Open sex trade and use of illicit drug is not a good example for our children.
“The situation is worrisome considering the fact that both issues are illegal,” she said.
Anyafulu, also the Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, Community and Social Development said that urgent measures must be taken to address the situation.
“The twin evil of drug abuse and sex trade represents great danger to the lives of our young people and the society at large.
“They both underline the physical, mental and social well-being of our young people and this will also jeopardize the development, peace and security of our dear state.
“So, I want to state that no nation survives without the youth, the youth and the young general are the life wire of our nation.
“Any nation that ignores the youth is heading for doom, so the importance of the young people cannot be over emphasized, it is therefore very important that we address this ugly trend,” she said.
Also speaking, Mr Oboro Preyor (PDP-Bomadi) decried the negative impact of rising drug abuse and prostitution, saying it must be addressed.
‘‘If this ugly trend is not addressed, it would attract more young people into their folks,’’ he said.
He also urged the government to rehabilitate youths who were addicted to drug and to create other avenues of engaging them in productive activities.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the lawmakers when put to voice vote by Speaker Dennis Guwor.
The lawmakers also called for support from law enforcement agencies to ensure the arrest and prosecution of illicit drug dealers and commercial sex workers in accordance with the law in order to curb the rising trend.
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