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C’River To Privatise 7,146 Hectares Of Oil Palm Estates

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Cross River State Government says it has started the process for the privatisation of two oil palm estates in the State with a combined size of 7,146 hectares.
The Tide’s source reports that the process began on Wednesday in Calabar with the opening of bids for the palm estates – Boki Oil Palm Estate-Borum and Nsadop Oil Palm Estate.
Boki oil palm with a size of 1,735 and Nsadop oil palm with a size of 5,411 are both located in Boki Local Government Area of the state.
Chairman of the State’s Privatisation Council, Mr John Odo, who supervised the bidding process, said due process would be followed in privatising the two government-owned assets.
He said the privatisation was to ensure efficiency in the running of the estates, create jobs and also improve on the internally-generated revenue of the state.
He lauded the state governor Ben Ayade for the approval adding that past administrations had tried privatising the estates but were unsuccessful.
The Chairman said that the council would ensure that the same successes recorded in previous privatised government assets were replicated in the estates.
“All the assets privatised by previous governments are doing well such as Unicem and Transcorp. We don’t want ours to be an exception.
“The communities where these estates are situated had in time past prevented government from privatising them, but are now calling on government to ensure the success of the privatisation.
“We are sure that when the privatisation comes into fruition, the communities will be the highest beneficiary in terms of employment and infrastructural development,” Odo said.
Mr Patrick Odok, a representative of one of the bidding companies, promised to transform the palm estates to meet the modern day reality and the needs of the host communities.
“We are very serious about our investments; we mean business; we are here to bring transformation, create jobs and change lives.”We are not bringing anything less to Cross River.
“All our technical partners are aware and are also ready to take up responsibilities if we win the bid,” he said.

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Niger Delta

Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim

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Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service

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Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.

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Niger Delta

Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death

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The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.

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