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Rivers

‘Production Cost, Govt Policies Threaten Bread Industry’

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The increasing cost in importation of wheat, sugar and other raw materials used in the production of bread is threatening the bakery industry in Nigeria.
Rivers State Chairman of Master Bakers and Cafeteria Association of Nigeria (MBCAN), Dr.Chidi Emmanuel Orlu, who disclosed this in an exclusive interview with The Tide in Port Harcourt, said current government policies as far as the industry is concerned is not favourable to bakers.
Orlu also blamed unhealthy competition and rivalry amongst bakers as some of the problems.
He said since the association does not have a regulatory power, baking business has become an all comers affair.
“In 2005, you sell more than 50 percent of your production. You don’t have the challenge that you have today.
“Today, we spend a lot of money on packaging. Numbers of bakery have increased, giving rise to unhealthy rivalry and competition, because people come with impression of so much profit”, he said.
He also blamed the National Agency for food Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), and other agencies for not being alive to their responsibilities.
“The Association does not regulate. Regulation is the responsibility of the government through NAFDAC”, he stated.
Orlu noted that the agency (NAFDAC) and other regulatory bodies are today more interested in revenue they generate from bakeries.
“Today, NAFDAC is interested in the revenue it generates from bakeries and others.The main control has taken a back seat,” he said.
He also lamented the duplication of function between the agency and others such as the Ministry of Health, Public Health Department, Local Government Health Department, the State, and Federal fire services respectively, adding that all of them are sending one demand notice or the other.
“We have Ministry of Health, Public Health Department, we have lotcal Government Public Health Department, all controlling bakery. They send demand notices and each of them want money”, he said.
According to the bakers Chairman, the obvious neglect of responsibility has led to closure of many bakeries thereby throwing many people into the labour market.
He said those who have no business in the industry also took advantage of that to go into it, using some banned substances to produce bread for public consumption.
Orlu, therefore, appealed to the government to assist bakers with soft loans to enable them remain in business.
On the alleged planned withdrawal of service by Master btakers in the State, he said the plan was to ensure that citizens continue to have access to bread.
“We decided to withdraw our services to alert citizens that if something is not done, we will head to a point where bread will not be for the common man”, he said.
The proposed action, he explained, was to show that the problem of the industry is not caused by bakers, but purely government policies and economic environment.
“This is just the essence of the withdrawal of services”, he said, hinting on plans to further increase the price of the products.

By: John Bibor

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Rivers

‘Keep Your PVC Safe, Vote Out Bad Leadership’

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The Vice Chairman of Eleme Local Government Area, in Rivers State, Hon. Virtue Ekee, has urged eligible women to get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVC) and keep them safe.
Noting that the importance of PVC cannot be over- emphasised, she said PVC was their power to vote credible candidates come 2023.
Ekee, who stated this during the just-concluded Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI) voters sensitisation exercise and mobilisation at Nchia Comprehensive School, at the weekend, said that she was impressed with the large turn out of women, youths and entire members of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the LGA.
Women, she said, were ready to participate fully in the next election and to vote all PDP candidates.
“To my knowledge, all eligible voters in my Ward have their PVCs, because that is the power to vote out bad leaders.
“As I speak, there are indications that women in Rivers State are prepared to vote for PDP governorship flagbearer, Amaopusenibo Siminialayi Fubara and his Deputy, Prof. Ngozi Ordu.
“The women are happy because in Governor Nyesom Wike’s adminstration, women have benefitted more than previous once, hence, the time to reciprocate such gesture through the ballot box is now,” Ekee said.
The Vice Chaiman advised women to defend their votes, after voting, saying that they should ensure that their votes are counted before they leave the polling unit.
She used the forum to thank the Chairman of the local government area, Hon Ollor Obarilomate, for his grassroots empowerment programmes for the women.

By: Tonye Orabere

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Rivers

Excel Tasks Parents on Children’s Security

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The Headteacher of Excel Education Center, Mr Roland Ameh has reiterated the need for parents to go extra mile in catering for the security of their children during this long vacation holidays.
The Headteacher made this known during the 2021/2022 end of academic year and graduation ceremony of the school, Saturday at the school premises, Trans Amadi in Port Harcourt.
Ameh said the call has become necessary due to the security situation of the country, stressing that, “parents should not be unserious over the safety of their children and should not leave their children in the hands of neighbors.
He noted that many children have faced serious dangers in the hands of neighbors, adding that the country is facing security crisis.
Ameh also advised parents to take advantage of holiday classes to keep their children busy and put them ahead of others in the next academic year, adding that parents should try to reduce September school burden by paying some parts of the school fees.
Earlier, the principal of the secondary session, Mr. Michaelson Madubuike, said that, “the core value of Excel cuts across academic, ethical, moral and spiritual development of their future leaders. Is
“We will therefore encourage parents to support the school management and also closely monitor their children’s behavior at all times so as to detect very early negative influence as a result of peer pressure.
The principal noted that Excel will continue to educate and equip her students for maximum excellent performance, adding that the 2022/2023 academic session will start, Monday September 12th 2022.
Speaking during an interview shortly after the programme, the Chairman of Parents, Teachers Association, Mr. Obinna Azubuike, said the school has continued to maintain an admirable standard, adding that their products do well in their various professions.
Azubuike called on the graduating students to ensure that they go out there and continue to shine as lights, adding, “l recommend Excel to parents who loves value and high academic standard.
In her contribution, Mrs Ifeoma Ajaduruonye, the Chairman of the planning committee said the school is proud of her products who have distinguished themselves in every aspect of life.
Ajaduruonye appreciated her colleagues whose cooperation was responsible for the success of the programme.
The Senior Prefect of the school, Miss Chisom Chuku, who is the best Art student said, “Excel thought me how to be bold, strong and face circumstance with positive mindset”.

By: Lilian Peters

 

 

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Rivers

Revalidation Meant To Check Duplication Of Youth Groups -PS

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The Rivers State Government says the ongoing revalidation exercise of youths organisations is basically to check duplication of youth bodies in the State.
Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth Development, Dr Roland Obed Whyte, who stated this during the inauguration of Rumuibekwe Youths Assembly in Port Harcourt, noted that the aim was also to have unified youth bodies in the State.
He noted that the state government led by Chief Nyesom Wike is passionate about the development and future of the youths, hence, the government, through the ministry, initiated registration and revalidation of youth bodies in the State to check the incessant crisis that is common within the ranks of various youth organisations.
He commended the Rumuibekwe Youths Assembly for complying with the Government’s revalidation exercise, adding that the body had successfully undergone the requisite steps for revalidation.
Whyte expressed regrets that the process of conducting election in the community would have gone on seamlessly if not for the undue interference of some traditional rulers in the affairs of the youth body, warning that the ministry cannot be influenced.
Assuring that the ministry will continue to carry out its primary objective and mandate to unify the youths and ensure that the future of the youths is secure, he said the ministry does not work in isolation, adding that they work in close collaboration with the local government councils and traditional rulers.
The permanent secretary said the revalidation exercise was also to ensure that all the youth bodies in the State were captured in the database of the ministry and not just for the conduct of the youth organisations’ elections.
Chairman of Obio Akpor Local Government Area, Hon. George Ariolu, who was represented by the Supervisor for Youth and Sports in the Council, Hon Newman Ogbonda, sued for peace among youths and all warring factions in the community, stressing that as leaders, they must conduct themselves in a peaceful manner at all times for the progress of Rumuibekwe.
Responding, the President of Rumuibekwe Youths Assembly, Samuel Ejekwu Ibeneme, commended the Ministry for its timely intervention, assuring that the Youths have resolves to maintain the already existing peace in the community.
Ibeneme said the youths of Rumubekwe are peaceful and law abiding and vowed to restore unity, togetherness and onesness among young people in the community.

By: Ike Wigodo

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