The National Chairman of the Nigerian Institution of Civil Engineers (NICE), Engr. Chukwudi Ezugu, has blamed the incessant building collapses in the country on quacks.
Ezugu, who said this during his investiture in Port Harcourt, recently, advised members of the public to stop patronising quacks and employ the services of professional engineers in their building projects.
Ezugu assured that his administration would improve on the practice of engineering in the country, saying continuous professional development and welfare of members will be given top priority.
“Improving the skills and competence of our members is a priority to this administration. Good professional practice demands that civil engineers will continually be updated with latest technologies which enhance our practice through seminars, workshops and trainings.
“We shall, therefore, collaborate with competent training firms which will update our engineers with latest operating softwares, techniques, materials, processes and procedures,” he said.
Engr. Ezugu said the society would also collaborate with relevant organisations to improve the competence of its members.
“It is our plan to organise a conference in the next few weeks to bring together our universities, research institutions and industry practitioners to start creating an enduring relationship that is key to solving our infrastructural needs.
“It is common knowledge that civil infrastructures in Nigeria are grossly inadequate from urban and rural roads to rail lines transportation systems, housing to potable water supply,” he said.
The NICE chairman said his administration would engage policy makers and government to prioritise development in the country with a view to tackling the ones with higher socio-economic values.
According to him, the present situation where many trunk A roads are in disrepair is counterproductive with the resultant collossal loses to the country GDP and economy at large.
Chairman of the occasion and former Acting Director, Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), Engr. Emmanuel Audu-Ohwavborua, urged Nigerian engineers to up their game to enable them compete with their foreign counterparts.
He called on the government to patronise local engineers, stressing that continuous patronage of multinational construction companies at the detriment of their Nigerian counterparts is not in the interest of the country.
By: John Bibor
‘Police Didn’t Authorise Vigilantes To Carry Arms In Rivers’
Worried by the alarming concern by members of the public over the manner vigilante groups are bearing arms across the state, the Rivers State Police Command has restated its earlier stand that vigilante groups are not mandated to bear arms in the state .
Spokesperson of the Command, SP Grace Iringe-Koko, made this clarification while speaking to journalists in Port Harcourt, recently.
She said the state Commissioner of Police (CP) had not approved arms bearing by the vigilante groups across the state .
According to her, “ they are not licensed to bear arms. The CP has directed the Divisional Police Officers (DPOs) within every jurisdiction to arrest anyone seen with arms. They do not have such powers to detain”.
She stated that anyone found bearing arms in the name of vigilante would be arrested and prosecuted .
“This clarification is coming as a result of public concern and worries. Of late, it’s been observed that some vigilante group members in Port Harcourt, particularly in Diobu axis, are bearing arms.
“For instance, some are seen at Oando Filing station, at Mile 3, Ikwerre Road, parading with pump action riffles. Some also bear the arms while on patrol in full glare of public. It was also reported that they detain suspects”, she said.
By; Akujobi Amadi
Indigenous Oil Company Reaffirms Commitment To Host Community’s Development
All Grace Energy Limited (AGEL), an indigenous oil company operating (OML17) in Rivers State, has reaffirmed commitment to the development of its host community in compliance with the Petroleum Industry Act (PIA).
The Executive Director, Corporate Affairs and Development, AGEL, Prof.Adeola Adenikinju, gave the assurance recently during the inauguration of the Board of Host Community Development Trust (HCDT) in Port Harcourt.
Adenikinju noted that the inauguration of the seven-member board would provide a unique opportunity to begin a new era in the development of the community.
According to him, since the signing of the PIA in 2021, the company has ensured commitment to advancing understanding of the act, with regard to establishment of the HCDT.
Adenikinju said that compliance with the PIA would deepen the existing mutual relationship and trust-building between the company and the host community.
He said: “The PIA contains relevant provisions which form the basis of strong governance and management structure for the host communities’ development trust.
“Consequently, we have ensured that our sustainable development initiative is geared towards direct social investment programmes to address development deficits through providing empowerment of women and youths.”
He said this would be done through skill acquisition, scholarships, health outreach, direct community contracts, infrastructure, and a lot of other sustainable development initiatives.
Adenikinju commended the Nigerian Upstream Petroleum Regulatory Commission (NUPRC), and Rivers State Government for their continued support to foster positive development outcomes in the host community.
The Commissioner for Chieftaincy and Community Affairs in Rivers, Engr. Charles Amadi, said that implementation of the act, would enable All Grace Energy Limited and the host community to operate in a mutually beneficial way.
He urged the host community to work together with the company to ensure peaceful coexistence.
Similarly, the Chairman of the Board of Trustee(BOT), Mr Dandyson Onigah, said that implementation of the PIA marked a new dawn where there would be no bickerings between oil companies and host communities,
Onigah said with the operation of the PIA, the community could make plans toward sustainable development, knowing that there would be funds for that purpose.
He said that the newly inaugurated board would work in synergy with the company to ensure peace and achieve success in their operations.
The BoT chairman gave the assurance that every misunderstanding or complaint would be properly addressed to ensure free flow of business in the area.
Also, the Chairman of Ogbakor-Ubima, Mr Emmanuel Azubuike, lauded the company for steps taken to implement the act, saying that the community would continue to sustain the existing mutual relationship with the company.
Vote-Buyers Risk Jail Term -INEC
Ahead this year’s general elections, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said jail term awaits any individual caught with a Permanent Voters Card (PVC), not belonging to him or her.
The commission said it is collaborating with the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Matters Commission (ICPC) and the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to check vote-buying
Rivers State Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Johnson Alalibo Sinikiem, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Week of the Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), with the theme ‘Media Vigilance Ahead of Peaceful 2023 Election In Rivers State’, in Port Harcourt, Monday.
Sinikiem, who was represented by the Head, Voter Education and Publicity, Mark Usulo, insisted that anyone caught with PVC that does not belong to him or her risks a jail term.
Describing vote-buying as a cankerworm that has eaten deep into the Nigerian system, Sinikiem noted that the INEC had engaged in sensitization campaigns to monitor and report any person involved in the act during the elections.
According to him, security agencies, particularly the Nigeria Police and Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), have been intimated to remain vigilant to uncover people in possession of PVCs that are not theirs.
While assuring the commission’s commitment to conducting a free, fair, credible and violent-free elections in the state, Sinikiem challenged the Media on accurate reportage of INEC activities before, during and after the elections.
Earlier, the Chairman, Correspondents’ Chapel, Amaechi Okonkwo noted with dismay the rising spate of political violence in the state and stressed the need for a reverse and resultant peaceful elections.
In his words, “in the past few weeks, we all know what has been happening around politics and campaigns in Rivers State. Even before now, we are not unaware of information about violence or pockets of violence here and there relating to election and campaigns in Rivers State.”
“Rewind to 2019 when we last held general elections here and you will understand the economic and social disruptions, the loss of lives and property and the nightmares of militarisation of the state, which are still very fresh in our hearts.
“This is the reason we insisted on joining the discussion to reinforce not just the discussion but demand for peaceful general elections in Rivers State.”
Also Speaking, the Head, Corporate Communications, Indorama-Eleme Petrochemicals Limited, and Chairman of the event, Dr. Jossy Nkwocha, urged Journalists and the media at large to be patriotic in their reportage of elections.
Nkwocha said “be careful of fake news from various interest groups. Fake news is the biggest thing that threatens journalism and even the electoral process.
“Let us ensure we check sources of information before using such stories. Let’s maintain neutrality and give all political parties equal opportunities at all times.
“Let’s beware of materials that cause character assassination of political opponents. Let’s be careful with information that may trigger violence in the electoral process”.
By: Lady Godknows Ogbulu
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