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Don Sets Agenda For Rivers Governor-Elect

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The Deputy Dean of the Faculty of Law, Rivers State University, and Professor of Energy and Comparative Environmental Law, Prof Samuel Chisa Dike, has expressed delight over the successful election of Sir Siminialayi  as the Governor-Elect of Rivers State.
He, however, outlined the fundamental areas which the incoming administration should give priority attention to when sworn in on May 29, 2023, to enable it succeed and even surpass the excellent achievements of the Governor Nyesom Wike administration.
Dike, who spoke in an interview in Port Harcourt, said it was good to set agenda for the incoming Governor so that he would have a full grasp of what the people expect from his administration, stressing that the outgoing administration has performed creditably, particularly in the area of infrastructural development, among others.
He noted that he was particularly elated over the emergence of Sir Fubara at the governorship poll, because, as he puts it, “the agitation and demand by Rivers people for power shift, from the upland to the riverine, have been met, to actually guarantee justice, equity and fairness in power sharing in the State”.
Dike said the next administration would be able to take development activities to the riverine areas of the State, and expressed joy that the Governor-Elect, who hails from Opobo Town, was a core civil servant and technocrat before “dabbling into the murky waters of politics”.
He also said this is a welcome development as he would be able to prudently manage the resources of the State, and address the welfare needs of both civil and public servants in the State.
The lecturer admonished the incoming administration to shift and improve on other areas the outgoing administration could not handle since, according to him, governance is a continuum, and identified the first area the incoming administration should focus on as human capital development.
He said, “this area is key and pivotal in the overall development of the State, since it could affect development in several other sectors like information, health, agriculture and commerce”, and advised the Governor-Elect to begin to galvanise his capacity towards this direction.
Dike noted that the administration could record monumental milestones in this area through aggressive scholarship policies and programmes, stressing that local and overseas undergraduate and graduate scholarships could go a long way to bolster the human capital needs of the State, describing himself as a product of scholarship.
To this end, he said giving a target response to human capital development is much expected of the new administration.
Dike noted the empowerment of Rivers people, adding that the new government’s aggressive policy on empowerment would also go a long way to remove loafers and miscreants on the streets, thereby reducing criminality in the State.
According to him, “there should be a conscious effort by the incoming administration to decongest Port Harcourt, as doing so would provide a whole lot of benefits to the people”.
He also stressed the need for the administration to improve the state government’s relationship with multinational and other companies operating in the State, and cited Siat Nigeria Limited, where the State Government has a stake as an example, saying, doing this would enable the State to create a thriving industrial hub for the State.
In environment, Dike suggested that the Garden City status of Port Harcourt can be restored by the new administration “by embracing a deliberate policy of planting of trees and flowers on major roads”.
He advocated a re-introduction of the school-to-land policy of the Fidelis Oyakilome administration to boost agriculture in the State, since, according to him, “all life is tied to the soil”, saying, “activating a robust policy on agriculture would assist the State”.
Dike, therefore, urged all political parties in the State to bury their hatchet and rally round the Governor-Elect, saying, “let the existing peace in the State continue. Acrimony does not pay”.
He advised the incoming administration to run an inclusive government by carrying all Rivers people along irrespective of party affiliation.
He described the Governor-Elect and his Deputy, Prof. Ngozi Odu, as an amazing and wonderful combination that would take the State to glorious heights in the next four years.

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Rivers

Environmentalist Urges RSG to Revive Sanitary Officers

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Founder and Coordinator of the Street Neighbourhood Marshals and Volunteers, Sodin Akiaba, has urged the Rivers State Government to engage fresh personnel as Environmental and Health Officers in the State.
While speaking at the weekend on a live radio programme, “Viewpoint”, in Port Harcourt, Akiaba said many Environmental Health Officers have retired while others have aged.
He explained that the state needed a new environmental policy that will reflect the current growing population and urbanisation in the metropolis.
Listing the benefits of having environmental health officers, he argued that such personnel will help in improving sanitation in both rural and urban areas.
“As much as I know, government has not employed sanitary Officers in the past 15 years, and that is not going to help. I will advise government to employ new ones and this will improve sanitation in the state”, Akiaba said.
The head of the Sanitation Marshals stated that environmental health is key to the wellbeing of the people, and explained that the organisation was established during the tenure of former Governor Peter Odili to provide support in cleaning and improving environmental health.
Decrying the poor attitude of the public in disposing waste, Akiaba suggested need for stringent enforcement of laws to serve as deterrent to those who flout the laws.
He stressed need for sensitisation and enlightenment of the public on proper waste management, saying this will reduce indiscriminate waste disposal, assuring that the Sanitation Marshals were established as volunteers to close the gaps in poor waste management.
Urging more people to volunteer as members of the body, Akiaba stated that it was not a paid job but rather a selfless contribution to improve the environment and health of the society.
The body, he further stated, was planning to organise awards and recognition among streets and public agencies that kept their environment clean.

Kevin Nengia

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Rivers

Environmental Society Honours Fubara

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The Rivers State Chapter of the Nigerian Environmental Society has bestowed on the State Governor, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, the Environmental Appreciation Award as part of the celebration of the 2024 World Environment Day, and successful presentation of the First Distinguished Lectures Series, which was delivered by the Deputy Governor of Rivers State, Prof. Ngozi Nma Odu.
Chairman, Rivers State Chapter of the Society, Sir Daminabo Amos Atuboyedia, who gave the commendation, said the programme was very successful and the turnout was overwhelming, because of the love and support the Society received from the Governor.
According to him, all the environmental practitioners in the State were present to deliberate on the Marine and Blue Economy to the Industrialisation of Rivers State, and discussions were held on what can be done to better the State at the event.
This was contained in a statement by the Head of Press, Deputy Governor’s Office, Owupele Benebo.
Atuboyedia also commended Fubara for what RIWAMA was doing in evacuating wastes on roads, stressing that everyone could see the improvement in that sector.
“As environmental professionals, we want the sustainability of our environment in Rivers State to be strong, because when our environment is conducive, everyone will feel it.
“If we take care of our environment, people living in Rivers State will enjoy the State, because they have clean environment where they can breathe fresh air. So, we thank him.
“You can see that black soot has reduced drastically, everyone can attest that it is no longer rampant as it used to be, all these are efforts of the present Government on ground”, he said.
Also speaking, the immediate past Chairman of the society, Dr. Kingsley Nwogbidi, said the society has received tremendous support from the Fubara-led administration, which manifested during the celebration of the 2024 World Environment Day, and called for greater collaboration with stakeholders.Environmental Society
Honours Fubara

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Rivers

Commissioner Seeks Team Work Among Staff

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The Rivers State Commissioner, Ministry of Local Government Affairs, Hon. Prince Charles E.O Bekee, has charged the staff of the ministry to work as a team in the discharge of their duties.
Giving the charge recently during a meeting he held with staff in his office, he said “the objective of the meeting was to educate and let them know that the only way to move the Ministry of Local Government Affairs in the state to an enviable height was by collective cooperation from the staff, adding that as children of God they should hold God firm and shun gossip, backbiting, do their work, and allow the will of God to prevail”.
The Commissioner explained that as civil servants, especially staff of the ministry, they should see themselves as the light of the ministry, and abide by the rules by being punctual to their duty post and make transparency and a countability their watchword.
This, he said, was to project the image of the ministry and the administration of the Executive Governor of Rivers State, Sir Siminalayi Fubara, in the State.
He declared that for him to be in the ministry as a Commissioner, God has a purpose, same for staff working in the ministry, urging them not to misuse the opportunity given to them by taking things for granted because none of them read Ministry of Local Government Affairs as a course in the university.
The Local Government Affairs boss, who noted that coming together was the beginning, said “staying together is progress, and working together is success”.
He, therefore, appealed to all the staff to cleanse themselves of all acrimony and discharge their duties effectively and efficiently, “because the Ministry of Local Government Affairs is a very sensitive ministry that determines the activities of the 23 Local Government Areas of the state”.
Bekee further urged them to be open to bring to his office rational criticisms that will promote and enhance the welfare of the ministry.
In his vote of thanks, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Dame Itong Awani, thanked the Commissioner for his commitment and zeal to change the negative narrative of the Ministry, and assured him that the staff of the ministry will give him the maximum support to enable him succeed.
She also appealed to the staff to be diligent in their duties.

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