The Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) has commissioned a potable water project in Barako Community in Gokaana Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The Permanent Secretary of the Federal Ministry of Environment, Mr. Ibrahim Yusufu, who performed the commissioning ceremony in the community on Wednesday said the water project was the second completed lot in Ogoniland by HYPREP out of the six projects in the first phase of the emergency water intervention for Ogoni communities which was flagged off on March 2, 2022.
He said the commissioned water project has an installed storage capacity of 250 cubic metres of water to guarantee a sustainable supply of good quality water to all households in the serviced community.
According to him, following the presidential inauguration of HYPREP on June 2, 2016, the Federal Ministry of Environment has consistently made deliberate efforts to recover lost grounds and ensure timely delivery of emergency intervention projects in line with the recommendations of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on the environmental restoration of Ogoniland.
He noted that it is, therefore, the Ministry’s fervent commitment to expedite efforts in delivering the rest of the four water lots of the emergency water intervention projects before the end of the year.
The remaining water projects, he sad include Alesa and Agbonchia booster station awarded to Cobel International Limited; Nsisioke, Ogale and Ebubu booster station awarded to Duliz Dredging and Construction Limited; Tarabor, Bera and Biara booster station awarded to El Sunnic Integrated Resource Limited; and Bori, Kpean and Bieri booster station awarded to Geokcoy Nigeria Limited.
Yusufu indicated that all contractors handling the various projects have been mandated to expedite execution and delivery of the remaining water plants in line with the projects stipulated specifications and global best practices.
He, however, hinted that the Ministry would be handing over 14 lots under the phase 2 to contractors for the construction of additional 14 potable water schemes, covering 52 communities across the four local government areas of Ogoniland, stressing that the Ministry and HYPREP Project Coordination Office have exhaustively engaged the beneficiary communities in decision making process with a view to ensuring inclusive ownership, long-term functionality and sustainability of the water supply facilities.
The Permanent Secretary further stated that while efforts are being intensified to cover more milestones in the HYPREP implementation framework, it has become exigent to find lasting solutions to challengies of theft and vandalisation of project items and incessant sponsored agitations, which have over the years encumbered the procurement process and effective delivering of emergency and livelihood support projects.
In his opening remarks, the Project Coordinator of HYPREP, Prof Nenibarini Zabbey said are of cardinal mandates HYPREP, in line with the recommendation of the UNEP Report on Ogoniland is the provision of potable water that meets the World Health Organisation (WHO) standards, stressing that the project was guided by this fact to embark on the provision of potable water in its phase 2 water scheme with the award of six water contracts in March, 2021, adding that the Barako water scheme is one of the projects in the phase 1 of the water scheme in Ogoniland.
He said the completion and commissioning of the water project is a further affirmation of the commitment of the Federal Government through HYPREP to the full implementation of the UNEP Report, stressing that the water scheme has an over head tank with a strong capacity of 500,000 litre and a reticulation stretch of more than 10 kilometres.
Zabbey further indicated that since last year, the Alesa water station had been running and supply clean water to the community and neighbouring communities of Alode, Aleto, Agbonchia and Ogale, stressing that work on other water stations in Korokoro, Nonwa, Bori, Zaakpon and Kpean has reached advanced stage of completion.
The Project Coordinator said to ensure the sustainability of these projects, HYPREP would continue to collaborate with communities in the design and execution of projects and would hand over the water projects to the respective communities for effective management while it will manage the facilities in the next two years, within which period it would train community workers and set up the Water Consumers Association ( WCA) for their continuous management and sustainability.
He assured that the project would continue to provide a robust, accountable and transparent stakeholders engagement interface to identify and address potential issues that would not impede the successful implementation of the projects, stressing that issues of re-pollution occasioned by oil theft and illegal refineries must be collectively tackled to guarantee the successful clean-up of Ogoniland.
The Permanent Secretary, Mr. Ibrahim Yusufu also handed over to contractors project sites for the Ogoni power project; specialist/cottage hospitals; Centre of Excellence for Environmental Restoration; and mangrove planting.
He was lavishly treated to the traditional Ogoni hospitality by the people of Barako community.
By: Donatus Ebi
Gunmen Raze Man’s House In Ahoada West
Gunmen in Army uniform on Saturday razed the bungalow of a popular youth in Idu, Ekpeye Community, Ahoada West Local Government Area of Rivers State, Chief Rufus Edhiwulu.
Chief Edhiwulu, who raised an alarm over the incident, said the gunmen were allgedly led by Comrade Andrew Nwabueze, who he recognised.
Edhiwulu said he escaped when the suspected Nwabueze-led gang of uniformed men drove in vehicles into his compound at about 6am, barged into his house, ransacked and carted away property and money before setting the house on fire.
According to him, property worth millions of Naira were destroyed in the ensuring inferno.
Addressing newsmen, Chief Edhiwulu said, “I thank God for my life today, the people came to kill me. I recognise one of them as Andrew Nwabueze, from ldu-Ekpeye, a sub-contractor to Mr Brown, who handles the surveillance contract of Agip.
“I sighted them immediately as they entered my yard, and I had to escape before they started destroying my house.
“What they had in mind was to kill me. Government and members of the public should ask Nwabueze what offence l have committed for him to be after my life”, he pleaded.
Edhiwulu added that the suspected soldiers had stolen his Lister generator, and other property presented to his wife during their wedding.
When contacted, Comrade Nwabueze Andrew, an ex-youth leader of the community, denied the allegations.
He said, he had never thought of carrying out such massive destruction against Chief Edhiwulu who he described as his brother.
“As Ekpeye man he knows where to find out the truth; he should gather the jujus he knows and invite me to swear for him. I cannot do such a thing”, Nwabueze said.
He stated further that if Edhiwulu had any issue with the surveillance team, he should not rope him in, ”though I am the contractor in charge of the pipeline in my community”.
The Tide gathered that the fire scared residents of the community, who were shocked that the unidentified soldiers were swift in the operation as they stormed into the house, picked up some property of their choice, threw up fire on the building and drove away.
By: Emenike Benson Agimo
PHCCIMA Partners RSG To Promote Conducive Business Environment
The President of Port Harcourt Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry, and Agriculture (PHCCIMA), Sir Mike Elechi, has said the Chamber is in collaboration with the Rivers State Government to promote condusive environment for business growth.
Elechi made this known during a Members General Forum that ushered in the newly inducted members and unveiling of the 17th Edition of The Port Harcourt International Trade Fair, 2023 at its Secteriat in Port Harcourt, Friday.
He charged the new PHCCIMA members on the need to uphold the laws of the state and those of the Chamber in order to enable them excel in business.
The PHCCIMA boss, who is the Managing Director of Vintage Farms and Products, further tasked the inductees to join three trade groups relevant to their business for a better networking.
“Your support has propelled us to achieve our aims and goals. Pay your taxes and dues through our platform”, he said.
In his presentation, tagged “Accessing Nexim Bank Loans For Export”, the South-South Regional Manager of Nexim Bank, Calabar, Mr. Soni Oseghale, cautioned against what he described as over realiance on oil, noting that it will be short lived.
Oseghale said such caution was part of the reasons the government established the Nexim Bank.
According to him, the target of the bank is to ensure that government earnings increase through the non-oil sector.
He explained that it was achievable through the increment of dollar earnings of the country, which can only be done through proper engagement of the bank.
“We can help you build a capacity that will make you a big exporter. Our loans are easy to access and are treated from the risk management point of view where things like issues of character and collateral are to be considered”, he said.
He has also appealed to members of PHCCIMA to form collaborations that will lead to joint venture.
The Rivers State Government, which indicated interest to partner with the Chamber in general business development and SMEs in particular, was represented by the Ministries of Commerce and Industry and that of Agriculture.
Meanwhile, the 17th Edition of the Port Harcourt International Trade Fair is billed to hold between the 6th-20th of December, 2023 at Isaac Boro Park , Port Harcourt.
By: King Onunwor
Methodist Prelate Advocates For Nation’s Moribund Industries
The Prelate of the Methodist Church of Nigeria, His Eminence, Dr Oliver Ali Aba, has advocated for the repair of Nigeria’s ailing industries to cater for the unemployment challenges in the country.
He stated that the huge amount of money spent on palliatives by the Federal Government to ease the effect of petroleum subsidy removal would be more beneficial to the citizens if the monies are channelled to revive these moribound companies.
Aba stressed that the palliatives will further impoverish Nigerians and also increase corruption in the country.
He made this assertion recently in an exclusive interview with The Tide after the Recognition of Service and Awards of merit of Archdiocese of Ikot-Ekpene and Port Harcourt held at Banham Cathedral, Port Harcourt.
The Methodist Prelate therefore called on the Federal Government to ensure that they embark on policies that have direct bearing on the lives of the people.
“They should channel the huge funds earmarked for the palliative to the resuscitation of the various moribund industries across the country. Such measures would create employment and reduce the increasing wave of unemployment and insecurity in the country”, he said.
Aba noted that the palliatives programme of the Federal Government will turn Nigerians into Almajiris who beg for food, saying that it would be better for government to evolve ways on how to teach people how they can feed themselves.
According to him, the palliative scheme will only make people to steal more money from the nation’s treasury, and will make less positive impact on the lives of the people, noting that those entrusted with executing the policy will destroy whatever good intentions there is.
“How many bags of rice and money will they give to families of five and eight that will be enough for them? Will this be monthly or once?My advice is that if they want to formulate policy, they should study it methodologically and not be in a rush. What the people need now is not palliative but good governance”, he stated.
By: Akujobi Amadi
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