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NSCDC Uncovers Illegal Oil Bunkering Site, Arrests Five Suspects

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The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) in Rivers State has uncovered an illegal oil bunkering site at Odagwa Community in Etche Local Government Area..
Spokesperson of NSCDC, Olufemi Ayodele said the Commandant General’s Special Intelligence Squad made the discovery of about 10 illegal refineries with an estimated 500,000 litres of crude oil contained in about 50 illegally constructed reservoirs following intelligence.
He stated that the NSCDC will continue to fight against crude oil theft, illegal mining, illegal dealings in petroleum products, amongst others across the country.
“The Commandant General of the NSCDC, Dr Ahmed Abubakar Audi has reiterated over time that all acts of economic sabotage would be fought to a standstill as suspects arrested would face the full wrath of the law irrespective of their sponsors,” he said.
In tandem with the Commandant General’s, order, a Special Intelligence Squad was set up, as they were charged to be thorough and results- oriented in their operations.
He noted that the success of the special squad was “based on credible intelligence, the CG’s SIS swung into action and uncovered 10 illegal local refineries in a forest located in Odagwa Community in Etche Local Government Area of Rivers State where five suspects were caught in the act of illegally refining of crude oil”.
While conducting reconnaissance operations across the large thick forest, about 10 different cooking pots of 50,000 litres capacity were seen with one big pumping machine, Receiver Tanks, 25 rubber hoses used for pumping crude oil and many long galvanised pipes with unqualified litres of crude oil and illegally refined Automotive Gas Oil stored in six large reservoirs and other 20 smaller reservoirs dug in the ground.
The suspects arrested have now been handed over to the Rivers State Command for further investigation and possible prosecution are Favour Chukwu (M), 29 years, Desmond Umeh (M), 25 years, Godwin Amos (M), 22years; Bineace Galion (M), 38years; and Goodnews David (M), 23 years.
Meanwhile, the Rivers State Commandant, Basil Igwebueze has condemned the unrepentant act of unscrupulous elements who tapped into the oil well head of Heirs Energies and the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL) located around Imo River 2 Oil and Gas Field at Odagwa in Etche, through different channels, inserted their galvanised pipes and siphoned crude oil while processing same within the premises without remorse.
The Rivers State NSCDC Commandant thanked the Commandant General for the commissioning of the Special Intelligence Squad that has been working relentlessly across the States of the federation to combat the menace of illegal dealings in petroleum products, crude oil theft, vandalism of railway lines, amongst others.
“The uncovering of this massive illegal oil bunkering site is a landmark achievement and an indication that the NSCDC as the lead agency in the protection of all critical national assets and infrastructure will continue to combat crude oil theft with renewed vigour even as we work in synergy with sister security agencies to salvage the nation’s economy from saboteurs”, Igwebueze said.
“Let me reassure you that thorough investigation has commenced to unravel those behind the scene while all suspects arrested in connection with this act of vandalism and crude oil theft would be charged to court of competent jurisdiction and their sponsors or cartels would be trailed and brought to book without compromise,” he added.

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NULGE Shuts Down PH For Fubara

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Members of the National Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) drawn from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State shut down traffic along the Aba Road through Azikiwe to Government House Drive on Wednesday in a solidarity visit to Governor Siminalayi Fubara.
Addressing the mammoth crowd, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE), Apostle Clifford Paul, told the governor that they were on a Thank-You Rally to show appreciation for his love for the workers.
Apostle Paul stated that Governor Fubara has changed their fortunes and restored hope in them when he directed the payment of N30,000.00 minimum wage to the workers, and lifted the ban on promotion, which has now placed them at par with their counterparts across the country.
On his part, the Deputy General Secretary of NULGE, Comrade Ajewole Ayedele, who represented the National President, said they were delighted with the pro-people policies of Governor Fubara, particularly for ending the stagnancy and frustration workers suffered.
Comrade Ayedele assured the governor of the continued support of the union to his administration, both at state and national level.
“At our last NEC meeting, when he (State Chairman) was reporting to us that you have done series of things to local government staff, because from history, Rivers State has been a source of mockery to other states in Nigeria when it comes to welfare of local government staff.
“When he said it, somebody from the north said, that means this new governor has tried to part ways from what he met on ground, because we have been asking how on earth is it possible that workers will be on duty for eight years without promotion?
“But for your wisdom that you have done it for us, we too are going to reciprocate. And I want to assure you, Your Excellency, that anytime you call on us, we are going to come out enmasse to associate with you, to solidarise with you, to continue to pray for you, because of your commitment to our welfare and service,” the national officer added.
On his part, the Rivers State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Alex Agwanwor, said workers have resolved to stand with Governor Fubara because he has demonstrated his love, put smiles on their faces and advanced the welfare and growth of the State.
Comrade Agwanwor warned that the NLC would not hesitate to occupy anywhere used by the Rivers State House of Assembly members led by Rt. Hon. Martin Amaewhule, should they begin another impeachment proceeding against the governor.
He noted that in addition, organised labour would be forced to withdraw their members working with the lawmakers if they decide to throw caution to the wind.
Governor Fubara, who had received members of the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees (NULGE) from the 23 Local Government Areas of Rivers State on a solidarity rally at Government House Gate, in Port Harcourt on Wednesday, said their large number further goes to prove the nature of the organic support his administration has continued to enjoy from the people of the state.
“Some days ago, somebody said we are busy renting crowd for thanksgiving. But what I have seen here today, it’s not different from what is happening at those thanksgiving rallies. People are just appreciating God and good governance.”
Governor Fubara stated that he was mindful of the legacy he would bequeath after his tenure, adding: “It should also be about the lives that have been touched genuinely; about the policies implemented without any inducement to better the lives of the people and the society.”
The governor urged the people to continue to support his administration, show understanding over actions taken, and obey the rules in a peaceful manner.
“When you are doing what is right, I will stand by you. Nobody, whether full or half is going to intimidate you. Brace up, I say brace up, because the next step, it will be fire for fire in Rivers State. Everything will be implemented.”
Governor Fubara said that already, local government workers have started receiving N30,000.00 minimum wage with promotion to be implemented beginning from April’s salary payment.
He also promised to set in motion plans to finalise modalities for the implementation of the Consolidated Salary Scale for Grade Level 17, and regular payment of benefits to the local government service retirees.
“For our people, the great and wonderful people of Rivers State, we will continue to lead you with the fear of God.
“Maturity is not about age, maturity is in the person. It is what defines the character of a person. I choose not to respond to people that I assumed are matured, but are obviously immature in attitude.
“I will continue to be mature, not minding my age, but I will not for any reason allow myself or anybody who is working with me in this administration to be messed with, maltreated or abused in the cause of administering this governance,” the Governor said.

Kevin Nengia

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Scavengers Make Fortunes From Refuse In Rumuokoro, Others

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It is now strange to throw away plastics and used can drinks around Rumuokoro and Eneka axis of Obio /Akpor Local Government Area of Rivers State.
The trend now is to keep them while waiting for one of the numerous scavengers to come around the neighbourhood and pick them.
The dumpsite at Rumeukiini and Rumuchiorlu are busy 24 hours with scavengers picking, selecting and bagging what was once considered trash.
They even go as far as washing old rubber slippers and used plastic items for recycling. And for most residents, it is better to wait for the scavengers than for one to go and discard one’s waste.
One of the dealers in these waste materials, but who preferred anonymity spoke to The Tide Metro, saying the business has been booming in the past five years.
Another of the scavengers, who spoke to The Tide Metro gave his name as Musa Alani. He said it has been his means of livelihood for some years now.
Alani deals on plastic wastes. He picks, washes and packs old discarded soft drink bottles for recycling. The recycling plant is outside Port Harcourt and he has to pack many bags before going to sell to the company.
Jane Obi ,a lady who now collects old plastics from her neighborhood told The Tide Metro that she went into the business because of lack of job. She sells some of the old plastic bottles to women who produce liquid detergents and herbal drinks.
Asked whether the bottles are safe to be used for such business, she said they are washed before using.
A resident of Rumuokoro, Esama Esele corroborated the view of Obi, explain that most of the bottles end up being used as containers for herbal beverages.
Esele expressed fear that the business may pose health hazard if government agencies like the National Agency for Foods and Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) fails to intervene in regulating consumables produced under unhygienic conditions.
On his part, Abiodun Abo said the trend of using discarded used plastic bottles is not new, and has provided means of livelihood for some people.
Abo said, “There has been no report that somebody has died using old plastic bottles. Many women who used to sell herbal beverages like Zobo wash them before usage.”
For Mr. Abe Anulu, there should be outright ban on the usage of recycled plastic bottles. “There is need for the state environmental officers to begin to monitor how these people pick and use these bottles. It may cause health problems in the future.”

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Firm Plans Hose Manufacturing Facility, Marks 21st Anniversary

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An oil servicing firm, Fairtex Group, rolled out drums last weekend to celebrate it is 21st anniversary.
The ceremony was held at its new headquarters, in Elelenwo in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area, of Rivers State where the firm acquired a massive parcel of land to build its new automobile fluid testing and hose manufacturing facilities.
It also used the event to unveil its “Equip 2026” to provide roadmap for its new diversification plans.
From a one room apartment in Ogbunabali 21 years ago, the firm has grown over the years with specialty in oil tool servicing and haulage to providing oil servicing solutions.
According to its Chairman/Executive Officer(CEO), Mr. Jacob Idungafa, the company has achieved its 2023 vision and hence, plans to diversify into automobile fluid testing and hose production for oil and chemical industrial uses.
Already, he disclosed that the company has begun talks with some South African and German firms on the setting up of a automobile jack system capable of providing jobs for the host community and impact on the nation’s economy.
The hose production is going to be a joint operation with a French firm, Aeroflex, as staffers will be sent abroad for training.
Since commencing operations in 2003, the firm has established branches in 14 countries in Africa that include Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Angola and Cote d’Ivoire.
“One unique thing is that in all of these, we have not taken any loan facility from the banks. We are prudent and resourceful, “he said.
Idungafa said further, “We are not competing with anybody. We are just beginning and there is a lot to do.”
So far, he stated that it has achieved the Vision 2023 with the acquisition of land, addingthat Equip 2026 is to serve as a launch pad for greater future for the firm.
Some staff who spoke at the 21 st anniversary praised the commitment and hard work of their CEO, saying his steadfastness has helped the firm in the path of growth over the years.
Manager, Foreign and Local Procurement, Brightness Sambo said since she joined the company, she has learnt a lot in management and networking.
In her word, “You don’t have to see the immediate results because the future is certain…We are aiming to go outside Africa.”
Human Resources Manager of Fairtex, Ngozi Ndukwe thanked God for the company and the milestones it has achieved over the years, saying “Where there is a vision, the vision does not die and with God’s grace, we are headed somewhere.”
The firm’s Principal Accounting Officer, lbaraibim Ogolo said since she joined the company, she has grown in her professional competency, describing the CEO as a role model and hardworking personality.
Highlights of the 21st anniversary included a thanksgiving service at Just Jesus Assembly, Port Harcourt, a party at the company’s new site, special performance by staffers and cutting of the anniversary cake by the Managing Director and other guests.

By: Kevin Nengia

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