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Rivers HOS advises new retirees on capturing of biometrics

By Precious Akutamadu

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Rivers HOS advises new retirees on capturing of biometrics.

By Precious Akutamadu

Biometrics

Port Harcourt, Dec. 15, 2018(NNN) Mr Rufus Godwin, Rivers Head of Service (HOS), says fresh retirees in the state will have their biometrics captured first month after service for inclusion in the payroll of the state’s pensioners.

Godwin gave the assurance during the send-off ceremony of Permanent Secretaries in the state who retired between 2015 and 2018 on Saturday in Port Harcourt.

He said that the immediate capturing was to reduce the cumbersome process of getting their data captured which at times took up to a year or more to accomplish.

The HOS decried the long delay in capturing retirees’ biometric data, saying that government had decided to reduce the length of the process.

Godwin urged the permanent secretaries to send their retirement data to their different ministries to be captured in the payroll the first month they retire from service.

“There is no better time to retire than now because those retiring from this time are doing so at the best time when the state government had put a lot in place to show appreciation to those who served tirelessly.

“Plans are on ground to ensure that permanent secretaries will be using their service car after service until their retirement vehicles were ready,” he said.

He urged them to take up assignments in the civil service commission whenever they were called to do so by government.

The head of service said that the state had captured 12,466 pensioners through the data collection of retirees also through their physical and biometric verification.

He urged those who had not gone through the process to do so at their different ministries individually and not.

In his speech, Mr Oris Onyiri, the Chairman of Civil Service Commission, advised the retirees to build a strong relationship with their colleagues..

Onyiri urged them not to stay far from the commission because their experience would be needed to better the state.

Furthermore, Dr. George Nwaeke, the Chairman of the Forum of Permanent Secretaries, congratulated all the retirees and urged them to continue with their good works.

Nwaeke, pleaded with them to take life easy and also live a healthy life.

NNN reports that 30 retired permanent secretaries were honoured with awards.(NNN)

PA/COA/EMO

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Edited by Constance Imasuen/Ejike Obeta

 

Defence/Security

Women protest cultists invasion in Rivers community

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Some women in Port Harcourt on Tuesday took to the streets to protest invasion of their community by gunmen suspected to be cultists.

The women, who are indigenes of Owube community in Ahoada West Local Government Area in Rivers, decried incessant attacks by suspected cultists in their community.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the protesters later  converged at the Government House with placards reading: “Save Our Soul”, “Enough is Enough” and “We want to live”, among others.

Some of the women who spoke with NAN said that cultists were daily raping women on their farmlands.

They urged the Rivers Government and security agencies to intervene in the matter and protect them.

Mrs Florence Eric said that women in the community were now living in fear due to the frequent rape and kidnap by the hoodlums.

“The cult boys in our community do not allow us to go to our farmlands again. They attack, rape and kidnap us everyday.

“We can no longer go out to look for food to eat. We want government to help us in any way they can, because we need to survive this challenge,” she said.

Mrs Victoria Ekpeye said that the cultists were demanding ‘settlement’ from the community to end their siege on the area.

“The boys said they need money from us to leave the community, but they did not mention how much money they need,” she added.

On her part, Franco Confidence said the protesters decided to submit their petition to the state government after several concerted efforts made to end insecurity in the area failed.

She said after exhausting all options of ending the crises, that the community later engaged the services of a popular local vigilante.

The ONELGA Security, Peace and Advisory Committee (OSPAC) comes at night to secure the area, but the cultist now come in the afternoon to kidnap and rape women.

“We are really tired of living with this challenge for five years now. We want Gov. Wike to come to our aid, because we are tired of sleeping in the bush,” she said.

The protesters also called on the police to establish a police post in the community to end the rising insecurity in the area.  


Edited By: Debo Oshundun/Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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General news

COVID-19: Rivers Govt inaugurates free bus scheme

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The Rivers Government has inaugurated a COVID-19 Free Bus Scheme to cushion the effect of the pandemic on residents and visitors to the state.

The scheme was inaugurated on Monday in Port Harcourt by the Commissioner for Transport, Mr Sunny Ejekwu.

According to Ejekwe, the buses will ply Obio/Akpor, Port Harcourt, Oyigbo and Eleme Local Government Areas as a pilot scheme.

Ejekwe, who commended Gov. Nyesom Wike for the initiative, said that the 28 luxury buses would operate in line with advisories on social distancing, use of hand sanitiser and wearing of face masks.

He said that the buses would pick and discharge passengers at designated bus stops.

The Commissioner for Information and Communications, Mr Paulinus Nsirim, described the free bus scheme as “a gift you get from a compassionate and visionary leader’’.

A cross section of commuters, who commended the initiative, said they could not believe that government could provide such a free service.

Meanwhile, the state government has also began the decontamination of public places as part of measures to keep the state safe from coronavirus.

According to a statement by Mr Paulinus Nsirim, the Commissioner for Information and Communications, the programme was flagged off at Government House, Port Harcourt, by Gov. Nyesom Wike who assured that all public places in the state would be decontaminated.

He said that all public places, including markets, Churches, motor parks and schools, would be decontaminated before schools reopen.

In his speech, the Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, Mr Felix Obuah, said the Decontamination Team, made up of medical and environmental experts, was inaugurated in line with Rivers governor’s directives to decontaminate public places.

The Leader of the decontamination team, Dr Ian Gobo, assured that the team would carry out the exercise with utmost dedication.


Edited By: Muhammad Suleiman Tola (NAN)

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Economy

COVID-19 pandemic delays arrival of RoRo vessel at Rivers Port

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Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Monday said that the first RoRo vessel expected by the Rivers Port in Port Harcourt had been delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The General Manager Corporate and Strategic Communications of NPA, Mr Adams Jatto made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos.

According to him, the vessel, which was supposed to have come in by April, has not been able to make it, and there is no definite date for its arrival  the country.

“This vessel is a special cargo which has to do with vehicles and, maybe, they could not get people to load them.

“We are still in touch with them to get updates,” he said.

Recall that on March 15, the NPA, in its bid to improve vessel traffic to the Eastern Ports, said that the Rivers Port was expecting its first Roll on/Roll off (RoRo) operations.

Jatto had said that the first RoRo Vessel to berth in the history of the Rivers Port was scheduled to depart the United States of America in the middle of March and arrive Port Harcourt at the end of March or early April.

He had said that the introduction of RoRo operations would in no small measure increase the revenue base of Rivers Port in particular and NPA as a whole.

Jatto had indicated that the move was traceable to intentional commitment and landmark reforms that the current management of the NPA had instituted toward ensuring that all ports in Nigeria became optimally functional.


Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Oluwole Sogunle (NAN)

 

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Education

Rivers awards N3.9bn convocation arena project in UNIPORT– Gov Wine’s aide

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The Rivers Government has awarded contract for the construction of N3.9 billion new convocation arena at the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT)
to a contractor, Telios Group.

Mr Alabo George-Kelly, the Special Adviser to Gov. Nyseom Wike on Projects, made this known in a statement by Dr Williams Wodi, the university Deputy Director (Information), on Sunday in Port Harcourt.

George-Kelly, handing over the construction site to the contractor, assured the university management that the project would be completed within the stipulated time and according to specification.

“The project’s letter of award has already been issued to the company.

“We are confident that Telios Group will deliver a quality project with attention to details. We do not expect the contractor to cut corners,” he said.

Responding, the Vice-Chancellor of UNIPORT, Prof. Ndowa Lale, thanked Wike for taking steps to fulfil his promise of building a world class convocation arena in the university campus.

He said that Wike, who is alumni of the university, had demonstrated his commitment to the institution.

“To this end, our physical planning and development unit will closely monitor the project to ensure quality job delivery,” he said.

In his remarks, Mr Emmanuel Adaria, representative of Telios Group, said the project would be completed to the contracts’ specification.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the convocation arena, when completed, would accommodate 15,000 students during ceremony.

The arena would also accommodate a minimum of six thousand students when partitioned into six lecture theatres.

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Olagoke Olatoye (NAN)

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Defence/Security

17 suspected sea pirates nabbed in Rivers

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No fewer than 17 suspected sea pirates have been arrested by the Police Command in Rivers following a major raid on their hideout, an official said.

The command’s spokesman, DSP Nnamdi Omoni, said in a statement in Port Harcourt on Friday that the suspects were responsible for recent coordinated attacks on policemen in the state.

The 17 sea pirates attacked the men of Special Protection Unit (SPU) Base five, Benin on May 24 while they were on duty at Egelegele River in Degema Council in Rivers.

“The dastard act by the sea pirates resulted to our men losing their arms and ammunition during the attack.

“However, in a well coordinated operation in the late hours of Wednesday night, operatives of the Marine Division of the Rivers command arrested the suspects.’’

Omoni said items recovered from the suspects includes, two AK 47 magazines, charms and amulets, mobile phones, gas cylinder, N50,000 cash and two speed boats allegedly used in the attack.

“The suspects are currently helping the police with useful confessions to the attacks on personnel.

“Also, the command has intensified efforts to arrest the remnants of the criminal gang that attacked passenger boats along the Degema, Asari Toru and Akuku Toru waterways,” he added.

The police spokesman said that the Commissioner of Police in Rivers, Mr Joseph Mukan appealed to residents of coastal communities to be conscious of activities of sea pirates in their localities.

He urged residents to assist the police with useful information on the whereabouts of sea pirates through the telephone numbers: 08032003514, 08028915462 and 08182157778.

Edited By: Abiemwense Moru/Maureen Atuonwu (NAN)

 

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General news

COVID-19: NGO donates relief materials to widows, vulnerable children in Rivers

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A Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), under the umbrella of Widows and Orphans Empowerment Organisation (WEWE), has donated relief materials to children living with , orphans and widows in the state to alleviate their suffering.

Mr Everistus Aneke, the Team Leader of WEWE, an organisation that empowers widows, orphans and vulnerable children, on Thursday made the presentation of  food items to the vulnerable children in Port Harcourt.

Some of the items donated were bags of rice, groundnut oil, cartons of biscuits, packs of bottle soft drinks, action meal for immune boaster, among others.

According to him, 18 different families drawn from 17 local government areas of the state recieved palliatives.

Aneke said that the distribution of the food items was part of the organisation’s commitment to assist the orphans, the vulnerable children and widows in the state.

He said that the organisation caters for the wellbeing of over 80,000 orphans including women and children living with Human Immunodeficiency Virus/Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome in the state.

“We have other areas of focus on ensuring that identified persons living with adhere consistently to taking their medications through house to house check on them.

“We also support the business of these identified persons.

” It’s very key to us as organisation to see that these persons are doing well in their business to enable them see through their daily needs,” Aneke said.

Furthermore, we support some of them that have lost hope of living by offsetting their hospital bills and also return the children back to school, especially the adolescent girls who were out of school.

Mr Mene Ollage, the Desk Officer Opharns and Vulnerable Children (VOC), Ministry of Social Welfare and Rehabilitation in the state, expressed delight over the donation of the food items by WEWE to the children.

According to Ollage, the items will support the feeding of the children, especially those that were malnourished.

Mrs Obilor Emilia, the Director, Programmes Coordination, Rivers State Agency for the Control of AIDS (RIVSACA), noted that the donation of the palliatives was timely, especially this era of COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

In her response, Mrs Julie Ogah, one of the beneficiaries expressed joy and commended WEWE for supporting her grand son’s education and daily needs after the death of his Parents. NAN

Edited By: Angela Okisor/Felix Ajide (NAN)

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Health

Rivers Teaching Hospital records 2 cases of COVID-19

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The Rivers State University Teaching Hospital (RSUTH) said that two patients admitted into the hospital tested positive to the dreaded COVID-19 disease.

The Public Relations Officer of RSUTH, Dr Nsirim Larry confirmed the development in a statement in Port Harcourt on Saturday.

According to him, the patients were a female security working in the hospital and another female patient admitted into the labour ward.

“It is important to note that the doctors and nurses who had direct contact with both patients have been advised by hospital management to self isolate.

RSUTH is making preparations to decontaminate the labour ward and radiology unit immediately while sample collection of the direct contacts would begin tomorrow.

“We urge anyone, who has not been contacted to please indicate by calling the POTARD unit for sample collection,” he appealed to workers in the hospital.

Larry urged residents to remain calm and offer their prayers and support to those infected with the virus.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that Rivers now has 89 confirmed cases with 23 discharged and seven deaths, according to latest update from the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) verified Twitter page on Friday night.
elix Ajide

Edited By: Edwin Nwachukwu/Felix Ajide (NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Interview: China’s domestic economic drivers are strong: U.S. scholar

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The domestic drivers for the Chinese economy are looking much better and Chinese domestic economic activity has picked up “dramatically” in the last month or so, a U.S. scholar has told Xinhua.

In a video interview on Wednesday, Geoffrey Garrett, dean of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, said “obviously China is several months ahead of the West, and it looks like Chinese domestic economic activity has picked up dramatically in the last month or so,” referring to China‘s recovery from the impact of COVID-19.

He believed the problem for China now will be global demand. “The fact that there will be no global demand in the second half of this year will obviously slow down China‘s recovery, but so, the domestic drivers for the Chinese economy are looking much better and better every day.”

China on Thursday raised the curtain for its annual political high season. This year’s “two sessions” are expected to highlight China‘s final push in poverty alleviation and completing the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects. Such progress is expected to boost its economic growth.

Deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Deputies to the 13th National People’s Congress (NPC) walk towards the Great Hall of the People for the opening meeting of the third session of the 13th NPC in Beijing, capital of China, May 22, 2020. (Xinhua/Xing Guangli)

Garrett said “2021 was going to be a very big year for China, with a bunch of goals, to be delivered on by that time.”

He explained that though “2020 is just going to be an incredibly difficult year for every economy in the world,” “we should just never lose sight of the fact that what’s happened in China since 1978 is probably the greatest economic miracle in the history of the world.”

“Lifting 700 million … people out of poverty in three or four decades is just extraordinary,” he said in reference to China‘s poverty alleviation efforts.

Talking about international cooperation in the COVID-19 pandemic, the expert said, “I would expect that China could and should be a leading player in any international responses to the pandemic.”

He believed that international collaboration has been absent so far in response to the pandemic. “And I hope we can change that. Of course they have got to be national responses too, but I think coordinated international action is really important,” he said.

(XINHUA)

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Foreign

Tanzania, Kenya resolve dispute over COVID-19 tests for cross-border truck drivers

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Tanzania and Kenya on Friday resolved a dispute over COVID-19 tests for truck drivers crossing the border, facilitating trade between the two East African countries.

The dispute, which had been ongoing for quite some time, was resolved by ministers responsible for transport from the two countries at the end of their one-day meeting at the Namanga border post, said a communique released at the end of the meeting.

The meeting followed a directive on Wednesday by heads of state of Tanzania and Kenya to ministers responsible for transport and commissioners of border regions to resolve the dispute to facilitate trade between the two countries.

According to the communique, the ministers agreed that truck drivers from both sides will be tested for COVID-19 before commencement of their journeys at the point of origin using standards set by the World Health Organization.

The two countries agreed that tested truck drivers should be issued with a 14-day COVID-19 free certificate by competent authorities, which should be mutually recognized by the two countries, said the communique.

The communique said the two countries also agreed that each country should create conducive places where the truck drivers can stop for a rest, adding that such places should be equipped with necessary amenities.

They further agreed that the two countries should undertake random COVID-19 screening at the designated resting places, said the communique, adding that the screening should be done in a transparent manner.

According to the communique, the two countries agreed that in case of one of the truck crew being found to be at high risk of COVID-19, the owner of the truck will be allowed to replace all the crew and the truck allowed to proceed.

It said the two countries agreed to release to the public data on the status of COVID-19 without mentioning the nationality of the infected.

Tanzania was represented by Minister for Works, Transport and Communication Isack Kamwelwe, while Kenya was represented by Cabinet Secretary in the Ministry of Transport, Infrastructure, Housing, Urban Development and Public Works James Macharia.

(XINHUA)

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