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 Soot: Wike declares 19  kingpins of bunkering, illegal refineries wanted

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From TONY JOHN, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, has declared 19 persons wanted for operating illegal crude oil refining sites responsible for the soot pandemic in the State.

The governor has also directed the Rivers State Head of Service to query one Mr. Temple Amakiri, a Director in the Ministry of Energy, for abetting bunkering activities and hand him over to the police for investigation and possible prosecution.

Governor Wike, in a statewide broadcast yesterday (Sunday) said the government was resolved to pragmatically tackle the soot pandemic by destroying and closing down  all  identified illegal crude oil refining sites and activities in the State.

He stated that following his 2022 New Year message outlining measures to tackle the soot menace, the State  Taskforce on Illegal Street Trading

raided some illegal crude oil refining sites in Port Harcourt and arrested a number of recalcitrant persons.

The governor said: “Furthermore, the following persons who have been identified as kingpins of bunkering and illegal crude oil refining activities in their communities have been declared wanted and directed to report themselves to the State Police Command, to whom we have already passed their details to:

“Mr. Azubike Amadi, OSPAC Commander, Ogbogoro community and Chairman of Akpor Central OSPAC; Mr. India, of Rumuolumeni community and Chairman of Oil Bunkering Association in Akpor kingdom; Mr. Okey, who is in charge of Oil bunkering in Rumupareli;

Mr. Anderson, who is in charge of oil bunkering activities in Ogbogoro community; Amadi Gift of Ogbogoro community; Azeruowa of Ogbogoro community; and Kingsley Egbula, also of Ogbogoro community.

“Also declared wanted are the following persons who are alleged to be in charge of oil bunkering activities in Isiokpo community: Mr. Kemkom Azubike, Mr. Mezu Wabali, Mr. Chigozi Amadi, Mr. Opurum Owhondah, Mr. Bakasi Obodo, Mr. Opus, Mr. Galaxi Mas, Mr. Chioma, Mr. Ogondah, Mr. Soldier, Mr. Chefo, and Nkasi.

“We have also identified those behind illegal bunkering activities in Okrika communities, Port Harcourt Township, Rivers South-East and Rivers South-West Senatorial Districts and their names would be soon published and declared wanted, if they fail to voluntarily report to the police.”

He urged residents of the State  to report those involved in illegal crude oil refineries and other damnable activities to the Task Forces already set up at the State and Local Government levels for immediate action.

Governor Wike also reaffirmed the total ban on the use of motorcycles in Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt councils, which was necessitated by the collective threat they posed to the security of lives and property.

“Any person or corporate entity that requires the use of motorcycle for any lawful purposes must therefore first apply to the office of the Governor for permit and proper documentation of the operational details and particulars of both the motorcycle and designated rider(s).

“Against this background, we are hereby issuing the final warning to all those operation motorcycles shuttles and or hawking foreign exchange along Birabi Street, Hotel Presidential, GRA junction by Zenith Bank up to Tombia Street to immediately leave or be arrested and prosecuted.”

The governor accused the traditional leadership, including members of Community Development Committees and youth leaders of Rumuola, Rumuogba and Okoro-nu-odo communities of collecting money from vendors and allowing street trading activities around and under the flyovers in these communities.

“Consequently, I hereby direct the traditional leadership of Rumuola, Rumuogba and Okoro-nu-odo communities to immediately stop all street trading activities around, in or under the flyovers in their respective domains or be deposed, arrested and prosecuted.

“Similarly, the traditional leadership of Rumuwoji Mgbuduku, Obiekwe, Nkpolu-Oroworokwo, Abali, Rebisi, Rumukalagbor-Oroworokwo and Ezimgbu communities are hereby directed to enforce the ban and ensure that no form of trading takes place around and under the flyovers located in their communities.”

Governor Wike also placed a total ban on the use of umbrella and table trading stands in the entire old and new GRAs of Obio/Akpor and Port Harcourt City, Eleme councils.

According to him, government has credible evidence that most of these purported traders in front of houses are informants who monitor and pass on vital details and information on the daily movement of very important persons to their criminal collaborators.

Governor Wike frowned at the failure of the Rumuokurushe traditional leadership to honour the terms of their  undertaking not to allow any form of street trading on the Rumuokurushe market.

“Unfortunately, the Rumuokurushe traditional leadership has apparently failed to comply with or enforce this condition in that market and Government will not hesitate to again shut it down if the ongoing breach continues unabated.”

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Insecurity in schools: NSCDC sensitizes education stakeholders

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From Rose Ejembi, Makurdi

To forestall the increasing spate of insecurity in schools across the country, the Benue State Command of the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), has stressed the need for all security guards in all schools in the state to be duly registered and trained by licensed private guards. 

State Commandant of NSCDC, Dr. Philip Okoh stated this during a stakeholders’ meeting with key actors in the educational sector held at the state command of the Corps recently.

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Okoh, while addressing the stakeholders, said the training became necessary following reports of kidnapping and other vices linked to security guards in schools around the country and the need to prevent such occurrence in Benue.

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CBN slashes electronic transfer, ATM fees, others

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The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has slashed its electronic transfer, ATM and card maintenance fees.

The new charges were contained in the latest Guide to Charges by Banks and Other Financial Institutions just released by the CBN

The CBN said bank customers will now pay N10 for electronic transfers below N5,000, N25 for electronic transfer between N5,000 and N50,000, and N50 for electronic transfer above N50,000.

Previously, bank customers pay N50 charge for electronic transfers below N500,000.

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The CBN also slashed charges for cash withdrawal via Other bank’s ATM to “maximum of N35 after the third withdrawal within the same month” from “N65 after the third withdrawal within the same month”.

Also, the CBN removed Card Maintenance Fee (CAMF) on all cards linked to current accounts, among others.

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COVID-19 impact: Enugu govt partners AUDA-NEPAD on farmers’t

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The administration of Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State has taken measures in furtherance of its efforts to cushion the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the people and the economy of the state.

Enugu State office of the African Union Development Agency-New Partnership for African Development (AUDA-NEPAD), yesterday, held an interactive meeting with stakeholders in the state on the agency’s agricultural project aimed at empowering small holder farmers and boosting food production to cushion the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Addressing the stakeholders, Enugu State Commissioner for Special Duties and State Coordinator/Focal Person in charge of AUDA/NEPAD, Enugu Office, Mrs. Mabel Agbo, disclosed that AUDA-NEPAD Continental Office in collaboration with some international agencies took bold measures to cushion the impact of COVID-19 on the citizens by initiating the project, entitled “Innovative Strengthening of Small holder Farmers Capabilities Towards Productive Land Restoration Amid COVID-19 in Nigeria”.

Mrs. Agbo said “this project as the title connotes is aimed at empowering small holder farmers in our different communities in all agriculture value chains and segments (crops and livestock) to boost their capacity for food production, especially in the aftermath of the devastating impact of COVID-19 on our economy.

“To reduce the negative impact of this pandemic, we must step up efforts to enhance the capacity of our farmers to provide food for the wellbeing of our citizens.”

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She said both the African Union (AU) and Governor Ugwuanyi had ensured that the funding for the project was available.

She urged traditional rulers of autonomous communities in Enugu State and the presidents-general of town unions to ensure that lands were made available for use by the potential farmers.

Also speaking, the representative of the State Commissioner for Agriculture, Mr. Afam Ngene, described the project as laudable, commending the AUDA-NEPAD for the initiative.

The commissioner equally lauded Gov. Ugwuanyi for ensuring that the programme reaches all the nooks and crannies of Enugu State, for full actualization of the objectives in the interest of the farmers in particular and the state in general.

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