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Flooding Menace: Italian Firm, Rivers Community Sign Pact To End Flooding

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The Italian energy giant, ENI, which is the parent company of Nigerian Agip Oil Company (NAOC), has entered agreement with Aggah community in Ogba/Egbema/Ndoni Local Government of Rivers State to tackle annual flooding in the area.

Aggah community,  according to a group, Egbema Voice of Freedom(EVF), has, over 40 years, been witnessing repeated annual flooding allegedly caused by operations of oil company in the area.

The group,  which is fighting marginalisation in the area, had petitioned ENI over neglect and environmental issues in the host communities with support from Advocates for Community Alternatives (ACA) and Chima Williams & Associates (CWA).

In a joint statement in Port Harcourt, EVF, represented by Pastor Evaristus Nicholas; ACA represented by Jonathan Kaufman; Chima Williams & Associates, (CWA), represented by Prince Chima Williams and International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) led by Sacha Feierabend, noted that the agreement followed thorough investigations by ENI.

The complainants stressed that the  flooding had devastating impacts on the health, property, livelihoods and environment of the Aggah community.

The statement read: “After years of battle, residents of the community of Aggah in Rivers State, Nigeria, finally have hope for relief from the floods that have plagued them for five decades. “In a rare successful case before an OECD National Contact Point (NCP), the agreement addresses the essential concern of the complainants. the urgent construction of drainage solutions to mitigate the flooding and a potential resort to a technical expert if more efforts are needed. “The agreement is an achievement that follows years of battle to get ENI and its subsidiary NAOC to act to resolve the flooding they have created. We remain however vigilant on how the company and its Nigerian subsidiary will implement the agreement”,  he said.


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Intrigues, tension as FIRS elects unit leaders Monday

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Ahmad Tijjani Abdul, Kano

Barring any last minute change, Federal Inland Revenue staff would begin the process of electing delegates across its formations on Monday for the 2021 Quadrant Delegates election.

The first process of the 2021 election due on Monday, has raised tension at the revenue collection agency following widespread complaints by staff that the foundation process, key to emergence of leaders has been allegedly comprised by the management.

FIRS has two union bodies- Nigeria Civil Service Union ( NCNCU), and Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) headed by Alhaji Idris Alhassan, and Mr. Okere Samson respectively.

Findings revealed that while the NCNSU election usually holds peacefully in the service, that of ASCSN never comes easy during and after election.

Further investigation revealed that election into these two bodies were usually conducted through delegate elections across the offices of the service nation wide, and the delegates in turn voted the exco at every quadrant delegate conference .

Checks by this paper revealed that as at Saturday, the FIRS electoral body kept to its chest how it intends to conduct the delegates election in outstations as no time table was available for the exercise.

The findings further revealed that there are high level coersion of staff by certain vested interest among the management team to whip up sentiments to make staff/delegates fall in line or lose their job prematurely .

The situation has polarised the body as different interest groups emerged over the weekend to pursue regional agenda.

Finding also revealed that a certain FIRS director has his younger brother running along side Comrade Lekwort Thomas Friday, Comrade Ahmed Abah Terab, and Comrade Abubakar Dalhatu , and Comrade Ajoge J.Yakubu for the chairmanship position, and it is suspected, the unnamed Director was behind the underhand tactics to subvert the wish of the staff.

In this regard, delegates from the 19 outstation states of the FIRS have concluded plans to boycott the forthcoming delegate election scheduled to hold later this month in Abuja, federal capital Territory.

VerityNews learnt that the planned boycott was sequel to what sources close to emerging plot described as “undue interference” of FIRS management on union matters”
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At a meeting held over the weekend in Damaturu to perfect a regional strategy to overcome what sources explained was to address a comon problem, they called on FIRS management to provide a level playing field for contestants.

A competent source privy to the Damaturu meeting disclosed that there are sustained efforts by some outgoing officials to shortchange the region, as they were alleged to have altered the delegate lists that have been forwarded to state Coordinators and tax controllers nationwide for adoption.

The meeting that held during the weekend in Damaturu, Yobe came on the heels of smilar meetings that held also in Ibadan, Lagos and Enugu. X x creeperrq

At Ibadan, Oyo state last Thursday, south west nc 4se442 complained openly of a plot by an interested management staff to scuttle fair proceedings.

A source conversant with the bitter power struggle confided in this tabloid that the “Ibadan meeting gave impetus to Northern groups to speak up because some rogue elements were impersonating the entire FIRS management to score cheap political goal.”

Speaking further, the source alleged that “one of the directors whose siblings is contesting for the plum job had so manipulated the process that he has suppressed memos distancing the management from the crisis from getting to the outstation.

However, it was learnt that seven members out of the 11 outgoing exo members wrote the FIRS management and the national body of ASCSN to postpone the delegates election scheduled for 21 February 2021.

Their grouse was that “in the light of security situation in the south east where breach could snowball into ethnic witch hunt, we believe delegates are safe in Abuja than anywhere else. “

Investigation also revealed that the unnamed director suppressed every effort by the management of the Service to distance themselves from the manipulation.

Despite the perceived general disposition of the Management, checks indicated that many management staff were never part of this rigging calculation as the EC/FIRS, had charged in various fora for a level playing field, and expressed readiness to work with whoever emerges.

The EC/FIRS made it clear in various meeting and interactions that the collection of taxes to meet up with the target and mandate of the service should be of major concern to the management team.

When contacted, Abdullahi Ismail, Head Corporate Services, FIRS could not be reached, neither did he respond to the SMS sent to his known GSM line.


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Why I have passion for police welfare- PCRC women coordinator

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Princess Ngozi Dahiru, a business woman based in Abuja, is the newly elected Woman Coordinator of the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC). In this interview with ENE OSHABA, she discussed why she vied for the position and what she hopes to achieve for the Police and citizens in general

What is PCRC and what are their basic duties?
PCRC, like the name implies is Police Community Relations  Committee And it is out to build good relationship between the police and the community. It is also our (volunteers) duty to inform the Police, to serve the nation and so we fund ourselves using our own little resources, because we want good Police and community relationship. Most people think this is not possible but in the estate I live in, we have a good relationship with the Police manning the estate and no matter how highly placed you are, you don’t insult them. An army officer insulted a Police officer one day and we met him; we were ready to arrest him and take him to court but he apologized because he knows the army is disciplined and won’t condone such. We take care of our Police the little way we can and they are active and serve as as if they are not Nigerian Police and the residents love and respect them.
They are not animals, if you treat them well and take them as human beings, they will work effectively.
If a good relationship exists, there would be peace, communities will trust Police, and the Police will trust them too.It is only when I trust Police that I will be able to give him information about a stranger in my community and be rest assured that the Police won’t mention my name if the person happensaam to be a criminal. I am angry because our Police are hungry and angry anytime, any day because even we as PCRC had to be careful with the information we give Police, hence we have to change the narrative.

Tell us why you contested the position of the Women Coordinator for PCRC?
I contested for the women coordinator of the PCRC  because I believe that with the position, I should be able to be a mouthpiece for the Police, and most importantly voice out concerns about their welfare.I believe the welfare of the Police should be looked into and they should be well placed if not above their western counterparts at least within their level. A situation where a seargent receives 30,000 or 35,000 naira as salary is not encouraging. What will he or she do with that amount when he has 3-4 children,  when 50,000 naira is not even enough forafeeding for a family of 5. Yet, the officer has to pay transportation to work, eat lunch, pay children’s school fees,? He is already an angry man, then you give him guns to checkmate criminals and ensure law and order. He cannot do that faithfully, rather he will look for other means of making money which the government has deprived him of. In this situation any chance that comes, he will take it, except the person is rooted in the fear of God.

Your argument seems to justify unethical behavior of the Police. Are you saying they are unaware of the poor salary of the Police  before joining?

Yes they knew but accepted to take up the job because there were (are) no jobs and they had no option, so the environment is not friendly for them. Those who have a choice don’t join the Police, so those who join, join with the mind of “I will make it any how” even when they know they are not well paid. If the Police is well paid, I tell you, even those recruiting will be more selective and then we will have more graduates joining too.

Talking about pay, what are you recommending and how will you use your position to push that forward?
If I have my way, a Police recruit should be paid between N120,000 – N150,000 for a start because Nigeria can afford it, and we need them. If we do not take care of the welfare of Police  the maltreatment of citizens will continue. 
If a Police officer is on a special assignment, give him allowance, give him adequate tools to work with, they shouldn’t be denied their rights.We are blessed today with a Police IG who wants to do purely Police work in truth and merit because of his passion for the job but I also sympathize with parents and families who lost their children as well as civilians and the Police who lost their lives during the last protests.

 A lot of respected and responsible youths have been lost in the course of a good protest which was devoid of any religious or tribal sentiments and the case of shoot out shouldn’t have happened because they were fighting for their future.
From the Police recruit to the Inspector General, they are poorly paid, but if their welfare is well taken care of, there will be no protesting youths. If you recall during the #EndSARS the youths also called to improve Police welfare because they do not hate them, the protest was for the Police too.
The Police have been on this level for many years but I’m appealing to Buhari to look into their welfare critically. I also appeal to the National Assembly to wake up to their responsibility; it is a legislative issue they should look into and do the needful.
Visiting traditional rulers won’t stop it, rather welfare of Police should be improved; if this is done, a lot of changes will come.

How will your position benefit women and Nigerians in general?
I’m here asking for support from all to achieve my aim of welfare for the Police. If this is done everything will fall into place, there will be peace, then you can discipline an officer who don’t perform well.
I’m a Nigerian and the Police is serving me, that’s why I advocate for them. They are human beings like you and I, we should all speak for them because they are working hard.
I wanted to travel to Kogi state for some occasions and an important burial but I cannot because there is no police on the road.We need total restructuring of this nation because things are not working as they should, the constitution is one handed over to us by the military and it cannot work for us now. We should all pray for our leaders, stop the blame game  and know that with prayers, God will bless Nigeria.


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COVID-19: Number of virus cases hits 44,433 as NCDC announces 304 new cases

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Nigeria’s COVID-19 total cases have now reached 44,433 after the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) announced 304 new cases and 910 deaths from infections in the country.

The NCDC made this known on its official twitter handle on Tuesday.

Data from the health agency showed that the 304 new cases were spread across 18 states and the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT).

According to it, as of Aug. 4, 14 deaths were recorded in the country.

Till date, 44,433 cases have been confirmed out of which 31,851 cases have been discharged and 910 deaths recorded nationwide.

The NCDC said that the 304 new cases were reported from FCT (90), Lagos (59), Ondo (39), Taraba (18), Rivers (17), Borno (15), Adamawa (12), Oyo (11) and Delta (9).

Others were Edo (6), Bauchi (4), Kwara (4), Ogun (4), Osun (4), Bayelsa (3), Plateau (3), Niger (3), Nasarawa (2) and Kano (1).


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