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Rivers: Federal lawmaker inaugurates constituency projects in Andoni

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… Abiante knows importance of education — Akawor

Barth Ndubuwah, Port Harcourt

Monday, August 22nd, 2022 will remain memorable in the annals of the Obolo people in the Andoni Local Government Area of Rivers State as the as the day the Lawmaker representing Andoni/Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency at the National Assembly, Hon Awaji-Inombek Abiante commissioned several life-touching projects he nominated and attracted to his constituents.

Commissioning one of the projects, a-six classroom block at Government Secondary School,Ngo, the Chairman of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Rivers State, Amb Desmond Akawor described Abiante as a true Representative of his people and by extension Rivers State.

The Chairman said by the virtue of the project, the Legislator has portrayed himself as a lover of education, which is the bedrock of development in any given society.

Akawor said he was not surprised that Abiante has been given another ticket to go back and represent his people at the National Assembly, because he has done well.

“Educating the people is one of the ways to empower the people. Lecturers in Rivers State are the highest paid lecturers in Nigeria, so they don’t have any business with sympathy strike of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

“This is courtesy of our education-loving governor, Chief Nyesom Wike. So I congratulate you, Hon Abiante for representing your people well at the National Assembly. No wonder,you have been given another ticket to go back.
The governor has approved the completion of the Andoni axis of the unity, therefore you should cooperate with the contractor for prompt execution,” Akawor said.

He urged other lawmakers to borrow a leaf from Hon Abiante.

Also speaking, the Majority Leader of the Rivers State House of Assembly, Hon Martin Amaewhule while inaugurating and handing over the keys of the outstation of the temporary accommodation for the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research at Ngo, lauded the effort of the lawmaker in attracting the Federal Government’s presence to his constituency and Rivers State at large, urging him to maintain the tempo.

On his part, the National Coordinator of Grassroots Development Initiative (GDI), a socio-political organisation and Pet-Project of His Excellency, Chief Nyesom Wike,Hon Bright Amaewhule, whlie commissioning a-300KVA transformer at Ngo, the Headquarters of Andoni Local Governnment Area of Rivers State said that Abiante has justified his election as a representative of Andoni/ Opobo-Nkoro Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives.

He said by embarking on these people-oriented projects for his constituents,he has endeared himself in the minds of Rivers people and posterity will be kind to him.

Earlier, while conducting the dignitaries round the project sites, Hon Abiante said that Nigeria import over two million metric tons of fish per annum,with over $2bn spent on that project alone. Therefore his intervention in this sector is borne out of genuine concern.

This, he said, drove him into sponsoring a bill for the establishment of Brackish Water and Research Institute,which he said passed through all the processes of lawmaking, only for the President to decline his assent.

According to him, that remains I mirage to him till date,as no explanation was given for the decline.

The lawmaker said he did not give up,he went ahead and pushed for the alternative of bringing an outstation of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research to Ngo, hence today’s flag-off.

“Nigeria has over 2 million metric tons of fish deficit annually, that is augmented through import,with about $2bn being spent in that project. So my intervention in that area was borne out of conviction and genuine concern.

“I moved for the establishment of Brackish Water and Research Institute. It passed through all the processes of lawmaking, but when it got to the President he declined assent. Uptill today no reason has been given for that decline.

“I went ahead to exploit an alternative by bringing an Outstation of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research to Ngo and informed today’s flagoff, Your Excellency,” Hon Abiante explained.

He thanked the Permanent Secretary and the Minister, Federal Ministry of Agriculture,as well as the Executive Secretary, Agricultural Council of Nigeria for their roles in making the inuaguration a reality.

He also paid glowing tribute to the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives and House Committee Chairman on Agricultural Colleges for their supportive roles that led to the approval of the establishment of an Outstation of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research in Ngo.

Hon Abiante equally said that very soon the Federal College of Fishery and Marine Technology will be established in Ngo.

Some other projects attracted and successfully executed by Hon Abiante include, 300KVA Transformer at Egweile- Ngo Town and Agwut/Ayamboko junction, Water project at Ayama Unyeangala, 3 classroom block at Community Primary School, Isiama Town and 6 classroom block at Government Secondary School, Ngo Town.

Others are Skill Acquisition Centre located inside the Council’s Secretariat, Ngo and outstation of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research in Ngo Town, to train students and researchers on the brackish water fishery and environment.

Highlight of the programme was handling over of the keys of the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research outstation at Ngo to the Management for onward commencement of academic activities pronto.

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NERC transfers regulatory oversight of Enugu Electricity Market to EERC

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Following the Enugu State Electricity Law signed by Governor Peter Mbah and the recent constitution of the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission, ESERC, by the Mbah administration, the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) has formerly transferred the regulatory oversight of the Enugu State electricity market to the state agency effective May 1, 2024.

This is the first time NERC would be ceding such regulatory authority to any state electricity regulatory agency.

The transfer was made known by NERC on Monday in an April 22, 2024 Order No. NERC/2024/039 signed by the Commission’s Chairman, Sanusi Garba, and the Commissioner for Legal, Licensing, and Compliance, Dafe Akpeneye.

The transfer is sequel to the amendments of the Paragraph 14 (b) of the Second Schedule to the 1999 Constitution by the 9th National Assembly in 2023 as well as the Electricity Electricity Act 2023, both of which effectively devolved power generation, transmission, and distribution from the Exclusive List to the Concurrent List and also empowered the states to manage and regulate their electricity markets within their jurisdictions.

It is recalled that the Mbah administration initiated the Enugu State Electricity Bill 2023, which the governor signed into Law in September the same year and also set the pace in March 2024 constituted the Enugu State Electricity Regulatory Commission (ESERC) led by Chijioke Okonkwo as the Chairman/CEO.

The Electricity Act 2023 provides that within 45 days of receiving formal notification of the enactment of the law under subsection (1), the Commission (NERC) shall draw and deliver to the State Regulator a draft order setting out a plan and timeline for the transition of regulatory responsibilities from the Commission to the State Regulator, which transition shall be completed not later than 6 months from the date on which the formal notification in subsection (1) was delivered to the Commission.

Explaining further, NERC said the ESERC now holds the exclusive power to set and adopt end-user electricity tariffs within Enugu State, tailoring these charges to local conditions and requirements.

Also, while ESERC manages local tariff methodologies, any electricity sourced from grid-connected plants and the related tariffs for generation and transmission services must still receive approval from the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC), ensuring alignment with national energy policies.

Furthermore, the final tariffs approved by ESERC for consumers in Enugu State will be definitive for the state, with the Enugu State Government responsible for supporting and implementing tariff-related policies, ensuring that electricity pricing is both fair and attuned to the specific needs of the state’s residents.

Consequently, NERC ordered that: “Enugu Electricity Distribution Company PLC, EEDC, is hereby directed to incorporate a subsidiary EEDC SubCo under the Companies and Allied Matters Act for the assumption of responsibilities for intrastate supply and distribution of electricity in Enugu State from EEDC.

“EEDC shall complete the incorporation of EEDC SubCo within 60 days from the effective date of this Order and, EEDC SubCo shall apply for and obtain a licence for the intrastate supply and distribution of electricity from EERC.

“EEDC shall identify the actual geographic boundaries of Enugu State and carve out its network in Enugu State as a standalone network with the installation of boundary meters at all border points where the network crosses from Enugu State into another state.

“EEDC shall create an Asset Register of all its power infrastructure located within Enugu State.

“Evaluate and apportion contractual obligations and liabilities attributable to EEDC’s operations of its subsidiary in Enugu State.

“Identify all the applicable trading points for energy o take for the operations of EEDC SubCo in Enugu State

“Confirm the number of employees that are required to provide service to Enugu State as a standalone public utility; and transfer the identified assets for operations in Enugu State, contractual obligations, liabilities and employees to EEDC Subco.”

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Eko Disco: WPG sacks Tinuade Sanda

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West Power & Gas Limited, WPG, the majority shareholder of Eko Electricity Distribution Company, EKEDC, has terminated the appointment of the former managing director of the Disco, Tinuade Sanda.

WPG disclosed this in a recent letter signed by the chairman of WPG, Charles Momoh.

The letter noted that Sanda was no longer an employee of the company on April 17, 2024.

“We refer to your contract of employment dated April 1, 2022, signed between you and WPG Limited. At this moment, we advise you that your service is no longer required, and accordingly, your employment with WPG Ltd is hereby terminated effective April 17, 2021, by clause 10.2 of the Contract. “WPG is obligated to pay you three months’ salary instead of notice and advises that the due amounts have been credited to your account. You are requested to kindly return all the Company’s properties (whether WPG or EKEDP ) in your possession, including but not limited to laptops, identity cards, and status cars upon receipt of this letter.”

The Development comes amid controversy surrounding Sanda’s removal by EKEDC.

Sanda was earlier seconded to the Disco and had returned to WPG when she was removed as EKEDC MD. Mrs. Rekhiat Momoh was appointed as Sanda’s replacement.

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NAPTIP reunites 2 Gombe kidnapped children with families

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The National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP), on Monday, reunited two kidnapped children with their parents in Gombe State.

Mr Aminu Shira, the NAPTIP Commander in the state, who stated this in Gombe, listed the children as Usman Kabiru, 11 and Aisha Shehu, four-month-old.

He said that Kabiru and Shehu were rescued in Lagos and Abuja, respectively, and handed over to the agency by the Gombe State Police Command.

Shira said the agency would ensure that the children receive proper care from their families.

He also said the Police Command on Jan. 16, handed over nine suspects and five victims of child trafficking to the agency in the state.

The NAPTIP official said that cases of child trafficking, sale of babies and sexual exploitation were instituted against the suspects currently undergoing prosecution.

Shira, however, said the victims were undergoing rehabilitation and skills acquisition training at the agency.

“Three victims were empowered by the command for full rehabilitation and re-integration into the society.

“Two female victims had been enrolled into skills acquisition training (tailoring) for six months here in Gombe.

“The agency sponsored all financial bills for the training and monthly allowance for the victims during the period of the training.

“One male victim has enrolled into Sheikh Jafar Memorial Primary School Arawa, Gombe, to continue of his education sponsored by NAPTIP,” Shira said.

He urged residents of the state to report suspected human traffickers to the agency, adding that: “NAPTIP will always remain committed towards the prevention of all forms of exploitation against women and children and liberating the vulnerable in the communities towards ensuring a safer and better society”.

It would be recalled that the Police Command on Jan. 10, confimed arrest of 16 persons for alleged child trafficking and criminal conspiracy in the Gombe State.

It also rescued three children from the suspects.

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