The Delta State Ministry of Environment has commenced work to link all canals in Warri to the river in the commercial city.
The ministry also threatened to demolish all illegal structures blocking the drainages as part of measures aimed at solving the flood problem in the city.
Commissioner for Environment, John Nani disclosed this when he led a team from the ministry, on inspection of the clearing exercise on the canal in Ajamimogha community, Warri South Local Government Area.
Although Warri has managed to maintain its position as the commercial hub of the oil rich Delta state, over the years , flooding has remained an impending challenge especially in coastal towns such as Effurun, Ughelli, Sapele, among others.
The Okowa-led administration has however taken up responsibility to tackle the problem head-on.
While on site, Mr Nani also lamented on indiscriminate refuse dumping in the canal by some residents.
Members of the community such as the Chairman of the Warri South Local Government Council, Mathew Adema, and one of the youth leaders, commended the initiative.
“If natural canals are being cleared, the water would flow freely and that will reduce flooding in the city”.
The government therefore expects the joint efforts of residents, expressing that they should also rise up to the task of keeping their environment clean always.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, has warned agitators across the country to desist from attacking Federal Government’s critical facilities just as he appealed to Nigerians to bear with the government as it finds solutions to the lingering crisis in the power sector.
He was speaking in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital after being installed as the National Grand Patron of the S’Adatul Abadiya organization in Abeokuta, the state capital.
“We are going to appeal to Nigerians to be patriotic and they should please stop attacking and destroying critical facilities.
“On the part of government, what we have done now is looking for other means of gas such as nonassociated gas.
“We have also been trucking gas from Utorogu to Warri and Ughelli so as to allow for the stations around Sapele to have gas,” he said.
The Information Minister assured Nigerians that as it finds alternative means of ensuring adequate gas to fire the existing power stations across the country, effort is being channelled towards achieving the 10,000MW of electricity by the year 2019 by the federal government.
“By February this year, we were able to generate and transmit 5,074Mw of power but we are in this situation today mainly because of the attack on the Forcados export line.
“So now we have capacity to generate but we don’t have enough gas and as soon as this platform is repaired we will be able to generate and transmit more than 5,000MW.
“Therefore, aiming at 10,000MW for 2019 is quite feasible,” he said.
The Delta State Government has inaugurated the Delta State Traffic Management Agency (DESTMA).
The agency is saddled with a responsibility to improve traffic compliance, ensure safe reliable and incident free transportation on roads in the state.
According to the State Commissioner for Transport, Mr Vincent Uduaghan, DESTMA has been modelled after the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) in recognition of its laudable achievements in Lagos.
For eight days, pioneer officials of the agency, drawn from the civil service and the public have undergone an induction programme comprising paramilitary training and conducted by the Army and Police in preparation for the job ahead.
While congratulating the newly inducted officers of the agency, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa said that the setting up of the agency was meant to check bad behaviour by road users and enhance free flow of traffic, safety and security on Delta roads.
The operations of the agency would commence in three stations; Asaba, Warri/Effurun and Ughelli, while others stations would come up in due course.
A faction of former Niger Delta militant group on Tuesday issued a one month ultimatum to the presidency to release unpaid allowances to them or risk another bout of crisis in the region.
Addressing the Special Adviser to the President on Niger Delta Affairs, Mr. Kingsley Kuku, leaders of the ex-militants in Ughelli demanded that funds be released to members of the various camps, who are yet to recieve payment.
The group said the leader’s entrepreneurship training is yet to be implemented and that some members were sent for training, by the amnesty office, without duly notifying the leaders of the camps.
Two of the group’s leaders, Owonama Edward and Charles Akatakpo while speaking with journalists in the state, disclosed that they observed irregularities in the payment procedure as some members had not been paid.
“We have been experiencing a situation where some of the boys will receive their salaries in a particular month and have their names omitted the next month. We are insisting that the pending allowances should be paid,” they said.
They stressed that all the leaders should be carried along in all plans and procedures, adding that, “we the leaders are being treated like nuisance by the amnesty office; why? They should work towards the implementation of the leaders’ entrepreneurship training.”
The presidency had in January stated that the amnesty programme granted to ex-militants will not continue despite the agitation by several groups springing up in the region demanding to be accommodated in the programme.
The Governor of Delta State, Emmanuel Uduaghan on Saturday pledged to maintain the state’s 100 percent polio free track record by strengthening its polio immunization and sensitisation campaign efforts.
Mr Uduaghan said this at flag off ceremony of the 2013 First Quarter Polio Immunisation and Sensitisation Campaign which held at the Oharisi Primary School, Ughelli.
The officials of the Ministry of Health, High chiefs and Local Government Councils were all present in this routine immunization exercise.
In his opening address, the State Commissioner for Health, Josesph Otumara called on local government councils especially Ughelli North, Ughelli South, Burutu, Ethiope East, Ndokwa West and Isoko South to increase their commitment to the eradication of the wild polio virus in their area.
Speaking at the event, Governor Uduaghan stated that Delta State has been declared free of the wild polio disease for some years now and since the polio infection is still prevalent in some parts of the country.
He restated his commitment and said the government will continue to strengthen the “Kick Polio Out Campaign “so the state would not be caught off guard.
He also appealed to opinion, traditional and religious rulers for their support to totally eradicate wild polio infection in the state, and charged the State Waste Management Board and the Local government Councils to redouble their environmental sanitation efforts since wild polio virus thrives in unhygienic environment.
The Minister of Petroleum Diezani Alison-Madueke has announced some emergency plans to address the problem of gas supply to power plants across the nation which has being responsible for the fall in power supply.
Speaking to journalists in Abuja on Tuesday, the Minister said the short-term interventions would result in almost 90 per cent of the outstanding shortfall to power being addressed over the next 12 months.
According to the Minister, “since 2005, when the National Integrated Power Projects (NIPP), were kicked off, there had been no alignment between the planned NIPP and the necessary gas supply to power them.”
These projects, she noted are all in very advanced stages and should be completed within the timeframe of 12 months, as she claimed that appropriate steps are being taken by authorities in power sector to address all outstanding debts and commit to payment for future gas supply as well as other terms stipulated in the Gas Supply Agreements (GSA).
She explained that the problem with the gas supply is accentuated in the western part of the country when compared to the east, where she claimed there is an excess of gas.She blamed this on the non-alignment of the NIPP projects and the gas supply to power them.
“Today, the challenge of gas supply is essentially localised around the western axis, as we currently have a situation of excess gas availability in the Eastern axis. As we speak, there is over 300mmcf/d (equivalent of about 1000 megawatts) worth of gas available in the Eastern axis but currently not utilised.”
“This is due mainly to the aforementioned misalignment and also the underperformance of existing PHCN power plants.”
“As we develop the East-West pipeline, we will be able to leverage this gas in the West” she stated.
The minister said in total, 800mmcf/d of gas was being produced in the western axis of which 520mmcf/ is deployed to the power sector (an equivalent of about 1800MW on average). The balance is supplied to domestic manufacturing industries such as the cement plants, etc, and the West African Gas Pipeline project.
“In total, over the next 12 months, we will be adding 500mmcf/d (equivalent to 2000MW) to the grid. This will have a direct major impact on the overall power situation in the country” she said.
She further explained that about 700MW of power will be added to the nation’s power crid by June.
“Specifically, about 180mmcf/d (about 700MW) of this additional 500mmcf/d is due within a few weeks, by June 2012. This will come from Escravos, Utorogu, Ughelli and Oredo. Ongoing activities such as laying of the Olorunsogo pipeline, the completion of the ELPS A pipeline and the completion of the NIPP pipeline around Oredo are key elements of this addition.”
According to her, these projects are all in very advanced stages and should be completed within the timeframe, adding that with the addition, the identified shortfall in supply to Sapele, Geregu and Olorunsogo power plants will be addressed.
She also noted that, “beyond the immediate timeframe, the balance of about 320mmcf/d (about 1300MW) will be delivered through the next 12 months” adding that “new power plants are continually coming on stream, therefore, in addition to the 180mmcf/d, a further 320mmcf/d will be delivered and deployed to these plants over the next 12 months.”
Mrs Alison-Madueke stated that to achieve the 320mmcf/d, a few critical projects will be deployed by the intervention team, including leveraging the excess processing capacity in PanOcean to process gas that will be re-routed from Oredo by NPDC, as well as accessing additional gas at Escravos and major expansion of the Utorogu hub.
“These are the projects that will collectively add 320mmcf/d (1300MW) over the 12-month period.” “I am confident that the steps we are taking will have a visible impact on gas sustainability and supply, and therefore will positively impact on the power aspiration of the nation,” she noted.
The Minister further stressed that the government had directed the deployment of a pragmatic contracting strategy to enable expedited procurement of critical items such as the line pipes and related accessories.
“These interventions will require additional funding which is being sourced through government’s public-private funding initiative, she added.