Ibifiri Bobmanuel, the chief executive officer of Bobmanuel Tractor Limited and president of Rivers Entrepreneurs and Investors Forum (REIF), along with Celestine Akpobari, an environmental rights activist and Ferdinand Giadom (Ph.D), an environment expert at the University of Port Harcourt will take turns in speaking at the kick-off of activities of media correspondents in Port Harcourt’s weeklong programme, slated to start today Monday December 2.
The media week, the second in the series in oil-rich Rivers State by the correspondents, will focus on deliberating on issues around the much-delayed United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) report on Ogoni clean-up.
Bobmanuel, a fast-rising entrepreneur and investor would chair the opening session to be held at the Royal Banquet Hall of Hotel Presidential, Port Harcourt, while Akpobari, with a long history of environmental rights activism, will deliver a technical paper on Rivers environment. Giadom, a UniPort don, will review the paper.
The Correspondents’ Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) in Rivers State, which has come to define media engagement with state actors in the state and country, has as theme for the 2019 edition: “Role of Media in the Rivers Environment.” The events will close on December 8.
According to Ignatius Chukwu, chairman of the media week, and Ernest Chinwo, chairman of the Correspondents’ Chapel, the programme “is expected to help us take closer look at environment issues and examine our role in fighting for a better environment. After the week, we are expected to sharpen our tools and strategies, all aimed at helping to protect the environment for the sake of our unborn children.”
A symposium will be held on Wednesday, December 4, at the NUJ House on Moscow Road, Port Harcourt at 10am, and will be chaired by Barineme B. Fakae, a renowned Veterinary Scientist and researcher, who is the former Vice Chancellor of the University of Science and Technology (now Rivers State University).
The university, during Fakae’s tenure as VC, was the anchor institution that partnered with the United Nations Environment Programme to investigate the Ogoni environment and carry out all tests. Today, all the high precision equipment are domiciled in the university, which would propel the institution into environment-specific investigations.
The symposium is bringing together all those mandated by the UNEP in its report to carry out specific actions and activities on remediation and rectification of the Ogoni environment. At the end of the symposium, an independent report would be issued to the world on compliance level of each focal stakeholder as far as the UNEP Report is concerned.
There would also be a dinner night on Thursday, December 5, at the Royal Banquet Hotel, Hotel Presidential, to be chaired by erudite public relations practitioner and reputation management expert, Jossy Nkwocha (Ph.D) of Indorama Nigeria. Dinner talk would be rendered by Paulinus Nsirim, a pastor, who was one-time NUJ chairman, press secretary and currently the permanent secretary, Rivers Ministry of Information and Communications.
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