Former Abia State Governor and Chief Whip of the Nigerian Senate, Dr. Orji Kalu, has described the victory of President Muhammadu Buhari as good for Nigeria’s democracy.
He noted that the verdict of the tribunal is a re-affirmation of the popularity of the President among the people, adding that the 2019 presidential election, provided another opportunity for Nigerians to compensate President Buhari for his goodworks.
Acknowledging the role of the judiciary in sustaining Nigeria’s growing democracy, Kalu, advised politicians to embrace the spirit of sportsmanship in their pursuits for the sake of nation building.
While commending the panel for the landmark judgement, the Senator expressed appreciation to Nigerians for their firm confidence in President Buhari and his team.
In a statement personally signed by Kalu on Wednesday, he stressed that the re-affirmation of Buhari’s victory is a testament to the unprecedented achievements of the current administration.
He said: ” I join other Nigerians in celebrating the verdict of the tribunal.
“President Buhari’s pedigree and goodwill will always speak for him.
“The President as a strong advocate of democracy, provided a level playing ground for candidates across political parties in the 2019 general election.
“President Buhari’s leadership style is highly commendable.
“With the judgement of the tribunal, the opposition and other stakeholders should join hands with the President in his determined efforts to reposition Nigeria.”
The former governor, who applauded the level of maturity displayed by President Buhari before, during and after the poll, charged the political class to embrace the tenets of democracy in their endeavours, noting that the unity of Nigeria remains non- negotiable.
Kalu, while congratulating President Buhari, Comrade Adams Oshiomole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), stakeholders and members of the APC, urged Nigerians to be calm, steadfast and law-abiding.
How impostor of NNPC’s COO almost scammed UK firm
A company based in Salehurst, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, United Kingdom (UK), narrowly escaped being scammed by am impostor of Chief Operating Officer, at the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC).
The Corporation, which confirmed this on Saturday, advised that individuals and corporate bodies, locally and internationally, should be wary of unscrupulous elements parading themselves as officials of the corporation.
The warming, NNPC Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division, Mr. Ndu Ughamadu, said in a statement, came in the wake of the claim by a group of dubious individuals to be representing “a Gas and Power Committee” of the corporation, hosting a chief executive of a United Kingdom based company in a purported “office of NNPC” in Abuja recently.
The release said one of the miscreants had claimed the identity of NNPC Chief Operation Officer (COO), Gas and Power, Engr. Yusuf Usman, all in an attempt to swindle the unsuspecting company based in Salehurst, Robertsbridge, East Sussex, UK.
Xenophobia: SA’s President booed at Mugabe’s burial
- As leaders, supporters bid farewell to late Zimbabwe President
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa felt the full force of the feeling of Africans towards his nation following recent xenophobic attacks on foreigners in the Rainbow Nation, when he was booed by the crowd in the Harare’s National Sports Stadium, venue of Saturday’s burial ceremony for Zimbabwe’s founder Robert Mugabe.
The attacks, which took place earlier this month that triggered international anger, were mainly targeted on shops owned by African migrants.
The master of ceremony was forced to appeal to the crowd to give Ramaphosa a chance to speak. Eventually when he did, Ramaphosa showed contrition for the attacks when he said: “I stand before you as a fellow African to express my regret and to apologise for what has happened in our country.”
His apology brought cheering from the crowd. Mugabe, who led Zimbabwe for 37 years, from independence until he was ousted by the army in November 2017, was honoured as an icon, principled leader and African intellectual giant at the state funeral, after a week of disputes over his burial threatened to embarrass President Emmerson Mnangagwa.
He died in a Singapore hospital on September 6 aged 95, far away from a country he left polarised by a raging political rivalry between its two largest political parties, ZANU-PF and the opposition MDC. His remains will be interred in a mausoleum at the National Heroes Acre in the capital Harare in about 30 days, his nephew said on Friday, contradicting earlier comments that a burial would be held on Sunday.
On Saturday, Mnangagwa walked behind the casket carrying Mugabe’s body as it was wheeled into the centre of Harare’s National Sports Stadium and placed on a podium decorated with flowers so that heads of states could say their farewells.
Senior army generals and Mugabe’s wife and children followed, as a brass band played. The 60,000-seater stadium was only half-filled. In a tribute to his predecessor, Mnangagwa said Mugabe stood in defence of Africans. He urged the West to remove sanctions that were imposed during Mugabe’s rule.
“We who remain shall continue to hear his rich, brave, defiant and inspiring voice … encouraging and warning us to be vigilant and astute,” Mnangagwa said in a speech. Walter Chidhakwa, who spoke on behalf of Mugabe’s family, said Mugabe was an icon who was determined and unflinching in pursuing policies like land reform and later the black economic empowerment programme. Mugabe left behind a country wrecked by hyperinflation, dollarisation and deeply entrenched corruption.
Kenya’s Uhuru Kenyatta called Mugabe an intellectual giant, “a visionary leader and a relentless champion of African dignity.” Other heads of state who attended Saturday’s funeral included long-ruling leaders from Equatorial Guinea and Congo while China, Russia and Cuba, which supported Zimbabwe’s liberation movements that fought white minority rule, were represented by officials. Prominent officials from Western countries, which were critical of Mugabe’s rule, did not feature in the official funeral programme.
Mnangagwa led heads of state in viewing Mugabe’s body, which was followed by a military 21-gun salute to honour Mugabe, reports Reuters
Border closure: Benin, Niger economies under pressure
…no respite until neighbouring countries end smuggling
•Customs inaugurate 2 armoured anti-smuggling vessels
•Niger bans importation of foreign (parboiled) rice from Benin
s the anti-smuggling and anti-oil theft borders patrol operation launched recently by the Federal Government of Nigeria, enters its day 26 today, indications are that the economies of Benin and Niger Republics have come under severe pressure even as the Government of Niger Republic has banned the importation of foreign (parboiled) rice into the country in an effort to persuade Nigeria to re-open the borders.
The people of Niger Republic do not eat parboil rice (they eat white rice), but importers based in Benin and Nigeria import parboiled rice to Benin Republic in very large quantities and then re-export same to Niger, Chad and Cameroon (all Nigeria’s next door neighbours) for smuggling into Nigeria where parboiled rice is eaten.
This is coming as the National Security Adviser (NSA) Maj. Gen. Mohammed Babagana Monguno (rtd) has disclosed that the ongoing border security operation, code-named ‘Exercise ‘Swift Response’, will continue in the four geo-political zones of the country until Nigeria’s neighbours take decisive action to ensure that their countries no longer serve as transit points for smuggling of goods into or out of Nigeria.
Speaking at the inauguration of two armoured anti-smuggling patrol vessels acquired by the Nigerian Customs Service, on Thursday in Lagos, Maj. Gen. Monguno said President Muhammadu Buhari had already conveyed to the leaders of the neighbouring countries that the operation will continue until neighbours ensure smuggling into or out of Nigeria stops
He said: “The bottomline of what Mr. President is saying is that if it is in the interest of neighbouring countries to allow all these dangerous items to transit their territories into Nigeria, so that they can collect transit charges, then it is in Nigeria’s national interest to shut our borders.”
Maj. Gen. Moguno added that the operation has been very successful and did not give any indication that it will end soon.
Sunday Telegraph learnt that as the border hurts the economy of Niger Republic, President of the country, Mahamadou Issoufou had pleaded that the borders be reopened, but Nigeria had told him to first of all stop smuggling of rice and other products across the borders into Nigeria.
To this end, President Issoufou had on September 5, placed a ban on the importation of the foreign (parboil) rice from Benin Republic.
In a circular to all the Customs formations and relevant Government Agencies in Niger a copy of which was made available to PRNigerian; the Nigerien government said that the ban took effect from September 5, 2019.
The DIG in-charge of Customs Service in Niamey, Mr. Oumarou Amadou said revenant agencies of government are to comply strictly or face severe sanctions.
Recall that when the President of Benin Republic, Patrice Guillaume Athanase Talon met with President Buhari at the recent Seventh Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD 7) in Yokohama, Japan; he had pleaded that the border operation be brought to an end.
Meanwhile, the Controller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) has said at the commissioning of the two anti-smuggling patrol vessels in Lagos that Nigeria’s quest for non-oil revenue is a largely dependent on the Nigerian Customs Service to fight smuggling and bring it to the barest minimum.
According to him, experience has shown that whenever smugglers face stiff enforcement by Customs anti-smuggling operatives on the land, they turn to the waterways to carry out their illegal trade.
He added: “Unfortunately, before now the Service has been weak on the water arising from the lack of seagoing vessels to effectively to checkmate smugglers on the high sea. This situation led to the death of nine Customs Marine officers while confronting deadly petrol smugglers on the sea in 2014.
He explained that the two seagoing vessels are well equipped with necessary firepower and other requirements for long time water patrol is in line with the ongoing repositioning of the Service to effectively deliver its mandate to the nation.
Col. Ali said: “With these vessels, I hope smugglers will no longer take advantage of NCS vulnerability on water to smuggle in contraband. NCS Marine operatives can now sail to intersect them right on the high sea.
“The timing of this commissioning is strategic as it will on the immediate boost the ongoing joint security Ex-Swift Response on the water and henceforth remain symbol of NCS strength on the sea the NCS as a present unbundling of the Service now has four marine Commands, namely Western marine, Easter Maritime, North western marine and North Eastern marine Command. It is therefore the resolve of management that smugglers find no space to operate either on land, air or sea.”
Buhari’s successor should come from S’East –Gen Williams
one-time Head, Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC), Nigerian Army Maj-General Isola Williams has said that President Muhammadu Buhari’s successor should come from the South East after his second term in 2023. Isola, who made this known in an exclusive interview with Sunday Telegraph, was airing his view on reports making the rounds that the National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, would like to take a shot at the presidency after Buhari. “Yes, he has the right to aspire to succeed Buhari. It is his constitutional right. But I have a different view about it.
The next leader in 2023 should come from the South East. “Obasanjo has gone for two terms, Yar’Adua, who did not complete his two terms, had Jonathan who did it for him. In addition, he (Jonathan) had one term, Buhari making two terms now. We have been rotating it.
How can the South have two? Secondly, a Yoruba man as Vice President, two terms. Why don’t we have an Igbo president and somebody from the middle belt as Vice President? Within Middle Belt, Plateau, Kogi, Benue, as Vice President. That is what I am looking for. Any ethnic group in this country can produce one very good leader.”
Also, he spoke on the current insecurity ravaging the entire country, adding that Buhari is not being told the truth about the insurgency in the North Eastern part of the country. “In every normal country where there is strategic thinking and you have a serious issue with your policing and your crime fighting, you do not post the military to do what the police can do. Whereas the military is facing insurgency within the country and they are finding it difficult to cope. The same old story: “Technical defeat”.
What is technical defeat? Do we want to be like Pakistan in which you continue to fight insurgency forever? It creates instability in itself, not only insecurity and not insurgency alone.” Furthermore, he said that the Federal Government cannot resolve the issue of the leader of the proscribed Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN), Ibrahim el Zakzaky, who has been in detention since December 2015. Nigeria, he continued may face urban guerrilla which is more dangerous than Boko Haram should the leader die in detention. “I do not think el Zakzaky will be crazy enough to become like the Boko Haram.
The only thing that can happen is that if he dies in detention, then he loses control over his own people. What I am afraid that may happen in his own case will be urban guerrilla warfare. It is worse than Boko Haram because they strike and go back into the bush. Their own they will be in the city and be attacking anyone all over Nigeria. “The way out of it is that the Islamic Community in Nigeria must find a way out of it. Nigeria is not the only country where you have the Shiite people. The Shiite is like the Pentecostal.
The Sunni and the Shiite must find a way to solve the problem. The government cannot do it.” He spoke on other national issues which are all contained in his explosive interview on pages. •Read full interview on pages 22,27
Xenophobia: Nigerians in S’Africa relocating to Europe, other African countries
•I wasted seven years in Rainbow Nation –Returnee
Sequel to the attacks on Nigerians and other nationals by South Africans, many Nigerians living in the country, who have lost hope in the South African government and its police’s ability to protect their lives and property, have perfected plans to relocate to Europe and other African countries to continue their businesses.
Though, a number fo them were aided to come back, many of them said their return will be gradual to ensure that they do not lose any of their property in the process. For Steven Offor, who had spent over 24 years in South Africa with his family, it is pertinent that he returns home at this time and face another business in the country. Offor, who deals in vehicle batteries, said: “Though I do not regret travelling to South Africa, but I think it’s time to go home. If I want to travel again, I can choose between the European nations and US.
“I have been living in South Africa for the past 24 years and I think I have tried. I don’t think there is something so fantastic for anybody in South Africa who is a real businessman. “Those who are in crime are the ones making the real money. But in Europe, if you are hardworking, you will make money. South Africa has no reason whatsoever to be maltreating Nigerians. “Well, everybody is getting ready to leave one after the other, but it’s not going to be immediate else, you will lose out. The business men are gradually selling their wares and not replenishing their stocks.
“There is no regret coming to South, it’s the life of a businessman. If you go to one country and it didn’t favour you, then you have to go to another country. You see people who have lived in more than two countries, business or work is the reason. So I have no regrets. “People go to the country they believe, will make them better. For me, there is no harm in trying, I have tried South Africa, it’s working gradually but I can’t risk my life here or that of my family. “If Nigerian government finishes evacuating people here, those that will be living there will be living at their own detriment and at the mercy of the ungrateful South Africans.”
For another Nigerian, Kingsley Egwu, the seven years he spent working in the Rainbow Nation was a waste, saying that if he had better orientation about the country before he sojourned to the country, he wouldn’t have gone there.
He said: “Seven years I spent in South would have been more fruitful if I had travelled to Holland which even has a stronger currency. There are no jobs in the country except for few competitive ones. “I left for South Africa after my graduation in 2012. I thought that what those people living in South do here with money is what will happen to me if I travel there. I shunned the National Youth Service Corps to travel to the country but haven’t made it big.” He said he would come back to the country and take his time to look for an ideal country to go to.
He is married but his wife and daughter live in Nigeria. He does menial jobs to keep body and soul together. “I do not have any property I want to come back with. I’m timing myself on when to come back but that has to be next year. I am not coming back this Christmas. I want to plan my movement and look for more money to establish myself,” said Gideon Joel, another Nigerian resident in the Rainbow Nation, on the phone with Sunday Telegraph from Johannesburg. On her part, Mrs. Chioma Umezuoke told Sunday Telegraph: “I have told my husband that we have to relocate to another country or go back to Nigeria alive. We can make money anywhere we are if God approves it but he has not said anything about this yet.
The cold alone is driving me crazy.” Sunday Telegraph learnt that what is happening in South African is deadlier than what Nigerians and international media are saying about the situation on the ground. For Kim Uchendu, current hate attacks against Nigerians and other nationals are horrific, saying that the black South Africans, especially are heartless. He said: “These people are mean. There is more to what is happening. We do not really have much problem with the whites; it is the black South Africans that are fermenting all the troubles in the country. “Three days ago, they came to a place called Lagos in Gotham, armed with guns and other weapons to attack our businesses and loot our stalls but we resisted them and pushed them far away from our businesses.
We are not sleeping tonight because they are regrouping. “I am happy for what happened there because our guys came out with their own guns and cutlasses and overpowered them. It was a fierce fight and I told our people not to run away from them. What they want was to chase us away and plunder our goods. “Even some black South African policemen were seriously in support of them.
They instigate them to fight. It was only the White policemen that were seen to be trying to calm the situation. You can see them trying to stop the South African attackers and standing in front of some business establishments. “Though they are really not protecting us per say, they are protecting their properties.
They were there when a black policeman shot one of us (Nigerian) on the leg at a close range and they could see that it was an intentional act. “It’s unfortunate that Nigerian government tries everything they could to protect South Africans and their properties in Nigeria but their government does not reciprocate it. We learnt that the Federal Government arrested over 100 protesters in Nigeria and how many have you heard that South African authorities arrested? “As at Thursday, (September 12), they were regrouping again and I told our people that we must not run away from them for any reason. It is a serious matter. They are killing people anyhow and nobody holds them accountable. It is sad.”
According to another Nigerian resident in South Africa, Fredrick Williams, what is happening in South Africa is not xenophobia, but a clear case of hatred for selected nationals including Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Tanzanians. “I can’t really say for sure what their problems are but I know that what is happening is beyond xenophobia. Perhaps, the South African government does not need Nigerians anymore, people whose oil wealth were used in fighting for them during the apartheid regime,” he lamented.
“But we will meet them strength for strength and force for force. We can’t suffer to build our businesses and allow some miscreants to destroy them,” he insisted. For a political analyst and social commentator, Balogun Ibrahim, this will severe the diplomatic relations between Nigeria and South Africa. It’s not the first time this is happening, but current South African government has not shown any seriousness in trying to stop it. “During the time of former President Jacob Zuma, the South African government showed concern by apologising to the Nigerian government but we have not seen such with the current administration instead, some provocative actions are being experienced,” he said.
Xenophobia: Face-off will hurt Nigeria’s $3.83bn exports to SA –Experts
•Say Nigeria needs S’Africa economically more than it needs W’African nation
As the government of South Africa has reportedly insisted on not paying any compensation to Nigerians who lost their means of livelihood in the recent xenophobic attacks against African nationals resident in the Rainbow Nation, Sunday Telegraph has learnt that if the frosty relationship would affect Nigeria’s over $3.83 billion exports to that country if the situation degenerates into a full blown diplomatic face-off.
This comes as the National Bureau of Statistics First Quarter 2019 Foreign Trade Statistics revealed that South Africa is one of Nigeria’s top five export destinations as the country exported goods with a total value of N325.5 billion or 7.2 per cent to South Africa within the period. South Africa has over the review period 2007- 2016 maintained a trade deficit with Nigeria, mainly attributed to the large imports of crude oil, which have consistently accounted for 99 per cent of South Africa’s imports from Nigeria. South Africa’s exports to Nigeria, despite being low are relatively diverse.
In a report, Gimba Ka kanda, a postgraduate student of International Relations at the London School of Economics, stated South Africa is an important trading partner Nigeria cannot afford to lose. South African businesses have major investments in the country, including the DSTV cable service, MTN telecom, the Shoprite supermarket chain and others. Nigeria exports $3.83 billion worth of goods, mostly oil and oil products, to South Africa. By contrast, it imports just $514.3 million of South African products, which accounts for less than one percent of total South African exports.
He said: “The more contrasting feature of the two economies, and which again highlights Nigeria’s weakness is that while Abuja levers around a commodity-dependent economy, Pretoria has built a highly-diversified economy with a superior industrial structure. In other words, Nigeria needs South Africa economically, much more than South Africa needs Nigeria.”
From a global perspective, Nigeria is ranked 32nd amongst South Africa’s export destinations accounting for less than 1 per cent of South Africa’s total exports. In terms of imports, Nigeria is ranked 10th import supplier to the South African market. However, when considering the African market, then Nigeria is ranked 12th export destination for South African goods and is ranked 1st most important import source from Africa.
“In this sense, the Nigerian government cannot do anything about the violence against its citizens in South Africa beyond making a few symbolic diplomatic moves and bringing up once again the Nigerian role in liberating South Africans from its white oppressors. It is clear that in doing so it is addressing Pretoria from the position of weakness,” Kakanda said. He, however, said that the relative importance of Nigeria in terms of trade on the continent cannot be overemphasised, as the large market of Nigeria (population of 190 million), provides trade and investment opportunities for countries such as South Africa, which is aiming to expand its footprint into the continent beyond Southern Africa. “Therefore, closer cooperation on bilateral and regional issues is key,” he said.
There are over 120 South Africa-owned businesses in Nigeria operating in different sectors. Also speaking, Chief Executive, Global Analytics Company, Mr. Tope Fasua said that Nigeria might currently not be able to reciprocate the actions of the South Africans, “for obvious reasons.”
He said: “Unfortunately, we are feeble against them; we don’t have any strategic way to reciprocate what they are doing. “However, if you look at the companies here, if we decide to go after the companies that are here, a lot of them have been farmed out to Nigerian owners who are the suppliers, who are subletting a lot of things and so on. “South African investment makes up significant portion of Nigeria’s FDI inflow. MTN is the largest FDI business in Nigeria and so many others like that. “In the infrastructure space, I understand that for the past few years, South African pension fund has been the largest chunk of infrastructure investment into Nigeria.”
Similarly, economist and former Director General, Abuja Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), Dr. Chijioke Ekechukwu, said a face-off might not be the most appropriate response from the Nigerian government as this could hurt the economy particularly in the areas of jobs and taxes. Amid the diplomatic tension, the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) called for the nationalisation of the local arm of the South African telecoms giant, MTN Nigeria Limited, as well as calling on Nigerians to boycott all South African businesses in Nigeria, including banks. But experts, who spoke to Sunday Telegraph, called for a quick resolution of the diplomatic crisis, given the huge bilateral trade between them. Speaking on the issue, the Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited, Mr. Bismarck Rewane, said South African investments were quite huge and significant to Nigeria.
“So, I think they should be able to resolve this matter amicably. We have about 14 flights between South Africa and Lagos weekly and that is a lot of business. It is in the interest of Nigeria and South Africa to resolve this issue so that it doesn’t deteriorate,” Rewane added.
LASU promotes 377 staff, sacks 8 for misconduct
The authorities of the Lagos State University (LASU) have ratified the promotion of no fewer than 31 academic staff, 346 non-teaching staff, and dismissal of eight members of staff for misconduct.
The approval of the promotion and dismissal of the members of staff, according to a statement released by the university and made available to Sunday Telegraph, were taken at the 122nd statutory meeting of the university Governing Council on Thursday.
The statement signed by the Coordinator, Centre for Information, Press and Public Relations, Mr. Ademola Adekoya on Friday, was entitled: LASU Governing Council Approves Promotion of 11 New Professors, 14 Associate Professors; Five Academic and Three Non-Academic Staff Dismissed for Misconduct.”
The statement further added: “The Council considered the reports of the Joint Council/Senate Disciplinary Committee, and the Joint Council (Administrative and Technical Staff) Disciplinary Committee, respectively, and approved the dismissal of the affected staff members.
According to the statement, the 31 academic staff promoted in the exercise include 11 lecturers promoted from Associate Professor to Professor; 14 Senior Lecturer to Associate Professor; 5 Lecturer 1 to Senior Lecturer; one from Lecturer II to Lecturer I.
In the senior non-academic staff category, 125 members of staff benefitted from the promotion exercise, while in the junior category, the university promoted 221 members of staff.
Meanwhile, in the case of the sacked eight staff, comprising five lecturers and three non-teaching staff, the statement added that the Joint Council/Senate (Academic) Disciplinary Committee and the Joint Council (Administrative and Technical Staff) Disciplinary Committee, which heard the cases strictly followed all laid down procedures, and duly gave opportunity to the individuals involved to defend themselves.
Among those sacked were three executive members of the university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), who are Dr. Anthony Dansu of the Department of Human Kinetics, Sports and Health Education, Faculty of Education, who until his sack was the Secretary of the union.
“Dr. Dansu was investigated on allegation of unauthorised removal, retention and dissemination/publication of official confidential documents and infractions arising from the interviews granted to online media platforms levelled against him, and found culpable. Council noted that his acts constitute serious misconduct; he was therefore dismissed from the services of the University with immediate effect.
The other ASUU executive members dismissed are “Dr. Oluwakemi Adebisi Aboderin-Shonibare, Department of African Languages, Literature and Communication Arts, Faculty of Arts.
According to the report, he was investigated on allegation of being in possession of confidential documents i.e. Assessor’s Report and Report of Appointments, Promotions and Disciplinary Committee of Council, and found culpable.
FG approves N166bn for construction of 14 roads
- Lagos, Kano, Imo, Edo, 10 others are beneficiaries
In order to improve the nation’s transportation infrastructure and restore its road network as a means to create employment and boost the economy, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the award of N166billion contracts for the construction and rehabilitation of 14 roads across the country.
The road completion period for the roads’ construction/ rehabilitation projects range between 12 and 48 months. The contracts are expected to create 3,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities in the country.
According to the Special Adviser on Communication to the Minister of Work and Housing, Mr. Hakeem Bello, roads listed for awards included the Kotangora-Rijau Road in Niger State which would involve the construction of two bridges; Kano-Katsina Roads which involved the construction of additional lane from the Airport Roundabout to Dawanau Roundabout in Kano State; Kotangora-Bangi Road in Niger State; Outer Marina- Bonny Camp Road and Eko Bridge through Apongbon Bridge with access ramp in Lagos State; Irrua-Edenu- Ibore-Udomi-Uwessan Road in Edo State, slated for rehabilitation; Ilobu – Erinle Road in Kwara/Osun States billed for construction; and the construction of Wudil Bridge to link Gaban Komi with Wudil bypass along Maiduguri Road in Kano State.
Others are Wukari-Ibi Road in Taraba State billed for rehabilitation; construction of Baro-Port Gulu Town Road in Niger State; Ajingi- Jahun-Kafin Hausa Road in Jigawa State slated for rehabilitation; Aba-Owerri Road and NNPC Expressway in Abia State; Kaleyeri-Damaturu Road in Yobe State; two outstanding sections of Oba Nnewi-Arondizuogu-Okigwe Road in Imo/Anambra States for reconstruction and Yaba-Yangogi Road in the Federal Capital Territory.
The approval of the contracts, Bello said was sequel to a memorandum by the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, to the FEC dated September 3. The document, he said, was sought by the ministry in line with the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government targeted at opening up settlements and provide access for the evacuation of goods and services nationwide.
Bello said: “According to the Memorandum, the contract for the construction of two bridges, Lioji and Gulbin- Boka Bridges at Kotangora- Rijau Road will be executed by Messrs Nael & Bin Harmal Hydroexport Nigeria Limited at a contract cost of N1.13 billion with a completion period of 12 months while the construction of additional lane on Kano-Katsina Road in Kano will be executed by Messrs Zerock Construction Nigeria Limited within a period of 24 months at the cost of N9.5billion.
“The reconstruction of Kotangora-Bangi Road in Niger State will be executed by Messrs CBC Global Civil & Building Construction Nigeria Limited within 48 months at the cost of N20.4 billion, while the rehabilitation of Outer Marina-Bonny Camp Road and Eko Bridge through Apongbon Bridge with Access Ramps will be done by Messrs CCECC with a completion date of 12 months at the cost of N9.3 billion.”
According to him, rehabilitation of Irrua-Edenu-Ibore- Udomi-Uwessan Road in Edo State was awarded to Messrs Mikky-Tai Engineering & Construction Limited/ Messrs Rodnab Construction JV at N4.6 billion, with a completion date of 12 months, while Messrs IAC Allied Technical and Construction Company Limited would construct the Ilobu- Erinle Road in Kwara/Osun States within 36 months at N18.042 billion.
He stated that Wudil Bridge along Maiduguri Road in Kano State would be constructed by Messrs Triacta Nigeria Limited within a period of 15 months at N2.6 billion; rehabilitation of Wukari-Ibi Road in Taraba State by China Worldwide Limited within a period of 18 months at the cost of N12.31billion; while GR Building & Construction Nigeria Limited would construct the Baro-Port- Gulu Town Road in Niger State within a period of 24 months at N10.62billionm and rehabilitation of Ajingi- Jahun-Kafin Hausa Road in Jigawa by Messrs H & M Nigeria Limited within a period of 24 months at the cost of N25.04 billion.
The document read: “Messrs Roudo Nigeria Limited is to rehabilitate the Aba-Owerri Road, NNPC Expressway in Abia State within 18 months at the cost of N6.1billion; Messrs JM & A’S/Lubell Nigeria Limited will construct Yaba-Yangogi Road in the FCT within 24 months the cost of N17.31 billion; and Messrs Rick Rock Construction Limited to complete the rehabilitation of the Kaleyeri-Damaturu Road in Yobe State within a 28 months at the cost of N17 billion.
“Messrs IIC Construction Company Limited/Wiz China Worldwide Engineering Limited, who are to rehabilitate two outstanding sections of Oba-Nnewi-Arondizuogu- Okigwe Road in Imo/Anambra States within a period of 18 months, will receive N12.8 billion as payment on completion of the project.”
The scope of works to be covered in each of the projects were clearly itemized, while the minister also gave extensive details of the procurement processes which the participating companies went through that culminated in the certification and issuance of a Due Process Certificate of “No Objection” for each of the 14 projects by the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP).
Buhari to African leaders: We must end terrorism now
- Mourns Prof Chukwuka Okonjo
President Muhammadu Buhari yesterday challenged leaders of the African continent act fast and not to allow terrorism destroy the region.
The President stated this in Ouagadougou, the capital of Burkina Faso. Special Adviser on media and publicity Femi Adesina in a statement said:”Our region has made commendable progress in the realization of its regional integration and we must not allow terrorist groups to destabilize our Community and undermine the aspirations of our people for a safe, secure and prosperous environment,” President Buhari said in his speech at the Extraordinary Summit of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government on Counter-Terrorism.
”It is, therefore, our collective responsibility not to let up but to win the fight against terrorism and stamp out the scourge from our region,” he added. President Buhari, who joined other ECOWAS leaders for the special one-day Summit, which was also attended by leaders of Chad and Mauritania decried that terrorism, today, has become a major security threat across the globe. He warned that the activities of terrorist groups constitute a grave danger to peace and security in West Africa, the wider Sahel and the global community.
”The frequency of attacks, the determination and resilience of the terrorist groups as well as the ease with which they raise funds and acquire sophisticated weapons are matters of serious concern which should engage our attention as a Community. ”Equally worrisome, is the continuing spread of the menace of terrorism in the region and the growing link between terrorism and organized crime.
”This is why we must not relent in our efforts until we defeat the monster completely.
”And the best way to achieve this objective is through coordinated regional actions and responses against terrorism, insurgency, banditry, inter-communal disputes while we also put in place policies and measures that will address their root causes including the re-establishment and protection of livelihoods,” he said.
Sharing the experience of Nigeria in fighting the scourge, the President told the summit: ”As a major victim of Boko Haram terrorist activities, Nigeria has remained resolute in efforts to combat and eradicate them in all their forms and manifestations.
”Our counter-terrorism strategy which includes prevention, prosecution and reconstruction is also in full compliance with the Yamoussoukro counter-terrorism strategy adopted by ECOWAS Member States.
”In combating terrorism and addressing the resultant humanitarian crisis, through regional and international collaboration, ECOWAS as a Regional Economic Cooperation, would need in partnership with the African Union, to galvanise international support and solidarity to combat and defeat this menace in our region”. Meanwhile, Buhari has consoled with the family of former minister of finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, over the passing to glory of the patriarch of the family, Obi Chukuka Okonjo, 91, who was a professor of mathematics, university administrator, international consultant and traditional ruler.
Tribunal ruling: Presidency condemns media report
- Insists Buhari retracted nothing
The Presidency has condemned what it described as “a twisted story with malicious intent” which was published in a national daily on Saturday with the headline: “Tribunal: Buhari retracts, confesses he was under tension.”
The news story was derived from what the President said when he received All Progressives Congress (APC) governors, who had come to felicitate with him at State House, Abuja on Friday. The President’s spokesman, Mr. Femi Adesina, in a statement in Abuja on Saturday, said the newspaper was being mischievous by trying to link up what the president said in an earlier statement (on the judgment) with his remarks during the Friday visit.
The statement read part: ”Referring specifically to judgment day by the tribunal, which coincided with the maiden meeting of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), President Buhari had said: “It was a fabulous coincidence that it came almost the same time the first FEC meeting of this government was taking place. “It lasted about the same time with the judgment. I thank God for that because I think I would have gone into trauma or something. So, I was busy trying to concentrate on the memos.
”An elementary understanding of the English language shows that President Buhari was talking specifically of the day and time of the court ruling, not before.
“The paper went further to say that the President’s remarks amounted to a retraction of his earlier statement, in which he said he had been unperturbed about the judicial challenge to his electoral victory.
“Hear the statement personally approved earlier on Wednesday by the President: ‘Good conscience fears no evil report. I was unperturbed all along because I knew Nigerians freely gave us the mandate. We are now vindicated.’ “I was unperturbed all along… Was that referring to judgment day? A simple comprehension of English language indicates otherwise. It referred to the many months the case lasted in court.”
The presidential aide further frowned at the allegation by the newspaper that the President may not have been privy to the earlier statement that emanated from his media office.
He said: “To further show malice and evil intent, the newspaper indicated that the President may not have been privy to the earlier statement that emanated from his media office. Who does that, for such a landmark development, without the consent of the principal? “As a piece of information, the President personally approved the statement for release, as the FEC meeting was winding to a close.
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