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FEC approves N15 billion for road linking 2nd Niger bridge, €3.7 million for power

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FEC approves N15 billion for road linking 2nd Niger bridge, €3.7 million for power

FEC approves N15 billion for road linking 2nd Niger bridge, €3.7 million for power

The Federal executive Council (FEC) has approved N15 billion for the construction of an access road linking the Benin-Asaba expressway to the second Niger bridge.

Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council’s meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, on Wednesday, in Abuja.

He expressed the hope that the completion of the road would help achieve the dream of inaugurating the bridge before May 29.

“The Minister of Works presented a memo seeking approval for the award of contract for the construction of an access road from the existing Benin-Asaba expressway to approach the link road to second Niger bridge in Delta.

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”As you are aware, the government is determined to inaugurate the second Niger bridge before the expiration of this administration.

”We can tell you that the bridge itself is substantially concluded, but the contract that was awarded today, although the work has started before now, is actually to connect the Asaba-Benin end to the new bridge.

“The contract was awarded to Julius Berge at a sum of N15billion. They have started the work but they said it is only proper that they have a contract.

”We can assure you that the road will be finished in good time for us to inaugurate the 2nd Niger bridge,” he said.

Mohammed also disclosed that the council has approved N16billion as variation for the dualisation of Suleja-Minna road in Niger.

The Minister of Power, Abubakar Aliyu, who also addressed the correspondents revealed that the council approved 3.7 million Euros as contract variation for the Transition Company of Nigeria.

He said the amount was meant for the procurement of some equipment and to complete the construction of two sub-stations that would help boost electricity supply in the country

Aliyu said: “Today, I presented a memo on behalf of the Transition Company of Nigeria to the Council and it approved the variation.

”This was due to the escalation of prices for the supply of equipment and the construction of 132 33KV substations at Nnewi and 132 KV line bay extension at Onitsha, both in Anambra.

“The approved amount for the variation is 3.7 million Euros plus N1.137 billion inclusive of 7.5 percent Value Added Tax, with a completion period of 18 months.”

The minister disclosed that the contracts started in 2006 but were abandoned due to lack of budgetary provisions.

Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clement Agba, also disclosed that the council approved six medium term development plans for Nigeria, which will run from 2021-2050, dealing with various specifics.

He said: ”The broad objectives are to create a stable and predictable macro-economic environment.

”This is by adopting policies that are consistent with raising domestic savings and investments, to establish a solid foundation for a concentric diversified private sector led economy.

”It will as well create a more resilient business environment that creates and support opportunities for Nigerians to realise their potentials, among others.”

Agba said the plans were developed in collaboration with the sub-national governments, the three main political parties, PDP, APC and APGA as well as the organized labour, the youth and women organisations, religious bodies and traditional institutions.

The minister, who fielded questions from the correspondents, said the Federal Government was yet to conclude plans on palliatives that would cushion the effect of fuel subsidy removal on Nigerians.

It will be recalled that under the Federal Government’s 2022 to 2023 Medium-Term Expenditure Framework, a proposal of N3.3trillion was made for fuel subsidy between January and June 2023.

Agba stated that a Committee headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo had been working with the National Economic Council ( NEC).

It is a body made up of Governors of the 36 States and the Federal Capital Territory( FCT), working on the palliatives that will help to cushion the effect of the subsidy removal.

According to him, the provisions for subsidy is up to June, 2023, adding that the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and other relevant agencies have also been working on the issue.

He, however, stated that the Minister of State , Petroleum Resources would be in the best position to provide more updates on the issue of the subsidy removal.

Agba said: ”For over a year plus now, the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo has been leading a Committee working on this and the National Economic Council also has a committee that has also been doing same.

“So, the stage that we are in now is how to finalise the suggestions that have come out from both the Federal Government and the Governors side.

”Like you know, it is something that is going to affect the entire nation. They will just have to ensure that everyone is carried along, that is both the federal and sub-national governments.”

FEC approves N15 billion for road linking 2nd Niger bridge, €3.7 million for power

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Court

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

The Concerned Citizens of North East (CCNE), a non-governmental organization dedicated to promoting good governance, transparency, and accountability, has welcomed a recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the immediate release of funds earmarked for local government areas (LGAs).

The was contained in a press statement signed by CCNE’s Secretary General Babangida Inuwa Muhammad, marks a significant victory for grassroots development and governance in the region.

The Supreme Court’s decision addresses longstanding issues of fund misallocation and diversion that have impeded local development efforts.

By upholding constitutional provisions ensuring direct allocation of funds to LGAs, the court has bolstered principles of transparency, accountability, and effective governance.

CCNE views this ruling as pivotal, asserting that it empowers local authorities and strengthens the foundation for sustainable development across communities.

“This landmark decision ensures that LGAs receive the financial resources necessary for development and governance, reinforcing transparency, accountability, and good governance principles,” stated CCNE in their press release.

The organization emphasized the ruling’s potential to revitalize local governance, enabling communities to better tackle their unique challenges through empowered local authorities. CCNE called upon relevant authorities to promptly implement the court’s decision, ensuring funds are utilized judiciously to benefit residents.

“We believe this judgment will enhance LGAs’ capacity to deliver essential services, improve infrastructure, and drive socio-economic development,” CCNE affirmed.

CCNE also urged local officials to transparently and efficiently allocate funds, prioritizing projects that directly benefit residents.

They pledged to monitor the judgment’s implementation closely, collaborating with stakeholders to promote accountability and good governance at all levels within the region.

“This ruling signifies a renewed commitment to decentralization and local governance, crucial for addressing community-specific challenges,” CCNE added.

Looking ahead, CCNE reiterated its commitment to advocating for the rights and welfare of Northeastern communities, ensuring local authorities are equipped to drive sustainable development.

They affirmed their ongoing role in safeguarding community interests and fostering an environment conducive to transparent and effective governance.

However, CCNE’s support for the Supreme Court’s decision reflects a broader commitment to advancing accountable governance and empowering local communities.

By championing the efficient use of allocated funds and advocating for sustained development efforts, CCNE aims to foster a region where grassroots needs are met and local governance thrives.

CCNE Applauds Supreme Court for Releasing Local Government Funds

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 - NECA

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), says the private sector remains committed to the N57,000 earlier proposed at the Tripartite Committee meeting on National Minimum Wage.

NECA’s Director-General, Mr Adewale-Smatt Oyerinde, in a statement on Sunday, said the amount represented 90 per cent increase in the national minimum wage.

Oyerinde said that this was notwithstanding ongoing challenges, made worst by rising interest rates, astronomical logistics cost, increasing energy tariff and multiple taxes, levies and fees.

“With organised businesses declaring over one trillion naira in combined losses and many shutting down their businesses for different reasons, while others are relocating to other climes, the ability to pay the prevailing N30,000 was already compromised.

“It will be practically impossible to guarantee enterprise sustainability and job security with the current demands of organised labour,’’ he said.

The director-general, however, said that NECA would continue to support the welfare of workers and the protection of their jobs, which could only be guaranteed by the survival of the enterprise.

Following negotiations on the national minimum wage, he urged the tripartite committee to prioritise job creation and job security.

Oyerinde said that the call was in view of the worrisome and increasing rate of unemployment in the country.

According to him, the committee should refocus its effort on protecting jobs, boost the capacity of the private sector to create more jobs and ensure sustainability and ability to pay.

He said that productivity should be a key driver of higher wages.

“According to the National Bureau of Statistics, the combined rate of unemployment and time-related underemployment as a share of the labour force population (LU2) increased to 17.3 per cent in Q3 2023 from 15.5 per cent in Q2 2023.

“In specific terms, the unemployment rate increased significantly in Q3 2023 at 5.0 per cent.

“With these figures, more efforts should be concentrated on keeping more people in employment, while government continues to implement its planned interventions in transportation, food security and general macro-economic stability,” Oyerinde said.

Minimum Wage: Private sector committed to N57,000 – NECA

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Health

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

The House of Representatives has urged the Federal Ministry of Health and Social Welfare to mandate public healthcare institutions to provide free medical treatment for pregnant women during and after delivery.

The call was sequel to the adoption of a motion by Rep. Mohammed Shehu (PDP-Bauchi) at plenary on Wednesday.

They also urged the ministry to implement routine checks to ensure continuity, compliance by medical personnel, and sustainability of childbirth processes.

Moving the motion, Shehu said that the government established public healthcare institutions to provide medical services to humanity.

He added that drugs were supplied to the institutions and equipped with modern medical facilities and charged with the responsibility of handling healthcare-related matters.

Shehu said though healthcare services were not restricted to pregnant women, efforts to encourage free treatment for expectant mothers have not been fully realised.

He said that giving the fertility statistics in the country, there was need for free medical treatment for pregnant women to boost the country’s fertility rate.

“Nigeria is grappling with high disease rates, resulting in an annual maternal mortality rate of expectant mothers and children due to pregnancy complications and the polio virus.

“Further aware that government requires public healthcare institutions to have medical professionals, give adequate attention to patients, including pregnant women, during childbirth to address complications and find permanent solutions.

“There is a need for the government to prioritise policy actions aimed at improving healthcare delivery systems, particularly for pregnant women, to alleviate their hardships and boost their confidence,” he said.

In his ruling, the Deputy Speaker, Rep. Benjamin Kalu mandated the Committee on Healthcare Services and Healthcare Institutions to liaise with the Minister of Health and Social Welfare to ensure compliance.

The committee is to report back within four weeks for further legislative action.

Reps seek free medicare for pregnant women

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