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NPA, Edo To Dredge River Channel For 300,000 TEU Benin Port Project

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NPA, Edo To Dredge River Channel For 300,000 TEU Benin Port Project

In line with efforts to ensure the realisation of the Benin Port Project, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Edo State Government will facilitate the dredging of a river channel to connect the Port to the sea.

This is contained in the Request for Qualification document published to invite investors to commence the project which is to be delivered using a Design, Build, Finance, Operate, Maintain and Transfer (DBFOMT) model

According to the document, “The Federal Ministry of Transportation (FMOT) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), in collaboration with the Edo State Government (EDSG), are desirous of developing the Benin Port (on an area of approximately 20 hectares) under a public-private partnership (PPP) arrangement (“Benin Port Project” or the “Project”).

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“The purpose of the Project is to enhance the national water transportation capacity and develop a multi-purpose port with capability to handle container and general cargo.”

It added: “The proposed port is a redevelopment of the Gelegele Port, one of Nigeria pre-colonial ports, used to trade between the Benin Kingdom and the world. The site is located along Benin River downstream the Osse River near the confluence and closer to the sea, in Ovia North-East Local Government Area (LGA) of Edo State, approximately 50 kilometres from Benin City.”

Listed as part of the Edo State Government and NPA’s responsibilities include the delivery of an encumbrance-free project site; dredging and maintenance of river channel; construction of access road and facilitation of all necessary approvals.

The Edo State Government is completing the dualization of Ekehuan Road in Benin City, which is the main access road for evacuation of cargos from the Port.

The government said the project has been certified by the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) through the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) as eligible for a PPP, noting that the Edo State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will act as counterparts for the PPP.

Noting that the project is in line with Edo State Government’s strategic integrated infrastructure plan to promote infrastructure development, attract investment, create employment and stimulate economic growth, the government added that plans to develop in the future an Agro-Industrial Park (on an area of approximately 717 hectares) adjacent to the Benin Port which will have a positive impact on the port and which the private partner can leverage to create ancillary services and facilities.

The private port is to have land and marine infrastructure such as quays, yards, buildings, infrastructure services, marine bollards as well as container terminal operations and maintenance for a capacity of 300,000 TEUs per annum.

It is also to be equipped with cargo handling, stevedoring, warehousing and delivery capabilities among others.

NPA, Edo To Dredge River Channel For 300,000 TEU Benin Port Project

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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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