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FG Pays 70 Construction Companies N63.12bn -Fashola

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Construction Experts

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Friday said the Federal Government had paid 70 construction companies the sum of N63.12bn for works done in the first quarter of 2016.

He said the payment had prompted the various firms to move back to their various construction sites, adding that over 5,000 workers sacked by the firms had also been recalled.

Fashola, in his speech at the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Forum in London, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, told his audience that past governments did not do much with respect to revamping the country’s infrastructure.

He, however, stated that the current administration had decided to change the trend, as it had increased the 2016 budget in order to effectively tackle the inadequate infrastructure in the country.

The minister, who also noted that the Nigerian economy was in recession, expressed optimisicim that the country would come out of the situation.

He said, “From the N4tn average budget in a time of plenty, this administration sets an ambitious N6tn with a 30 per cent capital expenditure. It pays serious attention to its budget as the article of faith that defines its commitment. Since the budget was passed in May, 70 construction companies got paid N63.169bn for the first quarter in Works ministry alone.

“The response is that in the last few weeks since budget was passed, construction companies that had demobilised from their sites and laid off workers due to lack of payment since 2014, are remobilising to rail, road, power and other construction sites, and are re-calling workers.

“The Kaduna-Abuja rail project, which was commissioned but never ran in the past government, was opened to public service on July 26 by this new administration. These are the first signs of productivity, they signal a clear pathway out of recession, and although results take time to manifest, Nigeria has chosen an appropriate pathway out of economic difficulty.

He added, “We will recover from this recession period and also deliver new infrastructure and upgrade aging ones.”

According to Fashola, the country does not lack infrastructure but that what it has is insufficient and aged.

He told his audience that Nigeria was currently facing challenging economic times, as the commodities boom had gone.

“We have suffered consecutive negative growth and are economically experiencing a recession,” he said.

“If infrastructure drives growth as we have experienced from the Great Depression to the ­­­Marshall plan, and lately fiscal stimulus in recent years, our current economic recession is the result of yesterday’s policies and choices especially during 2010 to 2015,” he added.

CEO/Founder Investors King Ltd, a foreign exchange research analyst, contributing author on New York-based Talk Markets and Investing.com, with over a decade experience in the global financial markets.

Government

ICPC Declares Buhari’s Son-In-Law, Two Others Wanted For $65M Fraud

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Tarry, Gimba, Bola Fraud- Investorsking

The Independent Corrupt Practices and other related offenses Commission (ICPC) has declared Gimba Kumo, a son-in-law of President Muhammadu Buhari, and two others wanted over alleged misappropriation of $65 million National Housing Funds.

Mr. Kumo, a former managing director of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, had in 2016 married Fatima, the president’s daughter, in Daura, Katsina State.

The ICPC in its list of wanted persons declared Mr. Kumo wanted alongside Tarry Rufus and Bola Ogunsola over the alleged fraud.

In the notice signed by its spokesperson Azuka Ogugua, the ICPC urged the public to provide information about the whereabouts of the wanted persons.

“The persons whose pictures appear above, Mr. Tarry Rufus, Mr. Gimba Yau Kumo, and Mr. Bola Ogunsola, are hereby declared WANTED by the Independent Corrupt Practices and Other Related Offences Commission (ICPC) in connection with issues bordering on misappropriation of National Housing Funds and diversion of the sum of Sixty Five Million dollars ($65,000,000).

“Anyone who has useful information on their whereabouts should report to ICPC Headquarters Abuja, any of the ICPC State Offices, or the nearest police station” the notice read.

In April, the senate committee on public accounts had summoned Mr. Kumo to explain the alleged irregular award of N3 billion contract when he was still at the bank.

The committee issued the summons following a query raised in a 2015-2018 report by the office of the auditor-general of the federation (AuGF) against the FMBN.

According to the report, the contract was awarded in four phases and was overpaid to the tune of N3,045,391,531.97.

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Government

Lagos State Moves to Completely Ban Okada, Keke, Introduces Minibuses

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Minibus - Investors King

The Lagos State Government on Monday announced plans to completely ban the use of motorcycles (okada) and tricycles (Keke) due to rising crime and lawlessness across the state.

The announcement was made after a stakeholders’ meeting held at the Adeyemi Bero Auditorium, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja.

In the meeting attended by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Speaker of the House of Assembly, Mudashiru Obasa; the Chief Judge, Kazeem Alogba; the Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu, traditional and religious leaders and members of the civil society, among others, the governor said the string of lawlessness daily witnessed from the confrontation between commercial motorcyclists and law enforcement agencies required urgent action.

Based on all that we have seen and experienced in the past couple of weeks, as well as the increasing threat posed by the activities of commercial motorcycle operators to the safety and security of lives, we will be announcing further changes to the parameters of motorcycle and tricycle operations in the state in the coming days. No society can make progress amid such a haughty display of lawlessness and criminality,” he added.

Sanwo-Olu said from next week, the state would be inaugurating the First and Last Mile buses next week, which would take the routes the motorcycles were plying.

The state Commissioner of Police, Odumosu, raised the alarm over rising security breaches from the menace of okada operations in the state.

He said between January and early this month, 320 commercial motorcycles were impounded in 218 cases of criminal incidents in which 78 suspects were detained and 480 ammunition recovered.

In the same period, the Lagos police boss said Okada accounted for 83 per cent of 385 cases of avoidable fatal vehicular accidents in Lagos.

At the end of the meeting, a 12-point resolution was reached, among which was a ban on Okada “as a means of transportation in the state.”

 

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2023 Voter’s Registration Will Be Online, Biometric To Be Captured Physically- INEC

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INEC-PVC

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) yesterday unfolded plans to allow online filing during the continuous voter registration for the 2023 general election.

The National Commissioner and Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee of INEC, Mr. Festus Okoye, however, said only the biometric would be captured physically by INEC officials.

But the commission suffered another setback yesterday as arsonists torched its office in Ohafia Local Government Area of Abia State.

Okoye, during a stakeholders’ meeting on expanding voter access to polling units in Kano yesterday, said: “On June 28, the voter registration exercise for those above 18 years and those who have not registered before will commence with two new innovations. Those versatile with computer can register online and only visit a registration centre to capture their biometrics.”

Okoye stated that the online registration would be introduced to reduce crowd at registration centres in line with COVID-19 protocols.

The commission called on citizens, especially those willing to contest elections, whose voter cards have been defaced, whose names were wrongly spelt or addresses and locations wrongly captured to present themselves for authentication or correction.

INEC also called for valid data of all those with disabilities or physical challenges to be captured during the continuous registration for proper projections ahead of the 2023 general election.

INEC also warned political parties and politicians who have started campaigning to desist from doing so.

Okoye said: “There is a ban on political campaigns which has not been lifted yet. And I find it necessary to draw your attention for you to understand the legal implication of violating this ban.

“I have listened to comments on radio stations, which are capable of heating the polity. Media organisations should avoid providing platforms for such comments. The media should try to curtail such tensions.

“Political parties, politicians and their supporters should understand there is a legal framework for campaigns and it has not commenced yet.”

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