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No Going Back on Railway Concession, Says FG

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Rail
  • No Going Back on Railway Concession, Says FG

Despite concerns by workers of the Nigerian Railway Corporation over plans to give out some rail lines as concession to private operators, the Federal Government has insisted that it will go ahead with the plan.

According to the government, handing over the rail lines to a genuine investors will yield enormous benefits, adding that there was no going back on the concession plan.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said this while hosting the President-General, Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporation and Government-Owned Companies, Mr. Mohammed Yunusa, who led other union leaders and members to the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja.

In a statement issued by the ministry’s Director of Public Relations, Mrs. Yetunde Sonaike, Amaechi appealed to the union and other similar groups in the country to give peace a chance and allow the country to move in the right direction.

He told the guests that the ministry should not be burdened with unprofitable agitation and actions capable of denying Nigerians of the benefits of the concession exercise.

The minister assured the union leaders that workers would not lose their jobs in the process, as the government would guarantee their job security.

He said the ministry would ensure that the new management of the NRC would take steps to complement the government’s efforts to ensure a harmonious working environment.

“Mr. President is a pro-people President who would not like anyone to be sacked,” Amaechi reportedly said, adding that the new investors in rail services would place priority on workers’ welfare.

Earlier in his address, Yinusa highlighted some of the challenges that the union was facing to include shortage of rolling stock/coaches, poor welfare package for members, and unfavourable working conditions.

He informed the minister that there was a need to repeal the 1955 law that established the NRC before the organisation would be handed over to a new management team.

The Federal Government had earlier revealed that General Electric would take over the management of the Abuja-Kano rail line under a concession plan between January and March 2017 and explained that the period before the takeover was provided for in the legal documents signed with the American company.

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

UK Government Has Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

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The United Kingdom on Wednesday Approved Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine

British government on Wednesday became the first country to approve Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine for use, according to the UK government.

The vaccine will be rolled out from next week and the first dose could be administered as early as December 7th, stated people familiar with the matter.

Last week, the UK government announced it had ordered 40 million doses of Pfizer and BioNTech COVID-19 and appointed Nadhim Zahawi, the current junior business minister, as the minister responsible for the deployment of the vaccines.

British government on Wednesday morning said, “The Government has today accepted the recommendation from the independent Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to approve Pfizer-BioNTech’s COVID-19 vaccine for use” 

“The vaccine will be made available across the UK from next week.”

Matt Hancock, Health Secretary, revealed that the programme would commence early next week.

“It is very good news,” Hancock said.

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Government

Zabarmari Massacre: Buhari to Provide More Resources for the Nigerian Military

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari has promised to provide more resources to the military in the aftermath of the Zabarmari massacre.

On Saturday, Boko Haram killed 43 people with around 70 people still missing in Zabarmari, a village in Borno State.

Reacting to the massacre, Buhari, through his official Twitter handle @MBuhari said “Nothing is more important than ensuring the security of lives and property of Nigerians. Everything is secondary when security is at stake. I will ensure that more resources are made available to the military and other security agencies to prosecute the war against terrorism.

“As we mourn all the lives lost in Zabarmari, the Armed Forces have been given the marching order to take the fight to the insurgents, not on a one-off, but on a continuous basis, until we root out the terrorists.

“We will intensify our cooperation with neighbouring countries on bilateral and multilateral levels, to ensure that there is no hiding place for the terrorists.

“As I noted earlier, the massacre by Boko Haram in Zabarmari is nothing short of senseless, barbaric, gruesome and cowardly. It reinforces our resolve to root out all forms of insurgency and insecurity not just in Borno but everywhere across Nigeria.”

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Government

Boko Haram Kills Rice Farmers in Borno State, Northeast Nigeria

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Rice farmers were killed on Saturday morning in the Northeast Nigeria by suspected Islamist militants, Boko Haram, according to a Reuters Report.

The report also noted that 30 of the people killed were beheaded while over a dozen others were still missing.

However, resident of the Zambarmari Village where the attacks took place said a total of 70 people were feared dead.

Another resident and Amnesty International were quoted as saying at least 10 women were among those missing.

In another statement by Edward Kallon, the United Nations’ humanitarian coordinator in Nigeria, it was armed men on motorcycles that led the brutal attack on civilians harvesting their fields.

Armed men on motorcycles led a brutal attack on civilian men and women who were harvesting their fields,” Edward Kallon stated.

“At least 110 civilians were ruthlessly killed and many others were wounded in this attack,” he added, noting that several women are believed to have been kidnapped.

“The incident is the most violent direct attack against innocent civilians this year. I call for the perpetrators of this heinous and senseless act to be brought to justice,” Kallon said.

On Sunday, Governor Babaganan Umara Zulum of Borno State, who was at the burial told journalists that at least 70 farmers were killed on Saturday.

The Governor, therefore, called on the Federal Government to recruit more Civilian Joint Task Force members, Soldiers and civil defence fighters to protect farmers in the region.

He added that people are facing desperate choices.

In one side, they stay at home they may be killed by hunger and starvation, on the other, they go out to their farmlands and risk getting killed by the insurgents,” he said.

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