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FEC Approves N2.8bn Contract to Decongest Prisons Electronically

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  • FEC Approves N2.8bn Contract to Decongest Prisons Electronically

The sum of N2.8bn was approved by the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday to help speed up the decongestion of crowded prisons in the country by digital connectivity.

The project will establish a digital web-based, integrated system that will monitor all prisons real-time to determine the number of inmates, their movements between courts, those awaiting trial or wrongly imprisoned and the time required to conclude the cases of individual prisoners.

Wednesday’s FEC meeting was presided over by the Vice-President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo.

The Attorney-General of the Federation and the Minister of Justice, Mr Abubakar Malami, spoke on the project as the meeting rose.

He said the stakeholders to be connected to the system included his office, the Nigeria Prisons Service and the Nigeria Police.

With the envisaged system in place, the AGF said the analogue method of using visitation committees to determine those inmates to be pardoned would become a thing of the past.

Another N291.73m was also approved by FEC for the procurement of an aviation security system called Memory Access Retrieval System.

The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, told State House correspondents that the system would help in accident investigations.

“(It) will enhance our laboratory in accident investigations. It is a requirement of International Civil Aviation Organisation in the standard practices and applicable by local laws,” he stated.

On the fire incident that occurred at the Sam Mbakwe Airport, Owerri, the minister said investigation into it was ongoing, adding that the report of the findings would be made available to Nigerians.

Two more contracts under the Federal Government’s N-Power Build Programme were also approved by FEC on Wednesday.

They are a component of the National Social Investment Programme specifically targeted at 75,000 fresh graduates in the age bracket18-35 years.

“It aims to build a high crop of highly competent and skilled workforce of technicians, artisans and service professionals, who will be trained and tooled.

“They will be transitioned annually to take up jobs as electrical installation technicians, plumbing and pipe-fitting installers, masons, carpentry and gentry experts, welders, fabricators, professional painters, building technicians and so on.

“The focus has so far been zone by zone. Today, the contract for the South-East zone of Nigeria was awarded to Hitech Investment Ltd at the sum of N122.8m. It covers all the states in the South-East.

“The one for the North-West zone was awarded to Noble Ventures Limited in the sum of N145.1m and it covers all the states in the North-West,” the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udo-Udoma, said.

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.

Economy

Prepaid Meter is Free, Buhari Warns DisCos, Agents

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President Muhammadu Buhari once again warned Power Distributing Companies (DisCos) and their agents selling prepaid meters to electricity customers against the Federal Government directive that meter is free.

Ahmed Rufai Zakar, the Special Adviser to the President on Infrastructure, who represented Buhari at the FGN/NLC-TUC ad-hoc committee on electricity tariff stakeholders held in Ibadan, Oyo State on Wednesday, said President Buhari understood people’s concerns on issues surrounding electricity and was determined to curb and deal with unscrupulous individuals in the power sector.

He said, “We have made it very clear through the regulators direct order as well as intervention from the Ministry of Power that the meters are to be provided to Nigerians at no cost.

“Even for meters that were paid for, there is the directive from the regulator to the discos that they would need to find a way to reimburse those citizens over time.

“In cases where we find any disco or disco representative selling the meters or exploiting Nigerians to be able to get meters by paying, we would take the full measures of the law.

“The President has mandated that these meters must be free. We have also said that they must come from local manufacturers.

“This would create jobs and revive our industry.”

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Economy

Nigeria’s Real Estate Sector Shrinks by 8.06% in the Third Quarter -NBS

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Economic uncertainty plunged Nigeria’s real estate sector by 8.06 percent in the third quarter of the year, according to the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS).

Nigeria’s statistics office said “In nominal terms, real estate services recorded a growth rate of –8.06 per cent in the third quarter of 2020, indicating a decline of –11.78 per cent points compared to the growth rate at the same period in 2019, and by 9.12 per cent points when compared to the preceding quarter.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector growth rate was 18.92 per cent.

“Real GDP growth recorded in the sector in Q3 2020 stood at -13.40 per cent, lower than the growth recorded in third quarter of 2019 by –11.09 per cent points, but higher relative to Q2 2020 by 8.59 per cent points.

“Quarter-on-quarter, the sector grew by 17.15 per cent in the third quarter of 2020.

“It contributed 5.58 per cent to real GDP in Q3, 2020, lower than the 6.21 per cent it recorded in the corresponding quarter of 2019.”

Nigeria’s economy contracted by 2.48 percent in the first nine months following a 6.10 percent and 3.62 percent contraction in the second and third quarters respectively.

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Economy

Nigeria Requires N400 Billion Annually to Maintain Federal Roads -Senator Bassey

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The Chairman of the Senate Committee on road maintenance, Senator Gersome Bassey, on Friday said Nigeria requires about N400 billion annually to maintain federal roads across the country.

The Senator, therefore, described the N38 billion budgeted for road repairs in the 2021 proposed Budget as grossly inadequate. According to him, nothing meaningful could be achieved by the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) with such an amount.

He said, “For the 35 kilometres federal roads in the country to be motorable at all times, the sum of N400bn is required on yearly basis for maintenance.”

Bassey “What the committee submitted to the Appropriation Committee in the 2021 fiscal year is the N38bn proposed for it by the executive which cannot cover up to one quarter of the entire length of deplorable roads in the country.

“Unfortunately, despite having the power of appropriation, we cannot as a committee jerk up the sum since we are not in a position to carry out the estimation of work to be done on each of the specific portion of the road.

“Doing that without proposals to that effect from the executive, may lead to project insertion or padding as often alleged in the media.”

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