- FG Approves $2.3bn for Coastal Rail Line Development
The Federal Government has approved the sum of $2.3bn for the development of a coastal rail line that will run through coastal states in the country.
It was gathered that of the sum, $1.8bn would come as a loan from China, while the Federal Government would provide $500m as counterpart fund.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, who disclosed this during his valedictory press conference in Abuja on Thursday, explained that the rail line would transverse Lagos, Delta, Anambra, Benin, Rivers and Cross River states, with connections to the central rail line that goes to Abuja.
He said, “The government has approved for us to seek a loan of $1.8bn to start work on the coastal rail. The coastal rail is from Lagos to Calabar. So we are taking the segment that starts from Port Harcourt to Warri to join the central line that goes to Abuja.
“And then another segment that starts from Benin to Onitsha. But as it is going to Onitsha, it will join the central line again at Agbor. The Port Harcourt-Warri line will join the central line at Warri. The Benin-Onitsha line will join the central line at Agbor. They are all part of the coastal rail line, which is about $11.1bn.”
When asked to further explain the funding requirement for the coastal rail line project, Amaechi replied, “The project fund is $2.3bn, but I said $1.8bn because Chinese banks, if they approve, will be providing that while we will look for $500m, which will be the counterpart funding.”
The minister also explained what should be expected in the central rail line, as he noted that the Federal Government had given approval for the project as well.
He said, “There are other projects that are considered for construction. The one that we just got approval for from the cabinet is the central line, which begins from Abuja through Baruo, Itakpe and Lokoja; that has been approved. With a seaport to Warri approved.
“However, in that case, the Federal Government is not borrowing any money, the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle) will borrow the money. The Federal Government will contribute 15 per cent of the equity, the contractor will contribute 10 per cent of the equity and we will form an SPV that will borrow 75 per cent of the equity.”
Amaechi continued, “The Federal Government will give a sovereign guarantee to enable them to get a quick loan. In turn, the contractor will give us a performance guarantee. The performance guarantee means that since you have concessioned this project to me after the completion, I will run the seaport and the rail line in such a way that I will pay back in 20, 30 or 40 years time, depending on the agreement reached.
“So, the repayment of the loan will be done by the SPV, the Federal Government will guarantee the loan and in turn the contractor will give us a performance guarantee. If it works out, that’s a wonderful type of PPP and it was ingenious of the ministry to have done that.”
Sterling Homes Plans To Reduce Housing Deficit
Sterling Homes Limited has said it is committed to working with the government through private public partnership to reduce housing deficit in all the geo-political zones in the country.
The Managing Director, Mr Kunle Adeyemi, said this during an event on the company’s rebranding organised as part of its 10th year anniversary in Lagos on Friday.
During the event, the company while expressing commitment to excellence and customer satisfaction, unveiled its new logo with colours to define its mission and objections.
“We want to be present in all the six geo-political zones on Nigeria by providing affordable luxury homes, excellent torch. So for us, there is a need for us to rebrand and have a new direction and vision.
“We want to partner with the government on the present housing deficit; we want to embrace a public, private partnership with the government to reduce the deficit in every geo-political zone.”
The managing director said that one of its unique selling points was its after sales services which was top notch.
He said it ensured that its customers were taken through the journey of actualising their dreams of becoming home owners.
While noting that everyone deserved to have a comfortable home despite the economic situation, he said it had designed a structure payment plan with zero interest in some cases to help intending home owners.
He said it also had provisions for high breed options and developing areas to accommodate various income levels.
Before the end of the year, he said, Sterling Homes would be establishing new presence and projects in other regions.
Mutual Benefits Drives Financial Inclusion
Mutual Benefits Assurance Plc says it is committed to deepening financial inclusion and creating easy accessibility for insurance in the country.
A statement from the firm on Friday said it expressed this commitment when it inaugurated its South-West region franchise operations in Ibadan, Oyo State.
The Managing Director, Mr Femi Asenuga, said this was part of its efforts to develop the insurance business and create values.
He said, “The role we all have to play is to be ambassadors of Mutual Benefits.
“A franchise is a well-known word and the way Mutual Benefits practices franchise is in our normal style of creating and adding value; we never rest.”
Asenuga said that the firm was working with stakeholders to increase awareness and take its message to the grassroots.
In developed economies, he said, insurance firms owned banks. He regretted that this was not the situation in Nigeria.
He said the firm would provide stakeholders with the platform and support to make them excel as a member.
The Managing Director, Mutual Benefits Life Assurance Limited, Mr Ademola Ifagbayi, appreciated the stakeholders and urged them to take advantage of the franchise.
The Group Managing Director, Odua Group, Mr Adewale Raji, in his address, advised stakeholders to be committed and showcase good character and integrity.
He said, “The Odua investment is owned by the six South-West governments and it is in our interest when economic, businesses and investment spreads across the South-West states.
“This is an opportunity for us to strengthen insurance penetration within the South-West states.”
CAC Sets Three-Hour Circle For Company Registration
The Corporate Affairs Commission on Sunday stated that following the successful deployment of an end-to-end registration module, it was now prioritising the reduction of the registration circle for new companies to just three hours before the end of year 2021.
Registrar-General of the commission, Garba Ababukar, gave the indication at a dinner in honour of the Chairman, Governing Board, CAC and Nigerian Ambassador Designate to the Kingdom of Spain, Ademola Seriki.
The commission disclosed this in series of tweets posted via its Twitter handle on Sunday.
“To achieve the target, the registrar-general said the commission was making arrangements to empower over 400 approving officers with working tools to process and approve registration applications either from home or anywhere necessary,” the agency stated.
Abubakar noted that the challenges of COVID-19 pandemic had adversely hampered CAC’s delivery timeline.
He, however, said the CAC was resolutely committed to serving its customers despite being forced to operate with less than 50 per cent of its workforce.
While bidding farewell to Seriki, the registrar-general said he received the news of his appointment with mix feelings as CAC was going to miss his tremendous support and guidance.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, described the outgoing CAC Chairman as a man of immense pedigree and endowed with enormous potential to justify the confidence reposed in him by the president.
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