- Xenophobia: Buhari Orders Immediate Evacuation of Nigerians
President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered that Nigerians willing to relocate back home in the wake of recent xenophobic attacks be immediately evacuated from South Africa.
The president gave the order on Monday after receiving the report of the special envoy sent to South Africa following the killings of Nigerians and other African nationals by South Africans.
Buhari had sent Ambassador Ahmed Rufai Abubakar, director-general of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), to convey his special message to President Cyril Ramaphosa last week.
Abubakar, on Monday, presented his report to the President in Abuja.
Following the envoy’s report, President Muhammadu Buhari expressed his concern over lack of proactive measures by the South African government concerning the situation.
About eight policemen fingered in the killing of Nigerians are still in court without any meaningful headway.
Similarly, the killing of Mrs. Uju Ndubuisi Chukwu, deputy director-general of the Chartered Insurance Institute of Nigeria, in her hotel in South Africa during a conference organised by the African Insurance Organisation (AIO) in June 2019 remained unsolved.
Therefore, President Buhari ordered the immediate evacuation of Nigerians ready to return home.
According to Mrs. Abike Dabiri-Erewa, director-general of the Nigerian Diaspora Commission, around 640 Nigerians were set to return home on Wednesday.
She said: “Two planes will convey them. The envoy will be briefing the president. When we receive the first two batches, we will know how many more will come.
“With the envoy’s briefing the president, we will be having everything in place. In the meantime, we continue to demand compensation for Nigerians that have been attacked in South Africa.”
Mr Femi Adesina, the presidential spokesman said: “President Buhari is worried that the recurring issue of xenophobia could negatively affect the image and standing of South Africa as one of the leading countries on the continent, if nothing is done to stop it.
“The special envoy conveyed the assurance of President Buhari that the Nigerian government is ready and willing to collaborate with the South African government to find a lasting solution to the involvement of a few Nigerians in criminal activities, and to protect the life and property of the larger groups of other law abiding Nigerians and indeed Africans in general, against all forms of attacks including xenophobia.
“President Buhari further assured that the Nigerian government will guarantee the safety of life property and business interests of South Africans in Nigeria,” he said.
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Nigeria’s Presidential CNG Initiative Allocates N100bn for CNG Buses and EV Adoption
The Presidential Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Initiative has allocated N100 billion to expedite the deployment of CNG buses nationwide, according to a statement released on Wednesday.
The initiative, designed to catalyze an Auto-gas and Electric Vehicle (EV) revolution in mass transit and transportation, aims to enhance sustainability and cost-effectiveness.
The statement revealed that the fund would be instrumental in supporting the adoption of auto-gas and electric vehicles, signaling a commitment to a more sustainable and economical future in the transportation sector.
The Presidential CNG Initiative plans to leverage over 11,500 CNG and electric-fueled vehicles, along with the deployment of 55,000 conversion kits.
This strategic approach is intended to reduce transportation costs for Nigerians and mitigate the challenges posed by the rising cost of living.
Under the Renewed Hope Agenda, the Presidential CNG Initiative is dedicated to realizing the President’s vision, guided by its steering committee led by FIRS Chairman Zacch Adedeji.
The statement highlighted recent achievements, including strategic technical partnerships and the ongoing commissioning of CNG Conversion centers in key states such as Lagos, Abuja, Kaduna, Ogun, and Rivers.
Several more centers are slated for commissioning in the coming weeks, reflecting the initiative’s momentum and commitment to achieving its objectives.
Nigeria’s Power Transformation: 53 Projects Worth N122bn on Track for May 2024 Completion
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in collaboration with the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) and power distribution companies, is set to complete 53 power projects by May next year.
Valued at N122 billion, these projects aim to add over 1,000 megawatts to TCN’s wheeling capacity.
During a recent tour of three ongoing projects in Lagos, TCN’s Programme Coordinator, Mathew Ajibade, assured that the projects were not abandoned, refuting speculations.
He confirmed that work is progressing smoothly and is expected to be completed by May 2024, as initially planned.
Assistant Director/Head of Infrastructure Finance Office at the CBN, Tumba Tijani, highlighted the CBN’s support for the power sector, revealing that the bank released a loan at a 9% interest rate in August last year for the projects.
The funding, part of the Nigeria Electricity Market Stabilisation Facility-3, amounts to N122,289,344 and aims to address transmission/distribution bottlenecks, enhance supply to end-users, and unlock unutilized generation capacity.
Tijani disclosed that N85.43 billion has been disbursed into the Advance Payment Guarantee account of the 53 contractors responsible for executing the projects.
The comprehensive project list includes the delivery of power transformers, re-conductoring existing transmission lines, upgrading existing substations, and constructing 33KV line bays.
The initiative reflects a concerted effort to enhance Nigeria’s power infrastructure and meet growing energy demands.
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