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ICRC Incorporates 158 Projects Into PPP Pipeline in 2020 – Report

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The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) said 158 projects from different sectors were incorporated into the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project pipeline in 2020.

This is according to the 2020 Annual Report and Accounts of the organisation.

According to the report which was obtained by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Abuja, the projects went through various stages of development, procurement and implementation.

It also said the Federal Executive Council (FEC) gave approvals for some vital projects, which were earlier granted the Full Business Case (FBC) Compliance Certificates by the commission to pave way for eventual contract signing and commercial close.

The projects included the development of the Bonny Deep Seaport in Rivers, the development of Ibom Deep Sea Port in Akwa Ibom and an automated ticketing portal for the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

Others were upgrading, expansion and operation of the Nigerian Correctional Services shoe/garment/leather factories in Aba-Abia and Janguza-Kano State and renovation of the students’ hostel at Kaduna Polytechnic.

It also said that Outline Business Case (OBC) Compliance Certificates were granted for some key projects in the transport sector of the economy, adding that some of them had proceeded to the procurement stage while others would soon follow.

They were the development of the Truck Transit Parks in Obollo-Afor, Enugu State; Aviele and Benin Bye-Pass, Edo; Lokoja, Kogi; and Illela, Sokoto State.

Others were concession of the four International Airport Terminals in Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port Harcourt and the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI) for 12 selected routes.

The ICRC said that within the year under review, it began the process of regularising all PPP projects by whatever name they were called and brought them under the commission’s custody to enable their subjection to its regulatory oversight.

“An important reason for the regularisation is to ensure revenues accruing to the government go into a Special Concession Account (SCA) set up for this purpose.

“The approval for the implementation of the SCA was given through a circular issued by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning in June 2020.

“Already, N2.4 billion has accrued to the government as the concession fee for the development of the Gurara Dam II Project.”

The report, however, identified a lack of dedicated funding to develop, promote and implement PPP projects as a setback that slowed the development of some projects.

It also said that strong political will and commitment were needed to strengthen the PPP framework and ensure the process was not undermined or truncated due to adverse interests.

The report also said there was a lack of adequate enforcement powers over PPP contract agreements and disputes.

It added that there was a bill to address identified gaps in the existing law of the commission pending before the National Assembly.

“The proposed amendment seeks to rename the ICRC as PPP Regulatory Commission to accommodate other forms of PPP and expand its powers to impose appropriate sanctions to ensure compliance with provisions of the Act and regulations thereof.

“The urgent passage of the bill will help ICRC to establish its independence, improve its regulatory oversight and exercise adequate control over the process.”

While proposing to ensure accountability in PPP revenue in 2021 through the SCA, the commission said it would effectively monitor revenue accruing to the government from PPP projects and add more projects to the PPP pipeline.

It would also strengthen the capacity of PPP units of government agencies to structure transactions and monitor the progress of projects which were awarded or completed to ensure that contractual obligations were being met.

NAN recalls that ICRC was established to regulate PPP activities in Nigeria to address the physical infrastructure deficit which hampered economic development.

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Ethiopian Airline To Resume Flight To Enugu Oct. 1st

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The Ethiopian Airline said on Sunday it would resume flights to Enugu as from Oct. 1, two years after it suspended flight to the South-Eastern state.

The airline’s General Manager, Shimeles Arage, who confirmed the proposed resumption in a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday, said that every week there would be a flight on Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, with B787 Dreamliner.

“Oct. 1 is Nigeria’s Independence Day and the flight to Enugu on that day will reinforce Ethiopian Airline good relations with Nigeria since the first flight to Nigeria in 1960,” he said.

Arage recalled that the airline stopped flights to Enugu in 2019 when the Nigerian aviation authorities closed the airport to refurbish the runway.

He said before the closure of the airport for runway repairs, Ethiopian was the only international airline flying to Enugu.

The airport was officially re-opened to domestic flights in 2020 and to international flights in Aug. 2021.

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EFCC Chairman, Bawa Slumps in Abuja

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The Chairman of Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Abdulrasheed Bawa, broke down while presenting his brief address and was rushed out of the banquet hall at the presidential villa on Thursday.

Bawa was offering his goodwill message at the National Identity Day celebration when he suddenly stopped speaking and asked to be excused.

“Please, excuse me, I can’t continue,” he said then walked off the stage before slumping on his chair and was eventually taken out.

Earlier, he mentioned that the EFCC was grieving the loss of a colleague.

He broke down while talking about a man the commission arrested in Ibadan, Oyo State, with 116 SIM cards.

The Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr Isa Pantami, and other senior officials at the event accompanied the EFCC boss as he was taken out of the hall.

The Master of Ceremonies later announced that Bawa’s condition was stable.

“I am happy to announce to you that the EFCC Chairman is now stable,” he said.

The minister, during his speech, also said that Bawa was stable but should be put in prayers.

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Osinbajo to Represent Nigeria at ECOWAS Meeting in Accra Concerning Situation in Guinea

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President Muhammadu Buhari would be represented by his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, at the 2nd Extraordinary Summit of the ECOWAS Authority of Heads of State and Government on the political situation in the Republic of Guinea today.

Prof. Osinbajo had participated last week at the previous ECOWAS Extraordinary Summit on the political situation in Guinea and Mali. That meeting was held virtually on the 8th of September.

The Authority decided then that Guinea be immediately suspended from all ECOWAS governing bodies and statutory meetings. ECOWAS leaders had also called for the immediate and unconditional release of President Alpha Conde and other arrested persons; demanded the immediate return of Guinea to constitutional order; and decided to immediately dispatch a high-level ECOWAS mission to Guinea to assess the situation.

The physical meeting taking place today will review the situation in Guinea in light of the report of the ECOWAS high-level mission to Conakry.

The Vice President, who leaves Abuja this morning, would be accompanied by the Foreign Affairs Minister of State, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and is expected back in Abuja later today.

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