- $2bn Needed to Revive Lagos-Kano rail Line – Osinbajo
Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo on Wednesday said Nigeria would need $2bn (N610bn) to revive the Lagos-Kano rail line as part of efforts to boost local and international trade along the northern and southern zones.
Osinbajo, who spoke at the opening of the inaugural edition of the Lagos-Kano Economic and Investment Summit in Epe, Lagos, said the Federal Government, in partnership with a private firm, General Electric, was proposing to invest in the project to enhance the movement of cargoes from Apapa ports to Kano by rail.
He expressed optimism that the collaboration between Lagos and Kano states would open up the investment opportunities in both states to local and international investors
Osinbajo stated, “I believe that Lagos and Kano states have, by this collaboration, underscored the cornerstone of the Federal Government’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan; namely the leveraging of synergies among states and between the government and the private sector.
“For us, what this means, especially in the context of Lagos and Kano collaboration, is the refurbishing of the narrow gauge Lagos to Kano rail line with a concession to General Electric, which is proposing to invest almost $2bn to ensure that the rail route is effective for the movement of cargoes from the Apapa Port to Kano.
“Similarly, we are investing in the Lagos to Kano standard gauge line; the Lagos-Ibadan portion of that is expected to be ready by the end of this year. Also, we have budgeted N80bn for the development of special economic zones in the six geo-political zones of the country.”
Osinbajo also said that the Federal Government would support state governments in the reformation of their economies.
According to him, such efforts will include partnerships among the states.
Describing the summit as strategic, he said, “The Federal Government is enthusiastic about the collaboration between the governments of both states. Cities, not countries, will propel the economy in the future.
“As the Federal Government, we have been careful not to hold information from states. We will pay serious attention to the outcome of the summit and support efforts of states to reform their economies.”
Osinbajo commended Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and his Kano State counterpart, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, adding, “Any serious economic planning must take the Lagos-Kano connection seriously.”
Ambode said with the current economic challenges facing the nation, there was no better time for states to begin to look beyond an oil-driven economy and take advantage of their comparative advantages to engender economic growth.
The governor stated that with the summit, the Lagos State Government was building on, the strategic collaborations it had earlier made with other states and regions.
Among such, according to him, are the decision to join the O’dua Investment Company and the partnership with Kebbi State on rice production.
“The message for other people is that we can grow the GDP for Nigeria from within and among the states,” he explained.
Ganduje expressed the optimism that the summit would boost productivity and revenue generation.
“Kano State sees the summit as a mechanism for building trust and prosperity for our people,” he stated.
Ganduje stated that he was looking forward to effective partnership in infrastructure, agricultural value chain, solid minerals, ICT, commerce and industry, Small and Medium Enterprises, and tourism, among others.
On his part, the President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote, said, “Our refinery, petrochemical, fertilizer and gas projects will generate N8tn per annum for Nigeria when fully on stream.”
In his keynote address at the event, the Emir of Kano, Muhammadu Sanusi, said that Lagos and Kano stood unique chances to positively influence not just the national economy, but also the regional economy.
He urged Nigeria and the two states to take advantage of moves by President Donald Trump to change global trade rules in favour of the United States of America.
This, according to the emir, can be done by rethinking regional responses to globalisation.
“The industrial base of Africa is being wiped off by China’s cheap goods. What can Lagos and Kano states do to attract Chinese investments? Our government has not created a strategy for dealing with China,” Sanusi added.
Dignitaries at the summit, including the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu; and Managing Director, Yinka Folawiyo Group, Mr. Tunde Folawiyo, commended the governors for conceiving the summit and expressed the belief that it would advance the states’ and national economies.
FG Says Over N6 Billion Disbursed to Poor Households in Zamfara
Over N6 Billion Disbursed to Poor Households in Zamfara
The Federal Government said it has disbursed over N6 billion under the Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) scheme to poor households in six out of the 14 local governments in Zamfara in 2020.
The Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Hajiya Sadiya Umar-Farouk disclosed this on Tuesday during the flag off of Grant for Rural Women Project in Gusau.
The minister said the CCT program was created in 2016 to address the deficiencies in capacity and lack of investment in human capital of poor and vulnerable households.
“The programme is designed to deliver timely and accessible cash transfers to beneficiary households.
“And sets to support development objectives and priorities, to achieve improvement in health and nutrition, school enrolment and retention, environmental sanitation and empowerment among others,” she explained.
Umar-Faruk said a total of 130,000 beneficiaries from Anka, Bungudu, Birnin Magaji, Kaura Namoda, Tsafe, and Talata Mafara local government areas received between N30,000 to N80,000, depending on the dates the beneficiary enrolled in the programme.
Speaking on the grant for Rural Women, the minister said the programme was introduced to deepen the social inclusion agenda of President Buhari administration that includes lifting 100 million Nigerians out of poverty in 10 years.
“It is designed to provide a one-off grant to some of the poorest and most vulnerable women in rural Nigeria.
“A grant of N20,000 will be disbursed to over 150,000 poor rural women across the 36 states of the federation,” she said.
Delta State Gov Okowa Presents N378.48 Billion Budget for 2021
Ifeanyi Okowa Presents N378.48 Billion Proposed Budget for 2021
The Executive Governor of Delta State, Senator (Dr) Ifeanyi Okowa, on Tuesday presented a N378.48 billion budget to the state’s House of Assembly for consideration for the 2021 fiscal year.
The budget christened “Budget of Recovery” appropriated N207.52 billion for Capital Expenditure while Recurrent Expenditure was allocated N171.32 billion.
According to the Governor, capital expenditure accounted for 54.76 percent of the budget while 45.24 percent represented recurrent expenditure.
He explained that the allocations were in line with his administration’s agenda of spending more on projects and programmes that would impact positively on the socio-economic well-being of the people of Delta.
The proposed budget for 2021 is N96.2 billion or 34.05 per cent more than the N282 billion approved for 2020.
The governor said that the 2021 budget proposals reinforced the state government’s commitment to road infrastructure, education, health, job and wealth creation programmes as the principal-drivers of the Stronger Delta agenda.
According to him, N113 billion, representing 89.94 per cent of the capital budget is allocated to the economic sector while N35 billion is allocated to the social sector; the administration sector got 10.93 billion and the regional sector, N42 billion.
“In 2021, we propose to spend N66.66 billion on Road Infrastructure; N6.79 billion on Health; Education will gulp N23.55 billion; Agriculture, N2.04 billion and Water Sector, N1.83 billion.
“Job and Wealth Creation Bureau will gulp N1 Billion and Youth Development, N1.25 billion. These key sectors are very essential in our 2021 budget,” Okowa said.
Okowa also explained that due to the negative impact of COVID-19 on the economy and the world at large, government spending was significantly affected by the global pandemic and that Delta was no exception.
The governor, therefore, stated that “the proposed 2021 Budget for Delta is primarily focused on protecting and supporting our people in a COVID-19 environment, accelerating infrastructural renewal, incentivizing growth, enhancing job creation, engendering social inclusion and developing sustainably.
“Overall, the proposed 2021 Budget is predicated on inclusive economic growth that is sustainable and people-centred, with strengthening fiscal sustainability through increased efficiency in spending, improved revenue mobilization and debt sustainability.
“It also entails improving processes and systems in Public Financial Management, and Monitoring and Evaluation, to bolster better public sector service delivery.”
FG to Create 5 Million Jobs for Nigerian Youths in the Power Sector
Federal Government Plans to Create 5 Million Jobs for Youths in the Power Sector
The Federal Government is working on creating at least 5 million jobs for Nigerian youths in the power sector, according to the Minister of Power, Engr. Sale Mamman.
The minister, who spoke at a stakeholder meeting in Jalingo, Taraba State, said the youths should foster peace and harmony as the Federal Government, in line with some of their demands, is working on creating massive job opportunities for them in the power sector.
He said the initiative is part of president Muhammadu Buhari’s plans to lift 100 million people out of poverty within 10 years.
Mamman explained that the youths will benefit from the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative as more opportunities will be available in renewable energy, installation and the maintenance of meters.
He said: “Plans are ongoing to kick start this and it is being designed to ensure that majority of the firms and the installers are Nigerian youths. This is also part of the commitment of President Muhammadu Buhari’s focus on lifting 100 million people out of poverty within 10 years.
“From the briefings I have received so far, the youths are taking up opportunities in this aspect as well as in renewable energy. This is another way the government will be empowering young Nigerians as the local assembly; installation and the maintenance of these meters are largely handled by our industrious youths.”
“The minister urged the youths to vigilant and resist and attempt by some people to use them to incite violence for their sinister motive, noting that the Federal Government was tailoring more programmes for the youths through the Siemens Presidential Power Initiative and in building capacity on renewable energy.”
“There is the assurance of Mr. President that Nigerians will be beneficiaries of the Siemens project which will turn around the power supply situation of Nigeria. When this happens, industries will be revived and SMEs driven by youths will thrive more.”
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