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Amaechi: FG Needs $45bn to Fix Transportation Infrastructure

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  • Amaechi: FG Needs $45bn to Fix Transportation Infrastructure

The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, has said the federal government requires $45 billion to fix the country’s transportation infrastructure, adding that rail infrastructure is a capital intensive sector.

Explaining the amount spent so far on rail infrastructure in the country during an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily yesterday, the minister revealed that this figure would be needed to solve the country’s “problem of transportation to a great extent.”

He said the sector is capital-intensive, adding that huge funds would be needed to construct more railroads and acquire coaches.

He said: “It is capital intensive. N1trillion is about $2.7 billion and that is just about 200 kilometres of the railway. So, if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at about $8.7 billion – this will be between N3 trillion and N4 trillion. How much is the budget of the country?

“That is why I said we need about $35 to $45 billion to be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Lagos-Calabar, and Abuja-Warri. Once you do these four tracks, you have covered the country, and you have solved the problem of transportation to a great extent.”

Amaechi also gave a breakdown of the expenses incurred so far on rail construction most especially the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.

According to him, the federal government is making efforts to acquire coaches and locomotives for the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.

He said: “Lagos-Ibadan Railroad will cost about $1.6 billion. This does not include the extra cost of things we did not prepare for. The Kaduna-Abuja construction will cost about $1billion.

“We have paid about $500 million to buy locomotives for Lagos-Ibadan. So that’s what we’ve so far spent.”

Speaking on his political fight with the Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Nyesom Wike, the minister said he is not at war with the Rivers State governor.

He said he is only inconvenient with the level of insecurity in the state.

“There is no war going on between Wike and me. It is like my friend Akpabio, when we met the other day, I said we are not quarreling.

“What is going on between Wike and me is the fact that he wants to run a second term. The fact is that he ran the first term in which people were killed. Today, he is accusing the army and not the police because they refused to take bribe from him.”

The former governor said during his administration as the state governor, he investigated and ensured the arrest of the perpetrators of crime.

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.

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Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations

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Number of Air Passengers Drop as Domestic Airlines Resume Operations

The number of air passengers dropped despite Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu lifting the curfew imposed to address looting and destruction of properties in the state.

The busiest airport in the country, Murtala Mohammed Airport, resumed full operations on Monday, however, passengers are cautious about flying, especially because of the tense situation across the nation.

Some of the officials of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria as well as those of domestic airlines confirmed that domestic passenger volume had been on a slow start since they commenced full operations.

Okwudili Ezenwa, the spokesperson for Dana Air, said “We are hoping that by next week, everything should have settled down because right now, people are still trying to be sure of their movements.

“Passengers are being cautious before they come out. So, things have not balanced. People are not leaving Lagos as such from the airport now; rather, they are being careful.”

He added, “In locations where no curfew was announced, other places will still have to feed such locations. So since we have curfews here and there, ultimately it affects areas where we don’t have curfew.

“But we hope everything settles down well before next week.”

Similarly, Stanley Olisa, the spokesperson, Air Peace, explained that even though domestic flight operations had resumed, passengers were still wary of flying.

Yes domestic flights have resumed out of the Lagos airport but it is something that is only picking up gradually,” he said.

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333,000 Artisans: FG Commences One-Time Payment of N30,000

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FG Begins One-Time Payment of N30,000 to 333,000 Artisans

The Federal Government on Monday said it has commenced a one-time payment of N30,000 to 333,000 artisans under the Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) Survival Fund.

In a statement issued by Laolu Akande, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Office of the Vice President, disbursements were being done to verified beneficiaries of the Artisan Support Scheme.

The statement read in part, “In the first stream of payments starting today, beneficiaries are being drawn from the FCT, Lagos, Ondo, Kaduna, Borno, Kano, Bauchi, Anambra, Abia, Rivers, Plateau and Delta States. They form the first batch of applications for the scheme submitted between October 1 and October 10.

“The MSMEs Survival Fund scheme is a component of the Nigerian Economic Sustainability Plan, NESP, which was developed by an Economic Sustainability Committee established by President Muhammadu Buhari in March 2020.

“The President asked his deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, to head the committee which produced and is overseeing the implementation of the plan. “Under the ESP, the Survival Fund is generally designed to among other things, support vulnerable MSMEs in meeting their different obligations and safeguard jobs in the sector.”

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Absorb Exited Npower Beneficiaries, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG

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Absorb Npower Beneficiaries of Batches A and B, N-power Youths Congress Tells FG

The N-power Youths Congress (NYC) has pleaded with the Federal Government to absorb the 500,000 exited Npower beneficiaries of Batches A and B and pay their outstanding allowances.

The National Coordinator, NYC, Comrade Joseph Enam Maga, stated this in Maiduguri during a press briefing held on Saturday at the NUJ Press Center.

He said thousands of exited beneficiaries are yet to be paid since the month of Match.

He, therefore, called on the Federal Government to offset all the outstanding allowances of Batches A and B and create a permanent job for them.

He said “It is a fact undisputable that thousands of beneficiaries have not been paid since the month of March.

“Promises upon promises have been made on this, but yet no positive result has been recorded. Sometimes I wonder what it takes for the data base manager of Npower to rectify this! Something that can be rectified in a couple of hours has lasted for seven good months now.

“Worst still, this is happening within this period of hunger and starvation because of Pandemic. We call on the minister of humanitarian affairs and disaster management to be human enough to respond to our request and give prompt attention to them.

“We equally wish to bring to the notice of Mr. President that Batch B Beneficiaries have not received their devices as was promised and signed at the commencement of the program.

“It is very sad that up to the disengagement of Batch A and B, nobody has come out openly to tell us what happened to our devices.

The coordinator paused to ask why are Nigerian youths being treated like nobody in their country? What have we done to be neglected like this?

“When the Humanitarian Minister was asked why we were disengaged at this critical time in historical epoch that corona virus is terrorizing the whole world, she responded that we were disengaged because it’s a two years programe that we signed.

“Then comes the question: why did Batch A stayed 4years? And if we signed for two years contract that warranted our disengagement, didn’t we equally signed to be given a device that would help us in our different places of primary assignment and equally increase of knowledge? Please we need answers ma. We need answers.

“We, the 500,000 batches A and B of Npower beneficiaries are calling on our government to respond to our demand. We don’t want to believe that it’s only a state of violence anarchy and doom will make a sane government to listen to her Youth’s grievances.

“Look at the Endsars protest for instance, after many lives have been lost and properties destroyed, our government decided to speak up. Niger delta militants were attended to when they resort to arms.

“The insurgents were given amnesty because of their terrorism. But we the innocent 500,000 graduates have been innocently complaining to our government but they paid deaf ears. We are law abiding citizens and we will continue to be law abiding citizens.

“We want Mr. President to understand that a hungry man is an angry man. We have really endured a lot. We need a quick response to our requests. We can’t be used and dumped like refuse. We refused to be used and dumped”, the National Coordinator added.

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