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FG Pays 70 Construction Companies N63.12bn -Fashola

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Construction Experts

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Friday said the Federal Government had paid 70 construction companies the sum of N63.12bn for works done in the first quarter of 2016.

He said the payment had prompted the various firms to move back to their various construction sites, adding that over 5,000 workers sacked by the firms had also been recalled.

Fashola, in his speech at the Nigeria Infrastructure Advisory Forum in London, a copy of which was obtained by our correspondent, told his audience that past governments did not do much with respect to revamping the country’s infrastructure.

He, however, stated that the current administration had decided to change the trend, as it had increased the 2016 budget in order to effectively tackle the inadequate infrastructure in the country.

The minister, who also noted that the Nigerian economy was in recession, expressed optimisicim that the country would come out of the situation.

He said, “From the N4tn average budget in a time of plenty, this administration sets an ambitious N6tn with a 30 per cent capital expenditure. It pays serious attention to its budget as the article of faith that defines its commitment. Since the budget was passed in May, 70 construction companies got paid N63.169bn for the first quarter in Works ministry alone.

“The response is that in the last few weeks since budget was passed, construction companies that had demobilised from their sites and laid off workers due to lack of payment since 2014, are remobilising to rail, road, power and other construction sites, and are re-calling workers.

“The Kaduna-Abuja rail project, which was commissioned but never ran in the past government, was opened to public service on July 26 by this new administration. These are the first signs of productivity, they signal a clear pathway out of recession, and although results take time to manifest, Nigeria has chosen an appropriate pathway out of economic difficulty.

He added, “We will recover from this recession period and also deliver new infrastructure and upgrade aging ones.”

According to Fashola, the country does not lack infrastructure but that what it has is insufficient and aged.

He told his audience that Nigeria was currently facing challenging economic times, as the commodities boom had gone.

“We have suffered consecutive negative growth and are economically experiencing a recession,” he said.

“If infrastructure drives growth as we have experienced from the Great Depression to the ­­­Marshall plan, and lately fiscal stimulus in recent years, our current economic recession is the result of yesterday’s policies and choices especially during 2010 to 2015,” he added.

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.

Government

Lagos Imposes 24 Hour Curfew as #EndSARS Protest Turns Violence

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Sanwo-Olu Imposes 24 Hour Curfew in Lagos as Hoodlums Hijacked #EndSARS Protests

The Executive Governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday, imposed a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the state as peaceful #EndSARS protest turned violence amid the destruction of properties and lives.

In a statement released by the governor through his official Twitter account @jidesanwoolu, the governor said “I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society.

“Lives and limbs have been lost as criminals and miscreants are now hiding under the umbrella of these protests to unleash mayhem on our state. As a government that is alive to its responsibility and has shown a commitment to the movement #ENDSARS, we will not watch and allow anarchy in our dear state.”

“I, therefore, hereby impose a 24-hour curfew on all parts of the State as from 4pm today, 20th October,2020. Nobody, except essential service providers and first responders must be found on the streets.”

This was after reports of numerous attacks and destruction of properties by certain elements that the Nigerian youths claimed were sponsored by politicians to disrupt their agitation and invalidate the entire protest.

On Monday, prisoners were freed in Benin, Edo State by unknown individuals either sponsored by politicians or part of the protesters that gone rogue or with different agenda.

In Abuja, a group of thugs (sponsored or not) burnt several vehicles claimed to be parked by peaceful protesters while in Lagos, the story is not different as unscrupulous elements have been stealing and attacking people.

With a 24-hour curfew now in place in Lagos and Edo States, the youths agitating may be forced to eventually meet with the government to discuss their demands and implementation methodology.

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Government

Buhari Bows to Pressure, Overhauls Murderous Police Unit, SARS

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FG, NPF Dissolve SARS Amid Nationwide Protests

President Muhammadu Buhari has finally bowed to pressure to disband the murderous Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) unit of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

In a statement released on Sunday, Mohammed Adamu, Nigeria’s Inspector General of Police, said the Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit had been abolished “with immediate effect”. He, however, said SARS officers would be redeployed to other police units, formations and commands that the Nigerian people are saying also needs reform.

 

This was after President Buhari had said he met with the Inspector General of Police on Saturday to discuss reform of the UNIT against a complete overhaul being pushed by millions of harassed, dehumanised and disrespected Nigerian youths.

The statement further aggravated Nigerian youths, who encouraged Nigerians abroad to stage protests across the nation’s embassies in a move to draw international media and organisations to the plight of youths in Africa’s largest economy. Sensing chaos amid expected economic recession in the third quarter, President Buhari and the Nigeria Police Force quickly dissolved the murderous anti-robbery squad to force decorum and calm millions of angry Nigerian youths.

Nigerian youths, both celebrities, influencers and regular people, have used their social media backed with action to compel the Nigerian government, known for blatant disrespect, disregard and the use of counter-protests to suppress and discredit dissenting voice, to finally put to an end a police unit that has killed several youths for owning an iPhone, having a laptop, driving a car or even looking good.

This is a win for the Nigerian youths and sent a strong message to the leaders that youths will no longer tolerate their excesses and henceforth would be demanding accountability, transparency and the right implementation of the rule of law regardless of class, status or position.

To the youths, it validated what the majority have been clamouring for, UNITY that transcends tribes and religions. If Nigerian youths stick together and continue to demand change in one voice with civil disobedience, we will eventually have a Nigeria we all can be proud of.

Congratulations to US!.

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Government

LAMATA Says Lagos Red Rail Project to be Operational by October 2022

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Railway Projects

Lagos Red Rail Project to be Operational in 24 Months

Lagos State Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) has said the ongoing Lagos Red Rail Line project will be completed for operation in the next 24 months, October 2022 to be precise.

Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, the Managing Director, LAMATA, disclosed this at a milestone meeting on the implementation of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit Red and Blue Line projects in Lagos on Tuesday.

In the meeting with contracts, Akinajo said the gathering was to reaffirm the established positions on timelines for delivery of the rail lines to passengers, according to a statement titled ‘Lagos red rail line will be operational in 24 months’ and signed by Kolawole Ojelabi, Assistant Director, Corporate Communication, LAMATA.

She said, “The red line is supposed to be a quick win because it will share tracks with the Nigerian Railway Corporation on its Lagos – Ibadan rail corridor. There will be no delays, no budget or cost overrun and there will not be any shift in delivery date.

“Our meeting is to take stock of what we have done so far since this project started and to re-emphasise that there is no room for slippage in the delivery of the red line.”

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