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Kaduna Airport Won’t be 100% Ready by Wednesday –Osinbajo

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  • Kaduna Airport Won’t be 100% Ready by Wednesday

As the Federal Government sets to divert Abuja-bound flights to the Kaduna International Airport from next week, Acting President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday observed that the facility might not be 100 per cent ready by Wednesday, but would be suitable for operations.

The Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will be shut to flight services from midnight of Wednesday, March 7, 2016 in order to carry out repairs on its runway and taxiways for a period of six weeks.

Speaking to journalists after inspecting the Kaduna airport on Friday, Osinbajo stated that a lot of progress had been recorded at the facility, but noted that there were still some things that must be completed as fast as possible.

He said, “We are here to inspect the progress of work at the Kaduna airport because it will serve as a temporary substitute to the Abuja airport for both local and international flights that should have come into Abuja airport. So basically, what we are trying to do is to look at the state of readiness.

“This has always been a local airport and so a lot of work obviously needs to be done to bring it up to the required standard. The work has made considerable progress, but there’s still a lot to be done and some of it are going to be completed over this weekend, especially the ceiling, air-conditioning and all that.

“So we think that it will not be in a complete state of readiness by Wednesday, but I expect that within a very, very short period, it will be ready.”

The Acting President said the government had directed the contractors handling the project to hasten it by increasing the number of workers on the project site.

“We’ve certainly told them that they should increase their speed and double the number of persons who are working on the ceilings and on some other facilities. They certainly need to work much faster and much more diligently in order to meet the schedule,” he said.

Osinbajo urged foreign airlines to cooperate with the Federal Government as the diversion of flights from Abuja to Kaduna was only temporary.

He said, “We have some of them (foreign airlines) here today who are willing to come. I think that what we need to tell the foreign airlines is that this is an emergency.

“It is a temporary arrangement and they should really work with us. We are as concerned about safety and comfort as they are and they are here also to see for themselves.

“So we will be happy if they work with us. We will be happy if they see this as a temporary arrangement. We are persuading them that this is temporary.”

In a related development, the Federal Ministry of Transportation on Friday said that Osinbajo would perform the ground breaking to mark the commencement of the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway.

“The Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo (SAN) will on Tuesday, March 7, 2017 perform the ground breaking to mark the commencement of the construction of the Lagos-Ibadan railway, which is the second segment of the Lagos-Kano standard gauge railway system with an extension to the Lagos Port complex, Apapa,” the ministry said in a statement issued in Abuja.

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

Buhari Declares Oct 1 Public Holiday

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Muhammadu Buhari

The Federal Government has declared Thursday, October 1, 2020, as a public holiday to commemorate Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary.

The Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, who made the declaration, congratulated all Nigerians on the celebration of the country’s Diamond Jubilee while stressing the government’s commitment to the socio-economic transformation of the country.

This was contained in a statement titled, ‘FG Declares Thursday, October 1, 2020, Public Holiday To Mark Nigeria’s 60th Independence Anniversary’ and signed by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Interior, Georgina Ehuriah.

According to the statement, the minister praised Nigerians for the feats in economy, education, the creative sector, amongst others.

The statement also quoted Aregbesola as saying, “Though celebrating sixty years of independence really calls for pomp and pageantry, but with the global COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced all nations in the world to think and act cautiously, we cannot avoid the imperative of a low-keyed celebration at this time.”

It added, “While wishing Nigerians a fruitful independence celebration, he reminded them of the fact that our founding fathers, in spite of the differences in faith, tribe and tongue came together for Nigeria’s independence.”

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INEC To Introduce E-voting, Talking to Machine Manufacturers

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INEC Commences Process of Introducing E-voting, Discussing With Manufacturers

The Independent National Electoral Commission on Monday said it has commenced plans to replace manual voting with an electronic voting system.

According to Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this during the demonstration of electronic voting machines, the commission has invited manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world to demonstrate how the machines work and preparatory to the full migration.

He said, “Over the years, the commission has been automating the critical pillars of the process. The biometric register of voters has been updated continuously. At the moment, the INEC register of voters is the largest database of citizens in Nigeria.

“In addition, the combination of biometric voter cards commonly known as the Permanent Voter Card and the Smart Card Reader have revolutionised the accreditation of voters during elections.

“More recently, the introduction of a number of portals has facilitated the seamless nomination of candidates for elective offices by political parties as well as the accreditation of observers and the media.

“Most significantly, the commission now uploads polling unit level results in real-time on Election Day to a portal for public view. These are significant innovations that have deepened the transparency and credibility of elections and the electoral process in Nigeria.

“The commission developed the specifications of the functions required of the machine. After extensive discussion and review, the commission took the decision to invite original manufacturers of electronic voting machines around the world for a virtual or practical demonstration of the machines.”

Yakubu explained that more than 40 companies have indicated interest and would be demonstrating to the commission how the IT solutions meet its specifications.

“The commission is aware that Nigerians want us to deepen the use of technology in elections. Let me reassure Nigerians that the commission is committed to expediting the process leading to the deployment of the EVMs in elections in earnest,” the INEC chairman said.

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Mali Sworn In Bah Ndaw as Transition President

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Malian Mutinying Soldiers

Mali’s interim president, Bah Ndaw, chosen to head a transitional government following a coup last month, was sworn in during ceremonies in the capital Bamako on Friday, AFP journalists witnessed.

A committee appointed by the junta which seized power on August 18, toppling President Ibrahim Boubacar Keita, selected Ndaw, a 70-year-old retired colonel, as interim president.

Ndaw is due to lead a transition government for a maximum of 18 months before organising national elections.

Colonel Assimi Goita, who led the military junta, was also sworn in as interim vice president.

The ceremony on Friday took place in a theatre filled with officials dressed in military fatigues, senior judges, and foreign diplomats.

During the ceremony, Supreme Court Chief Prosecutor Boya Dembele said the challenges facing both men were “enormous”.

“It will truly require a reformulation of the state,” said the judge, dressed in red fur-lined robes.

The swearing-in comes as the fragile Sahel state’s neighbours have leaned on the military junta to appoint civilians as interim president and prime minister.

The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) slapped sanctions on the poor country on August 20 to push for a swift return to civilian rule.

A decision by the bloc on whether to ease the measure is possible on Friday, according to former Nigerian president and ECOWAS mediator Goodluck Jonathan.

“We are optimistic that this event will signal the beginning of the return to normalcy in Mali,” he said on Twitter on Thursday night, referring to the swearing in of interim-government leaders.

Last month’s coup followed weeks of mass protests against Keita, spurred by frustrations over a brutal jihadist conflict, perceived corruption and the country’s slumping economy.

Mali has struggled to quell an eight-year-old Islamist insurgency which has claimed thousands of military and civilian lives.

AFP

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