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FEC approves N1.8bn for rehabilitation of railway village, N2.6bn for FCT contracts  

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Thursday approved N1.8billion for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of buildings of railway village in Agbo, Delta.

The Minister of State, Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of the council meeting which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

He disclosed that the council also approved N743million for procurement of security and safety gadgets as well as incidences laboratory for Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Sirika revealed that contract for the procurement of pavement marking machines was also approved by the council at the cost of N391.8 million.

“This is a visual aid for pilots for safe operations around our airports,’’ he added.

According to the minister, the council also approved the sum of 1.1 million Euros, for the purchase of a total radar coverage track on system reconditioning.

He said: “This contract went to the manufacturer of the equipment for 1, 187, 960, 000 Euros, equivalent to N414, 543, 760.23 excluding taxes and it’s for seven months.”

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Muhammed Bello, who also spoke to the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, revealed that the council approved six contracts worth N2.6 billion for the FCT.

“The FCT got approval for the award of contract for the construction and equipping of materials testing laboratory in Abuja and that contract is in the sum of N616, 278, 844.19 with a completion period of five months.

“That laboratory already is under construction, so basically it is just to equip the laboratory and is going to test all the items that go into the construction of roads and buildings,” he said.

He further said cabinet approved another contract for a temporary access road in the central area of the territory.

“The second contract was for the provision of an access road to link very key anterior roads in the Central Business District that is Ahmadu Bello Way and Sani Abacha Way, all in the FCT, in the sum of N670, 347, 909 with a completion period of six months.

“The third memo was for the award of contract for the design of engineering and solid waste treatment plant and transfer stations in the FCT and it is a consultancy project awarded in the sum of N473, 798, 934, to be completed in 12 months.

“These transfer stations are meant to serve the waste management value chain so that before you get to the final dump site, solid waste is separated according to the various grades and that makes it easier for recycling.

” As you know now we have what is called waste to wealth and that will create a very important economic system for people who will invest in it,” he said.

He said another contract awarded for the FCT was that of engineering design of expandable main sewage treatment plant at Kango and Associated Trunk lines at the cost of N511, 528, 689.

Bello further informed State House Correspondents that the FCT got approval for the final design of engineering infrastructure and production of tender documents at the cost of N202, 410, 378.45.

He stated that another N143.7million was approved for the final engineering design of infrastructure and production of another tender document for Sector Centres E and F in phase 111 of FCC, Abuja

The Minister of Informaytion and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, disclosed that N1, 081, 345, 163. 45 was approved by the council for the construction of School of Engineering at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State.

He further revealed that the Ministry of Education also got approval for consultancy for a capacity development programme for teachers that would handle special needs and disability education.

“The contract was given to a consultant at the cost of N338, 281, 250 with a completion period of four weeks.

“This will actually entail training 18 teachers from each state of the federation to handle students with special needs and disability,” he said.

( Edited by Mufutau Ojo)

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Nigeria, US partnership will continue to produce mutually desirable results–Osinbajo

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Nigeria, US partnership will continue to produce mutually desirable results–Osinbajo

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Friday said  that the partnership between Nigeria and the US was one that would continue to produce mutually desirable results for both countries.

Osinbajo’s spokesman, Laolu Akande,  said that the vice president spoke when he received the administrator of the US Agency on International Development (USAID), Mr Mark Green, at the Presidential Villa,  Abuja.

According to Osinbajo,  the US is one of Nigeria’s most dependable development partner.

 The vice president said the Nigerian government was grateful for the  US interventions in the areas of health, humanitarian issues and education.

He reiterated the commitment of the President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration to improve the country’s education sector, and his  resolve to enforce free and compulsory basic education for every child of primary and junior secondary school age.

Osinbajo said  that a lot more could be done with cooperation between both countries.

“This is an area where the president particularly has a personal commitment.

“On June 20, in a meeting with state governors, he made the point that we are going to enforce a nine-year free and compulsory basic education for children.

“He felt that this was not just a moral obligation, but, of course, to educate and develop future generations, especially female children.

” There could be more cooperation in the areas of teachers’ training, skills development, child education, especially girl-child education, among other interventions in the education sector.”

Osinbajo also highlighted the need for more development partnerships in the areas of improving the country’s power sector and security.

He said that the Federal Government had been putting a significant amount of work in developing renewable energy and providing solar power in rural areas and other parts of the country.

 “In the power sector, we find that renewable energy is an area we want to do more.

“And in many parts of the country, we find that solar power would be advantageous for us, and we’re trying to do a lot in that area.

“The power grid itself has had various challenges.

“We think the fastest growth, especially in rural areas is solar power; in that respect, we have done a fair amount of work,” he said.

While acknowledging US military assistance, Osinbajo said that the Federal Government would also welcome more cooperation in tackling humanitarian challenges in the North-East of the country.

In his remarks, Green who was accompanied by the US Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Stuart Symington, said that US and Nigeria had a deep friendship based on shared values and shared priorities.

He described as admirable, Buhari’s personal commitment to ensuring compulsory free education for Nigerian children.

Green said that  the US looked forward to working with the Nigerian government on developing its education sector, tackling security challenges and improving economic indices.

“We have particular interest in continuing our very strong partnership in providing humanitarian assistance, particularly in areas in the North.

“Working together on economic opportunities, particularly in rural areas; creating strong sustainable futures for farmers and herders; and looking for ways to tackle some of the challenges that we both see in building lives and communities,” he said.

Earlier, the vice president had received a delegation from the Andrew Young Foundation, led by civil rights activist and former US Ambassador to the United Nations, Andrew  Young.

Osinbajo described Young as one of the major icons in the US civil rights movement.

He  added  that Young had played a very important roles in Nigeria  and influenced positively many of its leaders.

In his remarks, Young commended the Buhari administration for being able to hold the country together in spite of the differences and ensuring that democracy thrive.

Young, who worked with the late Martin Luther King Jnr., was accompanied by Ambassador Howard Jeter, Nigerian Businessman, Sir Emeka Offor and Sen. Ken Nnamani.

Edited by Obike Ukoh

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UKAid disburses N5bn to 56,000 pregnant women in Zamfara

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The UK Department for International Development (DFID), says it has disbursed N5 billion to 56,000 pregnant women in Zamfara through its Child Development Grand Programme (CDGP).

Mr Nura Muhammad, Advocacy Officer, Save the Children International, an agency of DFID,  disclosed this in Gusau on Friday, at a meeting with members of the academia, media and Civil Society Organisations (CSOs), preparatory to Phase 2 of the programme.

The meeting was organised by the Save the Children International in collaboration with Zamfara Social Protection Platform (ZSPP).

Muhammadu said that the aid to the pregnant women was given between 2014 to 2019.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the CDGP project is implemented in Jigawa and Zamfara by the Save the Children and Action Against Hunger, a Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO).

It is aimed at supporting pregnant women with cash of N4,000 monthly each, to take care of their babies for a period of two years.

The main goal of the CDGP programme is to ensure effective child care, growth and development.

Muhammad, who is in charge of CDGP phase 2 in Zamfara, said that the programme was aimed at tackling the high level of malnutrition.

He added that the five-year programme, which was expected to close out in June 2019, was extended to July 2021 to build on the momentum and lessons learnt from the previous phase.

He said that the programme was aimed at tackling high level of malnutrition in Nigeria which had undermined the survival and development of children and fueled the inter-generational transfer of poverty.

According to him, the 56,000 beneficiaries are from all over the 500 communities from the two local government areas of Anka and Tsafe.

Earlier, Chairman, ZSPP, Alhaji Nasiru Biyabiki, had said that the meeting was to review various programmes and to discuss with stakeholders on ways of ensuring the sustainability of the aid programme.

Biyabiki said that the programme had been engaging NGOs and other major stakeholders to ensure that the state government signed and implemented the Social Protection Policy for the benefit of vulnerable groups.

He commended the support and commitments given to the programme by the members of the Media, Academia and CSOs in the state.

He added that social protection was a collective responsibility and stressed the need for all stakeholders to meet from time to time to review issues affecting it.

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C/River official commends Buhari for stand on Oyo-Ita

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The Deputy Speaker of Cross River House of Assembly, Mr Joseph Bassey, has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for standing with the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita.

Bassey told Nigeria News Agency on Friday in Calabar, that the allegations of fraud against Oyo-Ita was false and baseless, stressing that she has exhibited good character and integrity in service.

It would be recalled that Oyo-Ita was drilled by the Economic and Financial Crime Commission for allegations of financial mismanagement of over N3billion.

According to the Deputy Speaker, Oyo-Ita cannot be associated with any financial impropriety and therefore should be given a chance to fair hearing by the Presidency.

“First and foremost, if there is anyone I can vouch for that has character and integrity in service is Oyo-Ita because I have known her right from when I was growing up; I know her track record from her civil days in Cross River.

President Buhari is a man of integrity and the Head of Service has worked under him while he was incharge of Petroleum Task Fund and that was where Buhari built the confidence in her.

“Even when she was being screened for the position of the Head of Service, she was not found to be corrupt or involved in any financial scandal before. She is a civil servant who loves her career.

“Oyo-Ita is not a politician, she got to her present position by merit and God’s grace, so we should support her to continue to deliver service to Nigerian populace,’’ he said.

The Deputy Speaker, who said that Oyo-Ita’s name should not be dragged to the mud, added that she has distinguished herself as a civil servant and a professional with impeccable character and integrity.

The Presidency insisted on Thursday that it had no knowledge that Oyo-Ita tendered any resignation letter to the President.

Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, insisted that “Our position is still the same. We are not aware of any letter of resignation,”

Bassey, who described the allegations as blackmail and politics, said that Oyo-Ita should not be accused wrongly because she stood her grounds for the right things to be done in the civil service of the federation.

He maintained that the allegations before Oyo-Ita were not substantial, adding that it was on that premise that the Presidency rejected her resignation letter and ask her to resume work.

GNO/IS

Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz

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Anambra assembly tasks Obiano on construction of rural road

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The Anambra State House of Assembly on Friday charged Gov. Willie Obiano to construct and rehabilitate roads in the rural communities to ease transportation and enhance socio-economic activities.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the house gave the charge in its resolution, following three motions moved under Matters of Urgent Public Importance during the plenary session in Awka.

The house listed some of the roads to include Amansea-Ndiukwuenu-Awa-Ufuma Road in Orumba North Local Government Area (LGA), Nkwo Oraifite-Nkwo Nnewi-Ndamani Ichi Roads in Ekwusigo LGA and Isuaniocha-Urum-Amanuke Achalla Road in Awka North LGA.

The lawmakers regretted that the condition of the roads was hampering commercial and business activities in the affected communities.

Mr Onyebuchi Offor (Ekwusigo ll) said that most of the roads had become impassable due to heavy flooding, resulting from the lack of drains.

“Road is an important key to social development and road maintenance is essential to preserve the roads from collapse.

“When you have good roads, safety, convenience and smooth journeys are guaranteed,” Offor said.

Contributing, Mr Chidi Udenmadu (Ihiala l) said that accidents on the roads remained high due to the dilapidation of the roads.

“The present condition of most of the roads in the hinterlands had made them death traps for motorists that ply them,” Udenmadu said.

Also, Mr John Nwokoye (Awka North) said that bandits were taking advantage of the poor condition of the roads to rob commuters of their valuables.

“The bad portions of the roads are also used as hideouts for miscreants and bandits, while cultists also conduct their nefarious activities along the road,” he said.

Nwokoye expressed sadness over the abandonment of the Isuaniocha Road which, according to him, was first awarded in 1979 by Jim Nwobodo’s administration.

“It was later re-awarded in 2006 by former Gov. Peter Obi but was abandoned,” he said.

Another lawmaker, Mr Emeka Aforka (Orumba North), said that the bad condition of rural roads was causing severe damage to vehicles plying them.

“Man hour is wasted, lives are lost, while trading and commercial activities are crippled due to the bad state of the roads in the hinterlands,” he said.

The Speaker of the House,  Mr Uche Okafor, said that it was incumbent on the government to provide the necessary infrastructure to ensure smooth transportation of goods and services.

“Good road network triggers off development and growth in any given economy.

“Therefore, we urge Gov. Obiano to direct the Commissioner for Road Construction, Road Furniture and Maintenance to construct and rehabilitate roads in the hinterlands.

“If these roads are fixed, it will increase mobility, access to markets, connect demand and supply, reduce transportation cost, accidents, crimes and enhance economic growth,” Okafor said.

 

 

 

 

 

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Devt: A’Ibom Govt. pledges continuous partnership with donor agencies

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The Akwa Ibom Government has reaffirmed its commitment towards partnering with International Donor Agencies in critical areas of needs to ensure development of the state.

Mr Akan Okon, the Commissioner for Economic Development and Ibom Deep Sea Port, stated this at the handing over of fistula equipment procured by the United Nations Population Fund Agency (UNFPA) at Mbribit Itam, Itu Local Government Area on Friday.

Okon said that if the counterpart funds were paid promptly, its citizens would benefit from the quick intervention programmes for their wellbeing.

He commended the UNFPA for procuring and donating modern theatre equipment to the V.V.F Hospital to aid in fistula repairs.

He expressed appreciation to other International Donor Agencies for also partnering with the state government in other areas of human needs.

Okon noted that the agencies would record successes in Akwa Ibom since Gov. Emmanuel was passionate about the development and well-being of the citizens thereby creating an enabling environment for all.

The Commissioner also thanked the management of the hospital for its relentless efforts in caring for patients, many of whom had been traumatised because of stigmatisation and abandonment by family members and friends.

“We specifically laud their efforts in making sure that recovered patients are rehabilitated to become self reliant before being reintegrated with their families,” Okon said.

On his part, the Zonal Programme Officer in charge of Reproductive Health in UNFPA, Mr Kenneth Ehouzou, said that the core mandate of the agency was to stage a global campaign and sensitisation on the issues of V.V.F which he said, was becoming alarming.

Ehouzou described fistula as violation against human right and identified lack of access to good health care facilities and services as the major causes of V.V.F.

He, however, encouraged pregnant women to register for antenatal care in any government approved facilities where they would enjoy the services of qualified medical personnel to prevent the situation.

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