President Muhammadu Buhari says his administration’s investment in infrastructure like rails, roads, bridges and waterways have started yielding positive results with tangible evidence for all to see.
The president disclosed this in a statement by his Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, in Abuja on Wednesday.
Buhari was speaking at the commissioning of the reconstructed Shinkafi-Yandaki-Gafiya—Abdallawa-Dankaba road in Katsina, as part of activities during his visit to the state.
According to the president, the special attention given to infrastructure by his administration will be intensified, since the investments had been justified with more people benefiting.
“Infrastructure is vital to economic development. As you are aware, this administration has given special attention to infrastructural transformation of our country.
“This is in consonance with the change philosophy of the administration. Such projects and programmes form part of our contribution to national development, which are tangible for all to see,” he said.
He commended the strategy by Gov. Aminu Masari’s administration to make roads motorable throughout the year for citizens, adding “we all know that the economy of Katsina State is agrarian.
”Our wealth is farming and livestock rearing. Hence the need to open it up through and across all communities so as to maximally tap the abundant agricultural and livestock resources the state is endowed with.”
In his remark, Masari said the government had all along been mindful of the need for infrastructure development across the state.
He said the decision had “efficiently and effectively facilitated smooth movement of people, goods and services of trade and commerce, not only within Katsina State but across other neighbouring states.’’
The governor noted that the economy of the state and wellbeing of the people had improved with the focus on infrastructure.
The President is expected to inaugurate more projects in the state on Thursday.
Nigeria land of tourism not terrorism — Tourism Operator
A Lagos-based tourism stakeholder, Mr Adetola Gabriel, on Friday described Nigeria as a land of tourism and not terrorism, as portrayed by some individuals in the country.
Gabriel, the Chief Executive Officer, ATGadventours, made the assertion in an interview with the Nigeria News Agency in Lagos.
“Nigeria has great prospects when it comes to tourism. A country with diverse landscape, beautiful scenery and many destinations with historic significance should have a thriving tourism sector.
“Unfortunately, this is not the case and hence, insecurity such as robberies, kidnappings contribute to Nigeria’s problems in the tourism sector.
“We don’t know how we got to this mess, but I want to strongly believe that Nigeria is not a land of terrorism, but a land of tourism.
“As a tour operator based in Lagos, Nigeria, I must confess that one major factor affecting Nigerian tourism is insecurity and poor social infrastructure,” he said.
According to him, there must be good roads, regular power supply and potable water for tourism to thrive in any country.
“If the roads are bad, movement will be hindered and kidnappers will have chances to operate peacefully.
“Besides, many of Nigeria’s popular tourist sites are located in rural areas that lack these basic infrastructure. The lack of such basic amenities will discourage potential tourists,” Gabriel said.
He noted that Nigerians usually look forward to visiting tourist attraction centres back in the days; but nowadays, insecurity and lack of maintenance culture had changed the narrative.
“Back in our primary and secondary school days, we all look forward to visiting tourist sites, as those special vacations seem to be the order of the day, and it excites us to learn more about sustainable developmental tourism; but none is the case now,” Gabriel.
He urged government at all levels to provide adequate infrastructure to help boost the tourism industry.
“I implore governments to provide adequate infrastructure that supports tourism such as electricity, good road networks, sea ports where necessary and a boost of the medical sector to make it more reliable for citizens and foreigners alike.
“Tackling security issues within the country and bringing crime to a minimal level will give a face lift to the country as a whole, especially in the eyes of prospective tourists from foreign countries,” he said.
Why we are partnering Niger govt. on ranch- CBN
Mr Anthony Ifechukwu, Special Adviser on Development Finance to the CBN governor Godwin Emefiele, stated this during an inspection of work at the Bobi grazing reserve with the state Gov. Abubakar Bello of Niger.
He noted that the local production of milk had become necessary to create jobs, adding that Nigeria was spending 1.5billion dollars a year on milk importation.
“What we are saying is that what we can produce in Nigeria we don’t have to import because by continuous importation we are not allowing our people to maximize their full potentials.
”For every litre of milk we import, you have 14 jobs created there and that means those jobs are lacking in Nigeria.
“Nigeria is spending about 1.5billion dollars per annum on milk importation and we felt with the resources Nigeria has there should be a reversal.
”So we are partnering with the Niger state government to ensure the facility and the environment for this initiative to run is there.”
He revealed that four firms had already indicated interest to invest in the grazing reserve which sits on 30000 hectares of land.
”WAMCO is already on ground here and there is an Irish firm that wants to come here as well.
“Wamco is going to do 10,000 hectares and you can see their tractors working and the same time they are building infrastructure like milk collection center, boreholes and a hydroponics unit.”
On how much the CBN was committing to the project, he said the figures were not yet available but noted that Niger is the pioneer state for such CBN intervention.
Also speaking, Gov. Bello maintained that he was satisfied with the level of work at the grazing reserve, saying the state government would do its best to make the place ready.
“I have seen the need to bring electricity here, provide security, do more roads, boreholes and more sensitisation for the locals to take ownership of what we are doing here.
“In the coming weeks, you will see more development here and hopefully in the next few years we would have a full fledged functional grazing reserve.”
He reiterated his administration’s resolve to transform the livestock industry towards creating jobs for the teeming populace.
Edited by Ismail Abdulaziz
NEMA seeks synergy among disaster management stakeholders
The National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) has called for synergy among disaster management stakeholders for easy coordination during emergencies.
Ugo urged disaster management agencies to be alert at all times, adding that members of the public should also adhere strictly to early warning on flooding and other disasters in order to reduce their effects on lives and property.
“The only way to manage disaster effectively is through collaboration among disaster agencies.
“Imo residents, who are in flood prone areas, should always monitor the sea level,” he said, adding that disaster management stakeholders were proposing the establishment of a trauma centre where disaster victims would be rehabilitated.
The NEMA coordinator urged the state government to ensure that the State Emergency Management Agency (SEMA) was properly equipped for efficient and effective service delivery.
Edited by Ifeyinwa Okonkwo and ‘Wale Sadeeq
RTEAN wants Amaechi, Fashola to complete ongoing road, rail projects
The Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) on Friday pleaded with the reappointed Ministers of Works and Housing and Transportation, Mr Babatunde Fashola and Mr Rotimi Amaechi respectively, to ensure speedy completion of ongoing projects by their ministries.
NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari had on Wednesday reappointed Mr Rotimi Amaechi as the Minister of Transportation and Mr Babatunde Fashola as the Minister of Works and Housing.
NAN also reports that Amaechi and Fashola supervised those ministries as ministers during the first tenure of the Buhari-led administration.
Musa said: “ Mr Rotimi Amaechi as the Minister of Transportation started several jobs during his first term in the ministry. Now, the President of Nigeria wants him to come and complete them; that is why he was reappointed.
“He must not disappoint Nigerians and the Buhari-led government who have given him the opportunity. All rail and road projects the ministry had embarked upon should be completed.
“We also want Fashola to complete all the road projects the ministry started under his leadership as former minister to reduce carnage on the highways.”
The RTEAN boss said that both ministries remained cardinal to the economy of the nation, hence, the need to pay adequate attention to them.
According to him, all Nigerians, not only the commercial transport operators, are looking forward to them completing the ongoing road and rail projects across the country and start new ones.
“What we are expecting from all the 43 ministers is that they should work for the good of Nigerians.
“All of them should have the fear of God because they swore with the Bible and the Quran to serve Nigerians.
“Let them be serious with their jobs and not divert the funds allocated to their ministries for public good into their personal purses,” Musa added.
The union leader also advised the newly reappointed Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr Chris Ngige, to prioritise the welfare of Nigerian workers and work toward the creation of new jobs.
“That is the reason why they had been chosen to head the various ministries they had been assigned by President Buhari.’’
Truck crushes Army officer to death in Ogun
A truck loaded with granite on Friday crushed an Army officer identified as R. A. Nata’ala to death in Iyana Mortuary area of Abeokuta.
The accident was said to have occurred around 10:30 a.m.
According to an eyewitness, the victim was on his motorcycle with number plate: PKA 567 QD when a truck with registration number JJJ 833 XW had brake failure.
The eyewitness said that the truck swerved off from its lane and crushed the soldier who was riding his motorcycle to death.
The truck was said to be coming from Ajebo-Idi-Aba road, and heading toward Ijaye when the incident occurred.
The eyewitness explained that the traffic light had stopped some vehicles going toward Idi-Aba including the victim’s motorcycle when the truck rammed into his soldier’s motorcycle and killed him.
Also, the spokesperson of the Traffic Compliance and Enforcement Corps, Mr Babatunde Akinbiyi, confirmed the incident to Nigeria News Agency in Abeokuta.
Akinbiyi said that the truck after losing control hit a Mazda car marked APP 272 DH before hitting the motorcycle marked PKA 567 QD.
He said that the corpse of the deceased had been deposited at the mortuary of the State Hospital, Ijaye.
Akinbiyi, however, said that the truck driver ran away.