Mr Abubakar Aliyu, Minister of State for Housing, has said that resolving Nigeria’s housing deficit required massive synergy with development partners.
Aliyu spoke in Abuja on Thursday at a One-day Sensitisation Forum on Lands, Housing and Urban Development Multilateral Programmes of Collaboration and 10th Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10).
The theme of the forum is “Achieving National Housing and Urban Development Goal: Opportunities for Partnerships and Technical Cooperation”.
Aliyu said that the rapid urbanisation being experienced was one of the most significant and life changing processes of the present times.
“Its scale and dimension have severe significant social, cultural, economic and environmental consequences that have impacted on all spheres of our lives in one way or the other.
“In the face of the increasing challenges and opportunities brought about by this phenomenon, it is equally important for us to scale-up actions and leverage on the technical expertise and support of development partners,” Aliyu said.
The minister said that collaborations had led to a series of urban infrastructure investments supported by the World Bank which began in 1986 with the Nigerian States Urban Development Project (NSUDP).
“Synergy with UN-Habita also resulted in the establishment of the Nigeria Country Programme Support Office (UN-HAPSO), in 2003, and we expect to soon host a UN-Habitat Multi-Country Office (MCI), in its on-going structural reforms.
“This is sure to open up a new vista of opportunities for employment and better support for housing and human settlements programmes in Nigeria.
“I challenge all present to deliberate on more innovative ways of repositioning the housing and urban development sector for the benefit of every citizen.”
Mr Mohammed Bukar, Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, in his remarks, said that the forum was intended to provide useful guidelines for intending delegates to the forthcoming 10th session of the World Urban Forum coming up in United Arab Emirates, in February.
Bukar said that the forum was to acquaint stakeholders with the insight into the operations, mechanisms, tools and opportunities for collaboration, technical assistance and capacity building with key multilateral partners.
According to him, these partners have contributed substantially, through various interventions, to advance housing and human settlements development in Nigeria.
Mr Andrew Chimphondah, Managing Director, Shelter Afrique, called for collaboration of all stakeholders toward addressing Africa’s housing challenge.
Chimphondah said that Public Private Partnerships (PPP), was the way to go if the issue was to be effectively tackled.
According to him, through such collaborations, affordable and adequate housing can be provided for the citizens.
The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the forum, which had in attendance housing experts from both the public and the private sectors, focused on raising awareness on sustainable urbanisation among stakeholders and constituencies.
Edited by: Ephraims Sheyin
FG intervenes in 37 bridges across Nigeria – Fashola
The Federal Government says it has intervened in the maintenance and rehabilitation of 37 bridges across the country including the Third Mainland Bridge.
Mr Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, disclosed this at a news conference to update citizens on the forthcoming partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
According to him, many of the bridges are being worked on under the deck even while people drive along.
He said:“Currently, we have intervened on 37 bridges across Nigeria doing repair and maintenance work.
“Because Lagos was a former federal capital and a coastal and aquatic state where you have so many islands it has by far some of the largest bridges in the country.
“Some of the bridges as you have heard are the Doma long bridge, Ojuelagba bridge, the independence bridge and the Falomo bridge.
“At this moment work is going on in the marine bridge linked to Apapa, work has started on the Eko bridge and will also start on the Obalende bridge, which was damaged by fire caused by a tanker that exploded about a month and half ago.”
He added that the government had to take a condition assessment of Cara bridge, which was damaged by fire from a tanker.
Fashola said the bridges so far worked on included Tatabu bridge in Niger state, Tanbowawa bridge in Kano, the old river Niger bridge linking Onitsha and Asaba.
Others are the Isaac Boro bridge in Port Harcourt, Etuok bridge linking Benin and Sapele, Katsina Ana bridge in Benue, Ajaokuta bridge in Kogi, and the Muritala Muhammed bridge in Kotokafe, Kogi.
According to the minister, the third mainland bridge, which is one of these bridges to be closed partially on which work will commence has been worked on in 2018 and 2019.
He added that the repair which would be for six months would begin on July 24 by midnight and end on Jan, 24, 2021.
He appealed to citizens to endeavour to use the bridge only when it was absolutely necessary, adding that the repairs were due to the need for safety and convenience of citizens.
“After this is done we hope to have a better driving experience on the bridge. We must thank Mr president for his commitment to the maintenance of public infrastructure which is the heart and soul of this undertaking,’’ he said.
Mr Boboye Oyeyemi, Corps Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), also told the conference that the corps was set for the six months assignment, adding that 250 personnel would be deployed to manage the road.
Oyeyemi said 50 officials and 200 marshals would be deployed for the assignment including some level of special marshals to man about 21 traffic points from Ojota Motorway to Alapere Bus-stop.
He said the corps would work with other agencies of the government to ensure that within the first two weeks the road users would get used to the diversions and ensure that what the government wanted to do was achieved.
Mr Emmanuel Adeoye, Director of Bridges in the ministry, urged citizens to be more patient when using the road to ease the discomfort that could occur.
According to him, there are 132,702 daily traffic on the bridge, twice the level of Lagos-Ibadan route traffic movement.
He said the closure would be in two phases to ensure operational efficiency with each phase sub divided into morning and afternoon traffic.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the 11.8km-long third mainland bridge, conceived in the `70s as a belt way round the whole city of Lagos, was fully constructed in the 1990s.
Also present at the conference were the Minister of State for Works and Housing, Mr Abubakar Aliyu, acting Permanent Secretary in the ministry, Mr Yemi Oguntominiyi, and other directors in the ministry.
Edited By: Dianabasi Effiong/Felix Ajide (NAN)
Correctional service empowers ex-offenders with working tools
The Nigerian Correctional Service (NCoS) says it has empowered some deserving ex-offenders, trained in different vocations in the course of their incarceration in the Service with some working tools.
The Controller General, NCoS, Mr Ja’afaru Ahmed, noted that some of the ex-offenders were trained in various vocations which includes carpentry, tailoring, electrical, barbing, hair dressing, masonry, laundry and welding.
Presenting the tools to the beneficiaries on Wednesday in Abuja, Ahmed said that it was part of the agency’s mandate to promote public protection by providing assistance to offenders in order to facilitate their reformation.
According to him, the training will also help to rehabilitate and reintegrate them into the society as law-abiding and responsible citizens on discharge.
“The After-Care Scheme has over the years proven to be quite critical to the realisation of the statutory mandates of the Service.
“This has aptly encapsulated in NCoS Act, 2019 with particular reference to the reformation, rehabilitation and subsequent reintegration of inmates back to the society on discharge.
“This is largely because the skill acquisition will keep beneficiaries stay away from returning to life of crime.
“In the last few years under my watch, the NCoS has been able to resuscitate and renovate old vocational workshops and also built new, modern workshops and Farm Centres.
“This is apart from promoting sundry vocational skills acquisition through industrial workshops and Agricultural and Farm Centres.
“We have also continued to partner with relevant stakeholders to promote Adult Remedial Education both at the Post Primary and Tertiary levels,” he said.
According to Ja’afaru, some of the serving inmates wrote and even excelled in their examinations while some others are pursuing Degree Programmes in different fields.
He said that this educational success was achieve through the National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) which currently has study centres in some Custodial Centres across the country.
“The Service is taking all these steps because the idea of incarceration for punishment alone has since been jettisoned the world over.
“The contemporary global penal trend is correction; hence the NCoS is continuously engaging serving inmates on activities that have capacity to engender positive change in them.
“We have recently embarked on Public-Private Partnerships (PPP) initiatives in the construction and management of the Service’s Industries and Workshops in order to boost the capacity of the service.
“This is majorly to train and prepare inmates for self- sustenance
“The expectation is that when fully consummated, the partnerships would facilitate the activities towards reformation, rehabilitation and reintegration of inmates into the society on discharge, ” he said.
The Comptroller General, therefore called on all the beneficiaries to justify government’s huge investments in providing the vocational tools by working hard and being law-abiding citizens.
“Finally, I want to re-assure the Nation that the Service is ever ready and committed to deliver on its statutory mandate. We therefore need the support of all stakeholders,” he said.
edits by Angela Okisor/Ismail Abdulaziz
Actualisation of PPPs in aviation sector will contribute 5% to nation’s GDP-ICRC
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), says actualisation of Public Private Partnerships (PPP) in the aviation sector will help it contribute at least five per cent to the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
ICRC Director-General, Mr Chidi Izuwah, said this while presenting Outline Business Case (OBC) Certificates with respect to four international airports to the Minister of Aviation, Sen. Hadi Sirika.
In a statement issued by ICRC in Abuja, Izuwah said airports in Nigeria had huge potential but were currently operating at a sub-optimal level due to factors needed to be improved under the PPP programme.
“Countries like Turkey derives significant revenues from its aviation sector annually.
“Nigeria should be able to do the same. I want to assure Nigerians that there will be no job losses arising from PPPs in the aviation sector,” he said.
He said that in keeping with the nation’s aviation sector roadmap, key commercial airports in the country were to be developed along with surrounding communities into efficient, profitable commercial hubs through PPPs.
This, he said was with a view to creating jobs and developing local industries.
The four international airports are: Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos (MMIA), Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja (NAIA), Malam Aminu Kano International Airport, Kano (MAKIA) and Port Harcourt International Airport (PHIA).
He added that the commission issued the ministry an OBC compliance certificate for the four international airports based on the commission’s review and findings.
“The OBC report for the concession of the Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt and Kano airport terminals under PPP arrangement was transmitted to the commission on June 1, for certification.
“In line with ICRC PPP pre-contract regulatory role, the commission has reviewed the OBCs.
“We have deduced that OBC substantially satisfies requirement of ICRC (Establishment Etc.) Act, 2005 and National Policy on Public-Private Partnership (N4P),” he said.
Responding, Sirika said the move would help Nigeria to improve air transport value chain growth by developing and profitably managing customer- centric airport facilities.
He added that aviation assets would remain owned by Nigerians.
According to him, airline passenger numbers increased from eight million to 18 million in the last five years.
Sirika, while quoting the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said that the aviation sector was the fastest growing sector in the Nigerian economy at the moment.
The minister added that Abuja and Port Harcourt airports had new terminal buildings commissioned and operational, adding that Lagos and Kano had terminal constructions that were due to be commissioned in 2020.
The News Agency of Nigeria , reports that ICRC was established to regulate PPP activities in Nigeria, and to address physical infrastructure deficit which hampers economic development.
Edited By: Saidu Adamu/Ese E. Ekama (NAN)
Gov. Zulum appoints new heads for Maiduguri Flour Mills, Borno Express
Gov. Babagana Zulum of Borno has approved the appointment of Mr Mohammed Bukar as General Manager, Maiduguri Flour Mills.
Malam Isa Gusau, Spokesman for the governor said this in a statement in Maiduguri on Wednesday, adding that Zulum has also approved the appointment of Mr Grema Kyari as General Manager, Borno Express Corporation.
Gusau said that Bukar was before his appointment was an Assistant General Manager in-charge of operations at the Mills.
“Bukar, joined the Flour Mills in 1999 as manager in-charge of mechanical services and mill maintenance, a position he held for 17 years before his promotion to an AGM in 2016,” he said.
Gusau said that Kyari, the new general manager of Borno Express, was a mechanical expert with over 14 years experience in maintenance and management of transportation at the public and private sector.
“Kyari joined Borno State Civil Service as a higher technical officer in-charge of mechanical and transport division of Ramat Polytechnic in 2005, and rose to become a principal technical officer in the same office.
“He moved to the Ministry of Reconstruction, Rehabilitation and Re-settlement in 2015 as assistant chief technical officer, also for mechanical and transport. In 2019, he became chief technical officer in the same Ministry.
“Zulum congratulates the two General Managers while expecting the highest level of commitment and integrity from them, in their continued service to the people of the state,” Gusau said.
Edited By: Tayo Ikujuni/Ali Baba-Inuwa (NAN)