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We didn’t execute shoddy job on Geri-Alimi split underpass – Contractor

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We didn’t execute shoddy job on Geri-Alimi split underpass – Contractor

A construction company, Durvail Engineering Limited, has refuted the allegation that it executed a shoddy job on the split diamond underpass at Geri-Alimi in Ilorin, the Kwara capital.


The firm said that the project was carried out in line with best practices and under a thorough supervision of reputable agencies.

This was contained in a statement made available to the Nigeria News Agency on Thursday in Ilorin by the firm’s Head of Administrative/Human Resources Department, Mr Adewale Lolowo.

He said there was no iota of truth in the allegation that the defects sighted on the project resulted from the poor work done.

The firm blamed the defects on the ingress of water, arising from the deflection of 800mm diameter water pipes under the split diamond underpass and not as a result of any shoddy job as being insinuated.

It noted that the appropriate quarters were informed to relocate the water pipes through separate letters to no avail, wondering why the firm would be held responsible for the unfortunate development.

The company, however, said that it had mobilised its human and material resources to the spot and notified the appropriate ministries for measures to forestall future reoccurrence.

It said that it valued the sanctity of human life and would, therefore, not because of pecuniary gain endanger the lives of the people.

The firm assured motorists and other road users that there was no cause for alarm, saying that the repairs would be completed soon.

“It was shocking to be informed about the statement on the split diamond underpass at Geri-Alimi, Ilorin on Thursday, Sept. 26 that the defects noticed on the road of the facility were as a result of shoddy job.

“We need to set record straight that the defects sighted on the exit route (on top) were caused by ingress of water arising from the deflection of 800mm diameter water pipes under the facility, and not shoddy job as being insinuated.

“Similarly, we want to put it on record that while the execution of the project was ongoing, we notified the appropriate quarters through separate letters on the need to relocate the pipe to no avail. We foresaw this problem long ago.

“The execution of the project was ably supervised by reputable agencies, which ensured that the laid down quality and standard were strictly adhered to, while the project lasted.

“While Duravil Engineering Limited had since mobilised its human and material resources to the spot, the appropriate ministries have also been notified about this development and necessary measures are being taken to forestall future reoccurrence,” the firm said.

AUO/ESAN/WAS

Edited by Abiodun Esan and ‘Wale Sadeeq

 

 

Usman Aliyu: is a graduate and a professionally trained journalist, with experience in national news reporting/editing and verification at the News Agency of Nigeria. NNN is a Nigerian online news portal that publishes breaking news in Nigeria, and across the world. Our journalists are honest, fair, accurate, thorough and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting news in the best interest of the public, because truth is the cornerstone of journalism and they strive diligently to ascertain the truth in every news report. Contact: editor[at]nnn.com.ng

Foreign

China Focus: China aims for complete victory in poverty elimination

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Early in the morning, Migmur enters a workshop, sits down at a table and strikes the burin with a small hammer. With the “tink tonk tink tonk” sound reverberating, the image of auspicious clouds appears on a brown leather waist belt.


One of Migmur’s legs was paralyzed in an accident when he worked at a construction site over a decade ago. The 38-year-old ethnic Ewenki herder in north China‘s Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is unable to raise livestock or toil in the field.

He participated in a training workshop on leather carving in a cultural industrial park funded by the local government. Last year, Migmur crafted 152 ethnic leather products, which brought him 23,200 yuan (around 3,267 U.S. dollars) and helped him cast off poverty.

“With traditional handicrafts, I can raise my family and have got rid of the mire of poverty,” Migmur said.

The cultural industrial park provided traditional ethnic handicraft training for around 300 impoverished households last year, bringing them jobs as well as fortune.

The poverty-stricken population had been reduced to just 16,000 by the end of 2019 from 1.57 million in 2013 in the autonomous region, according to official statistics.

After having accomplished historic achievements in poverty reduction over the past seven years, China is in the final push to securing a decisive and complete victory in this regard, despite the COVID-19 impact.

President Xi Jinping has underscored firm confidence and concrete action in the country’s final battle against absolute poverty.

In a recent instruction on the poverty elimination of the entire Maonan ethnic group, Xi also stressed that not a single ethnic group can be left behind in the building of a moderately prosperous society in all respects.

At this year’s annual two sessions, legislators and political advisors are expected to pool wisdom on how to realize the goal of poverty elimination while keeping those who have been lifted out of poverty from returning to poverty.

A breeder feeds sheep in Yanchi County, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, May 27, 2019. Located on the southern edge of the Maowusu Desert, Yanchi County was once poverty-stricken and suffered from desertification. But after years of efforts, the environment there has been restored, and the county has also shaken off poverty. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

A breeder feeds sheep in Yanchi County, northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, May 27, 2019. Located on the southern edge of the Maowusu Desert, Yanchi County was once poverty-stricken and suffered from desertification. But after years of efforts, the environment there has been restored, and the county has also shaken off poverty. (Xinhua/Wang Peng)

FISHING, NOT FISH

As morning sunshine beams down onto Yangling Village, 46-year-old Ma Junlin and his wife wake up and make their way to two barns housing a total of 12 cattle. Last month, Ma sold three cattle and earned 15,000 yuan.

Through raising cattle, the per capita income for Ma’s family has increased to 10,000 yuan a year, and they live in a new brick house with a television, a refrigerator and other home appliances.

Like Ma, a native of northwest China’s Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, many of his fellow villagers had shaken off poverty through raising cattle by the end of 2018.

Over the past four years, animal husbandry has become a pillar poverty alleviation industry for Ma’s village thanks to the government’s financial and technical support.

Since the 18th National Congress of the Communist Party of China in late 2012, the country has achieved significant progress in poverty reduction, with over 93 million rural people lifted out of poverty over seven years.

There were still 5.51 million impoverished people by the end of last year.

As a fundamental means to advancing poverty alleviation, industries have been fostered according to local conditions, playing a key role in consolidating poverty reduction achievements.

In Yunzhou District, Datong City in north China’s Shanxi Province, growing daylilies — a kind of edible flower and traditional Chinese medicine for soothing nerves — has become a local pillar industry.

Impoverished counties in Shanxi have developed the planting of apples, potatoes and daylilies into industries to guarantee farmers stable jobs and incomes.

HOUSE, JOB AND HOPE

Sitting in her spacious new home in Ludian County, southwest China’s Yunnan Province, Zhan Wenhua said she was still terrified by the 5.0-magnitude earthquake that struck the neighboring Qiaojia County.

“I’m not sure if our old house in Qiaojia could have survived the earthquake. It’s lucky that we had been relocated to Ludian before the disaster,” the 48-year-old said.

Zhan’s family used to live in a dilapidated adobe house in Qiaojia’s Fala Village deep in the mountains. Last December, they moved to an apartment in a resettlement site in Ludian, thanks to a government-led poverty-relief relocation program.

“Life is much better now because I can look after my kids while working at home,” she said. Zhan and her husband now work as cleaners at the resettlement site, each earning about 2,000 yuan a month.

The relocation of people like Zhan from inhospitable areas is another important approach to poverty reduction.

Earlier this month, 84 registered poor households living atop a cliff were relocated to the local county seat of Zhaojue in southwest China’s Sichuan Province, embracing a new modern life.

A total of 18,000 impoverished residents from 92 villages moved to their new homes at the newly built community. It marked the near completion of poverty alleviation programs involving the relocation of 1.36 million people in Sichuan.

Across China, more than 9.6 million poor people have been relocated to more habitable areas over the past several years, getting access to more job opportunities and better public services.

Through precise measures, the pairing-up of aid, the fostering of industries, e-commerce and tourism, relocation and the dispatching of officials to poverty-stricken villages, China has achieved miraculous results in reducing poverty and is determined to eradicate absolute poverty this year despite challenges.

(XINHUA)

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Metro

Union seeks NASS intervention over stamp duties, fears job losses in NIPOST

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The Senior Staff Association of Statutory Corporations and Government Owned Companies (SSASCGOC), has urged the leadership of the National Assembly to wade into the brewing crises on collection of stamp duties among revenue collection agencies.


Dr Ayo Olorunfemi, General Secretary of the Union, while briefing newsmen at the National Assembly, said that more than 9,000 workers would lose their jobs with the proposed plan to take over the responsibilities of collection of stamp duties from the Nigerian Postal Services (NIPOST).

The union boss called on President Muhammadu Buhari, the Senate President and the Speaker of House of Representatives to consider and reverse any attempt to divert NIPOST’s revenue source to any other government agency.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that while the FIRS contends that it had the sole responsibility for the collection of all taxes and duties in the country, NIPOST is the repository of stamps and duties introduced since the colonial days.

“It is now clear that the Federal Ministry of Finance, in collaboration with the Federal Inland Revenue Service, is ready to take over the responsibility of the Nigerian Postal Services by influencing the House of Representatives to insert the collection to be their responsibility.

“Once this is done, it means NIPOST is finished; there is no form of revenue and it means that the financial inclusion programme of this government will go into extinction because it is only NIPOST that has federal presence spread across all the villages and communities in Nigeria.

“Once that is killed, it means that most of the developmental projects of the Federal Republic of Nigeria have been killed. We say no, we will not allow this to happen .

“We have had the responsibility, since colonial days, to produce stamps, sell the stamps and ensure they are used for denotation of receipts, business documents and registration in this country. and we have been doing it.”

The union noted that since Federal Government’s creation of Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, NIPOST had moved from analogue to digital operations, and was awaiting assent from the National Assembly to change to electronic stamp productions.

“We went to the National Assembly to seek the power to change to electronic stamps, so that we can use these electronic stamps to denote our receipts, business transactions, bank transactions, etc.

“All of a sudden, because we put the analysis of financial implications, the huge revenue derivable from this project, the Federal Inland Revenue connived with the Minister of Finance to corner the process.

“There is a difference between tax collection and revenue generation; our own is for business, and we have a product we are selling; once they take it away, there will be job losses, there will be nothing for NIPOST workers to be doing.”

He noted that it was worrisome that the House of Assembly had signed the bill, allocating NIPOST’s responsibility to the Federal Inland Revenue Services, urging the Senate to halt the passage of the bill.

“We are urging the National Assembly to have a rethink and have it reverted back to continue manual and electronic production of stamps. This task is under the purview of Ministry of Communication and digital economy.”

The Secretary-General said that the organised labour would continue to strategise to protect the rights of Nigerian workers, threatening that it might force port wokers to down tools in solidarity with NIPOST workers as a trade Union under SSASCGOC.

Addressing the protesters, Acting Spokesperson of the Senate, Godiya Akwashiki, said that all issues and grievances would be captured in the amendment bill.

“The report on the appropriation bill is going on in the chamber, but because of the importance of this visit, the senate president has directed me and my colleague to come here and hear why you are here now.

“He has submitted a copy of your letter and has asked me to let you know that this bill is for amendment.

“The senate president said I should assure you that your grievances on the Amendment Bill, even though it has been passed by the Senate, but still hanging in the House of Representatives, is still within the National Assembly of Nigeria.

“Following your grievances and concern, we have discussed with the Postmaster-General and all the issues addressed have been considered in the amendment Bill.

“Even if the bill is passed, if you discover any lacuna, you can come back, we will amend it for you.”

NAN recalls that the Central Bank of Nigeria had, through a circular, directed the banks to deduct N50 for stamp duty on lodgment transactions worth N1,000 and above.

NIPOST is seeking to know where the directive leaves it, being the traditional custodian of the proceeds from stamps and thus, the stamp duty.

The FIRS, however, contends that it should superintend over the stamp duty fee collection as it had always done over other duties and taxes imposed by the Federal Government.

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Economy

Commission bemoans poor job of Imo Airport apron expansion, queries contractor

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Fiscal Responsibility Commission (FRC) has expressed dissatisfaction with the level of work done at the ongoing expansion of the Imo Airport Apron project in Owerri.


Director, Policy and Standard of the commission, Mr Alex Elikwu raised the concern on Tuesday when he led a team from the commission and Ministry of Aviation to inspect the phase two and three of  ongoing expansion of the Airports Apron project.

Elikwu said he was not satisfied with the level of work done, considering the amount of money released for the contract.

He said: “We are not satisfied with what we are seeing here today; it fell short of our expectations because out of the N 677million contract sum, a total of N560million has been released to the contractor which constitutes 82 per cent of the total sum.”

According to the director, the quality of the job done so far also fell short of standard.

He also raised worry over the contractor’s absence during the inspection after he was duly informed by the airport manager of their visit.

“We want the ministry of aviation to ensure that the contractor justifies money given to him by the federal government.

“His absence will create a lacuna in our inspection because we need to ask him some technical questions and get direct answer from him but right now that he is not here with us, we will do our report and make recommendations to government,” he said.

The director also expressed regrets on the condition of the runway noting that the spotted potholes made the airport runway fell short of internationally accepted standard.

Elikwu said that this called for urgent attention.

The Airport Manager, Rejoice Ndudinachi said the Apron expansion was an abandoned project when she took over management of the airport.

“This project was abandoned when I came in but I insisted that the contractor must come back to site due to flight increase operations in the airport.

“I don’t supervise the contractor, directly but the ministry of aviation; I also informed him that inspection team from the presidency will visit the site so I don’t know why he is not here,” she said.

The airport manager also appealed to the federal government to help connect the airport to national grid, adding that since she came in, she had been running the airport on a generated power supply.

The Nigeria News Agency reports that the apron expansion is being done by a local contractor, Mesh Projects based in Aba, Abia State.

Edited & Vetted By: Chioma Ugboma/Maureen Atuonwu
(NAN)

 

 

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Foreign

Irregular migration: Stakeholders advocate increased job opportunities

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Some stakeholders in the immigration sector, have stressed the need for governments at all levels to create more job opportunities for citizens in order to curtail the rising incidences of irregular migration among youths.


They expressed this view at the Global Migration Film Festival (GMFF), on Saturday in Abuja, organised by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).

The IOM has continued to campaign against irregular migration using films and documentaries at the GMFF.

The Nigeria News Agency , reports that the festival featured films and documentaries that capture the challenges of migration and the unique contributions that migrants make to their new communities.

The second edition of GMFF in Nigeria, which held at the Cube Cafe, Abuja, witnessed the screening of a short film, “Gifts from Babylon” by Bas Ackermann.

It is about Modou, a Gambian migrant, returning home with nothing after five years of irregular migration to Europe.

Speaking at the festival, the UN Resident and Humanitarian Coordinator in Nigeria, Mr Edward Kallon, urged government to invest in young people.

Kallon advised government to deal with the developmental crisis through skills acquisition training for the youths.

He said that the goal of the festival was to “pave way for greater discussion around the greatest phenomena of our time’’.

According to the UN official, the festival is an advocacy tool that can also draw attention to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), thus helping all countries as they work to meet them.

“Over the years, films have been used to inform, entertain, educate and provoke debate.

“It is in this spirit that the International Organisation for Migration, a member of the UN family, launched the Global Migration Film Festival in 2016.

“Cinema and migration have a magical bond dating back to a century when filmmakers, many of whom were immigrants themselves, began making movies that depicted a world on the move.

“Their films brought the dramatic, poignant and comic stories of migrants to diverse audiences, through images that provoked feeling amongst people of every culture,” he said.

Mr Adegoke Badmus, a participant at the festival, said that one of the leading causes of migration was family pressures and support from communities and religious leaders.

Other participants called for increased awareness on the negative effects of irregular migration; and further urged for continuous sensitisation by stakeholders.

They also said that there was need to change people’s mind set on migration; and advised immigrants to learn to migrate safe and with dignity.

/DOR

Edited & Vetted By: Abdullahi Mohammed/Nyisom Fiyigon Dore
(NAN)

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Contact US: editor @nnn.com.ng, nnnnews247 @gmail.com

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