Workable policies necessary for quality houses in Nigerian – NGO



Mr Danjuma Abalaka, Coordinator, Construction, Skills Training and Empowerment Project (C-STEMP), an NGO, has said that providing quality and enduring housing for Nigerians required private sector participation and workable government policies.

Abalaka told the Nigeria News Agency , on Thursday in Abuja that shelter was “too crucial” to be left to government alone.

“Next to fresh air in the hierarchy of human needs is shelter; with the growing population, all stakeholders must put heads together if we are to provide adequate shelter.

“Our population grows rapidly; not long ago, we were just about 70 million. Recent projections indicate that we are 200 million or even more, but the development of houses is not commensurate with the growth of the population.

“Real estate practitioners, and even religious bodies, can help produce houses because building of houses cannot he government responsibility alone.

“For us at C-STEMP, it is not just about having houses; we need quality houses to minimise incidences of building collapse.

“At C-STEMP, we teach people skills on housing construction because we feel that the incessant collapse of buildings has called to question the quality of our workmanship.

“We are trying to look at the issue from the quality workmanship in masonry, tiling, and the other skills on the line. Once these key areas are taken care of, the problem will lessened.’’

Abalaka said that government should drive the sector by putting quality policies in place and ensure that they were implemented.

He said that government must also put up punitive measures to forestall building collapse.

“If people are punished for using inferior materials for building, they will desist from doing so.

“Government agencies like Standards Organisation of Nigeria, and other regulatory bodies must be empowered to punish offenders, and put preventive policies in place.

“Construction cannot be an all comers affair; only qualified professionals should be allowed near any building project.

“We have gone to places in the process of trying to establish network and saw people that had no training at all engaged in building.

“So, regulatory bodies must sit up, government agencies have to sit up and professionals in the built industry will also have to sit up.

“I cannot be a doctor because I am not trained to be a doctor. So, a doctor or any other persons should not be found doing what doesn’t concern them; the right professionals must be put in place,’’ Abalaka said.

With more buildings giving way, President Muhammadu Buhari, on March 22, assented to the Engineers Registration Amendment Act 2018, with Mr Ali Rabiu, President, Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN), saying that the amended laws would help COREN to address incidences of building collapse.

He said that the incidences were becoming embarrassing to the council and the nation, adding that the amendment had broadened the powers of the council with far reaching powers to sanction quacks and punish anyone committing infractions on engineering projects.

According to him, the amended law also empowers the council to ensure capacity building and monitoring of local content in the Nigerian engineering sector.


NiMet predicts dust haze, thundry weather conditions for Saturday



The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NiMet) has predicted dust haze and thundery weather conditions for Saturday.

NiMet’s weather outlook on Friday in Abuja predicted dust haze conditions with localised visibility of 2 to 5km over the North.

It further predicted sunny and hazy conditions over inland cities of Central states with chances of thunderstorms over coastal cities within the period of forecast.

“For Northern states, dust haze condition with localised visibility values of 2 to 5km is expected over the Northern region throughout the forecast period.

” Day and night temperatures are expected to be 30 to 36 degree Celsius and 9 to 18 degree Celsius respectively,” it said.

According to NiMet, sunny and hazy conditions are expected over Central states throughout the forecast period with day and night temperatures of 27 to 36 degree Celsius and 11 to 22 degree Celsius, respectively.

The agency envisaged morning hazy condition over the inland cities of Southern states with likely partly cloudy condition over coastal cities in the morning hours.

“Later in the day, there are chances of

thunderstorms over Lagos, Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar in the

afternoon and evening hours.

” Day and night temperatures are expected to be 31 to 37 degree Celsius and 21 to 25 degree Celsius, respectively,” NiMet said.

/Ali Baba-Inuwa

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Sen. Ekwunife tasks company on timely completion of Anambra power project



Sen. Uche Ekwunife on Friday charged the Niger Delta Power Holding Company Limited to ensure timely completion of the 132/33 KV transmission sub-station at Agu-Awka, Anambra.

Ekwunife, representing Anambra Central Senatorial District, gave the charge when she visited the project site for a first-hand information on the extent of work already done.

The lawmaker expressed satisfaction that the project was nearing completion after an interaction with representatives of the company and the project consultant.

She described the power project as “real and practical” and promised to ensure that the National Assembly offered the necessary support for its completion.

She hoped that the project would boost economic activities and speed up industrialisation in the senatorial zone, when completed.

Ekwunife urged the company to put in more efforts in other power projects at Adazi-ani and Obosi areas to further boost business activities in the area.

The Project Manager, Mr Amaechi Chinwuba, said the Agu-Awka transmission sub-station was “technically completed”.

Chinwuba said the project would be inaugurated in February 2020, adding that it was designed to supply power to Awka and its environs.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the 132/33 KV transmission sub-station at Agu-Awka Anambra is a Federal Government project being executed under the National Integrated Power Project.

(Edited by: Okisor Angela/Sam Oditah)





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Buhari congratulates UK Prime Minister on election victory



President Muhammadu Buhari has congratulated Prime Minister Boris Johnson on his election victory at the United Kingdom general election.

The President, in a congratulatory message by one of his spokespersons, Malam Garba Shehu, noted that “Britain has been a reliable and historically unique ally of Nigeria’’.

He said Buhari observed that Britain had particularly supported his administration’s efforts at improving security and recovering stolen assets held in the UK.

Shehu said the President looked forward to continue working with the Prime Minister to forge a stronger Nigeria-UK relationship, especially in the area of trade and economic partnerships, which had greatly benefited the citizens of both countries.

Buhari wished Prime Minister Johnson “the best of luck as he navigates the people of Britain through the decisive period of leaving the European Union’’.

Edited by: Kamal Tayo/Ali Baba-Inuwa


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General news

Lagos/Ogun: FRSC embarks on Operation Zero Tolerance, deploys 3,500 marshals



The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Zone RS2 Command, comprising Ogun and Lagos States, on Friday said that it would embark on “Operation Zero Tolerance” from Dec. 15 to Jan. 19, 2020.

The FRSC’s Zonal Commanding Officer, Mr Samuel Obayemi, said in a statement issued in Lagos that the operation had become imperative of curb unnecessary road traffic crashes and fatalities during the Yuletide season.

Obayemi said that the operation, tagged ‘Road Safety is a State of Mind-Stay Alert’, was in expectation of the end of the year’s increased traffic volume, road traffic gridlock and infractions committed by motorists.

According to him, the zone will enforce safety rules and regulations along all highways in Lagos and Ogun commands of the FRSC to prevent unnecessary deaths and injuries.

Obayemi, an Assistant Corps Marshal, said that given the importance attached to the end of the year festivities and heavy movement of passengers and goods, the zone wanted to reduce accidents.

“The objective of the operation is committed to ensuring free flow of traffic, reduction in road traffic crashes and its fatalities, prompt response to road traffic victims to save lives, clearance of all forms of road obstructions among others within the zone.

“The public is hereby informed that the enforcement shall target offences such as excessive speeding, dangerous driving and overtaking, tyre violations (expired/fake/substandard), lane indiscipline and route violation.

“Others are road obstructions, use of phone while driving, overloading, seat belt use violation, child safety, passengers’ manifest violation, mechanical deficient vehicles, unlatched containers carrying vehicles among others.

” The zone will be deploying 3,500 Regular and Special Marshals, 43 patrol vehicles, four ambulances, two tow trucks and four patrol motor bikes,” Obayemi said.

According to him, the zone will employ such strategies as public enlightenment, traffic control, foot team patrol, day time route lining and mobile court sittings.

He said that the zone would also establish road camps at strategic spots along the Ojota Bus Stop/Toll Gate, Lagos-Ibadan/Egbeda Corridor, Sagamu, Ijebu Ode and Ogunmakin axis to ensure early traffic stress interventions.

Obayemi said that help areas would be set up at identified black spot positions and the FRSC would synergise with other security agencies and stakeholders.

The assistant corps marshal urged road users to take advantage of Lagos-Ikorodu-Sagamu, Lekki-Epe-Ijebu Ode and Sango Otta-Ifo-Abeokuta routes due to the ongoing road construction on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

He said that the general public should take note of FRSC Emergency Toll Free line 122 or 0700CALL as well as the CUGs of Commanding Officers put on FRSC’s official websites in case of emergencies.

“Be alert at all times, be safety conscious, the end of the year is not the end of life,” Obayemi said.

Edited by: Oluwole Sogunle


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Aswan Forum: Buhari returns to Abuja



President Muhammadu Buhari has return to Abuja after he participated in the Aswan Forum for Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa, held in Egypt.

Nigeria News Agency reports that the presidential aircraft conveying the president and some members of his entourage landed at the Presidential wing of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja, at about 2.30pm.

At the opening of the forum on Dec. 11, President Buhari maintained that the resolution of conflict situations in African countries had remained a key component in the overall development of the continent.

The Nigerian leader said: “As Africans it is important to focus on the issues of conflict prevention and resolution. Conflicts have devastating effects on our societies and they militate against our progress. In this regard, the need to silence the guns cannot be overemphasized.”

President Buhari equally emphasized that massive investment in transportation infrastructure was necessary for African economic resurgence as this would facilitate the African Free Trade Area Agreement recently signed on by the continental leaders.

“Africa should embark on the provision of transport connectivity by enhancing the development of roads, rail, and air links which will ease the free movement of persons, goods and services within the continent.

”In this regard, we in Nigeria have already commenced an aggressive drive to upgrade our rail transport system and road networks across the country.

“We should furthermore promote free trade within and amongst Africa and Africans especially now that we have launched the African Free Trade Area Agreement,” he said.

The President also held bilateral talks with his Egyptian counterpart Abdelfattah el-Sisi where both leaders pledged to collaborate to eradicate the menace of terrorism in parts of Africa.

President Buhari and el-Sisi met on the sidelines of the Aswan Forum on Sustainable Peace and Development in Africa taking place in Egypt.

Edited by: Sadiya Hamza


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