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We will commence palliatives works on Lagos-Badagry expressway tomorrow- Sanwo-Olu

By Maryam Adamu

Worried by the persistent gridlock on Lagos-Badagry expressway, All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has disclosed an ongoing partnership between the State Government and his campaign team to commence palliative works on the road tomorrow (Thursday).

Sanwo-Olu stated that the palliative works that would be embarked upon by his team with the state government was his own contribution to reduce travel time on the road.

He disclosed the plan on Wednesday when he received members of the Estate Rent and Commission Agent Association of Nigeria (ERCAAN), actors and actresses at the headquarters of Independent Campaign Group (ICG), Ikeja.

The gubernatorial candidate stressed that Lagos economy and other activities must be made to move faster than its present state, saying, we must make Lagos move better than it is now.

Sanwo-Olu disclosed that Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) administration frustrated the completion of the road and the red-line of the rail projects.

He said: “Our aim was to start the Red-line project but because we did not get enough backing from PDP when I was in government. The project was frustrated. And when we realise that they wanted to do that, we had to shift the focus to blue-line. Even after we started the blue-line project, we were frustrated.”

He disclosed that if elected, the red-line rail project would be completed by his administration, urging the electorate to vote for the party during February 16th and March 2nd, 2019.

While responding to the stakeholders’ demand, he assured that his administration would introduce policies that could improve the status of property in the state.

The gubernatorial candidate explained that this could be achieved if the party wins the Presidential, gubernatorial and other candidate during the poll.

Earlier, Commissioner for Housing, Gbolahan Lawal, assured the stakeholders’ in the property sector that Sanwo-Olu understand the sector and would remove all encumbrances that had served as setbacks in the sector.

Seeking Sanwo-Olu’s assistance, the stakeholders urged the APC candidate to restructure the land grabbing committee because activity of the committee has reduced investors’ confidence in the sector.

They also demanded that the process required for Certificate of Ownership (C of O) be re-modified to reduce the bottleneck in collection exercise.

Breaking: Fire Outbreak In Shomolu, Lagos

There is a fire outbreak at Bolaji Omupo street, Pedro, Shomolu, Lagos state.

A pure water factory, Bamas water caught fire this evening , the cause of the fire is currently unknown.

There are emergency responders on ground trying to salvage the situation and stop it from spreading to a fuel station nearby .


Details later. .

50 Corpses Burnt To Ashes In Anambra

Not less than 50 corpses deposited at the Enugwu Ukwu General Hospital Mortuary in Njikoka Local Government Area of Anambra State have been burnt to ashes.

This followed a fire outbreak which started from a nearby bush, sources say, adding that no less than 50 corpses were burnt in the fire,

The mortuary which is located few metres from other buildings in the hospital, was the only building affected by the inferno.

Governor Obiano says that State government will set up a panel to look into the remote and immediate causes of the fire outbreak at the morgue.

Describing it as double tragedy, the Governor commiserated with those affected and pledged to immediately commence reconstruction of the burnt building.

He urged them to exercise patience with the mortuary attendants. Many people who kept their dead relatives in the mortuary rushed to the scene yesterday on learning of the incident and were seen sobbing uncontrollably as they were unable to identify corpses they deposited.

Among the burnt corpses was said to be that of a prominent man in the area who died in the USA, and was brought home for burial in January 2019, while his relations were renovating his house in readiness for the burial.

President-General of Enugwu Ukwu Development Union, Bonny Nkwoagu said last night that although efforts were made to put out the fire when it started, the harmattan made it difficult.

He said that fire fighters came, they ran out of water and it was when they went to fetch water that the mortuary got burnt.



FG re-opens N137bn Lagos-Ibadan expressway

By News desk

As a measure to ensure smooth traffic and reduce gridlocks during the yuletide, the Federal Government has opened the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway to motorists.

Opening the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Adedamola Kuti, said the highway was “special and very dear to the Federal Government’’.

He explained that it was important because the road began from Apapa ports and terminates in the northern part of the country.

Kuti added that it took traffic from the 36 states of the federation, hence, the speedy completion of repairs around the construction zones and opening the highway to traffic.

“A lot of people are coming out of Lagos going home for the celebration and some are also coming in from all the states of the federation into Lagos.

“What we are doing today is to open up all the construction areas and open up the entire highway to traffic for the period of the season, we will resume our work in January,’’ he said.

He said the ministry was going to use the dry season to speed up reconstruction of the highway, adding that all hands were on deck with the contractors working tirelessly to achieve speedy completion.

Kuti said that the section one of the project which spans from Ojota in Lagos State to the Sagamu Interchange was awarded at an initial cost of N70 billion but the sum was reviewed upward to N134 billion after additional works were added to the project.

He said that increase in the volume of work on the site meant an extension of completion time for the project.

“For now we are opening up this road for the use of the motoring public and I want to also seize this opportunity to, on behalf of the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, to appeal to motorists and commuters using this road to drive safely with caution, observe all traffic rules and regulations, including speed.

“On our on part, in the meantime, we are handing over to the Federal Roads Safety (FRSC) so that they take control of traffic on the road,’’ he said.

The Sector Commander of the FRSC, Ogun State, Mr Clement Oladele, said that the FRSC were going to be on 24 hours surveillance of the highway to prevent gridlock and accidents.

He said that in 2017 the Lagos to Ogun end of the highway recorded 1.8 million travellers and about two million travellers had used the highway from January to date.

He said that a special operations unit had been set up by the FRSC for the Yuletide to manage traffic on the highway from Dec. 15 to Jan. 15 in 2019.

He explained that 210 deaths due to road crashes were recorded on the Ogun side of the highway in 2017 but efforts were on to stop road crashes across the federation.

“We are estimating that minimum of 350,000 vehicles will move on this road this season.

“I want to assure the motoring public that FRSC is here, we have commenced 24 hours operations since Dec. 1, just to ensure people travel in safety with minimal discomfort,’’ he said.

After inspected the 34 kilometers Ikorodu Sagamu Road where construction was going on at various sections, Kuti said the highway was important because it was linking the Ikorodu Division in Lagos to the Sagamu Division in Ogun and took as well as dispersed huge traffic from the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

“The project is actually starting from Lagos and terminating in Sagamu and the method the contractor is adopting is to work at the critical sections and then later we link them up,’’ he said.

He said various construction methods were being deployed on the road taking into cognisance the traffic demand of each section.

He added that government was passionate about completing repairs of the highways which serves as alternative route to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.

70m Nigerians still homeless-FG

By Newsdesk

The Federal Government has raised concerns over the growing number of Nigerians homeless, disclosing that atleast 70 million persons were without roof above them.

It described the growing number of Nigerians without adequate shelter as worrisome and needed urgent intervention.

The Minister of State 1 for Power, Works and Housing, Mustapha Shehuri, who disclosed the statistics in Calabar on Sunday during an interview with newsmen, stated this after the inspection of the National Housing Programme of the Federal Government at Ikot Omin community in Calabar.

He assured that President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration was determined to provide affordable houses for millions of Nigerians, who do not own houses.

According to him, the Ministry has since embarked on strategies on how to launch the phase two of the project in the state with a view to providing more houses for Nigerians.

‘‘This is National Housing Programme and it is meant to provide affordable houses for Nigerians.

‘‘There is a value that one has to pay to own a building like this; that is why the buildings here are for all Nigerians that can afford it.

‘‘This is an attempt to make houses affordable to all Nigerians because according to statistics, more than 70 million Nigerians don’t have houses.

‘‘The contractors have written to us that they need more release of funds to enable them complete the project. I am going to take this up to ensure that money is released to enable them complete the building in the first quarter of 2019,’’ he added.

According to contractor from Tictos Limited, Orok Effangha, the project had brought development to the Cross River community.

He added that the Federal Government’s efforts would go a long way in solving the housing deficit in the country.

The minister, who also inspected the Emergency Repair of Washout at Pamol, along the Calabar-Odukpani highway, praised the Sermatech Construction Company for the good work done.

Nigeria’s infrastructure deficit hits $878bn by 2040

By Newsdesk

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has appealed for utilisation of green bond for Nigeria’s infrastructural gap, warning that the infrastructure deficit could hit $878 billion by 2040

Acting Director-General, SEC, Mary Uduk, gave the warning at the 2018 annual workshop organised by the Capital Market Correspondents Association of Nigeria (CAMCAN) in Lagos.

She said that Nigeria should tap into green bond opportunities, assuring that the commission would continue to promote an active enabling and regulative environment for its issuance.

“The future holds opportunities for renewable energy, energy efficiency, infrastructure, food, agriculture and the task ahead is to ensure funds are channeled to green projects with multiple socio-merits,” Uduk added.

She said there must be more domestic participation in green bonds investment for Nigeria to claw its way out of deficit in infrastructure, power and energy, transportation and eliminating environmental degradation.

Uduk, who was represented by Head, Registration and Market Infrastructure Department, SEC, Emomotimi Agama, said that it was necessary for Nigeria to stand at the fore-front of innovations and initiatives.

The acting director general stated that the second tranche of green bonds which had been issued, presented an opportunity for the country to solve its infrastructural deficit.

“The biggest opportunity, to my mind, which green bond issuances will present, is the potential to solve Nigeria’s infrastructural deficits, improve agriculture and alleviate poverty while also protecting the environment. – a multi-faceted strategy,” she said.

Also speaking, Managing Director, FMDQ OTC Securities Exchange,  Bola Onadele, said that $155 billion dollars had been realised from the green bonds issuance, thereby gaining attention of investors.

Onadele, who was represented by Senior Vice President, Economic development division at the Exchange, Emmanuel Etaderhi, said that
the country’s resources was not growing in tandem with the rising population.

He said that the reason for Nigeria’s woeful performance in the power and energy sector was due to its inability to tap into energy utilisation from the sun like other European countries.

According to him, the challenges affecting green bonds include low level of local participation in green bond verifiers, lack of investible projects, cost of verification and lack of understanding on the part of key investors.

“Green bond investors enjoy waivers relating to tax and in the next 15 years, we will require $7 trillion in investments connecting sustainable finance to capital markets,” he said.

He noted that the FMDQ had set a sustainable finance committee to engage private and public and will engage in training partnership with FSD Africa and Climate Bond Initiative (CBI).

Commenting further, Director, Climate Finance Advisor, CBI, Dr Jubril Adeojo, said that green bonds was made for Africa and with the deficits seen in major sectors of the economy.

Adeojo stated that green bond opportunities were enormous, noting that the nation would focus more on renewable energy, hybrids to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels.

FG announces Second Niger Bridge new completion date, funds released

By Newsdesk

Apparently to end the controversy trailing completion of Second Niger Bridge project, the Federal Government has disclosed that the project will be completed in 2022.

The Government added that atleast N33 billion has been released to ensure completion of controversial project, aimed at reducing travel time for commuters visiting South Eastern part of the country.

Managing Director, Nigerian Sovereign Investment Authority, (NSIA), Uche Orji,  gave the figure while speaking shortly after an inspection of the project, stressing that the government was committed to speedy completion of the project.

Orji, who visited the site with the Obi of Onitsha, Nnaemeka Achebe, expressed optimism that the project, which is estimated to gulp about N220bn, would not experience further delay.

He added that private sector funding for the project was being planned to be raised by 2020 through bond and equity.

It would be recalled that the project was awarded in 2014 by the administration of former President Goodluck Jonathan. But since then, the project estimated to gulp about N220bn, has been experiencing delays owing to various challenges which had affected its timely implementation.

To end challenges confronting the project, Orji explained that already, a Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund to be managed by the NSIA had been set up for five critical road and power projects across the country.

He said the PIDF, with a seed funding of $650million, was targeted to catalyse funding for the Second Niger Bridge, Lagos-Ibadan expressway, East-West road, Abuja to Kano road, and Mambilla Hydroelectric Power.

The Managing Director said the PIDF would eliminate the risks of project funding, cost variation and completion that have plagued the development of the nation’s critical infrastructure assets.

“The Second Niger Bridge project was conceived to provide an alternative crossing between Asaba and Onitsha within reasonable distance from the current.

“It is expected to spur an increase in investments, agriculture and trade particularly with the Onitsha Main Market in the region, due to the improved and quicker access.

“There are three phases of the second Niger Bridge. The first one is the 11.9 kilometer bridge connecting Asaba and Onitsha. The entire work is a 44km project.

“The mobilisation for the project was released in August. We are confident that the funding is more stable now and we are looking at a completion date of 2022, it’s a big project,” he added.

Buhari arrives Poland for Climate Change conference

By Newsdesk

President Muhammadu Buhari has arrived in Katowice, Poland where he will be attending the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), otherwise known as COP24.

The president will join 29 heads of government for the ceremonial opening of the conference which takes place on Monday, December 3.

At the event, President Buhari will deliver a national statement highlighting Nigeria’s commitment to addressing climate change by implementing the goals set out in its nationally determined contributions.

The conference is expected to finalise the rule book in the implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change reached in December 2015 in France.

The President is attending the summit with several top government officials including the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyeama; the National Security Adviser, Babagana Monguno; and Minister of State for Environment, Bawa Abubakar.

Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State, Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State and Governor Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi of Enugu State are also in Poland with the President.

Ambode confirms receipt of funds spent rehabilitating Apapa-Oshodi, other FG projects

By Olawale Abdul-Fatah

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has confirmed receiving from Federal Government sizeable percentage of funds spent by the state on rehabilitating Federal roads.

Ambode’s confirmation yesterday came barely three months after the Senate approved the executive request to refund N489 billion to 21 states, as funds spent rehabilitating federal roads within their states.

According to the Senate, Lagos State topped the 21-state list with N114.6 billion, while Akwa-Ibom State came second with N78.7 billion.

The governor, who disclosed receipt of the fund at the flag off ceremony of Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway, lamented that the state of the road demanded that total reconstruction should have been embarked upon years back.

He stressed that his administration was already in the process of utilizing the funds to deliver other ongoing projects across the state in the next few months.

Ambode. However, noted that reconstruction of the road would bring permanent relief to motorists and residents over the perennial gridlock in the axis and enhance movement within the State.

The governor said it was particularly gratifying that the project would be done using concrete, expressing optimism that it would ensure the road last over forty years.

“Whatever it is that has been taking place in this particular project has always been rehabilitation and every Nigerian should be reminded that this road has been in place for more than 40 years.

“This is the first time the government at the centre is embarking on reconstruction, that means we are going to excavate everything all the way from Apapa, Oshodi to Oworonshoki and Ojota Expressway and actually reconstruct it, using concrete instead of asphalt because Lagos is below sea level, if you use asphalt, within seven to eight years, it would wash away because we are under water.

“So the concrete template is being used to give us a long lasting solution to this Apapa gridlock and this road will last for more than 40 years and we believe strongly that the PPP platform that has been given to this project to allow the private sector invest their money in it being driven by Alhaji Dangote is the best solution that we can use to develop public infrastructure right now and we must commend the Minister for that,” the Governor added.

Preempting what would happen after construction works commence, he appealed for understanding, saying that though the commencement of the project might bring some inconvenience, the end result would be a permanent solution to the gridlock that had bedeviled the area over the years.

He assured that the State Government on its part would deploy more traffic and enforcement officers to ensure free flow of traffic in the course of the construction.

“The future of development and infrastructure actually lies in the present administration and the future of the prosperity of this country lies in the hands of President Buhari and we make no mistake about it that it is in our own interest that we continue to support the present government of APC at the centre and also at the State for continuity and greater deliverables of infrastructure, goods and services,” Ambode said.

Loan board records 30,000 government workers as loaners, house owners

By NewsDesk,

The Federal Government Staff Housing Loans Board (FGSHLB) Executive Secretary,  Dr Hannatu Fika, has disclosed that no fewer than 30,000 workers were helped by the board to access loans that led to owning houses.

Fika, who spoke on achievement of the board yesterday in Abuja, said that public servants were the engine room of good governance, adding that one way the government could encourage workers was to provide them with shelters.

She claimed that provision of shelter were reason for current administration used FGSHLB to enable Federal Government workers to build houses and that the board had helped over 30,000 workers access loans to own houses, and reaffirmed the commitment of the board to the welfare of Public Servants.

According to her, the good thing any government can do for its workers is to provide certain basic welfare needs so that they too can work effectively, diligently and willingly for the country.

“Until 1974 the programme was only situated in the Lagos territory but was expanded to all the states of the federation.

“So as of today, from the statistics of loans that we recently disbursed, we can proudly say that we have touched the lives of over 30,000 federal public servants, who now own their own homes through the FGLSHB revolving scheme’’, she said.

Fika raised concern that the housing deficit in the country might persist if the relevant agencies lacked the resources to operate.

“We will continue to pressurise government to make fund available for housing programmes.We have over hundreds of thousands number of civil servants that come under our purview they are so many,” she stressed.

As long as funds are not there, we have to utilise what is in the mortgage agency to be able to build these houses’’.

Fika commended efforts of the present administration in providing houses for Nigerians, especially through the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing’s projects in all the states.

“Amendment to the act establishing the board is long overdue. Let me begin by saying this is a change era, and the art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings. Progress is impossible without change, therefore, change is inevitable.

“The last amendment was in 1974, about 44years, without sentiment, there are provisions that are obsolete like Section 3 (1h) of Cap F.II.LFN 2004 no longer exist in service,” she said.

She disclosed that some critical areas like area of partnerships required a law for sustainability, appropriate designation of officers of the Board, offences.

According to her, to participate in partnership for the affordability and availability of housing for eligible public servants, the board signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with both government and private organisations.