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2021 budget: FG embarks on Multiple Railway Projects to achieve Intermodal Transportation

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2021 budget: FG embarks on Multiple Railway Projects  to achieve Intermodal Transportation

The federal Government has mapped out multiple railway projects to achieve Intermodal Transportation in the country as captured in the 2021 budget.
The projects are already captured in the N12.6trillion budget estimates according to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi .

The Transport Minister stated this at the National Assembly in Abuja Friday during budget defence session with the joint committee on Transportation however explained that  the projects are planned to commence by year 2021 to be financed through budgetary and counterpart fundings .
According to him, part of the projects are construction of 378km single track gauge standard gauge rail line traversing Kano- Katsina – Jibiya with a 20km extension to the commercial boarder town of Maradi in Niger Republic and a branch line, Kano – Dutse .”Reconstruction and rehabilitation of new Port Harcourt – Maiduguri ( Eastern Narrow Gauge Railways),  Construction of the Central railway from Itakpe to Abuja and construction to a new Warri Port.”As for funding , he said three of the projects i.e, Kano to Maradi, Port Harcourt to Maiduguri and Lagos to Calabar rail lines, are to be funded from foreign loans already being negotiated for, by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed.He said the construction of Lagos – Ibadan Standard Gauge line has reached 92% completion but for the project to achieve full loan drawdown from co- financier ( China EXIM Bank ) and attain practical completion ,  construction of pedestrian and overpass bridges have to be completed .

“These additional and extra works amounting to $656million which is to be financed 100% by the Federal Government of Nigeria , has been approved by the Federal Executive Council for implementation.
“The project contractor , Messrs CCECC Nigeria Limited on the instruction of the Ministry , has commended work and reached advanced stages. Therefore, in order not to forestall the progress of implementation , adequate fund needs to be provided in the 2021 budget proposals to facilitate its completion “, he said.The Ministry , he added , is proposing a total capital budget of N205.161billion for Land Transportation and N204.316billion for Marine Transportation as well as overhead of N358.799million.”The aims and objectives of these proposals are to make significant progress on all ongoing projects and to complete and deliver modern railway services that would provide an efficient and cost effective alternative transport system for economic growth and creation of job opportunities for the citizenry”, he said.The Chairmen and members of the joint committees, refused interrogating the Minister on the budgetary proposals for not making required documents available to them before his presentation .Specifically, Senator Danjuma Goje (APC Gombe Central), who chairs the Senate Committee on Marine Transport, said since documents containing  the budgetary proposals were just made available to them by the Minister during his presentation , there was nothing they could do at that stage .”These documents supposed to get to us as committees overnighting your Ministry at least 24 hours before presentation .”Since you have failed to do so , we would have to peruse the documents very critically and reinvite you for another session , if required “, he said.Worried by the development , the Transportation Minister , openly instructed the Permanent Secretary and relevant Directors in the Ministry not to allow such things to happen again .

“Please the Permanent Secretary and the relevant Directors on budgeting procedures and processes in the Ministry , should please always ensure that budget documents meant for presentation in the National Assembly , get to the concerned Committees , at least four days before the day of presentation ” , he said.Goje thereafter , adjourned the session sinedie .

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

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Bauchi/Benue Govs’ feud: Gov Diri to the rescue

By Princess Rose Yusuf

The Bayelsa State Governor, Duoye Diri has waded in to the war of words between the Governors of Bauchi and Benue State as the recent altercations between the Governors have become very disturbing.
He called on the leadership of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to wade in and ensure that the matter is resolved.
He was speaking during a courtesy visit to Governor Bala Muhammed in Bauchi State Government’s House Thursday.
Diri said,
“The raging current issue between two brother Governors of the same party is not good, I seize this opportunity to advise and call on both of you who are members of our great party to please cease further actions and reactions on the burning national security issues.
“May I also use the opportunity to call on our party to immediately intervene and resolve whatever issues that are still yet unresolved amicably as a party and as brothers.”

In his response, Governor Muhammed promised to cooperate and reduce the tension and he gave the assurance that no words would be heard on the matter again. He also seized the opportunity to  apologise to all Governors, the national assembly, his constituents and all Nigerians.
He said, “There is no disharmony between me and my brother and my friend in Benue, we are just having the courage to discourse a burning National issue and I am happy that Nigerians have the opportunity, to discourse the issue and we are going to do everything on my own part to make sure we disedcalate the issue that it will not bring injury to our party and to national unity. I was not doing anything in anyway to insult, or to cause any injury to my brother whom I have worked together with at the cabinet and now as Governors.
“I want to use this opportunity to apologise to my various contituencies; especially the national assembly even though I said the truth but it has injured their sensibilities or it has touched on their privileged as we used to say in parliamentary parlance.
“I was doing it out of nationalism and patriotism. At the same time the Governors if what I said was also injurious to them, I apologise to them and say sorry to them and indeed all Nigerians.
“But certainly as I said, my brother, I have no apology for saying the truth, but certainly sometimes you say the truth and it would be injurious.

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

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Senate confirms Bawa as EFCC Chairman

The Senate on Wednesday confirmed Abdulrasheed Bawa as the substantive Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He was confirmed after being grilled during Senate plenary.

For more than six years the commission was headed by persons in acting capacity.

For the first time a staff of the commission who is not a police officer is being appointed as chairman.
He rose through the ranks from the academy before being nominated to head the commission.

The Anti graft agency’s chairmanship designate reacted to a plethora of questions posed by Senators on his preparedness for the job, given his age and working in a complex society like Nigeria, at planary

Bawa, addressed most of the concerns of lawmakers, while assuring that he would bring his experience to bear having joined the agency in 2004.

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Gov Bala Mohammed berates Ortom for criminalising the Fulani herders

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Gov Bala Mohammed berates Ortom for criminalising the Fulani herders

By Princess Rose Yusuf

Governor Bala Muhammed of Bauchi State has berated the Benue state governor for being an arrow head in excerbating the bad media framings, criminalizing the Fulani tribe in Nigeria.
Muhammed spoke at the Press week organised by the Bauchi state Correspondents’ Chapel, Monday, in Bauchi.
The Governor reminded Ortom that other states in the North also accommodates other tribes, including people from the Tiv extraction in Bauchi and other places.
In his words, “We have so many Tiv speaking people farming in Alkaleri, In Tafawa Balewa and in Bogoro LGAs; has anybody told them to leave the State?. “We have not; because its their own inalienable rights to be there.

Explaining further, he said there are Yorubas in Bauchi, for over 150 years, even before the birth of Nigeria; some of them have risen to become permanent Secretaries in the Civil Service of the state, and other states of the North East like Gombe and Borno.“
“However, because at the moment the Fulani man is practicing the tradition of pastoralism, he has been exposed to the vagaries of the forest, cattle rustlers who carry guns, killed him and take away his livelihood, his cows.”
The Governor said he is left with no option than to carry the AK47 because the society and the government could not protect him.
“What is his fault? it’s the fault of the government and the people.”Governor Senator Bala said“nobody  should criminalize all Fulanis, because in every tribe, there are criminals. “If Cybercrime is practiced by one tribe, you don’t criminalise all the tribe by saying they are criminals.
“That sensitivity is highly needed, and journalists have to exercised restraints in some reports, decipher the wrongs from rights, especially any report that is not building this country Nigeria, which can divide her and threaten the peace and the unity of the country

He however, commended his counterpart Simon Lalong of Plateau State for ending the mutual suspicion between fulanis and farmers of his state without looking at political differences.
He said, “I must comment the chairman of the Nortgern Governor’s forum, Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State. “With his diverse background despite being a minority State, he’s leading the northern Governors with focus, with sense of humour, and maturity.

Muhammed indicated that people like Lalong are needed in Nigeria for the good fight of faith for unity and peace in his state as the fight between farmers and fulanis in the Plateau has ceased, because of justice and equity.

Patriotism among communities is now common place in Plateau because of governance that fosters understanding between the diverse ethnic groups in the state.

“And that is what is happening in Bauchi, where everyone is important. So the media must single out those people for promotion not like people in other States that are asking Fulanis to leave their lands.
The Governor indicated that nobody can intimidate any one over land since it belongs to all(our fathers land) quoting section 23, 24 and 25, of the constitution to back up his claim he said that every Nigerian is free to stay anywhere.
It is worthy of note that Governor Muhammed though not a Fulani by tribe, but a Bajari from Duguri district, Alkaleri LGA has been standing in defense of the Fulani.
In a swift reaction the Benue state Governor expressed disappointment with his colleague the Bauchi state Governor, for heaping the blame of the negative perception of Fulani herders on him.
“He said, it was surprising that a colleague, who took the oath of office to protect and preserve the Constitution, now takes the lead in violating provisions of the same Constitution by calling for lawlessness.

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