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Ajaokuta Steel complex: Hope rises as FG Appoint Competent Private Investor For Plant completion

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Ajaokuta Steel complex: Hope rises as FG Appoint Competent Private Investor For Plant completion

Hope rises for Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Plant as the federal government has resolved to break the four decade jinx of liquid steel production in Nigeria in the new year as it will appoint a competent private investor for the completion and commercial its operation.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Dr. Kayode Fayemi made the disclosure over the weekend at the 11th National Delegates Conference (NDC) of the Iron and Steel Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ISSSAN) which took place in Lokoja, Kogi State.

He indicated that the new idea would be achieved through his Ministry in collaboration with Transaction Advisers and relevant agencies of government like infrastructure Concession and Regulatory Commission (ICRC), and BPE.
The Minister who was represented by the Sole Administrator of Ajaokuta Iron and Steel Complex, Engineer Isah Joseph Onobere noted that the process of the negotiation of this agreement, MCA on NIOMCO, which commenced in January, 2013 involved all relevant stakeholders.

“The execution of the Modified Concession Agreement on the National Iron Ore Mining Company, (NIOMCO) Itakpe, was one of the actions taken by the present administration of President Muhammadu Bukari with the sole intent of unlocking the public steel sector from all arbitral encumbrances since 2008.

Dr. Fayemi noted that the recent launch of the roadmap for the minerals and metal sector re-enforces the fact that henceforth government is to focus on its role as administrator/ regulator and no longer owner/operator.

“This implies that the efforts of the Ministry are geared towards creating the favorable investment climate for private operators to thrive in the Steel industry,” he said.

“The negotiation process achieved an agreement that was far more superior to the original NIOMCO Concession Agreement of 2005.

“The government position on NIOMCO, Itakpe was the best available option in view of the fact that it was a dispute negation between two parties.

“However, I have put up a robust mechanism in place to ensure that our collective national interest is secured in the implementation of the MCA,” he stressed.

He noted that the Ministry through the intervention Agencies and fiscal policy tools of government will continue to provide reliant incentives to the private operators in the steel sector for conducive and competitive business climate in Nigeria.

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi

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17 persons die in seperate accidents on same route in Kogi


17 persons including five children, two policemen and their driver lost their lives in seperate autocrashes Thursday on Itobe-Anyigba road in Kogi State.

First was that involving a mercedez-Benz truck and an ambulance conveying an empty casket with two police inspectors and a civilian driver travelling to Anyigba to take the body of a dead police sergeant.

The trio died when their ambulance van had a headon collision with a Mercedes-Benz truck coming from the opposite direction.

On the same day 14 persons also perished in a multiple accident involving three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus along the same route.
The State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Solomon Aghure, who confirmed the incident to newsmen in Lokoja on Friday, indicated that three vehicles; two trucks and a passenger bus, were involved in the accident.
He said that the three vehicles were travelling on the same lane enroute Anyingba when a truck suddenly hit the bus from behind and as a result of the impact, the Bus skidded and hit the truck in its front.
Aghure said that the bus was trapped in between the two trucks with all the passengers before his men arrived the scene to carry out rescue operation which lasted for hours.
He disclosed that 14 out of the 23 persons involved in the accident died on the spot, adding that nine others sustained various degrees of injury.
Aghure said that three men, one woman and five children (two males and three females) survived the accident with some injuries.
He said that the injured were taken to Holley Memorial Hospital, Ochadamu for treatment while corpses of the dead were deposited at the morgue of Grimard Hospital, Anyingba.
Aghure,who attributed the accident to possible break failure,said further investigation would be carried out to determine its actual cause.

 

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith

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Presidency tells Muslim group to exercise restrain even though Kukah actually injured Islamic faith


The Presidency has indicated that, though it agrees with Muslim Solidarity Forum that Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Sokoto actually injured the Muslims in his Christmas day homily it’s unconstitutional for them to issue him quit notice.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu spoke in reaction to the threats for the Bishop to quietly pack and leave Sokoto should he fail to apologise over the controversial sermon.
The Muslim Solidarity Forum had issued what seem like a subtle threat to Bishop Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved appology or quietly leave the seat of Caliphate.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said, Kukah has truly injured the Muslims, but he should be guided in his utterances and take into cognisance, Sokoto’s heartbeat of Islam in Nigeria.
Shehu said, it’s unconstitutional for an individual or group to issue quit notice to a citizen under whatever circumstances, saying, father Mathew Hassan Kukah must be allowed to practice his religion.
Nationalupdate reports on Tuesday indicated that the Sokoto based Islamic group, “Muslim Solidarity Forum”, at a press briefing said the Bishop is known for his perchance to speak in parables and innuendos against Islam in a provocative manner.

The spokesman for the President in a statement said,
“Father Kukah has greatly offended many with his controversial remarks against the government and the person of the President, with some even accusing him of voicing anti-Islamic rhetoric.
“On matters such as these, responsible leadership in any society must exercise restraint. Knee-jerk reactions will not only cause the fraying of enduring relationships, but also the evisceration of peaceful communities such as Sokoto, the headquarters of the Muslim community as beacon of pluralism and tolerance.
“The reported ultimatum by a group based in Sokoto, “Muslim Solidarity Forum,” calling on the Bishop of Sokoto Diocese, Most Rev Matthew Hassan Kukah to tender an unreserved apology to the entire Muslim Ummah over his recent “malicious comments” against Islam, or quietly and quickly leave the state, is wrong because it is not in line with the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“Under our Constitution, every citizen has the right to, among others, freedom of speech and expression, the right to own property and reside in any part of the country, and the right to move freely without any inhibitions.
“Nigeria’s strength lies in its diversity. The right for all religions to co-exist is enshrined in this country’s Constitution.
“The duty of the government, more so, this democratic government, is to ensure that the Constitution is respected. But all must respect the rights and sensitivities of their fellow Nigerians.
“The Sultanate has historically had good relations with followers of all faiths. That is why Father Kukah was received on his arrival in Sokoto with friendship and tolerance.
“Under our laws, groups or factions must not give quit notices, neither should they unilaterally sanction any perceived breaches. Where they occur, it is the courts of law that should adjudicate. Unilateral action is not the way to go.
“Groups such as the Muslim Solidarity Forum must be seen to share and uphold the country’s multi-religious principles. And individuals like Father Kukah must respect the feelings of his fellow Nigerians in his private and public utterances.”

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

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Group tackles Bishop Kukah, demands immediate arrest

The Arewa Youth Consultative Forum (AYCF) has described Bishop Mathew Hassan Kukah’s recent controversial statement as unguarded and open incitement to military coup and insurrection against the democratically elected government of Muhammadu Buhari.

In a statement signed by its National President, Alhaji Yerima Shettima on Monday, the group
condemned “Kukah’s use of nepotism as weapon of calumny against government and people of Nigeria.”

The AYCF demanded the immediate arrest and prosecution of Bishop Kukah for what it described as treasonable felony against the Nigerian state.

In the alternative, the group called on Federal Government to place Kukah on special watchlist for this open attempt to “set the South against the North in order to destabilize our country and further complicate matters.”

Shettima, in the statement, took exception to what his group described as “Kukah’s latest role in devil’s advocacy, as the North struggles to restore peace and enduring security in the region and indeed Nigeria.”

The statement noted that “such a reckless statement by Kukah betrays something much more sinister against both the North and the nation as a whole because Nigeria is at a stage that it requires responsible advice for attaining peace and stability, not deliberate attempt to mischievously compound our problems.

“If Kukah wants to play politics, he should not do so in the pulpit and he should keep the Bishop’s office aside and chose any Nigerian political party platform to contest President in 2023 and stop all the pretences,” the statement said.

It reminded Kukah of the rough road tread by democracy heroes to rid the nation of military dictatorship at a time when he was nowhere in sight.
“We will not allow opportunists who did make any contribution to scuttle the democracy achieved through the our sweat and toil and the sacrifice of our liberty,” Shettima said in the statement.

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