Presidency clears the air, says Nigeria not constructing rail line into Niger
The insinuations that the Kano-Katsina-Jibia-Maradi railway line would be built by Nigeria in the territory of the neighbouring Niger Republic is wrong the Presidency has clarified.
It would be recalled that, the Federal Executive Council (FEC), Wednesday, approved $1.96 billion for a rail project, starting from Kano and terminating at Maradi.
However, Senior Special Assistant to President Muhammadu Buhari on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, explained the scope and form of the project in a number of tweets on his verified Twitter handle.
He said the Nigerian end of the rail line would terminate at the country’s end of the border with Niger.
“Nigeria and the Niger Republic signed an agreement in 2015 to build a track from their ends, explaining that the two works, named the ‘Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan (K2M)”, would meet at the border.
“Nigeria isn’t building rail line into Niger but, only to the designated Border point,” Shehu said.
He explained that there an agreement between Nigeria and Niger in 2015, coordinated by the Nigeria-Niger Joint Commission for Cooperation with a plan for “Kano-Katsina-Maradi Corridor Master Plan, (K2M)” as it is called.
“Going by this, the two nations would each build a rail track to meet at the border town of Maradi.
“Nigerian delegates to that meeting comprised officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, National Boundaries Commission, Federal Ministry of Industry, Trade & Investment, Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Water Resources as well as those of Kano & Katsina states.
“The objective of the rail is the harnessing of raw materials, mineral resources and agricultural produce.
“When completed, it will serve domestic industries and play the role of a a viable transportation backbone to the West African subregion, starting with the neighboring Niger Republic for their export and import logistic chain,”Shehu said
Jigawa State capital, Dutse hit with acute water scarcity
By Dahiru Suleiman, Dutse.
The metropolitan Dutse, which is the Jigawa state capital has been hit by acute scarcity of water supply.
This was happening despite it’s status of being second position in the country in terms of access to the provision of water supply with 92%,(after Lagos State)
The rating was according to the latest Water, Sanitation and Hygiene National Outcome, Routine Mapping Exercise published by the National Bureau of Statistics with the support of UNICEF and other Development Partners.
Investigations by our correspondent has revealed that most taps in the city were without any drop of water for a couple of years despite huge investment injected by government through the Jigawa state Ministry of Water Resources in the provision of water supply.
Least amongst the worst hit areas are metropolitan Dutse, Zai quarters, Katangare, Murahusawa, Sabuwar Maranjuwa, Old Maranjuwa settlement, Gida Dubu Housing Estate, all in metropolitan Dutse and beyond where most resident’s relied on commercial water vendor’s who sell 20litre Jerry can between N30 and N50
The lapses might not be unconnected with the brake down of 13 major Somer’s of water supply pipes distributing water to all the nooks and crannies of the state capital in the last one year Yet to be fixed.
The State water board officials spoke on condition of anonimity, saying that they have written saverally to their superiors but there was no response.
“The repairs of these water facilities require a lot of money, it is
This does not tally with the earlier survey reports that in Jigawa State, 49% of its households have access to basic hygiene services, which is the highest among the states in the country despite being adorned with highest concentration of filth all over the ancient city.
Investigations revealed that the proclaimed 18 local governments certified Open Defecation indices by the state government was noting short a mirage going by heaps of filth’s littering all over the places, situation if allow to persist unabated and un-checked may derailed it’s earlier status being Free (ODF)with the second highest in the country.
This has sparked the thinking of the larger public to wonder upon government’s continued investments in the Water and Sanitation Sector over the years, and the state’s investment of about N4.1 billion, with appreciable progress towards achieving universal access to safe drinking water and about 75% access to sanitation services by the end of year 2022, will be exercise in futility.
For example Comrade Shehu Garki of Gida Dubu quarter’s it was most unfortunate for government to be playing with our intelligence about it’s commitments in water sector but dennying it’s community with such a basic amenities of life as water sustain life.
“We have been staying in this housing estate without water as most of our taps are without water for long period of times. Even our motorized boreholes are without water, adding we constantly relied on commercial water vendor’s always for our domestic use of water”
Also speaking, Bello Gadadin quarters we were told by the Water Resources Commissioner that at- least N75m was expended on repairs and replacement of broken down pipes for effective water distribution in metropolitan Dutse environs but to no avail as we are yet to enjoy steady supply of pipe borne water supply for up to this moment.
But the Commissioner of Water Resources, Alh Mohammed Garba Hannun Giwa stated that Government has invested so much in carrying out major water treatment works with the aim to ensure steady water supply to its populace.
According to him the ultimate goal of the water sector was to achieve universal access to safe drinking water and sanitation services in the state.
This, in turn, will safeguard public health and ensure that the citizens of the state live a more qualitative and productive life.
“Our governor, Governor Badaru Abubakar is committed to aligning with the belief that water is life.
Natasha Akpoti in another philanthropic gesture, uplifts amputee Vulcanizer
****Purchases Tyre Changer, Wheel Balancing auto machine
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) candidate in the Kogi State 2019 Governorship election Barrister Natasha Akpoti has brought succor to
Dauda Sheidu, a 40-year-old amputee vulcanizer in Agassa in Okene Local Government Area of Kogi State
This was happening just some weeks after the Barrister decided to embark on a project to rehabilitate the Okene-Ibillo-Lampese road, that had since become impassable.
That gesture had since drawn encomiums for the beautiful politician for daring to do what some State Governments failed to achieve.
Barrister Akpoti acquired a multimillion naira state-of-the art equipment to make the operations easier and seamless for the amputee Vulcanizer.
The two-in-one equipment, a Tyre Changer and Wheel Balancing is one of it’s kind among roadside vulcanizers in Nigeria due to the high cost of purchasing them.
Hence, only well-heeled auto-service and tyre centres in the cities deploy them for use.
Sheidu who is based in Agassa, Okene local government area, had lost his right arm in an accident in 2002.
In his resilient spirit he sought to be relevant to himself and his society, by acquiring some skills which has made it possible continued to carry on as a roadside vulcanizer, he is also a husband and a father.
Akpoti in a Facebook Live video spoke shortly after the German-made European Twin Busch machine was delivered to her house in Abuja, Akpoti who was full of excitment expressed optimism that the gesture would help to strengthen the faith of other persons living with disabilities in the truism that there is indeed ability in disability.
She expressed delight over the timely delivery of the multi-million naira equipment which was shipped into Nigeria from Amsterdam, Netherlands, with a shipping cost of over a million naira.
Narrating her connection to Sheidu’s story and what inspired her choice of gift, Akpoti said; “some months ago, the story of a particular artisan (vulcanizer) from Okene in Kogi State went viral on BBC that he needed a particular tool to ease his trade, and then I made a request asking him what he wanted. I think he responded last month.
The gentle man requested some tools. I happened to be in London. So, I went online to search for the very best that I could afford. I placed the order while I was in London. I did not want to go for the Chinese version. So I went for that which was made in Germany. So this is one of the best tools, all pure steel.”
While acknowledging the efforts of Dr. Okeme Arome for bringing Dauda’s story to light, Akpoti noted the negligence of the gentleman’s requests despite the viral video of him done by the BBC.
“I would like to also give credit to Dr. Arome Okeme for first making a video of the gentleman during our Senatorial Campaigns and bringing him to light upon which the BBC News Pidgin took over and made a broadcast of him. I think that was actually one of the most watched BBC clips.
“It gained about 7million views and it was shared over 55,000 times. But I was surprised that even at that, no one was able to buy the gentleman his tools.
“I mean prayers are important but sometimes we should actually try to go beyond prayers. When I asked him if he had gotten any tool he said no. I said okay. Being from the same State, the same Senatorial District as the gentleman, it was only humane and responsible of me to have done that. Like I said, what is more important to me and the joy is that I was able to afford an European all-steel, solid equipment for the gentleman”, she added.
Akpoti further unveiled her plans of meeting with and personally handing over the machine to the industrious vulcanizer as part of the events to mark her 42nd birthday.
“I can’t wait to hand it over to him in December either on my birthday which is 9th of December or a few days before when I visit to commission the Okene-Ibillo-Lampese road, the Ihima-Ege road which we are constructing. I can’t wait to be home! Have a blessed weekend.”
Group lauds ongoing reforms in NSCDC
A Civil Society group operating under the umbrella of National Council for Civil Society Organizations and Vision One Leadership Development Initiative has commended the ongoing reforms at the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC).
The Director General of the group, Comrade Emmanuel Johnny,. speaking at a press conference in Abuja on Thursday described the Commandant General of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Dr Ahmed Audi as an active leader with sound intellectual propensity to deliver on mandates.
The group averred that it was important for all Nigerians to see security as strategic to the wellbeing of citizens, hence, it’s no wonder that the appointment of Dr. Audi by President Muhammadu Buhari was a welcome development, given his capacity and commitment.
They urged charlatans to keep off from activities and the ongoing reforms in the Civil Defence Corps as the development was already yielding positive results.
They posited: “For us, Dr. Ahmed Audi’s intellectual mobility, security professionalism, wide intra-NSCDC experience and presentable public personality are clear signs that his meritorious appointment as NSCDC Commandant-General is in the best interest of national security and wellbeing in Nigeria. We again thank Mr. President for this good appointment.
“Since the new Commandant-General, Dr. Audi, fully assumed office in NSCDC some eight months ago, we have carefully taken note that he has been implementing a spate of progressive reforms in the Civil Defence.
“Undoubtedly, Dr. Audi which has been clearly repositioning the Corps for greater professionalism and better security service delivery to the Federal Republic of Nigeria.”
The group chided some elements who they said were trying to distract activities in the agency by unnecessarily accusing the leadership of unsubstantiated allegations.
“While observing and carefully documenting these new positive trends in the NSCDC, we have recently been rudely shocked by the unbelievable display of senseless and baseless activism by some unknown and faceless actors claiming to be Civil Society activists against the progressive reforms being presently implemented in NSCDC by Dr. Ahmed Audi.
“These shadowy ‘Civil Society’ actors have recently insulted every sense of decency and truth by their false claims that the nascent administration of Dr. Audi in NSCDC is guilty of Corruption.
“As the legendary Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said: “If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor.
“We, therefore, have chosen not to be silent or neutral in the face of this great accusatorial injustice to this fine and distinguished Senior Nigeria Law Officer whose is meritoriously serving his fatherland at this point in our history when national security is our topmost national priority.
“We have chosen not to fold our hands and watch some furtive ragtag forces of injustice persecute and oppress Nigeria through their clear evil agenda to weaken national security by their attempt to take a principal national security actor down for reasons best known to them only.
“For us, we have seen the new NSCDC Commandant-General, Dr. Audi, as a progressive reformer and outstanding security professional.
According to the group, they were convinced that since the incumbent Commandant General came on board few months ago, he has achieved much to be allowed a breathing space to continue the good works.
The achievement they said include,
“Safe School Initiative which includes the establishment, training and commissioning of a formidable, well-kitted Female Squad to checkmate the menace of kidnapping of school children in the country.
The initiative, they claimed, has been replicated in all Civil Defence State Commands across the country.
“The vulnerability survey of all schools in the country to determine the number of schools that are prone to attack by bandits and kidnappers; and, this has helped in developing strategies for schools’ protection in Nigeria.
“Staff Welfare which includes the placement of personnel on their respective appropriate ranks. The fostering of steps towards payment of staff promotion arrears.
“The sanitization of the promotion process and the successful release of the 2019 promotion exercise and distribution of letters to successful personnel across State Commands.
“The recently completed promotions have been received as one of the most transparent and meritorious in the history of the Corps.
“The promotion of all junior officers; level 03, 04, 05 and 06. The payment of disengagement allowances to retirees who were abandoned and had lost hope of survival.
“The payment of burial benefits to over 120 next of kin of deceased personnel long forgotten.
“The issuance of Group Personal Accident cheques to over 30 officers and men who suffered varying degrees of accidents in the cause of discharging their duties within the last five years.
“The promotion of some Deputy Commandants who have been stagnant on their rank for ten or more years to the rank of Commandant. The provision of 200 units of two bedrooms and three bedrooms housing for junior and intermediate officers.
“Capacity Building which includes the roll-out of operational vehicles and equipment to different departments and directorates”, they noted.
Personality10 months ago
Coalition of civil Societies calls for Sack Of SP Mohammed Musa for gross Misconduct
Crime11 months ago
How Saudi Arabia based oil expert was assassinated in Idah, Kogi State
News3 years ago
PDP asks Kogi Finance Commissioner to bury his Head In Shame as no Single Project Executed
Media4 years ago
Igala nation rejects alleged inclusion in Map of Biafra
Metro4 years ago
Police parades Naval rating, two serving Police officers over attempted kidnap of 5year old
Features4 years ago
The many (mis)adventures of Gov. Yahaya Bello
Metro4 years ago
SARS kills Notorious Criminal in a gun duel in Kogi, as gang members burns down police post
News4 years ago
Kogi State University commences recruitment of fresh lecturers to replace striking ones