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Ganduje’s N300 Billion Chinese Loan Is Slavery – Kano Elders Tell Buhari

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images 2020 08 28T173021.872 Ganduje’s N300 Billion Chinese Loan Is Slavery - Kano Elders Tell Buhari

Kano State Elders, under the aegis of the Kano Unity Forum, has petitioned the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), the National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Finance, asking them to stop the N300bn loan the state Governor, Alhaji Abdullahi Ganduje, plans to obtain from China.
In the petition, titled, “A call for the urgent review of the proposed Chinese mono rail loan to Kano State Government,’ which was signed by its Chairman, Alhaji Bashir Tofa, the forum condemned Ganduje’s insistence on obtaining the loan from China Development Bank.
In a copy of the petition made available to journalists on Thursday, the group the loan was an invitation to enslavement and it vowed never to allow people of the state to be enslaved.
It stated, “Except for a few in the official circles, nobody else knows the terms and conditions of the loan agreement,” adding that “the exact amount being borrowed is shrouded in secrecy.
“The first phase of the project costing over N300bn or may be even the N828bn mentioned by others, coming mostly from a foreign loan is mind-boggling, to say the least. A rethink is not only needed, but necessary.
“Based on the analysis of the present indebtedness of Kano State as provided by the Debt Management Office, it is extremely difficult, almost impossible for Kano State to sustain any indebtedness beyond the current liability portfolio of the state.”
The forum stated that a rail project was never a project that should be done in haste, adding that it was not a medium term project.
It said, “If indeed the Chinese want to genuinely help with cheap loans, they should be requested to support critical sectors such as education, health, agriculture, power, science and technology, infrastructure, industry and water supply.
“After all, the Chinese have become world leaders in these aspects of transformative development.”
The group said that the Kano Unity Forum would not give “any self-serving politician the latitude to increase poverty and deprivation within the general public through ill-conceived public works.
“We shall not be deluded by the attractive idea of good return from the investment. Rail projects world over are known as highly capital intensive with a very negligible rate of return on investment. It is more of a social welfare project, especially in less developed economies. “
The forum, therefore, warned that if the state government insisted on going ahead with the project, “we will diligently pursue court processes and other lawful means to stop the light rail project.”
The group, therefore, called on the President “to intervene in order to save the state and its citizens from enslavement.
“We also vow to ensure that the next administration in the state repudiates the agreement altogether and disregard any responsibility for whatever money the Chinese expended on this project. We must emphasise that the good people of Kano do not need this expensive white elephant project.’’
You are raising unnecessary alarm, Ganduje’s aide replies elders
Reacting on the petition, the Special Adviser to Ganduje on Media, Salihu Tanko-Yakasai, in an interview with The PUNCH, said there was a need for the elders to understand that the loan was not new as the process started three years ago.
He said the state government had before followed all the necessary steps and procedures for taking the loan.
He said after the negotiations for the loan, Ganduje submitted the document to the President, National Assembly and the Federal Ministry of Finance, Federal Ministry of Justice as well as the Deft Management Office.
He stated, “After all these processes, we got approval of the loan. So why are they raising any alarm about it?”
He said the money was not coming to the state government directly but rather it would go to the contractor from the bank, while the state government would also give its counterpart fund for the execution of the project.
“Besides, it is for the development of the state. Why the elders did not write and question the Federal Government on its ongoing rail project in the country?” he asked
But a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Alhaji Aminu Abdussalam, described the proposed light rail project in Kano as a waste of resources.
Abdussalam, in an interview with one of our correspondents, said at present all serious governments were more concerned with the welfare of their citizens in view of the current economic challenges, but the state government was busy trying to access a loan which would not positively impact on the common man.

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Wike Signs Executive Order Proscribing IPOB, Lifts Curfew

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images 2020 10 29T090400.768 Wike Signs Executive Order Proscribing IPOB, Lifts Curfew

Rivers State Governor , Nyesom Wike, has signed an executive order to reinforce the ban on Indigenous Peoples Organization of Biafra and its activities in the State .
The governor maintained that while Rivers remains the home to all tribes and ethnic nationalities , the state government is opposed to the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic IPOB and whatever it stands for in Rivers State .
Governor Wike, in a state broadcast on Wednesday night, said while the Government acknowledges and appreciate the enormous contributions from non-indigenes to the political, social , and economic development of the State , it will neither accept nor allow any individual or group from within and outside to violate the peace , endanger lives and property under any guise in the State .
“ And so, let it be understood that we have nothing against all or any specific tribe and will continue to live in peace with people of all other tribal extractions residing or doing business in Rivers State.
“ But we have everything against the presence and activities of the legally proscribed and anarchic Indigenous People of Biafra ( IPOB ) and whatever that group stands for in Rivers State .
“ This is clearly a terrorist group whose existence, creed, mission and activities are strongly denounced even by the Government and peoples of South- Eastern States of the country. I have therefore signed the executive order to reinforce the total ban on IPOB and its activities in Rivers State or any part thereof and nothing will stop us from enforcing this ban in its entirety ,” he said.
Wike said he has also directed security agencies and the Chairmen of Local Government Areas to fish out and resolutely deal with any member of IPOB found in any community in terms with the executive order and other legal instruments .
With restoration of normalcy in the Diobu area of Port Harcourt , the Governor announced the lifting of existing curfew on Mile 1 , Mile 2 , Iloabuchi , Emenike and Ikokwu areas of Port Harcourt as well as Rumukurushi in Obio/ Akpor Local Government Area of the State .
“ However, the curfew in Oyigbo Local Government Area shall remain in force until further notice while the entire Ikokwu motor spare market shall remain closed , also , until further notice ,” he said.

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Nigeria Air Will Be Delivered Before 2023 – Sirika

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images 2020 10 29T090134.354 Nigeria Air Will Be Delivered Before 2023 - Sirika

Hadi Sirika, the minister for aviation, says plans are underway to ensure that Nigeria Air, the national carrier, is delivered before the end of the Muhammadu Buhari-led administration.
Sirika was addressing journalists on after appearing before the senate committee on aviation for the 2021 budget defence by the ministry and its agencies on Tuesday.
“We are on it. The transaction adviser has brought in the outline business case. It is being reviewed by the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC),”.
“Soon after its completion, it will go to the federal executive council for approved. We will not leave this government without having it in place.”
Hadi Sirika, the minister of aviation, had unveiled the national carrier project at the 2018 Farnborough International Airshow in London.
However, Lai Mohammed, the minister of information and culture, said the project was suspended due to investor apathy.
On the need to site another airport in Lokoja, the Kogi state capital, as an alternate to Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Sirika said: “Lokoja is a cosmopolitan town, it’s a mini Nigeria and it is extremely very important in the growth and development of our country”.
“We have a lot of agricultural activities there. There is fishery, there is perishable item production and so on.
“So siting an airport there is quite apt. For me, it is something we should have done long ago for its importance.”
The minister also explained that the federal government is addressing the issue of dilapidated equipment at some airports across the country one after the other based because there are not enough resources to carry out such all at once.
While addressing the committee, Sirika said 10 new airports will be constructed across the country to boost civil aviation.
“There are airports coming up in Benue, Ebonyi, Ekiti, Lafia, Damaturu, Anambra and so forth. All of these show that civil aviation is growing during this administration,” he said.
“So, we have about 10 new airports coming up; that is almost half the number of airports we used to have in Nigeria. We are adding 50 percent of the number of airports.
“Certainly we are making Ilorin one of the best airports because in the first place it is an alternate for Lagos”
He also noted that Kebbi, Osubi, Dutse, Jigawa airports have been taken over by the federal government and the Gombe state government has also written to the federal authorities, asking it to take over the Gombe Airport.

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#WTO – DG : Okonjo – Iweala Suggested As New WTO Chief , But US Vetoes

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images 2020 10 28T153155.293 #WTO - DG : Okonjo - Iweala Suggested As New WTO Chief , But US Vetoes

The World Trade Organization’s General Council Chair David Walker said Wednesday that Nigeria’s Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala had garnered the most support among WTO members to become the next global trade chief, a WTO spokesperson said.
The United States said, however, it could not support the candidacy of Okonjo-Iweala and said it would continue to back the South Korean candidate Yoo Myung-hee.
Walker and his colleagues have finished a long process of consultations, where each member could indicate their preference. Walker told WTO ambassadors Wednesday that Okonjo-Iweala, and not Yoo, was most likely to secure a consensus among the membership, which is needed to select the next chief of the global trade organization.
However, the suggestion of Walker and his colleagues is not the final step of the process as some members can veto their suggestion, which the U.S. now threatened to do.
WTO members must formally decide in their General Council meeting who becomes the next director general. This meeting will happen on November 9. Before then, there will be consultations.

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