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FG Approves $3 . 02bn For Reconstruction Of Port Harcourt – Maiduguri Rail Line

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images 25 1 FG Approves $3 . 02bn For Reconstruction Of Port Harcourt - Maiduguri Rail Line

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the reconstruction and rehabilitation of the Port Harcourt- Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge .
The cost of the project was put at $ 3 . 02 bn.
The decision was taken at the weekly meeting of the council presided over by the President , Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd . ).
Minister of Transportation , Rotimi Amaechi , disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the meeting at the Presidential Villa , Abuja .
Amaechi also told reporters that the council approved the construction of a deep seaport at Bonny and a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt, both in Rivers State at the cost of $ 703 . 1 m .
He, however , said the two projects would be at no cost to the Federal Government , saying they will be funded through Public – Private Partnership arrangement.
He said the industrial park would gulp $ 241 . 2 m while the Bonny Deep Seaport will gulp $ 461 . 9 m .
The minister explained , “The Federal Executive Council has approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt- Maiduguri eastern narrow gauge railway , with new branch lines and trans -shipment facilities .
“ The council also approved the construction of a new deep seaport in Bonny , under PPP and the construction of a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.
“ The railway line will be at the cost of $ 3 , 020 , 279 , 549 . The industrial park , which is under PPP, at no cost to Federal Government , will cost $ 241 , 154 , 389 . 31 . The Bonny deep seaport will cost $ 461 , 924 , 369 , at no cost to the Federal Government .
“The Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway will have new branch lines : from Port Harcourt to Bonny and from Port Harcourt to Owerri are new lines .
“ There is another connecting narrow gauge to standard gauge at Kafanchan. There is a branch line from Gombe or before Maiduguri to Damaturu and Gashau . ”
Still on PPP, the Minister of Interior , Rauf Aregbesola , said the council approved the establishment of the Nigeria Correctional Service Shoe , Garment , and Leather Processing Factories in Aba , Abia State as well as Janguza, Kano State.
“ The benefit , beside the employment of Nigerians, is the opportunity for training of the inmates of our correctional facilities in Janguza, Kano State and Aba in Abia State.
“ The contract for full business skills compliance certificate is given to Messrs LG Investment Limited , a Nigerian company which is partnering with a Chinese company , Full Technology Incorporated from Beijing , China, ” he said .

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Heritage Bank to manage accounts of 774,000 beneficiaries of public works programme November 1

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images 8 4 Heritage Bank to manage accounts of 774,000 beneficiaries of public works programme November 1

Heritage Bank Plc, said it is set to commence account opening with Bank Verification Numbers (BVN) for 774,000 participants of the SPW programme in branches throughout the 774 Local Government Areas of the country.

The participants are to be paid an allowance of N20, 000 (Twenty thousand Naira) monthly for the programme which kicks off from November 1, 2020, at the 129 LGAs assigned to Heritage Bank Plc.

The SPW is a post-COVID-19 poverty alleviation initiative, approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and the Federal Ministry of State for Labour and Employment to implement 774,000 jobs in all the 774 LGAs in Nigeria, for a period of three (3) months.

As part of modalities for the programme, the six participating banks, including Heritage Bank inclusive were mandated to open accounts for all the beneficiaries and capture their BVN. A special feature form has been provided by the Federal Government to capture participant’s Bio-data for this exercise.

In a bid to align with the rudimentary arrangements, the Divisional Head, Corporate Communications, Fela Ibidapo, disclosed that Heritage bank has prepared seamless process flow for the commencement of the BVN enrolment/ account opening documentation of the assigned shortlisted beneficiaries.

He said, “For locations that the bank does not have physical presence, the Agency Banking Team has engaged Super Agents to cover these areas and ensure smooth on-boarding in such locations.” He stated that Heritage Bank would definitely adhere strictly to the beneficiary list forwarded to it by the Federal Government for account opening/BVN enrolment to avoid any infractions and work according to the rules set by the government and its agency, National Directorate of Employment (NDE).

Ibidapo recounted the bank’s success story and legacies in similar exercises sustained through various entrepreneur schemes in the support for economic growth, which had always focused on dependable job-creating sectors, such as agricultural value chain (fish farming, poultry, snail farming), cottage industry, mining and solid minerals, creative industry (tourism, arts and crafts), and Information and Communications Technology (ICT).

About 1,000 participants were drawn each from the 774 local government areas in Nigeria for the Special Public Works Programme. In response to the nature of diversity and remoteness of some participants, the Minister of State for Labour and Productivity, Festus Kenyamo allayed fears of missing out from the registration by the beneficiaries, and has recieved assurances from the banks that even in places where they have no physical presence or branch, registration centres would be provided; hence participants don’t need to travel far.

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You can’t control minerals, FG tells states

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images 87 You can’t control minerals, FG tells states

The Federal Government on Thursday told state governments that they could not control the mineral deposits in their various domains .
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite , said this at a sensitisation meeting with state commissioners for justice , minerals and environment from the North -Central geopolitical zone .
The issue of resource control had been put in the front burner recently with the unveiling of Zamfara state government plan to establish a gold reserve through buying of gold from artisenal miner indigenes .
Reacting to calls for the amendment of the exclusive list section on minerals in the country ’s constitution to allow states have participatory roles in mining , the minister said doing so would amount to selfishness and would be detrimental to the nation ’s economic system .
Adegbite explained that the oil revenue derived from a section of the country was being used for the overall development of Nigeria.
He told the commissioners that as attention was now focusing on the development of the minerals sector for revenue generation, it must be used for the common good of all .
The minister , in a statement issued in Abuja by the mines ministry ’s Assistant Director , Press , Timothy Akpoili , stated that royalties and other revenues generated from solid minerals mining were paid into the consolidated fund .
He said the fund was shared in accordance with derivation principle during monthly revenue allocation sharing.

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Protests Rock Kano , Kaduna , Katsina , Bauchi, Niger Over Insecurity

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The protest Protests Rock Kano , Kaduna , Katsina , Bauchi, Niger Over Insecurity

The Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) yesterday took to the streets in Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and Kano States to protest the escalating security challenges facing the North.
In Kaduna, the protesters who marched from Waff Road to the Kaduna State House of Assembly Complex demanded an “immediate end to banditry, terrorism, and Kidnappings in Northern Nigeria.”
They carried placards and banners with various inscriptions such as: “Stop the killings in the North,” “Empower SWAT to end insecurity,” “End Boko Haram now,” End Banditry Now,” “The North is Bleeding,” and “Stop Rape Now.”
The protesters were received by the Chief Whip of the Assembly, Hon. Shehu Yunusa.
Addressing the Chief Whip, the coordinator of the protest, Mr. Sa’ad Bako, said the CNG was compelled to protest the unending insecurity in the North.
The group lamented the recent violent attacks on innocent people in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Borno, Adamawa and other northern communities and other disturbances across the North.
“This sadly, has ultimately placed the current federal administration of President Muhammad Buhari and a section of the northern political, cultural and spiritual leadership on the wrong side of public opinion – and history.
“The rise in the spate of banditry, kidnappings, cattle rustling and bloodshed in the North has become a major trying point for everyone but the authorities – who have remained detached from the reality,” Bako said.
The group demanded: “An immediate and comprehensive improvement of security all over Northern Nigeria.
“The federal and state administrations should address major failings in their perception of the current desperate situation and their response to the people’s demands for their rights to security.
“A total overhaul of the leadership of the national security agencies, a review of the entire national security architecture and the national security committees in order to inject higher levels of competence, integrity and accountability in the manner they deal with the security challenges in the nation and particular the North.
“The promulgation of legislation to compel the review of the salary and general incentive packages of all men of the security services.”
In the press statement signed by the CNG’s spokesman, Mr. Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, the group said the protest, which would spread across the North-western region of the country is to show concern over deteriorating national security and other pressing issues.
The protesters visited the government house and the state police command in the two states to deliver their messages to the government.
They also backed the creation of Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) team, saying it is in a better position to tackle various forms of security threats such as killings, banditry, kidnapping, rape, and Boko Haram terror attacks in the region if they are fully equipped and trained.
In Niger State, the protesters decried the poor condition of road infrastructures in the state, which they describe as death traps.
“This protest is not against any movement, it is not against any government, we are here to only show our grievances that as Nigerians we are not enjoying what we should enjoy,’’ they noted.
They urged the federal government to fix all its roads and address poor power supply in the entire Northern states.

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