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FEC approves N84.6bn for road, airports’ projects

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President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammad Buhari
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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved over N5 billion for various contracts in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Katsina airports.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting of the Council, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, also approved the dualisation of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road at the cost of N79.649 billion.

Special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, revealed this while briefing State House correspondents on decisions reached by the Council at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Adesina said: “The Minister of Aviation presented a memo for the approval of the award of contracts at the Murtala Mohammed international airport Lagos, Nnnamdi Azikiwe international airport Abuja, Aminu Kano international airport Kano and Katsina airport in Katsina State.

“For Lagos, it is for the expansion of the terminal building at domestic terminal GAT for the sum of N2, 817, 579, 271.99. For the Katsina airport, it is for the expansion of the airport’s apron awarded at N527, 353, 095.12.

“There is also the expansion of Lagos cargo apron areas awarded at N1,982. 943, 242.31.

“Council also approved the expansion of Abuja domestic apron areas at N795, 976, 947.34 and also the expansion of Kano apron area at the cost of N1, 059, 120, 254.37,”

Adesina said when completed, the contracts would go a long way in improving the air transportation network in the country.

On his part, Fashola revealed that the Council approved the dualization of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road at the cost of N79.649 billion.

According to the minister, the approved contract is in relation to the section from Oku Iboku Power Plant to Abak of about 26 kilometre stretch.

“The Ministry of Works and Housing presented the memorandum for the completion of the dualization of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road. And this is in relation to the section from Oku Iboku Power Plant to Abak of about 26 kilometre stretch.

“Council approved the award to Messers Sematech Nigeria Ltd for N79.649 billion to be executed over 16 months.

“So, this will help complete the dualization gaps between the one awarded to Julius Berger and the section awarded to CCECC.

“When this is done, motorists in that area will now have an option of the dual carriageway instead of the existing single carriageway.

“And this is in recognition of the heavy cargo that passes through that area from the South-South through to the North Central, Benue through Katsina Ala through to the South East to Abia. It’s very very important trade link for the country.”

Asked to give an update on the 2020 contract award for the same project, Fashola expressed regret that there had been paucity of fund to implement the project.

He said: “Okay, first of all, it’s important for us to have a common understanding of the area – that is the rain forest area of Nigeria, mangrove areas, very high water table and rains in seven, eight months of the year.

“So, when we awarded the first section, from Odukpani-Itu to Julius Berger  in 2016, they could not move to site because of the limited budgetary requisitions.

“So, that slowed down work in that area and they didn’t move to site until 2018.

“And the second section, which was from Abak to Ikot Ekpene was awarded in last year, February 2020. We have had to mobilise some Sukuk resources to the area.

“Sometime last year, you might recall that I was there visiting with the governor, I  actually went twice and we focused first on the link road from Alese Ugep area because that was a very big bad one, that one used to take like, three, four days to traverse a 70 kilometer road.

“Now, we have that under control, resolved, motorable in the first phase to Odukpani. That has reduced the journey time there to less than two hours, from days. So, again, it’s a work in progress.’’

On the recent collapsed of a section of the Lokoja-Kabba road, the minister attributed the incident to natural causes.

He said: “As we go through the rainy season, this is the context in which to locate the Lokoja-Kabba.

“It’s a failure caused by nature and aging. And, again, an opportunity to share with you what we have. We expect that these things will happen, but we don’t know where it will happen every time.”

While noting that his ministry was often unable to respond to such failures, he called for the setting up of a contingency maintenance fund, which he said should have a sizable amount.

“So, we’ve been proposing that Nigeria should have an emergency provision in the works budget, but we haven’t been successful enough.

“There must be a contingency, a sizable sum, because when we see failures, last year, we had a problem like that in Kebbi, where roads were washed away.

“We couldn’t respond because we didn’t have the resources. But we will lean on FERMA.

“Well, traditionally back in Lagos when I was governor, I think we used to provide about five per cent of our capital expenditure as a contingency fund for emergencies. Something between three and five per cent varies across the world,” he said. (NAN)

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APC primary: No cause for alarm – Oyetola’s aide

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Osun State Governor Adegboyega Oyetola
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Expresses confidence that Appeal court will set it aside

The Chief Press Secretary to Osun Governor, Adegboyega Oyetola, Ismail Omipidan, has appealed to supporters of the governor to remain calm in the face of the decision of a Federal High Court to nullify his candidature in the July 16 Governorship poll.

He noted that their team of lawyers would be challenging the decision at the Appeal Court, just as he expressed confidence that the decision would be set aside.

Omipidan further noted that the case was instituted by the opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in spite of the fact there is a plethora of decisions flowing from the apex court that frowns upon such a decision.

He said that, for the records, the position of the law is that only members of the APC who participated in the primary election can approach the court to challenge the nomination of Oyetola as the candidate of the party.

“All these are part of the antics of the opposition PDP and some of their collaborators from within to distract us. But like every of their plans, this too has fallen flat on their faces.

“They want to distract us from the Tribunal case. But we shall remain focused until we take back our mandate. We have confidence in the Tribunal to do justice in the case before it, just as we have implicit confidence in the Appeal Court to set aside this latest decision of the Federal High Court,” Omipidan said.

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Nigeria @ 62: Southern Senators To Houses of Assembly, Speed up Review of Constitution Amendment

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Senator Michael Opeyemi Bamidele
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The Southern Senators’ Forum has asked the State Houses of Assembly across the nation to expedite action on the Review of the 1999 Constitution as transmitted to them by the National Assembly, adding that this would be an Independence anniversary gift to Nigerians if done as such.

The Chairman of the Forum , Senator Opeyemi Bamidele, made this known in a statement issued on the occasion of the commemoration of the 62nd Independence anniversary. Bamidele said he is optimistic that most of the challenges facing the nation will be a thing of the past if the salient report becomes law.

Bamidele also urged Nigerians to be optimistic about the future of the nation, notwithstanding the enormity of our current challenges, adding that there is yet light at the end of the tunnel if we have faith in God and take the much needed steps.

He pointed out that just like the political office holders and public servants in general, every citizen has a role to play in the nation building process and with determination, faith and persistence, Nigerians will surely witness a new Nigeria which is headed for growth and development and that is devoid of violence, hostilities, and acrimony.

The statement reads, ” As we celebrate 62nd Independence anniversary of our great nation, I will like to implore the State Houses of Assembly across the Federation to expedite action on the passage of the Review of the 1999 Constitution as transmitted to them by the National Assembly, because some of the problems facing the people of Nigeria are already being addressed in the amendment draft transmitted to the State Houses Assembly.

” The speedy passage of the amendment will serve as the most cherished and memorable anniversary gift you can give to the electorates who reposed confidence in you by voting you as their representatives in the Houses Assembly.

” We must also know that the process of nation building is a collective responsibility of both the leaders and followers in order for us to have the nation of our desire and Nigerians should continue to hope for greater future and with determination, faith and persistence, Nigerians will surely see a nation devoid of banditry, terrorism, kidnapping, ethnic hostilities and acrimony.

” Nigerians should not succumb their future in the hands of the pessimists who are always craving for negative news in the country, but put their trust in God, for He will surely see us through our challenges as a nation”.

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Senator Opeyemi Bamidele Bags National Honour

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Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele
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President Muhammadu Buhari has approved conferment of national honour on the Senator representing Ekiti Central, in the the current Ninth National Assembly, Senator Micheal Opeyemi Bamidele.

The National Honours ceremony is billed for October 11, 2022 in Abuja

This was disclosed in a statement released by Senator Bamidele’s media office , stating that the Chairman Senate Committee on Judiciary is listed among the recipients of the 2022 National Honour Award of the Commander of the Order of the Niger (CON).

The letter conveyed the award was signed by the Minister of Special Duties and Inter-government Affairs, Senator George Akume signed on September 16, 2022.

The letter from the Minister reads, ““I have the honour to formally inform you that the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, has approved the conferment of the National Honours on you, in the rank of CON, Commander of the Order of the Niger.

“The ceremony is scheduled to take place at the International Conference Centre, Abuja on Tuesday, October 11, 2022 at 9am.”

Bamidele is the Chairman of Southern , Senator Forum, and was in House of Representatives between June 2011 to June 2015). He served as Honorable Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos State (July 2007 to February 2011), Honourable Commissioner for Youths, Sports and Social Development, Lagos State (July 2003 to May 2007, Special Adviser to the Governor on Political and Inter-Governmental Affairs, Lagos State (July 2000 to May 2003).

Bamidele obtained law degree in the University of Benun and graduated from the Nigerian Law School, he was called to the bar in 1992. He then proceeded to Franklin Pierce University where he received a master’s degree in law and was called to the New York Bar in January 1999.

Among the bills sponsored by Senator Opeyemi Bamidele is a bill for the Establishment of the Federal University of Medical and Environmental sciences in Ekiti. Also, his Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON) Establishment Act Amendment Bill of 2021, seeking to strengthen and extend the life of AMCON, has already been assented to by President Buhari.

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