•Says Construction Of Badagry Deep Seaport Will Be Activated In June
•We Are Ready For Development, Traditional Rulers, Host Communities Tell Governor
Following the outcry of the host communities over alleged neglect and delay of the Badagry Deep Seaport project, an idea that was birthed 10 years ago, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tuesday said the construction of the deep sea port would start in June once the State is granted ratification by the Federal Government grants ratification in April.
Governor Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance during a stakeholders meeting and community engagement on Badagry Deep Seaport Project held at the Administrative Staff College of Nigeria (ASCON) Auditorium in Topo, Badagry.
The Governor, who assured the people of Badagry that his administration is determined to push development to Badagry axis of Lagos State, reiterated the government’s readiness to compensate residents for economic losses on buildings, ancestral lands, farms and sites as a result of the deep seaport.
He said: “We need to go to Abuja to get a re-ratification because it is NPA that owns the license for port. So, we need to get ratification from Abuja. That process has started and we are praying that before the end of April, we will get that ratification.
“Once we get that ratification, by the grace of God we will plan to see if we can start something by June. Once we get that ratification, two months, we must activate something. We want to start the project as soon as possible. We want to deliberately push development to this axis.
“The Badagry Deep Sea Port Project is not just one project; it is a multi-level opportunity for progress for all the people of this State in view of the volume of trade and quantum of investment opportunities that would spring up in the area when the project commences, and when it is completed and operational. Very importantly, employment and capacity building for the teeming youth and women in the affected communities will be prioritised.
“About 10 years ago during the administration of one of my predecessors, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, this Sea Port Project, which is the reason we have organised today’s community engagement, was conceived as a flagship project that when fully operational, would not only boost the fortunes of the people of Badagry, but, also transform the entire economy of our State and that of the entire West African sub-region.
“As you are all aware, when completed, this deep sea port will be the second in the State after the one in Lekki, which is projected to be commissioned this year. It is expected that with these two deep sea ports, we will experience significant relief from the difficult challenges being experienced in the Apapa axis as a result of the activities at Tin Can port which has been overstretched beyond its installed capacity.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu also congratulated the Management of Badagry Port Development Limited and the host communities for being collaborators and joint beneficiaries of the laudable project which would positively impact lives and businesses, create wealth and improve standards of living in the Badagry division of Lagos State.
Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner for Commerce, Industry and Cooperative, Mrs. Lola Akande, said the State Government hopes to chart a way forward in ensuring smooth and cordial relationship between investors, Badagry Deep Sea Port Limited and members of the host communities.
“We are hopeful that at the end of the day, under Mr. Governor’s direction, we would be able to chart a way forward in ensuring smooth and cordial relationship between our investor, Badagry Deep Sea Port Limited and members of the host Communities, with a view to safeguarding easy access of the investor to the Project Land Area, whilst assuring our host communities, who are the ancestral land-owners of adequate protection of their various concerns and interests by the State Government,” she said.
The Managing Director of the Badagry Sea Port Limited, Mr. Didi Ndiomu in his remarks said the Badagry Deep Seaport project will be developed in four phases under a public private partnership arrangement that includes the supporting roles of both Lagos State Government and the Federal Government of Nigeria through the Federal Ministry of Transportation, the Nigerian Ports Authority, as well as other relevant Government Agencies.
He also noted that the affected communities would be compensated.
“The deep seaport is to be located in Gberefu area of Badagry, Lagos State and it covers an area of approximately 1,103 hectares out of which 623 is dedicated for port activities including an 18-meter draft and 4 Km quay, making it a port with the deepest draft and widest berths in Sub Sahara Africa, capable of berthing the largest vessels known in existence today such as the 400-meter-long Maersk Triple E class with a carrying capacity of 18, 000 TEUs as against the present 4,500 TEU West Africa Maximum (WAFMAX) vessel. An additional 480 hectares of land has also been earmarked for industrial and logistics park zone.
“The scope of the new port includes terminals for containerized and non-containerized cargo, dredged access channel, tuning circle, port basin, anchorage area, shore line protections, an offshore supply base, refined product import jetties, industrial and logistics zone and supporting transport infrastructure,” he said.
Speaking on behalf of the host communities, the Alapa of Apa kingdom, Oba Oyekan Adekanbi Ajose, expressed their satisfaction about the plan of the Lagos State Government to attract more development to Badagry through the sea port project.
He said 10 out of the 12 host communities to the Badagry Deep Seaport are in full support of the project in their communities because they believe it will attract more development to the Badagry axis and therefore urged other communities to support the project.
Also speaking, a traditional leader and chairman of the host communities, Chief Frederick Ajanisan said: “We are happy with the project and we are also grateful to Governor Sanwo-Olu for showing interest in the project. Coming to Badagry for a stakeholders meeting today showed clearly that Governor Sanwo-Olu is interested in the project.”
25 Million Nigerians May Face Food Crisis By August 2023 – FAO
Food and Agriculture Organization of the Nations (FAO) has estimated that 25.3 million Nigerians are in danger of experiencing food crisis between June and August 2023 unless urgent steps are taken to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance.
FAO said this was contained in its October 2022 Food and Nutrition Analysis.
The analysis reportedly indicates that about 17 million people including internally displaced persons (IDPs) and returnees in 25 states and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were in “crisis or worse level” through October 2022.
Of that number, three million are living in Borno, Adamwa and Yobe states, FAO said.
“Furthermore, an estimated 25.3 million people are projected to be in crisis or worse levels during the 2023 lean season (June – August) with 4.4 million in Borno, Adamawa and Yobe, if immediate steps to scale up and sustain livelihood and food assistance are not taken,” it added in a statement.
The statement noted that the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway renewed its funding cooperation with FAO aimed at helping the most vulnerable populations in Borno, Adamawa, Yobe and Taraba states with a special focus on women-led households.
The three-year intervention will benefit 43,990 households (about 307,930 individuals), according to FAO, with at least 45 percent of them being women as direct beneficiaries receiving items such as agricultural inputs, livestock assets, and energy saving stoves.
The beneficiaries reportedly include IDPs, host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.
Speaking in Abuja at a signing ceremony to kick-start the project’s implementation, the Ambassador of the Royal Kingdom of Norway to Nigeria, Knut Eiliv Lein said his country remained committed to supporting the efforts to restore the conflict-affected livelihoods in the North-East.
“This project we are signing here today is part of Norway’s larger support to Nigeria in general, including humanitarian efforts specifically targeting those in need in the North-East region.
“We have partnered with many organisations in addressing a number of issues, including health, food security, democracy, gender equality and more,” Ambassador Lein said.
On his part, the FAO Representative in Nigeria and to the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Fred Kafeero appreciated the support by Norway, describing it as another milestone in strengthening the commitment in the fight against poverty, food insecurity and malnutrition in Nigeria.
“The new project, whose agreement we are signing here today, marks the continuous and fruitful collaboration, and partnership that exists between the Government of the Royal Kingdom of Norway and FAO in Nigeria,” Mr. Kafeero said.
“Thanks to this collaboration for years now, the conflict-affected populations of Borno, Adamawa and Yobe (BAY) states have greatly benefited from the agricultural-based livelihoods support that has enabled them to improve their food security as well as build their resilience.”
The support aims at enhancing resilience to the humanitarian crisis, climate variability and change of vulnerable communities; and building resilient livelihoods in the BAY states against the negative effects of climate change, FAO said.
The beneficiaries, who will reportedly receive special training on animal husbandry, farming and agribusiness, are IDPs, host communities and returnees of relocated households with special attention paid to women-headed households.
Kaduna Train Attack Victims Wants Compensation From FG
Victims of the March 28, 2022 train attack in Kaduna are demanding compensation from the Federal Government to enable them to restart life.
Their demand is coming just 24 hours after the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) resumed train operations on the Kaduna-Abuja route, eight months after it suspended operations following the attack that claimed the lives of nine passengers.
The victims, who spoke to journalists in Kaduna, lamented that most of them lost means of livelihood when they were in the custody of the terrorists who kidnapped them during the train attack.
“So, many of us have lost what we are doing and our source of income. As a citizen of this country, which I am very proud to be, I am expecting more from them (the government),” said one of the victims Mariam Idris. “I am expecting them to come to our aid.”
They also claim that the Federal Government is yet to fulfil the promises made to them shortly after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari upon their release in October, noting that most of them are already suffering from depression and psychological disorders that require urgent medical attention.
“Actually, they did collect our contacts that they would get back to us. But till now, nobody has said anything,” Mariam added.
“We are just living by His mercy because as of the time our family members realised ourselves in this mess, they have gone through difficulties – let’s be sincere.”
Mariam‘s tale is not different from that of Bala Mohammed who said “nobody gave us a single kobo” even when some of them are having health challenges.
“The health challenge we are facing now is very critical,” he added.
While he thanked the Federal Government for rescuing them, Mr Bala is asking for more.
“Our demand is that the Federal Government should come to our rescue because the trauma we are facing now is very critical,” he said. “We don’t have money to go to the hospital to take care of our health.”
Osun Tribunal Admits Adeleke’s Certificates as Exhibits.
— As Oyetola, APC Close Case
The Osun State Election Petition Tribunal on Saturday admitted in evidence the file with the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) containing the secondary school certificate and testimonial of Governor Ademola Adeleke of the State.
This is just as the Petitioners, Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola and the All-Progressives Congress (APC), closed the prosecution of the matter, leaving respondents to state their defence.
The admission of the documents followed the appearance of INEC representative, Mrs. Joan Arabs, who brought Adeleke’s original files containing the certificate he submitted to the Commission in 2018.
It will be recalled that during the last sitting of the panel, the Commission had submitted blank document as the secondary school certificate of the governor, a situation that compelled the panel to order that the original file be brought, and to threaten to invoke Coercive Power if it fails to do so.
At the resumed hearing of the petition on Saturday, Counsel for Oyetola, Chief Lateef Fagbemi (SAN), said the hearing for the day was basically meant for the appearance of INEC representative to produce the Adeleke’s file in line with the court order.
Counsel for INEC, in his response, said that INEC representative was already in court with the files containing a clearer and legible certificate and testimonial in question, saying he would be willing to apply for the return of the documents to INEC, when the tribunal is done looking at it.
After the production of the documents, the tribunal, while discharging the INEC official, said, “You can now go if you wish to. No policeman will accost you again.”
Subsequently, Oyetola’s counsel sought to tender the documents which contain form CFO01 and its attachments, including Adeleke’s credentials, saying the original file brought to court is a primary evidence and he was comfortable with it.
Counsel for INEC, Chief Henry Agunedo (SAN), said he would be objecting to the admissibility of the documents on the ground that the basis for the production of the whole file was because only two pages of the earlier-produced Certified True Copies were in contention, saying tendering the whole documents was out of place.
Counsel for Adeleke and PDP, Niyi Owolade and Alex Izinyon (SAN) respectively, said they have objection to the tendering of the said documents, but they would reserve their objections till final address stage.
Izinyon also observed that the only documents in contention were only two pages which are Adeleke’s certificate and testimonial, saying the CTC earlier produced has not been tendered before the court.
Responding, Fagbemi said the practice everywhere is that INEC can only apply and get back the files after the dispensation of the cases, saying, “We asked for CTC and now that they brought this. We are fine, we will take it”.
Ruling on the documents tendered, the tribunal led by Tertsea Kume admitted the credentials and the Adeleke’s nomination form as exhibit ‘FILE D’ and taken as read.
It was after the tribunal admitted the documents that Fagbemi informed the panel that he had decided to close his case, saying, “My Lord, we rest our case”.
When the tribunal asked INEC to open his defence, Chief Agunedo said, it would be difficult for him to open his case on Monday, saying non-availability of his witnesses would make it practically impossible.
The panel then asked the counsel to meet and agree on adjournment date after which Counsel for INEC briefed the panel the outcome of the meeting.
Subsequently, the tribunal adjourned the case till December 20 for the respondents to open their defence, saying the adjournment was based on another engagement by the tribunal somewhere else between 12th and 19th December 2022.
Earlier, Oyetola’s counsel had informed the panel that the Court of Appeal in Abuja had reverted the judgement of a Federal High Court which disqualified Oyetola from contesting the election.
Meanwhile, the outcome of the sitting excited the members of the APC who witnessed the hearing, as jubilations erupted after the sitting of the panel. They chanted songs to eulogise Oyetola and the APC.
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