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Business

FEC approves N87billion for construction of roads

FEC approved N87 billion to upscale the country’s road infrastructure across geo-political zones.

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#EndSARS: Fashola discovers strange camera at Lekki Tollgate, FEC approves road, road concessions

The Federal Executive Council has approved N87 billion to upscale the country’s road infrastructure in the North-Central, South-west, middle belt and South-South geo-political zones.

This was disclosed by the Ministers of FCT and Works and Housing, Muhammad Bello and Babatunde Fashola, respectively after the Council met on Wednesday at the State House, Abuja.

READ: House of Reps calls on FG to suspend concession of airports

The funds would be used to construct:

• A road linking Shehu Yar’adua Way with the Kubwa Expressway in the Federal Capital Territory.

• Oyo–Ogbomosho and,

• the Loko – Oweto bridge.

READ: Third Mainland Bridge closure: Lagos says alternative routes are in good shape

The FCT Minister explained that the road linking Shehu Yar’adua Way with the Kubwa Expressway in the Federal Capital Territory, would serve the adjourning districts of Mabushi, Kado, Katampe and Jahi as well as generally enhance overall decongestion of traffic in phases I, II, III and IV of the FCT development plan, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

What they are saying

Muhammad Bello said, “During the FEC meeting of today, there was an approval of a contract for the full-scale development of arterial road which we call N-20, which is the road that is linking Shehu Musa Yar’Adua way, also called the northern park way, with the Murtala Mohammed way, popularly known as the Kubwa expressway.

“This project involves the full-scale construction of that road, including a number of bridges and the normal telecommunication, power and water lines in line with the general standard of roads in the FCT.

“It is a contract of N30, 686, 609, 000, with a completion period of 32 months and the project is within phase II of the federal capital city.”

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Fashola disclosed that the two memoranda presented by his ministry were also approved by the Council.

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He said, “The first one related to the Oyo-Ogbomosho highway, which is the 52-kilometer part of the Ilorin – Ibadan 145-kilometer highway. The remaining part is the Oyo to Ogbomosho part which is 52 kilometers.

“We needed to adjust some things in the scope of work, the thickness of the pavement from 500mm to 560mm to also change the asphalt to polymer-modified bitumen and also the shoulders from surface dressing to fully asphalted inside and outside shoulder.”

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READ: FG seeking approval from National Assembly for $1.2 billion agric loan

Speaking on the second project he said: “The second similar project we are trying complete is the Loko-Oweto Bridge. That is the bridge across the River Benue that links Nasarawa and Benue states and provides a major time-saving detour, about four hours, for people trying to come from south-south, Benue, through to Nasarawa to Abuja.

READ: Nigeria’s COVID-19 deaths surpass 1,000, cases now above 52,000

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“So, the approval given today was a N9.348 billion variation to complete the bridge component or remaining work on the bridge.”

Omokolade Ajayi is a graduate of Economics, and a certificate holder of the CFA Institute’s Investment Foundation Program. He is a business analyst, and equity market researcher, with wealth of experience as a retail investor. He is a business owner and a stern advocate of Financial literacy, who believes in the huge economic prospect of the Nigerian Payment channels and Fintech space.

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Business

AfCFTA to reduce illegal gold mining in Nigeria – Minister of Mines

The Minister of Mines and Steel says that illegal gold mining would be stemmed by the implementation of AfCFTA.

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FG to launch policy to prevent smuggling of mineral resources

The Nigerian Government announced that the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) would help reduce illegal mining in the country and also standardize Mining practices in Nigeria.

This was disclosed by the Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Mr Olamilekan Adegbite, at the NAN forum in Abuja on Sunday.

The Minister disclosed that the mining sector was ignored by the Federal Government after oil was discovered, which made it possible for artisanal miners to venture into the sector.

Right now, many Nigerians are into artisanal mining and this was caused by the fact that when oil was discovered, Nigeria moved away from mining, which was the mainstream of the economy.

Before oil and gas, Nigeria relied on coal and tin; we were exporting and were indeed, quoted on the London Metal Exchange.

“And that is basically what was giving Nigeria money in those days before oil came but when oil came, we moved away. We left mining behind,” he said.

He added that the most mined commodity in Nigeria by artisanal miners is gold, which has created a lucrative black market for international buyers. He also said that with the AfCFTA, documentation of mining exports would be required, reducing illegal outflows.

Gold is the most traded mineral in Nigeria and these people mine gold and get nuggets. There are several thousands of such miners, when you aggregate what they mine, it comes in large volume and several kilos of gold,” he said.

To know the extent of the money they make in the gold business, they hire private jets to take them out illegally because they realise a lot of money.

“At the rate gold is selling, one ounce of gold is selling for $2,200 and by the time you carry a thousand kilogrammes, you are making several billions of naira.

But with AfCFTA coming into effect, we hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria because now it is a free trade but there is documentation,” he added.

The Minister said that with AfCFTA going into effect, the FG hopes it will help stem the problem because Nigeria is  supposed to trade freely with Africa with documentation.

We hope that other countries will cooperate with Nigeria. I will not allow such illegal activity to go on within those countries,” he said.

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In case you missed it: Nairametrics also reported that the Mining Minister said a Nigerian-Canadian company, mining gold in Nigeria’s Osun State looks set to commence the exportation of gold in June this year.

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Business

Insecurity: Nigeria needs to increase military spending – Senator Ali Ndume

Ndume has called on the FG to increase military funding so as to contain the rising insecurity in the country.

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#EndSARS: Nothing wrong with social media bill - Ali Ndume, Senate rejects VAT increase

Senator Ali Ndume insisted that the Federal Government needs to increase its total military spending to be able to tackle the rising insecurity in Nigeria which has seen a number of school students in 2021 kidnapped by bandits.

The Senator disclosed this in an interview with Channels TV on Sunday evening.

“We have the forces on ground, but they need what it takes especially more equipments.

“All these take a lot of money, and they need to be given those things in order for them to perform.

“The number one priority is ammunition and those are lacking. They are not sufficient enough,” the Senator said.

The Senator said that the Nigerian Air Force must have the air capabilities that translate to things like fighter jets, helicopters, etc. Ndume said that the military must be given adequate training in order to be able to manage such equipment.

He added that Nigeria is placed in an unfortunate position, which has seen it lacking in air defense capabilities and revealed the build-up to higher military equipment purchase is not easy.

He called for the FG to explore all options, in order to make sure that the Nigerian armed forces have all that they need to rise up to the challenge of insecurity.

He said, “I am not satisfied. The funding of the armed forces and security agencies is not enough, compared to our population of over N200 million.

“When you look at current military spending, compared to other poor countries around, we are not doing enough, we have to do more.”

What you should know 

  • In recent years, insecurity in the country has heightened with Boko Haram terrorism, herders-farmers clashes, attacks and kidnappings by bandits, etc.
  • Nairametrics reported that President Muhammadu Buhari said the Federal Government will not succumb to blackmail by bandits who target innocent school students in the expectation of huge ransom payments.

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