The Federal Government has disclosed that it plans to complete the dualisation of the Abuja-Lokoja- Benin highway. The project would be funded by instruments like the Sukuk Fund.
This was disclosed by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) on Wednesday.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported this month that the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, stated that the Ministry’s priority in its 2021 budget is to complete already ongoing road and bridge projects across the nation. He added that 711 road projects had been shortlisted for infrastructure Funding Mechanisms, which are projects to be financed through initiatives including Sovereign Sukuk Fund.
The Federal Executive Council approved N87 billion to upscale the country’s road infrastructure in the North-Central, South-west, middle belt and South-South geo-political zones.
Nairametrics reported in July that The Federal Government will fix 44 roads with the Sukuk funds raised in the bond market. Fashola disclosed a sovereign Sukuk Symbolic cheque of N162.55 billion was presented to him by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed in Abuja.
The Ministry of works said the ongoing dualisation of Abuja-Lokoja-Benin highway would be completed before December 2021.
Engr. Yusuf Jimoh-Adekunle, Director Highways, disclosed that Sukuk bond is an alternative means to fund infrastructure projects in Nigeria.
“We now have the SUKUK, we have Tax Relief, we have loans that we got from China NEXIM on some other projects.
“This particular project is enjoying the SUKUK loan apart from the budgetary provisions,” he said.
The Ministry added that the dualisation of section 1 of the Lokoja-Benin road will go through 2 phases.
“We are on phase II now and it is about 41 kilometres. The total length of both phase one and phase two is about 58.15 km.
“The contractor, CGC Nig. has partially completed phase one which included about 14km Okene by-pass virgin dual carriageway, except for some little issues which will be cleared, although it has been opened to traffic for more than two years now.
“So, it is now left for the contractor to work harder to be able to access the provisions made for them within budget and from SUKUK funding, We have about N2.5 billion to access this year 2020,” he said.
N117 billion approved by FG for road rehabilitation
Babatunde Fashola has disclosed that the FG has approved the sum of over N117 billion for road rehabilitation across the country.
The Federal Government has approved the sum of over N117 billion for the rehabilitation of roads across the country in 2021.
This was disclosed by Babatunde Fashola, Minister of Works and Housing, in a press briefing after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting was held in Abuja on Wednesday.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported last month that Mr Fashola had stated that the Ministry’s priority in its 2021 budget was to complete already ongoing road and bridge projects across the nation.
- Fashola also said that the Federal Government needed at least N500 billion annually for the next 3 years to develop and fix its 35,000 kilometres road network, as work continued on 13,000 kilometres of the network.
- Fashola stated last month that the Federal Government was committed to finishing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, adding that the drop in crude oil prices could not be a barrier to its completion.
Fashola disclosed on Wednesday that the sum of N18.9 billion, was approved for the rehabilitation of roads and bridges including the 26 km of Kano-Dambatta-Kazaure-Daura road, Anambra- Enugu Roads, Bridge construction Cross River, Nkumi bridge and others.
“The other memorandum relating to roads also is for the total sum of N98.7 billion,” he added. This includes roads and bridges in Zamfara, Kebbi, Katsina, Anambra and Kano
$1.3 billion Malabu oil field sale was perfect – Dan Etete
Nigeria’s former Petroleum Minister has said that the sale of the $1.3 billion Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect.
Dan Etete, former Nigerian Minister of Petroleum has said that the $1.3 billion sales of Malabu oil field to Shell and Eni in 2021 was legally perfect, with zero traces of corruption in the deal.
He disclosed this on Wednesday through his lawyer, Antonio Secci, in a Milan Court, investigating the cases of bribery and corruption related to the deal, as reported by Reuters.
In Wednesday’s hearing, Dan Etete’s lawyers called for the former Nigerian Minister to be acquitted of corruption charges related to the deal.
Reuters disclosed that 13 other people are involved in the corruption case including CEO of Eni, Claudio Descalzi.
The accused pleaded non-guilty and said that the proceeds of the deal were paid into accounts owned by the Nigerian Government.
The ex-Shell executives also accused in the case will have a hearing on the 9th of December.
What you should know
Multinational oil companies, Eni and Shell, paid $1.3 billion in 2011 to acquire OPL 245 offshore field.
The payment was to a company called Malabu, which was owned by Nigeria’s former Oil Minister, Dan Etete.
However, Italian prosecutors claim that most of the payments were kickbacks to Nigerian government officials. Italian prosecutors also claim that nearly $1.1 billion was stolen by Nigerian politicians and middlemen, with Dan Etete keeping half.
Nigeria’s Minister of Justice, Justice Abubakar Malami, reported in July that the Dutch and Swiss governments were expected to send the sum of $200 million from the OPL 245 Malabu Oil deal to Nigeria.
Multinational Petroleum oil and gas giant, Royal Dutch Shell, announced that it would write down its investment in the controversial Malabu OPL 245 offshore field in Nigeria.
in June, the Federal Government tracked down and grounded a luxury private jet, owned by the country’s former Petroleum Minister, Dan Etete, over his alleged involvement in the $1.1 billion Malabu oil scam. The luxury private jet was alleged to have been purchased with proceeds from that oil deal.
Nairametrics reported that the Federal Government, on Wednesday, September 9, 2020, asked a court in Milan to order Royal Dutch Shell and Eni to pay the sum of $1.092 billion as an immediate advance payment for damages in the Malabu oil scandal.
Nigeria is the 14th largest producer of tomatoes in the world, second in Africa – NIHORT
NIHORT has said that Nigeria is the world’s 14th largest producer of tomatoes, finishing second in the continent.
The Executive Director of the National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT), Dr. Abayomi Olaniyan has said that Nigeria is the world’s 14th largest producer of tomatoes, finishing second in the continent.
According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Dr. Olaniyan disclosed this during the inauguration of a one-week empowerment and training programme for 150 youths and women farmers on Telfairia (Ugwu vegetable) production and tomato value chain in Kwale, Ndokwa West Local Government Area of Delta State.
Despite producing 2.3 million metric tonnes of tomato annually, current national demand is estimated to be slightly higher at 3 million metric tonnes annually
What they are saying
Commenting on the subject matter, Dr. Olaniyan who was represented by the Director of research at the institute, Dr. Ephraim Nwanguma stated that: “Tomato is a profitable horticultural crop that provides income to farmers and agents involved in its production and marketing.
“Nigeria is the 14th largest producer of tomato in the world, second in Africa, but it is the 13th largest importer of tomato paste in the world and third in Africa.
“Nigeria currently produces 2.3 million metric tonnes against 1.8 million metric tonnes produced two years ago while the national demand is three million metric tonnes.
“Also, there is a high prospect in production of telfairia and marketing within and outside Nigeria.”
What you should know
- The recent production capacity of 2.3 million metric tonnes indicates an increase of 27.8%, from the corresponding figure recorded in 2018.
- Despite being one of the largest producers of tomatoes in the world, Nigeria is also one of the world’s net importers of tomato paste, placing 13th globally and 3rd in Africa.
- This fact was corroborated in a research by the Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition titled ‘’Landscape analysis of dried tomato production and market in Nigeria’’, which stated that over 45% of fresh tomato produced in Nigeria is lost due to poor handling practices and other logistics issues