China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), the contractor for the design and construction of the Lagos Blue Line Light Rail project, has announced that the Mile-2 to National Theatre section, which is Phase II and III of the Light Rail Project, is 98% completed.
This was revealed in a tweet by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor of Lagos State, Gboyega Akosile, after the inspection visit to the rail construction site by the Lagos State Debt Management Office and Security Exchange Commission on Friday.
The Lagos State Debt Management Office (DMO) today, inspected the ongoing Blue Line Light Rail project, which is being partly funded with N87.5 Billion Bond series, …. @jidesanwoolu pic.twitter.com/XVP2KBTUEV
— Gboyega Akosile (@gboyegaakosile1) November 20, 2020
Mr. Akosile stated that Mr. Olujimi Ige, the Leader of the Inspection team & PS Debt Management Office, expressed satisfaction with the status of work done on the rail project, noting that the project had been abandoned sometime in 2016, though there was hope that project would be restarted and ready for use soon.
The Engineers handling the project also stated that four stations had been completed, as well as other elements which include the tracks works, while work was still ongoing on the phase IV ( National Theatre to Marina) bridge works.
They explained that some areas of the project platform were elevated (Iganmu to Marina), while some were on ground in the middle of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway.
What you should know
It is important to note that the ongoing Blue Line Light Rail project is partly funded with N87.5 Billion Bond series.
One of the engineers working with CCECC on the project, Mr. John Zhao, had said in a tweet on 10th November that some achievements had been made on Marina-Mile 2 stations, including the oversea bridge, which is phase I of the Blue Line project.
He disclosed that the sea-crossing bridge between Piers #104-#114, Extra-long Bridge from Pier #26-#93 including the launch of simple support T-beams had been completed, while work was ongoing from Pier #0-#27 and Marina Terminal Station.
He also stated that the project, which has been on for years, was expected to play a key role in the state’s Rail Mass Transit, as the light Blue Rail Alignment would cross a total distance of 27km from Marina to Okokomaiko, and serve eleven (11) stations after completion.
Why this matters
With the population of Lagos State increasing year-on-year, the Blue Rail project is expected to alleviate traffic congestion and improve connectivity between Badagry and Lagos in a more efficient way that reduces travel.
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Buhari approves expansion of beneficiaries of N-Power, other NSIP programmes
President Buhari has approved the expansion of the number of beneficiaries of all programmes under the NSIP.
President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the expansion of all programmes under the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP)of the Government.
This disclosure was made by Sadiya Umar Farouq, the Honourable Minister of Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management & Social Development, while speaking with statehouse correspondent in Abuja today.
This development was tweeted by President Muhammadu Buhari via his official Twitter account today.
The tweet partly reads:
“President Muhammadu Buhari has graciously approved the expansion of all NSIP programmes:
- Increase of N-power programme beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000.
- Increase in Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP) beneficiaries by 1,000,000
- Increase in beneficiaries of Home Grown School Feeding Programme (HGSF) by 5,000,000.”
“President @MBuhari has graciously approved the expansion of all NSIP programmes:
-Increase of N-Power beneficiaries from 500,000 to 1,000,000.
-Increase in @geep_ng beneficiaries by 1,000,000
-Increase in beneficiaries of @NHGSFP by 5,000,000.”
— HM @FMHDSD, @Sadiya_farouq
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) December 1, 2020
What you should know
- Recall that on October 8, 2020, during the presentation of the 2021 Appropriation Bill, President Buhari disclosed that the National Social Investment Programmes (NSIP) would be funded with N420 billion in 2021, while the National Social Housing Programme (NISH) would be funded with N20 billion from the 2021 budget.
- President Buhari at the joint session of the National Assembly added that the FG expanded the National Social Register to include an additional 1 million Nigerians following the onset of coronavirus.
- He reiterated the importance of fiscal disbursements by the government to combat the economic impact of the pandemic on Nigerians, and also protect Nigerians and businesses from potential vulnerabilities.
FG gives N1.02 trillion concessions to businesses in 4 years
The FG has disclosed giving import duty waivers, concessions, and grants of about N1.024 trillion in the past 4 years.
The Federal Government disclosed on Monday that it has conceded about N1.024 trillion import duty waivers, concessions, and grants to drive economic growth in the country in the past 4 years.
This disclosure was made by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Mrs Zainab Ahmed, at a one-day sensitization seminar on the Automated Import Duty Exemption Certificate, held at the Nigeria Customs Training College, Kano.
According to a report from News Agency of Nigeria, the Minister, represented by the Kano State Commissioner of Finance, Alhaji Shehu Na-Allah Kura, said between 2011 and 2015, the FG had conceded about N1.024tn through the grant of four types of incentives including import duty waivers, VAT waivers, pioneer status non-oil companies, and pioneer status PPT on oil companies.
Ahmed said, “For the records, between 2011 and 2015, the government conceded about N1.024 trillion through the grant of only four types of incentives namely import duty waivers, concessions; grants, N503.587billion, Value Added Tax (VAT) waiver, N227.789billion, Pioneer status on non-oil companies, N73.511billion; and Pioneer status on oil companies, N219.545billion.”
While pointing out that the government also granted approximately N341.94 billion waivers between August 2017 and August 2019, the Finance Minister said the basis for providing these incentives was to stimulate growth and overall development.
She disclosed that the granting of the incentives was not discretionary but was targeted at sectors with kinetic capacity for high impact multiplier outcomes on the overall economy. These sectors include agriculture, power, cement, solid minerals, utilization of Nigerian gas, Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), modular refineries and so on.
She also said that with the scope of the requests for waivers and concessions, expanding has brought about the need to have in place modern technology to drive its administration.
She said, “Up till March 2020, we processed the grant of the IDEC incentives annually. The process was quite cumbersome, tedious, time consuming and it was beset with undue human interface with its attendant challenges. The automated IDEC portal will deliver benefits online with the ministry’s Strategic Revenue Growth Initiative (SRGI).”
According to her, the FG created the new platform for administering and easing the process of acquiring import duty exemption certificate (IDEC) in the country, as part of efforts to provide incentives to stimulate industrialization and economic growth and promote the ease of doing business in the country.
What you should know
- The granting of import duty waivers, concessions and grants by the Federal Government to investors are part of measures attract investments into the economy and stimulate economic growth.
- IDEC is a tool used by the FG in achieving some of its fiscal policies of increasing economic activities and employmentS in certain target sectors.
- However, part of the problem of this policy is that it has allegedly been a subject of abuse by some top government officials. The automated IDEC is expected to guarantee ease of doing business and ensure effective tracking of fiscal incentives that have been granted and ensure accountability.
President Buhari sends Finance Bill 2020 to Reps
2020 Finance Bill has been sent to the House of Representatives by President Buhari, for consideration and passage.
President Muhammadu Buhari has sent the 2020 Finance Bill to the House of Representatives for consideration and passage.
This was disclosed by the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila, when he was reading out Buhari’s letter at the opening of Tuesday’s plenary.
The bill proposes various amendments to existing tax laws and financial regulations in response to the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy and the current recession.
— House of Reps NGR (@HouseNGR) December 1, 2020
Details later …