The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has stated that the Federal Government is committed to finishing the Lagos-Ibadan expressway. He further said that the drop in crude oil prices cannot be a barrier to its completion.
Fashola disclosed this in an interactive town hall meeting with stakeholders at Ogere in Ogun State over the weekend.
The Minister revealed that Section I of the project was the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and expansion of the Lagos-Ibadan dual carriageway of about 43.6km commencing from the old-toll gate at Oregun/Ikosi-Ketu Lagos and terminating at Shagamu Interchange in Ogun State.
He added that the second phase was 84km, starting from Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan, and was being handled by RCC.
“The rehabilitation, construction, and expansion of Lagos- Ibadan dual carriageway, construction of 2nd Niger bridge and the rehabilitation, construction, and expansion of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriageway are strategic infrastructure development projects of Mr. President.
“These Highway projects are financed with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), funded from the Sovereign Wealth Fund and they are National Priority Highway projects,” he said.
He urged contractors to finish the work on time, as it would help ease travelers’ discomfort as the year comes to an end.
“Your contractors should remember that you do this work for the people and that you must be passionate in doing it by easing the trauma people go through while on the road,” he added.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported earlier in the month that Fashola said the Ministry’s priority in its 2021 budget was to complete already ongoing road and bridge projects across the nation.
Nairametrics also reported that the Federal Executive Council had approved N87 billion to upscale the country’s road infrastructure in the North-Central, South-West, Middle belt, and South-South geo-political zones.
Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa to dip to $41 billion in 2021- Report
Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa are likely to decline by 6.8% to $41 billion in 2021 as against $44 billion achieved in 2020.
Remittance flows to sub-Saharan Africa have been projected to decline by 6.8% to $41 billion in 2021, from $44 billion achieved in 2020.
This was disclosed in the Foresight Africa 2021 report, a publication of African Growth Initiatives of the Brookings Institution, a nonprofit organization devoted to independent research and policy solutions.
According to the report:
- “The pandemic has significantly dampened new migration flows worldwide due to widespread travel restrictions, fear of the virus, and weak job prospects. In many host countries, employment levels for foreign workers have fallen, invariably more so than for native-born workers.
- “A significant number of unemployed migrant workers are returning to their countries of origin, which are now facing the challenge of accommodating hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of returnees, including through the provision of health care, housing, jobs, and financial support.
- “In the long run, migration flows from Africa are expected to increase significantly, driven by income gaps, the rapidly growing working-age population, and climate change.
- “Notably, the average income in high-income OECD countries is over 50 times the average income in low-income countries. At recent (pre-COVID-19) growth rates, it would take over a hundred years to close that gap; the pandemic is likely to worsen it.”
What you should know
- The cost of sending money appears to be quite high and might need to be reduced. For example, the fees paid to remittance service providers to send money to Africa average nearly 9% – the highest rate in the world and three times the Sustainable Development Goal target for remittance costs of 3%.
- Also, most of the popular digital platforms during the crisis have had their fees reviewed upward in recent months.
- No doubt, a decision to lower the burden of sending remittances would maximize remittance inflows which are important sources of financing for development in most countries in sub-Saharan Africa.
- It is important that the policymakers work assiduously to make sure remittance service providers do not face difficulties in partnering with correspondent banks via strategic collaborations with post offices, micro-finance banks and other financial institutions, Telcos, etc. to remove entry barriers and increase competition in the remittance markets
- It is suggested that the global community should consider creating a non-profit remittance platform to provide a one-stop solution to keep remittances flowing and leverage them for development financing for the benefit of millions of poor people in Africa and the rest of the world.
One killed, 15 kidnapped by pirates on Turkish ship off Gulf of Guinea
A Turkish ship was attacked off Nigeria’s Gulf of Guinea coast, killing an Azerbaijani citizen, and kidnapping 15 sailors, with reports stating the attack, happened way offshore compared to other attacks.
This was disclosed in a report by Reuters on Sunday, as the attack happened on Saturday and has been confirmed by the Turkish government.
The Liberian-flagged vessel was headed to Cape Town from Lagos when it was attacked 160 kilometers (100 miles) off Sao Tome island on Saturday, maritime reports showed.
The ship which was Liberian Flagged was on its way to Cape Town from Lagos, was attacked 160 kilometers off Sao Tome, crew members added that the attack was well planned as the pirates stormed the Ship’s protective citadel.
The Gabonese government has confirmed the Ship has reached its waters as 3 Sailors remain on the ship, Mozart,
“The ship is in our waters and our sailors are assisting a few nautical miles from Port Gentil,” Gabon’s presidency spokesman Jessye Ella Ekogha, said.
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan’s office said Erdogan spoke with the fourth captain of the ship, Furkan Yaren, and assured them that he will “rescue of kidnapped ship personnel”.
Furkan Yaren, disclosed that the Ship had been “cruising blindly” towards Gabon as Pirates damaged most of the ship’s controls leaving only radar working.
Nigerian Navy commander, Edward Yeibo, revealed that Nigeria was not aware of the attack as to when it happened but would seek more details about it.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported that West Africa’s Gulf of Guinea recorded an unprecedented increase in piracy attacks in 2020, according to the International Maritime Bureau in its 2020 Annual Piracy report.
- The IMB reported that 135 crew members were kidnapped from their vessels in 2020, with the Gulf of Guinea accounting for over 95% kidnapped. A record of 130 crew members was kidnapped in 22 separate incidents.
- The FG launched the $195 million Deep Blue Project which is a NIMASA initiative aimed at the prevention of illegal activities in the maritime domain. Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi stated that all equipment needed for the Deep Blue Project will be ready by March 2021.
- Maersk, the world’s largest shipping company, has called for military intervention in the piracy problem in the Gulf of Guinea, which has made the gulf the new global headquarters for piracy.
FG refunds Bayelsa State N27 billion as amount spent on federal projects
The Bayelsa Government has received N27 billion approved as refund by FG for federal projects executed by the state.
The Federal Government has refunded N27 billion to Bayelsa State as the money the State government spent on federal projects since 2005 to date.
This was disclosed by the Bayelsa State government on Sunday, as it said the amount is not up to the N38 billion approved by the FG as refunds for federal road projects.
State Governor, Douye Diri said that the state only received an N27 billion cash refund, meanwhile, the Technical Adviser on Treasury and Accounts to the governor, Timipre Seipulo, disclosed that the debt instrument issued by the federal government had a tenor of between four to five years maturity.
Seipulo added that the refund was implemented such that the states would wait between four to five years to access the full amount approved by the FG, therefore States could only get discounted refunds from the FG.
He added that the N27 billion amount was discounted 71% from the total N38 billion expected value.
What you should know
Nairametrics reported in November 2020, that Promissory notes worth N148.141billion were approved by the Senate as a refund to Bayelsa, Cross River, Ondo, Osun, and the Rivers States for projects executed on behalf of the Federal Government.
The amount due to the five states was N148.14billion and broken down as follows:
- Bayelsa was allotted N38.40billion
- Cross River was allotted N18.39billion
- Ondo was allotted N7.82billion
- Osun was allotted N4.57billion
- Rivers was allotted N78.95billion
Nairametrics also reported that the Governor of Rivers State, Nyesom Wike, stated that the Federal Government refunded the South-South State the sum of N78 billion, representing the amount spent on federal roads by the state.