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AfCFTA: UNECA says only 11 African countries have validated agreement

11 African countries have validated the AfCFTA agreement implementation strategies, according to UNECA



Africa's economic growth to drop by 4.1% in 2020, rebound by 5% in 2021 - UN

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) disclosed that 11 African countries have validated the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement implementation strategies, according to the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).

This was disclosed by Mrs Vera Songwe, UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary, UNECA, at the 39th session of the Committee of Experts on Wednesday.

READ: FG outlines steps to be taken by businesses to export to AfCFTA countries

The countries are Mauritania, Senegal, The Gambia, Guinea, Sierra Leone, Côte d’Ivoire, Togo, Niger, Cameroon, Zambia and Zimbabwe, she also added that countries in the drafting phase are: Algeria, Burkina Faso, Chad, Congo, Kenya, Namibia and Malawi.

She also listed countries that were in the inception phase and they include Nigeria, Tunisia, Guinea-Bissau, Benin, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Sudan, Tanzania, Botswana, Mozambique and Eswatini.

READ: AfCFTA: Promoting non-oil revenue will maximize agreement for Nigeria – NESG

What you should know

  • The AfCFTA came into force on January 1 and as at February, 54 of the 55 African Union Member States had signed on.
  • Also, the UNECA head said 25 countries had signed up to the Debt Service Suspension Initiative (DSSI) with potential savings equal to 0.71 per cent of the 2019 Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
  • PriceWaterCoopers Nigeria says that the Covid-19 pandemic could pose a risk to African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement. It also said that African nations and relevant stakeholders could also turn the agreement into an opportunity for stronger collaboration if certain policies are pursued quickly.

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Sanwo-Olu says Lagos rail projects will cost over N100 billion

The physical construction of phase 1 has moved from about 55% completion to about 93% completion.



Hoodlums not Police killed bystander - Lagos State Govt., Lagos State Governor presents Budget Estimates of N1.155 trillion to legislators

The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said that the rail line projects being constructed by the state government will cost more than ₦100 billion.

This is as the Governor revealed that his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode, did not fund the project.

This disclosure was made by the Governor while appearing on a Channels Television programme, Sunday Politics, in Lagos on Sunday. He said that since his administration came in, the physical construction of phase 1 has moved from about 55% completion to about 93% completion.

What the Governor of Lagos State is saying

Sanwo-Olu said, “I don’t criticize my predecessor, but indeed for whatever planning and for whatever reasons, he never funded it. So when we came in the last two years, the contractor has since significantly moved from about 55 per cent; now we are about 93, 94 per cent in terms of the physical construction of phase 1.”

On the question about the cost of the rail projects being constructed by the state government, the governor said, “It’s a lot of money. It is well over N100 billion to be honest with you. It is largely government funding but you know we have to use what is called creative financing.’’

The disclosure by Sanwo-Olu is coming 3 days after he flagged off the ‘red line’ rail project which, when completed, has the capacity to commute at least one million persons daily.

During the ground-breaking ceremony for the construction, the governor explained that the 37-km Rail Mass Transit will traverse from Agbado to Marina, noting that it would become operational by the last quarter of 2022.

Since efficient transportation is the backbone of any economy, we are happy to be committing this investment in our transport infrastructure, so that our people can meet their daily targets and aspirations.

This all-important transport project we are all gathered to witness today represents a major step in this direction,” the governor said during the event held at the proposed site of the Ikeja Train Station.

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FG gives completion date for Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki road project

The government said the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the expressway will be completed within 9 to 10 months.



AfDB's Akinwumi Adesina and Ekiti State Governor Kayode Fayemi, AfDB to support Ekiti State road and airport upgrade

The Federal Government has given a timeline for the completion of the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonsoki expressway project.

The government said the reconstruction/rehabilitation of the expressway which was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari in November 2018, to resolve the Apapa traffic gridlock, will be completed within 9 to 10 months.

This disclosure was made by the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Mr Olukayode Popoola, during a joint inspection with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Saturday, April 17, 2021.

He assured that section one of the project would be completed within 3 weeks and thereafter opened for use.

Popoola said that the rehabilitation works, which had been divided into four sections to ease port congestion and gridlock at the Apapa axis, have section one which spans from Liverpool Round through Creek Road to Beachland near Sunrise and is about 10 km, while section two is 8.4 km and spans from Beachland to Cele Bus Stop.

Briefing the press after the inspection that also had in attendance the NPA Managing Director, Hadiza Usman, and the Hitech Construction Company, the subcontractor handling the project on behalf of the Dangote Group, Popoola said that grey areas such as accessibility due to trucks infringing on construction zone and disagreements on the pace of construction had been resolved.

What the Federal Controller of Works in Lagos is saying

Popoola said that the inspection gave the NPA team the opportunity to see for themselves that the contractor had been working progressively.

He said, “And this section that we are is the end of section one which we have completed. We will complete the remaining portion within the next three weeks, especially the asphalt work.

So within that three weeks, the outstanding works will be completed fully and then the section one will be made available to the motorists.

We (FMW) also complained about the trucks that are infiltrating the road while we are working. We have told them (NPA) that we cannot allow trucks to flock onto the section where we are working because they will disturb the contractor.

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So the trucks will now be monitored and controlled fully. Both the NPA security, the Nigerian Police, LASTMA and then the contractor’s representative will form a synergy to work out how they will be controlling the trucks that enter into the port road henceforth,’’ Popoola said.

He said the contractor is expected to move to site to start the construction works on section two of the project based on agreement adding that work on sections three and four had reached an advanced stage, with over 70% completion reached cumulatively.

Popoola said that the entire project would be completed and handed over within the next nine to 10 months, including section two which had just been awarded.

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The NPA Managing Director said that agreements were reached on timelines for construction works in order not to disrupt port operations with resolutions that the contractor worked during the weekends and on public holidays to ease congestion.

She said it was resolved that a corridor would be opened for trucks movement in addition to palliative works on some roads and another inspection in three weeks on section one.

The contract was awarded to AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd at the cost of N73bn under the Tax Credit Scheme of the Federal Government.

What you should know

  • It can be recalled that the Federal Government had earlier in the year said that the first phase of the Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki project, which has faced several delays, would be delivered in April 2021.
  • The government said that sections one, three and four of the project which was awarded to AG Dangote Construction Company Ltd at the cost of N73bn under the Tax Credit Scheme of the Federal Government, were almost ready and would be completed in April.
  • They had also said that section two of the project which spans from Beach Land bus stop area to Cele Bus Stop which was recently awarded would also be completed in December 2021.

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