The Federal Government is working towards auctioning its bitumen block in the third quarter of this year.
The Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, disclosed this in a statement issued by his media aide on Tuesday, after an enquiry of the Australian High Commissioner, John Donnelly.
Adegbite explained that the ministry was still gathering data on some of the bitumen fields, though they were edging close to completion. He added that there were ample opportunities for investors in the local development of bitumen.
He said, “A lot of people are interested in bitumen which is coming from both local and foreign investors. However, we are still acquiring data in some of the fields and once the data is in, we will go for auctioning in the third quarter.”
He added that the ministry was working on raising the quality of barite produced in the country to the internationally acceptable standard, known as American Petroleum Institute (API) standard.
“The ministry had contracted a consultant to help raise standard in the local production of barite to ensure that the oil industry players begin to use barite produced in Nigeria as against importing from other countries.
There is ample opportunity for investors in the barite segment of the sector. We are also working on the local production of barite. Barite is a critical weighting material in drilling fluids used in the oil industry.
We have a lot of barite but the issue is that it is not produced to API standards. However, we are putting a system in place which would be ready to launch in about July. We have got the millers who can produce barite to API standard. Hence we will be able to compete with foreign ones and it would save Nigeria a lot of foreign exchange in import substitution,” he added.
Adegbite also said that Ajaokuta steel plant would be a game-changer for the country when fully functional, revealing that about 13 other minerals were required in the production of steel.
He noted that Ajaoukta steel was meant to bring development to the 13 other minerals which would have presented opportunities for investors, and created thousands of jobs for Nigerians.
Donnelly expressed his country’s willingness to work with Nigeria to develop the mining sector.
He said, “Mining is such a long term venture. It takes about 15 to 20 years for a particular deposit to be identified, worked out and scoped out before you arrange the finances and start to develop and go into production. So we are a very patient people in the mining sector.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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