Historical Facts on the Abuja-Kaduna Railway Project As Buhari Commissions…

The Modernisation programme commenced in 2006, with the signing of agreement between Nigeria and the CCECC for construction of a new standard gauge rail network Lagos-Kanoand Port Harcourt – Maiduguri and the Lagos CCalabar lines to replace the existing narrow guage lines, at a cost of  $8.3 billion, over a 25- year period.

*The counterpart funding was faulty on the part of Nigeria, while it contravened the law.
*The government of late Umaru Musa Yar’Adua discovered that the contract did not follow due process and that the project was inflated.
*Yar’Adua visited china and re-negotiated and re-scoped the entire project. Partners agreed to first, get the services back by rehabilitating the two narrow guage lines first then construct the standard guage lines thereafter. The standard guage project was segmented and the abuja-kaduna component was added. The completion date of rehabilitation of Lagos-Kano and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri lines was December 2011. Rehabilitation work started while a Chinese delegation came to Nigeria to commence on-site assessment and preparatory work on first phase of the now segmented standard gauge Abuja-Kaduna line in July 2008 and to finalise it in 2009. When Yar Adua died, Jonathan rescoped the Lagos-Calabar line by adding Otuoke to it.

*Contract for the Abuja-Kaduna standard rail project was awarded in 2010 but the actual construction did not start till 2011. It is an 874 million dollar project with the Exim Bank of China’s facility of $500 million, while Nigeria was to pay the rest. The Project was scheduled for completion in 2014.

*But Jonathan’s administration reneged on counterpart funding of the project, leading to extension of completion period. It was typical of the Jonathan’s government. Almost all capital projects inherited by the administration were not adequately funded in spite of their strategic importance to the nation, and in spite of the large amount of monies Nigeria made from the high price of crude oil throughout his regime.

*Jonathan did not initiate the project, not to talk of completing it. He indeed, inherited it and had the opportunity of completion to take the glory, but he blew the opportunity.

*When Buhari came in 2015, there were outstanding payments which stalled the project. Buhari paid off and worked commenced and is now completed due largely to the seriousness Buhari attached to it.

*The Second phase of betrayal of terms of agreement befell the Rail Modernisation project, Lagos-Ibadan dual track standard gauge line. The contract was awarded in 2012 and to be completed in 2015. Federal Executive Council on July 18th, 2012 approved the sum of $1.457 billion as the project contract sum on 36 months completion period. The project was abandoned by Jonathan after 13 billion naira was appropriated in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 budgets with nothing to show for the sums.

 

Post authored and sponsored by the Buhari Media Support Group

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Education Reforms: No Intention To Retrench Workers – Aregbesola… Commissions E-Library, Lecture Hall In OSSCE

By Waheed Adekunle, Osogbo

The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has once again cleared the air on the speculations that the ongoing restructuring, reclassification and reforms being made in all the state owned tertiary institutions were aimed to retrench the workforce.

Aregbesola also disclaimed the insinuations that the idea behind the initiatives was to witch-hunt the opposition, stressing that on no account does the government plans to inflict pains on any of its workers.

Governor Aregbesola made the denouncement while addressing people during the official commissioning of N140m E-Library and N34.4m Ultra-Modern Lecture Hall of Osun State College of Education, OSSCE, Ila-Orangun.

The Governor who described the insinuations making the round as a total falsehood, baseless and unfounded, said the steps were taken to ensure sanity, competence, efficiency and effectiveness in the education system.

The state helmsman who attributed the immense achievements made through the initiatives as unparalleled since the creation of the state, said no effort would be spared at taking the state to an enviable heights never known in history.

The Governor who attributed tertiary education to what he regarded as golden necessity, said no effort could be too much in providing quality, functional and quantitative education by the government.

Aregbesola said the reforms and restructuring measures put in place by his administration has brought about the needed change, just as competence and effectiveness had been restored to tertiary education.

Aregbesola recounted some of the innovations brought to education by his administration, saying the records had been successfully set right at giving the education its best and rightful place in governance.

The Governor said tertiary education has become a central point of discuss in his administration since assumption of office, saying no going back at ensuring the churning-out of competent and competitive graduates in all the state owned tertiary institutions.

He warned the mischief makers to stop portraying the state in bad light, affirming that no amount of propaganda would weigh down his government in its focus at giving birth to deserved quality education.

According to him, “the government has no intention of witch-hunting or victimising anyone for his or her religious, political or ideological leaning because our intention was the bring up the quality of the lecturers through the reforms.

“What we are trying to do is to ensure everyone is qualified and fits into the bigger picture of the holistic education we are providing in the state.

Governor Aregbesola also debunked the rumours that his government had concluded plans to close-down the institution, stressing that nothing as such was ever aimed.

He said with the reforms being carried out, there is no doubt in the fact that the step would of course, bring up the quality of the lecturers through the training and retraining mechanism being put in place.

The Governor said his government has no intention of witch-hunting or victimizing anyone for his or her religious, political or ideological leaning, reiterating that what the government was trying to do is to ensure that everyone is qualified and fits into the bigger picture of the holistic education being provided in the state.

Governor Aregbesola said the purpose was to champion the right cause and ensure that the academic institutions are capable of self-examination.

According to him, “An academic institution should be capable of self-examination leading to self-regeneration.
“It is our firm belief that a reasonable measure of freedom must exist in any academic community to be able to bring out the best in the faculty and students.

“I am a product of academic freedom and I cannot therefore poison the well from which I drank.

“However, freedom carries responsibility. This responsibility begins with critical self-examination. An unexamined life, Socrates warned us, is not worth living.

“A critical mass must emerge from every institution, nudging it towards self-redefinition and self-correction, in order to retain its relevance and not atrophy.

“This is at the background of certain reforms being carried out in all the educational institutions in this state.

He noted that the existing institutions were also being restructured to have less fresh intakes but include retraining for teachers as part of its core mission.

He said, “Though we still need more teachers than are presently employed nationally because the absorption capacity has waned just as this has led to many graduates looking for employment in other sectors.

“We must also improve the quality of our teachers, if we want to improve the quality of education we are giving to the young ones.

“This is why the institutions are being restructured to have less fresh intakes but include retraining for teachers as part of its core mission.

“They will also organize remedial instructions for secondary school leavers preparing for SSSCE retake and admission into higher institutions, as this initiative would put to rest the false, unfounded and malicious speculation that the government is closing down these schools.

Governor Aregbesola who described digital library as a special library with a focused collection of digital objects that can include texts, visual materials, audio materials, video materials, called on the management and students of the institution to put the facilities into good use.

“It is my greatest hope that this facility will benefit the faculty and the students population in the quest to make this institution a centre of excellence”, he said.

In his welcome address, the Provost of the institution, Professor Isaac Olayinka Oyewole, who commended Governor Rauf Aregbesola on his selfless contributions towards rebuilding and repositioning the education sector, saying he is the first Governor to achieve such giant strides in infrastructural development in the state.

Professor Oyewole disclosed that the modern e-library building was constructed under Tertiary Education Trust Fund Special Library Grant 2010 at the cost of N140m

Professor Oyewole pointed out that the new library was designed to be able to accommodate 2000 users at a time, emphasizing that with the new transformation, the institution can conveniently boast of housing the modern digital library unit.

He said the new library building was constructed to fulfill the need for more reading space to complement the existing one, nothing that the steps was also taken in fulfillment of the greater demand of the NCCE Accreditation Panel.

According to him, “the edifice houses e-library section with 300 computer units, one big comuter server, 5KVA inverter, a local Area Network that connects all the units of the library together.

“Currently it is equipped with reading tables and chairs to seat about 1000 users at a time. It also houses 25,000 textbooks and reference materials with about 9,000 academic journals.

“It contains 12,000 past student projects and about five year old newspapers and magazines.

Professor Oyewole further noted that the new library can accommodate a reprographic unit where users can make photocopies of document at moderate charges, explaining that the e-library was used to conduct Joint Admission and Matriculation Board, JAMP Computer Based Test.

Professor Oyewole further revealed that the newly constructed lecture hall is a 2010/2011 merger TETFund intervention to cater for the poor accommodation for lectures, hence, helps to complement the existing lecture halls in the college.

He said the lecture hall was designed to accommodate 500 students at a time, saying the new hall was constructed under TETFUND Special Grant at the cost of N34,497,886.50.

The Provost therefore appealed to the state government not to relent in supporting the school especially in some of the challenging areas which include poor road network and dilapidated staff quarter.

Earlier, the Chairman, Governing Council, OSSCE, Mr. Niyi Akande, who described Governor Aregbesola as a true democrat, said Aregbesola has been using his noble discretion in ensuring that the college achieves a lot of development within the shortest possible time.

He assured the state of the institution’s commitment in achieving the transition of the college to a degree-awarding institution.

Enumerating some of the council’s achievements, Mr. Akande said the council has performed tremendously in rescuing the college’s land from trespassers, cleansing students’ admission processes, discouraging exploitation of students, expanding opportunities for improved Internally Generated Revenue of the college.

He noted that the construction of the ongoing classroom-blocks and offices will greatly facilitate the college’s transition to a degree-awarding institution as being inspired.

Mr. Akande lamented over some of the challenges facing the institution, saying for the last seven years, the college has not been able to hold any graduation ceremony because the results of the examinations taken by its students over those years are not released.

“This council right from the first day it visited the college on June 14, 2013, saw its job well cut for meaningful physical development of the institution as the decadence observed in the traditional ways of doing things had changed.

“Our belief was that in the wake of such attitudinal change could we break the prevailing culture of impunity which was holding the college by the jugular, thereby choking it so much that the college had become comatose at the time of our appointment.

“We thank Mr. Governor for his understanding of our position and for lending us a shoulder to cry upon during the endless crises we have gone through in the last three years in the service of the college”, he added.

Mr. Akande urged the state government to help the institution in addressing the fundamental problems facing it.

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Gov. Ganduje Commissions Road Projects, Calls On Kano Citizens To Pay Taxes Duly

Kano state Governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje yesterday (Thursday) commissioned the reconstructed Yusuf and Kwairanga roads in Nassarawa GRA, Kano metropolis with a call on citizens of the state to pay taxes duly to enable the government to execute more developmental projects.

A statement by Salihu Tanko Yakasai, Director General, Media and Communications to the Governor, said governor Ganduje especially called on wealthy individuals to pay ground rent for their mansions, as well as other taxes to the government promptly, pointing out that is no longer feasible for his administration to rely on the Federation Account.

The governor explained that a sizeable number the most of the projects being executive by his administration are funded with internally generated revenue, lamenting that since he assumed office last year, the state’s Federal allocation has dropped by 60 percent.

He stressed that the only option of the government is to source money by taxing the rich in order to serve the poor, adding that without alternative sources of funds, the state government can hardly pay its workers salaries punctually and execute viable projects.

On the Kwairanga road, Governor Ganduje announced that government spent N199 million of tax payer’s money to renovate the road and three others adjacent ones, expressing satisfaction that the contractor has done very qualitative work.

He pointed out that Yusuf road was neglected for about three years since the initial award of the contract, maintaining that his administration re-awarded it and completed the project within a short period of three months.

The governor also inspected ongoing renovation of Zaria road, which was awarded by immediate past government and continued by present administration at the cost of N5billion.

He also inspected the laying of asphalt along the sides of Ado Bayero flyover, along Zaria road, which was awarded not too long ago by the state government in order to ease traffic congestion in the area.

In related development, Governor Ganduje has commissioned two combined harvesters and Wheat cleaning, grading and sorting machines at Maganda store, purchased at the cost of N10 million and N20 million respectively, for the benefit of wheat farmers in the state.

The governor said that the facilities would assist farmers to minimize loss of produce, adding that the machines would equally add value to their farm output in local and international markets.

He noted that due to the support given to wheat farmers by his government, the market price of the commodity has appreciated, recalling that present N200 million was set aside by the state government to purchase excess wheat from the farmers in order to stabilize its price.

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2500 Jobs Created As Elrufai Commissions State Traffic Agency [Photos]

No less than 2,500 jobs was created by the Kaduna State government on Tuesday with the commissioning of the Kaduna State Traffic and Environmental Law Enforcement Agency, KASTELEA.

The commissioning of the agency follows the disbandment of the Directorate of Road Traffic Services in the state.

Governor Nasir El Rufai commissioned the agency with himself adorned in the uniform designed for the outfit.

Check out more photos…

 

 

 

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Governor Sani Bello Commissions Completed Baddegi-Katcha Road Project [Photos]

By Abdullberqy U. Ebbo
Niger State governor, Sani Bello has commissioned the completed the Baddegi-Katcha road project.

The completion of the road is in line with the governor’s earlier resolve to of his administration to work towards completing key abandoned projects relevant to the prosperity of the state.

The Baddegi-Katcha road is one of such roads that was left uncompleted by the previous administration.

Bu upon assuming office, the governor made funds available for the contractors  to enable them complete the project.

He reiterated that his administration would not allow projects meant for the people of the state to be abandoned irrespective of the administration that started it.

See photos below:
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Dogara Commissions Mobile Clinic For Abuja IDPs, Encourages Nigerians To Support Those In Need

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Yakubu Dogara, on Monday commissioned a mobile clinic at the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) camp in Wassa, Abuja.

It would be recalled that the Speaker first visited the Wassa IDP to camp to donate relief materials on January 7, and it was during this visit that the IDPs requested for a facility which would be equipped to cater to their most pressing health needs.

The Speaker, in his address, lauded the efforts of Capt. Hosa Okunbo and encouraged other citizens to reach out and support IDP’s and the less privileged with whatever they can.

He also urged people in positions of authority to leverage on their personal relationships to provide urgently required facilities for the people, which may take too long to be provided by government.

“I was here in January to donate relief materials, and during my interaction with the IDPs, they expressed the need for a clinic”, he said. “I immediately got to work on it, but was told by the relevant agencies that it would be subjected to a long process as it would have to be deliberated upon, captured in the budget, and there would be another long process before it is finally implemented. I thought of the difficult terrain and how remote the area is, and realized the urgency; if a woman here falls into labour, before reaching Apo or even Garki, she most probably would have delivered in the car.”

“So I reached out to my personal contacts and brought up the discussion, and what we have here today is the result of that decision”, he concluded.

The Speaker has been very dedicated to the cause of Internally Displaced Persons in the country, and even travelled to Edo state by road in February to worship at the IDP camp in the state. He is also sponsoring a bill to establish the North-East Development Commission, which he says is necessary to ensure that the people of the North-East are protected and empowered by law.

The event had in attendance members of the House Committee on Disaster Management led by the chairman, Hon. Jibrin Satumari and representatives of respective service chiefs, among others.

The clinic was donated by Capt. Hosa Okunbo, a private citizen and businessman, as a result of the Speaker’s sustained advocacy for supporting IDPs and improving the conditions in which they live.

In his address, the Chairman of the House Committee on Disaster Management, Hon. Satumari described the Speaker as the rare sort of politician who keeps his promises, saying that: “if all of us [politicians] could keep our promises to the people like the Speaker has done, it would be very good.”

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