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Nigeria spends N2.7tn on infrastructure

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Nigeria invests on infrastructure

Nigeria invests on infrastructure

The High Level Stakeholders Retreat on Public Private Partnership (PPP) has heard that Nigeria spent N2.7 trillion on infrastructure development in the last three years.

At the meeting in Uyo on Friday, Ms Imeh Okon, the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Infrastructure, of the sum, N100 billion has been injected into rail projects.

“What we have done as a government is to go back to the 25-year Master Plan on the rail sector. All what you are seeing right now is in terms of rail infrastructure as a result of the Master plan that was on ground.”

She said that the essence of the retreat was to bring stakeholders together to deliberate and develop on policies that would be suitable for the country.

She said that the Federal Government was committed to the development of infrastructure in the country, adding that infrastructural development would enhance growth.

The Presidential Aide, however, said that revenue generation was a major challenge since the country depended on oil for revenue and the price of oil was not stable in the international market.

“The challenge we have seen is revenue; because we are largely dependent on oil to generate revenue and the price of oil has affected government spending.

“So, we are going to partner with the private sector to develop most of our priority infrastructure projects.”

Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Acting Director-General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), noted that infrastructure deficit was the major challenge to the nation’s development.

According to him, increase in infrastructure will boost prosperity, growth and peace in the country.

Izuwah said that the Ibom Deep Seaport being a PPP project would come to reality on or before April 2019.

“Ibom Deep Seaport is a PPP project that is going to bring 2.5 billion dollars of investment and change the landscape of infrastructure in the country.

“It will have solutions to traffic congestion in Lagos port because those goods that normally go to Lagos will come here.

“I can assure you before April, the contract for Ibom Deep Seaport will be signed and the approved consortium will start immediately.

“The President is committed to developing infrastructure, without infrastructure, we cannot have inclusive growth and development.

“The stakeholders conference is to re-define our strategies and create investment to develop infrastructure across all parts of Nigeria,” Izuwah said.

In his opening remarks, Mr Gabriel Aduda, the Permanent Secretary, Political and Economic Affairs, Office of the Secretary to the Federal Government, said that the retreat was organised to discuss infrastructure improvement delivery framework in Nigeria.

Aduda added that the retreat was also put together to examine the legal and operational framework for infrastructure development in the country.

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Buhari speaks on INEC, elections, as details of meeting with EU observers emerge

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President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari

President Muhammadu Buhari, Tuesday, in Abuja told the European Union Observer Mission (EOM) to Nigeria’s elections starting in February, that he was impressed by the preparations made by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, and was optimistic that the electoral body would deliver on its mandate of a credible poll.

Receiving the EOM, led by the Chief Observer and member of the European Parliament, Maria Arena, at the State House, the President said he had listened earlier in the day, to the INEC Chairman, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, when he briefed the National Council of State.

He said, “I am happy and impressed with the briefing he gave. I hope that the confidence he exuded and the intellect he brought to bear on the Report will be justified at the end of the day.”

The President told the EU delegation that Nigeria had grown its electoral system incrementally, getting better, year after year.

“Having participated in elections four times in the past, I would say that since 2015, technology has helped the credibility of our elections,” he said.

Buhari said that Nigeria with over 250 cultural groups across religions and ethnic groups, with each group canvassing for identity and primacy in the affairs of the nation, “patriotism demands that we identify the nation’s best interest and go with it.”

He stressed that the governing All Progressives Congress, APC, administration had the good sense of identifying the national interest to include security, peace and stability, improved economy, jobs creation and the campaign against corruption, noting that the party was not wrong in 2015, and is not wrong going into the election this year with the same issues in its campaigns.

The President thanked the delegation for taking interest in Nigeria’s elections, and in the affairs of the nation generally.

The EOM team, accompanied by Ambassador Ketil Karlsen, Head, European Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, said that the EU had observed every election in Nigeria since 1999, and had come here again for the next one, following an invitation by INEC.

The delegation promised impartiality and neutrality in the monitoring of the elections.

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Housemaid exposed her boss for allegedly trying to use her for ritual

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A housemaid, Mary Mulembe reported her madam a business woman named Bridget Banda and a single mother of one to the police of ritual activities after she overheard her over the phone planning to sacrifice her life and a fellow worker.

Officers later followed up the issue yesterday morning and got the woman arrested after shocking the police with some fetish items found at her residence in Kabulonga area of Lusaka, Zambia. Believed to be used for rituals.

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Dambazau Blasts Ex-Igp Idris, accuses him of severing Police-Interior Ministry relations …Makes case for community policing

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Abdulrahman Dambazau

Abdulrahman Dambazau

Minister of Interior Lt-Gen Abdulrahman Dambazau (retd) has taken a swipe at the immediate past Inspector General of Police, IGP Abubakar Idris, accusing him of severing the relationship between the Nigeria Police Force and its supervising ministry during his reign.

Speaking when the acting IGP Mohammed Adamu paid him a courtesy visit, the minister lamented that out of the 25 memoranda the ministry took to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for deliberations, none involved the police under ex-IGP Idris.

He said he had urged IGP Adamu and his management team to look into the lingering issue of community policing, promising to provide all the assistance he needed to succeed as IGP.

“I want to first congratulate you on this position you are elevated to and add my prayers that God grants you success. I also want to appreciate your coming here on a courtesy visit, recognising the significance of the Ministry of Interior in terms of its supervisory mandate to the police and other agencies including its mandate in terms of internal security and public safety,” the minister said.

“We are happy that you took this step because since early 2016, shortly after I came in as Minister in November 2015, I had a very cordial relationship with the then IGP, Solomon Arase, but when Arase left, there was the severance of relations between the police and the Ministry of Interior.

“It was not completely though because most of our dealings in terms of internal security and public safety were with the DIG Operations and because we must do everything possible to ensure that we not only carry our supervisory mandate in terms of policy but also to ensure that police as an institution does not suffer,” he noted.

Speaking further, the minister said: “We are indeed glad that you came in with an absolutely different idea regarding this relationship. Throughout three years, we have presented more than 25 memoranda to FEC that have to do with policies concerning the country, but none of them involved the police except few that came from Police Academy, Wudil.

“So, this is the kind of thing that we must be able to avoid because you need the parent ministry to represent you at the FEC. That related with us here. We need to work together with the kind of security challenges we are experiencing in this country as you mentioned. I will appreciate the idea and concept of community policing. There are so many things in terms of policy you can drive from here.

“Ours stop at making policies because the implementation is absolutely yours. We will not interfere in that area at all. We have capable and experienced hands in the ministry that can make lots of inputs, particularly in this democratic environment that you need this process. I want to reassure that this ministry will give you all the support you need to succeed.

“We will not pretend about it; there are security challenges in the country, but they must be tackled and we must put heads together to ensure we succeed in providing for Nigerians, the security they deserve. We do hope that this is just the beginning of our working together to ensure that you succeed,” he promised.

Speaking earlier, the acting IGP pleaded for forgiveness, promising that, having retraced their steps, they would not want to be left out of the activities of the ministry.

“It is really a privilege to be received today. Since my appointment as the new acting IGP, my thought was to first visit the Ministry of Interior which is the parent ministry where Nigeria Police belongs. I have not gone anywhere on courtesy call except this one and now that I have been here; I am now free to go to other places.

“We are aware of the fact that most of the policy issues concerning police operation come from the Ministry of Interior. We don’t want to be left out. We want to be deeply involved in the activities of the ministry. We want the minister to know that we are 100 per cent ready to participate in every activity of the ministry that involves security.

“We do have challenges involving security within the country. They are challenges that can be surmounted and we can easily overcome them with the full support of the parent ministry. If we were not participating in the past the way we should, we have now retraced our steps to return and do the needful for the benefit of the country and benefit of everybody. That is the reason for our coming,” he said.

In his entourage included seven deputy inspectors generals of police (DIGs) and an assistant inspector general of police among others.

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