Transportation University To Be Completed In September 2021 – FG

President Muhammadu Buhari was part of the groundbreaking ceremony of the University in December 2019.
FILE: President Muhammadu Buhari (centre) was part of the groundbreaking ceremony of the University in December 2019.

 

The Federal Government on Saturday said the Transportation University being constructed in Daura, Katsina State, will be ready by September 2021.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, made the disclosure in Katsina during an inspection of the project.

The $50m project is a corporate social responsibility project of CCECC, the Chinese company handling the nation’s rail project.

Mr Amaechi explained that the Chinese company just got approval from the Katsina State Government as proper construction commences next month.

The Minister added that the CCECC will provide the manpower and technical skills for five years before the federal government will be able to take over.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the university was done by President Muhammadu Buhari in December 2019, but the coronavirus pandemic stalled efforts on the project.

 

A Courtesy Call

Mr Amaechi visited Katsina on Saturday with a team of consultants to pay a courtesy call to Governor Aminu Masari.

The Minister thanked the Governor for his support in making the project see the light of day.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi paid a courtesy call to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on August 29, 2020.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi paid a courtesy call to Katsina State Governor, Aminu Masari, on August 29, 2020.

 

In his response, Governor Masari thanked the Federal Government for the decision to establish the Transport University in Daura.

According to the governor, opportunities that come with education are limitless.

He assured the Minister of his administration’s commitment to making sure that the State remains hospitable to the project’s success.

Located in Sandamu Local Government Area in Daura Emirate, the specialised university will help the country build a retinue of competent railway engineers who can maintain and improve on the country’s new rail infrastructure, Mr Amaechi has said.

Amaechi also noted that about 150 Nigerians are presently studying in China through University scholarships paid for by CCECC.

Allow Us Complete $5.3bn Loan From China – Amaechi Appeals To NASS

A file photo of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, during an interview on a Channels Television programme.

 

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Saturday appealed to the National Assembly to halt its questioning of Nigeria’s loan agreement with China.

Mr Amaechi said questions from the National Assembly is likely to deter China from extending credit to the country, especially the $5.3bn required for the Ibadan-Kano railway.

He made the remarks during an inspection tour of the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project which is being primarily financed by Chinese banks.

“They are not investigating corruption in construction,” Mr Amaechi said. “We want the National Assembly to allow us to get the loan for Ibadan to Kano, which is about $5.3bn.

“If you are telling the man who lent you money you don’t like the way he lent you, he won’t lend you any further.

“For this one (Lagos-Ibadan rail project), we have $1.6bn for which we are contributing about $200 and $300 million. But don’t forget, they have not finished paying, they can stop at any time.”

READ ALSO: Nothing Bad In Borrowing For Infrastructure – Lai Mohammed

The House of Representatives had raised an alarm about the nature of loans received from China which, it said, puts the country’s sovereignty into question in the case of a re-payment default.

However, Mr Amaechi has insisted the loans, which are primarily spent on capital projects built by Chinese companies, will benefit the country.

 

Touring Lagos-Ibadan Railway

On his Saturday inspection tour, Amaechi was accompanied by the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, and top management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.

According to a Channels Television correspondent, the inspection started from the mega station in Ebute Metta to Apapa in Lagos and moved all the way to Ibadan, Oyo state.

The ministers inspected the construction of all boarding stations and yards along the route.

Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi speaks to a Chinese construction official during an inspection tour of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project on August 15, 2020.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi speaks to a Chinese construction official during an inspection tour of the Lagos-Ibadan railway project on August 15, 2020.

 

Mr Amaechi expressed satisfaction at the pace of work, despite the delay caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

However, he did not specify when the project will be completed. “Let’s hope by January, this thing will be ready,” he said.

Mr. Amaechi said the Ibadan-Kano rail project is being delayed by the expected approval by the national assembly to acquire a loan for its execution.

On his part, the Minister of Information, Mr Lai Mohammed, said monies borrowed from China are being utilised judiciously for capital projects.

Meanwhile, Managing Director of the NRC, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, said skeletal operations are likely to commence from Yaba to Ibadan in September.

Divide In Senate Is Worsening Economic Development Signals – Analyst

jerry chukwuekeA Public Affairs Analyst, Mr Jerry Chukwueke, says the divide in the Senate is further worsening the signals about stability, economic development and the business of the Nigerian people.

He said Nigerians are bothered about the economy, infrastructure issues, foreign exchange, the international community and not the divide in the Senate.

Speaking as a guest on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily, Mr Chukwueke noted that Nigerians expected “fresh people with fresh ideas” in the cabinet and not recycling of the regular people.

But he advised that President Buhari should focus on his team and the responsibility that surrounds the office and get on with the business of Nigerians.

He added that the challenges were piling up, such as the power, unemployment, infrastructure, and the private sector in Nigeria. Mr Chukwueke stressed that the private sector was “very weak” and could not be compared with other private sectors around the world.

He advised that the Federal Government should support the private sector, which he said are facing lots of difficulties affecting the long and medium term investments.

In the aspect of anti-corruption, he said Nigerians had expressed worries and had their perceptions and were hoping President Buhari’s administration would reduce corruption.

He added that the case of the former Governor of Rivers State, Chibuike Amaechi, was made peculiar because he was seen as a financier of the campaign of the APC, being the campaign director.

Rivers Lawmakers Suspend Councils Caretaker Committee Chairmen

The Chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly
The Chambers of the Rivers State House of Assembly

The Rivers State House of Assembly has suspended the Care Taker Commitee Chairmen of Asari-Toru, Ahoada East and Khana Local Councils over insecurity and financial mismanagement.

The suspension is coming less than 48 hours after some aggrieved members of the All Progressive Congress in Rivers State from Asari-Toru and some local councils staged a protest against the outcome of the party’s primaries.

Declaring the suspension, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Honourable Liyel Kwane, who presided over the Assembly insisted that they were not witch-hunting anyone.

The house also summoned five commissioners, including the Commissioner of Finance, Charmberlain Peterside and that of Information, Ibim Sementari, to appear before it to explain why pensioners and workers in the state have not paid for the past six months.

EXCLUSIVE: Presidency Responsible For My Harassment By Military- Amaechi

amaechi 2 400x300The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, who was held hostage by security agents in Odudu, Ondo State, in an exclusinve interview with Channels Television, has blamed the presidency for his ordeal in the hands of security operatives.

The governor said “we landed in Akure airport and in between the boundary of Ekiti and Ondo, we were stopped by about 15 soldiers”, insisting that “the instruction was from the Presidency”.

He claimed that the Presidency gave strict orders “that Amaechi should not be let in” adding that “when I decided to drive back to Akure, I was stopped in a village called Olorunshogo and when I stopped there, they insisted that they gave me 20 minutes after which I must leave there if not they will attack me.”

“When I got to the (Akure) airport, the plane that brought me had been impounded” he said, wondering why “the military will close the airport and why will the military be harassing an elected governor.”

“Why will the military stop the governor of Adamawa from flying, why will they stop the governor of Kano from landing and why will they stop the governor of Edo from taking off”, he quipped via a telephone interview.

The Governor was said to have left Port Harcourt on Thursday morning for Ekiti to join the APC rally before the governorship elections, scheduled to hold on Saturday.

The National Publicity Secretary APC, Lai Mohammed, in a statement claimed Mr. Kwankwaso and two other APC governors, Adams Oshiomhole of Edo and Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers, were barred from getting to Ekiti to support Governor Kayode Fayemi’s re-election bid.

“At least three Governors – Adams Oshiomhole of Edo, Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers and Rabiu Kwankwanso of Kano – have so far been prevented from making the trip,” Mr. Mohammed said.

The spokesperson added that “the helicopter that was to ferry Governor Oshiomhole from Benin to Ado-Ekiti was refused permission to take off from the Benin Airport, while the plane that was flying Gov. Kwankwanso to Akure was denied permission to land”.

Ekiti has no airport and so travellers by air have to first land at Akure (neighboring Ondo State) airport, then travel by road to Ekiti.

Amaechi Appoints New Chief Judge

Gov-Rotimi-Amaechi3The Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, has sworn-in the seventh Chief Judge of the state  state, Justice Peter Nwoke Agumagu. 

The appointment, however, comes with some controversies bordering on the qualification of the Chief Judge.

A court in the state is challenging his appointment, insisting that Justice Daisy Okocha is the senior judge in the state.

The Nigerian Judicial Commission and other opposition groups pointed out that section 271 (4) of the Nigerian Constitution “stipulates that where the chief judge retires the most senior judge assumes the position pending the appointment of a new chief judge”.

A Federal High Court in Port Harcourt dismissed the case seeking to bar Justice Agumagu from paving the way for his appointment as the new Chief Judge of the state.

Until his new office he was the president of the Customary Court of Appeal

APC Will Protect Interest of Rivers State Citizens- Amaechi

Rivers State Governor, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi has called on the people of Eleme in the Eleme Local Government Area to support the All Progressives Congress (APC), assuring that the party will protect the interest of the state.

Amaechi disclosed this at the weekend during the APC rally and handing over of party flag to party leaders in the local government area of the state.

Governor Amaechi, who spoke through his Deputy, Engr Tele Ikuru assured the people that he will continue to uphold the mandate accorded him through the ballot to the benefit of all Rivers people if the APC is voted into power in 2015.

Amaechi also expressed optimism of effecting constant change until posterity finds a place in Rivers State.

Also speaking, the state interim Chairman of the APC, Davies Elekanyan urged the people of Eleme to muster courage to defend their interest against any form of intimidation and injustice.

Davies also said the APC is capable of returning the oil wells wrongly given to the Bayelsa State Government by the federal government.

In the same vein, the Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Hon. Oji Ngofa has assured his people that if they throw their weight behind Governor Amaechi and vote the All Progressives Congress, APC, the positive change in Amaechi’s administration will impact on the people to ensure dividends of democracy.

On his part, the Senator representing Rivers South East Senatorial District in the National Assembly, Senator Magnus Abe has described the activities of the police in Rivers state against Amaechi-led government as contrary to section 215 of the 1999 constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and should be respected and honoured in the interest of Rivers people and law-abiding Nigerians.

Senator Abe called on the Inspector-General of Police, Muhammed Abubakar to find lasting solution to peace in Rivers State House of Assembly and the state in general.

He urged party faithful to champion the cause for a change in the current political dispensation by educating the people on the fortunes of voting APC in the upcoming elections.

Highlights of the rally was the handing over of the APC flags to the Eleme Local Government Party Leader, Marcus Nlenjii, the Council Chairman, Oji Ngofa and others, including identification of wards and inauguration of the Eleme chapter of Save Rivers Movement by Honourable Asita, Chairman, APC rally Committee.

PDP Suspends Amaechi

The National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has suspended the Governor of Rivers state, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, as a member of the party over the crisis rocking the state chapter of the party.

The NWC also referred the suspension of Mr Amaechi to the party’s disciplinary committee for appropriate action.

The party’s NWC at an emergency meeting on Monday, agreed to suspend the Rivers state Governor following a petition submitted by the PDP Rivers State Executive Committee.

The party made this known in a statement signed by the party’s National Publicity Secretary, Olisa Metuh.

According to the statement, the party “considered the petition submitted by the PDP Rivers State Executive Committee against His Excellency Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, the Executive Governor of Rivers State for violating Articles 58 1 (b), (c ), (h) and (m) of the PDP Constitution.”

“The National Working Committee after preliminary hearing, in exercise of the powers conferred by Articles 57 (3), 59 (3), 59 (5) and 29 (2.b) hereby suspends the Executive Governor of River State, Rt Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi as a member of the PDP and refers the matter to the appropriate disciplinary committee of the Party.”

“This is in furtherance of the determination of the leadership of the party to enforce discipline at all levels within the party” the statement concluded.

The state chapter of PDP in Rivers state has been embroiled in a prolonged crisis that has had 27 members of the Rivers State House of Assembly and Speaker, suspended by the newly installed executives of the party in the state.

A Federal High Court in Abuja had earlier sacked executive members of the party in the state that were loyal to Mr Amaechi and replaced them with the Felix Obuah led faction.

Rivers Youth Movement Pledges Support For Amaechi, Passes Vote Of Confidence

As the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) crisis in Rivers state deepens with the closure of the state House of Assembly, the Rivers Youth Movement (RYM), has pledged their support and loyalty to the Rivers State Governor, and Chairman of Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Chibuike Amaechi.

The group which claims a two million membership via its coalition also passed a vote of confidence on the Rivers State Governor for his landmark achievements in the state.

The President-General of RYM, Engr. Richard Alete at a press conference in Port Harcourt, said the group would continue to “support good leadership as demonstrated by Mr Amaechi”, stating the governor’s achievements cannot be undermined despite the current political impasse in the state.

Alete used the opportunity to laud the governor for his developmental strides in the state, noting that the Amaechi-led administration has distinguished itself with massive construction of world-class model primary and secondary schools among several others.

He urged the youths to remain peace-loving and avoid criminality and also appealed to security agencies to help sustain peace in the peace, pledging that the RYM would collaborate with the police and other security outfits to keep the prevailing peace in Rivers Sate.

A former member of the State House of Assembly; Collin Ordu, in his speech, gave a brief history of RYM, recalling that it was formed in the days of insecurity in the state to re-orientate youths.

Rivers Partners With ECOWAS To Establish Anti-Malaria Factory

The Rivers State government said it has concluded arrangements to commence joint partnership with ECOWAS for the production of Biolarvicides to control and eliminate malaria in the state.

The state governor Chibuike Amaechi made this known at a press briefing ahead of the ground breaking ceremony for the Biolarvicides Production Factory in Rivers State and town hall meeting on Malaria elimination scheduled to hold in Port Harcourt on Thursday.

Representing the governor, the state’s Commissioner for health, Dr Sampson Parker said the joint venture will be a 50/50 partnership between the state government and ECOWAS, which is also capable of creating employment opportunities for over 500 indigenes of Rivers State.

According to the Commissioner, the rationale for establishing the Biolaviocides factory in Rivers State was due to the huge cost implication of buying and transportation of the Biolaviocides to Nigeria through a Cuban Company, Labiofam.

Dr Parker also noted that the state needs rapid diagnosis test kits, environmental sanitation campaigns to fight malaria.

Explaining that the introduction of the simple strategy used earlier, has assisted the state government in ensuring the reduction of malaria, he added that these measures put together by the Amaechi-led government ranked the state government as number one in implementing the malaria control strategies in 2009 and 2012 respectively, despite the short fall in 2011.

While urging residents of the state to collectively join the fight against the malaria infection, Dr Parker said environmental sanitation is key, which will be top on the agenda at the Town-Hall meeting with ECOWAS on Thursday.

The town hall meeting on malaria is the first of its kind in the health sector of Rivers State and it is expected to address a lot of national health issues in West Africa.