The Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi is in Uturu, Abia State for the foundation laying of the Transport Institute.
He arrived in the state on Saturday morning.
The Minister of Transport, Chibuike Amaechi is in Uturu, Abia State for the foundation laying of the Transport Institute.
He arrived in the state on Saturday morning.
Nigeria’s minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, says the rail infrastructure is a capital intensive sector and Nigeria needs about $45billion to solve the nation’s “problem of transportation to a great extent.”
Amaechi, on Tuesday, in an interview on Channels Television breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, explained how much has been spent so far on rail infrastructure in Nigeria.
He said further that because the sector is capital intensive, huge funds will be needed to construct more railroads and acquire more coaches.
The minister agrees that acquiring more coaches will reduce overstretching the current coaches operating in railways in the country.
“It is capital intensive. N1trillion is about $2.7billion and that is just about 200kilometres of the railway. So if you plan to do Lagos-Ibadan and you are looking at about $8.7billion – this will be between N3trillion and N4trillion. How much is the budget of the country?
“That is why I said we need about $35 to $45 billion to be able to do Lagos-Kano, Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Lagos-Calabar, and Abuja-Warri. Once you do these four tracks, you have covered the country, and you have solved the problem of transportation to a great extent,” he said.
The minister also gave a breakdown of the expenses inquired so far on rail construction, most especially on the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.
He disclosed that the Federal Government is making efforts to acquire coaches and locomotives for the Lagos-Ibadan railroad.
“Lagos-Ibadan Railroad will cost about $1.6billion. This does not include the extra cost of things we did not prepare for. The Kaduna-Abuja construction will cost about $1billion.
“We have paid about $500milllion to buy locomotives for Lagos-Ibadan. So that’s what we’ve so far spent,” he said.
Amaechi, who is also the former governor of Rivers State said he is not at war with the Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike.
He said he is only inconvenient with the level of insecurity in the state.
“There is no war going on between Wike and I. It is like my friend Akpabio when we met the other day, I said it, we are not quarreling.
“What is going on between Wike and me is the fact that he wants to run a second term. The fact is that he ran the first term in which people were killed. Today, he is accusing the army and not the police because they refused the take bribe from him.”
The former governor boasted that during his administration as Rivers State governor, he investigated every death and ensured the arrest of the perpetrators.
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, is seeking collaboration between the state government and Japanese investors, in furtherance of his quest to find a comprehensive solution to the challenge of transportation in the state.
According to a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna, the governor met with the Japan-African Union Parliamentary Friendship committee on Thursday in Tokyo, an influential group in the Japanese parliament.
Addressing members of the Japanese House of Representatives – Mr Ichiro Aisawa and Mr Asahiko Mihara, he said his visit to Japan was pursuant to his determination to achieve infrastructural renewal for Lagos State.
“As a government, the renewal of infrastructure of Lagos State is of paramount interest to us,” said Ambode. “We cannot afford to miss the train of regeneration going around the world. We must continue to seek a comprehensive and holistic solution to the various challenges confronting us.”
“Lagos and Tokyo share many similarities, including huge populations which require a comprehensive transportation and urban management strategy to deal with. Japan is also a city Lagos should aspire to be in terms of vertical development, land space optimisation, and efficiency,” he added.
The meeting was also attended by the Japanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Sadanobu Kusaoke, and the Nigerian Ambassador to Japan, Mr Mohammed Yisa.
During the week, Governor Ambode also visited the headquarters of Yurikamome Incorporated, a light rail transportation facility which connects the downtown Tokyo with Tokyo Waterfront City.
The light rail has and is patronised by all those who live, work and visit the facility since it opened in November 1995.
It operates in just 14.5km and has 16 stations. The light rail carries more than 45 million people yearly.
It was further gathered that the Tokyo Metropolitan Government built the infrastructure, while Yurikamome Incorporated provided other necessary equipment.
The Federal Government has announced that it will complete the Lagos-Kano rail project as well as a segment of the Lagos to Port Harcourt standard gauge before the end of 2017.
The Minister Of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this during an inspection of the container inland dry seaport in Kaduna State, North West Nigeria.
He explained that the vision of President Muhammadu Buhari is to establish a safe and efficient transport system that will boost economic activities across the country.
The Niger State government says it has spent over three billion Naira on road construction and rehabilitation in the last one year of the present administration under the leadership of Governor Abubakar Bello.
The Commissioner for Works, Mr Abdulmalik Cheche, gave the figure in an interview with Channels Television in Minna on the one year stewardship of the ministry.
Mr Cheche, who was optimistic of the government’s performance, gave the assurance that good roads would be provided for the people of the state, considering the importance of road to the economy of any society.
He explained that the amount was for both State and Federal roads.
“The township roads will also have solar street lights to assist in providing security in the towns,” the Commissioner stated.
Mr Cheche also listed some of the Federal road projects which the state had embarked on and completed to include Minna- Tegina road, Minna- Suleja road and Kagara- Kaduna road.
According to him, the Federal Government gave the go-ahead and promised to reimburse states that embarked on such projects.
The Permanent Secretary of the the state’s Ministry of Works, Mr Umar Bawa, made remarks that addressed the usage of the roads.
He stressed the need for registration of motorcycles and urged all commercial motorcycle users and motorists to strictly adhere to the the rules and regulations.
Mr Bawa stated that some of the state and township roads were completed while others were still under construction.
Meanwhile, the General Manager Niger State Transport Authority, Haruna Abubakar, reiterated his commitment to restructuring the transport sector, as part of the Ministry of Works.
He assured the state’s residents of the government’s commitment to purchasing more buses, repairing of those in deplorable state while others that could no longer serve would be sold.
“The idea is to ease transportation in the state,” he added.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has asked genuine investors to take advantage of the business friendly atmosphere being put in place by the state government and invest in the state.
He made the call in Abeokuta, the state capital, while unveiling the 3rd Ogun State Investors’ Forum slated for between May 10 and 11.
With the theme; ‘Environment, Agriculture, Transportation: Ogun State Emerging Economic Power House’, the event will focus on drawing attention to the opportunities in the environment, transportation and agriculture sector of the state economy.
While giving a clean bill of health to the state’s economic standing despite the current financial challenges, Governor Amosun said that the state has not done badly. He put the debt profile of the state at 65 billion Naira.
Commenting on the two previous editions of the investors’ forum, the Governor said that the state has been able to attract well over 100 million dollar investments in various sectors of the economy.
He expressed optimism that the 2016 edition would attract more successes to the state.
He made his resolve known while on Channels Television’s breakfast programme, Sunrise Daily, stressing that Ogun State must take the economic advantage of its proximity to Lagos.
“Yes, we want to be to Lagos what New Jersey is to New York, but we want to do even more than that,” he said.
“We must take the economic advantage of our proximity to Lagos and whenever I have the opportunity, I tell them that, we want to feed Lagos, we want to house Lagos, we want to move Lagos, indeed we want to clothe Lagos,” he said, noting that “if we must do that, we as a State must get it right”.
He also stated that Lagos was a huge market for investors and manufacturers, hence there would be good profit for Ogun State, adding that “if we are about 7 million and Lagos is about 20 million and of course Lagos is the biggest market”.
The Governor recalled that several years ago, Ogun State used to supply Lagos food but stopped at some point. He went further to state that Ogun was making efforts to supply food to Lagos, to mitigate the need for the citizens to wait for food from the Northern part of the country.
He stressed the need for infrastructure which is directly connected to economic increase, unlike education and health which he said were more of social services.
“For us, we believe, if we get agriculture right, if we get the infrastructure right, then we have gotten it right,” he concluded.
The first set of successful allottees of the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme (Lagos HOMS) was on Monday presented with keys to their various homes by Governor Babatunde Fashola.
The Governor, who spoke at the Conference Room of the Lagos House, Ikeja, expressed the hope that the number of applicants would continue to increase month after month and described the first exercise as the beginning of a journey of promise.
“I am happy to see very young people who have become homeowners in their country and in our state and in a place where young people are struggling. Go and apply, pay your taxes, register as a Lagos resident and the rest is easy”, he added.
He described the first draw as a modest start with 31 successful applicants from 200 homes at the first draw while the remaining 169 would be added to the 200 homes at the second draw which is billed for Friday.
Speaking earlier, the Chairman of the Lagos Mortgage Board and Commissioner for Finance, Mr Ayo Gbeleyi described the event as another promise made and kept by the administration of Mr Bababtunde Fashola.
He added that out of the 31 winners that emerged at the first draw, 11 who have fully completed the requirements and have also achieved closure on their mortgage facilities are being handed their keys.
In a vote of assurance, one of the successful allottees, Mr Amos Omodunni said that after he came across the scheme on one of the social media sites where the photographs of one of the schemes was uploaded when the Governor visited there, he did not expect it to be as seamless and as easy as it turned out to be.
“Everything worked just like clock. I did not have to visit any office or talk to anyone. Everything that I needed to do to complete that application was done just in my office and I did not have to move anywhere”, he said.
Fashola, who also reacting to the vote of assurance given by Mr Omodunni, stated that if Mr Omodunni was the only successful allotee, the efforts of the State Government and the Mortgage Board would still have been worth it.
Another excited allottee, Mrs Yetunde Awopeju who works with Atlas Technical Services Limited, commended Governor Fashola whose foresight, she said had come to the fore with the HOMS scheme.
She added that from what used to be a condemned location and a night club in Surulere, a beautiful estate had risen, adding that she was happy to be a beneficiary of the Shitta Housing Estate.
Mr Daniel Ikpe who works with Zenith Bank Plc recounted how he became aware of the process through the social media network, stressing that all he could volunteer was that the programme is about transparency.
The successful allottes who got keys, were Mrs Abdulmalik Rukiat, Mr Ademola Odujoko, Mr Ejiroghene Torishedu Madedor, Mr Amos kimeh Omodunni, Mrs Yetunde Oluwaseun Awopeju, Mr Ajayi Omotayo Jubril, Mrs Ganiyat Dolapo Akanni, Mr Gbenga Owolabi, Mr Chukwuneta John Paul Ogbatwi, Mrs Bibian Aloba Kanayo and Mr Ikpeh Daniel Darligton.
The event was witnessed by the Deputy Governor, Mrs Adejoke Orelope –Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council, including the Commissioner for Housing, Mr Bosun Jeje and members of the Mortgage Board, the successful allotees and some members of their family.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, on Monday confirmed that the long awaited allocation of houses under the State’s Home Ownership Scheme (Lagos HOMS) would finally kick off in January 2014.
He made this statement at the 24thseries of the traditional 100 days in office commemoration of his administration which was held in the three Senatorial Districts of the State.
At the Teslim Balogun Stadium venue of the Lagos Central Senatorial District session of the event, a spokesman for the state, Mr Bosun Jeje, said that over 5,000 houses were ready for allocation under the scheme.
“There are also many other housing estates still under construction across the State,” Mr Jeje, who is the State’s Commissioner for Housing, said.
Responding to a question on the Scheme during the question and answer session, Mr Jeje said that the Governor had approved another housing estate in Ilubirin that would contain 1,259 housing units and another one at Ibeshe in Ikorodu Local Government Area of the State.
“With the frequency at which the estates come up, it would not be easy to put a permanent figure on the number of houses that would be ready before the take-off of the scheme. The houses are not limited but we have them coming up every day,” he said.
The Commissioner said: “One of the campaign promises that the Governor made at that time was that he would address the problem of housing in Lagos State. He knows it is a challenge and he promised that he would address it and he has started addressing it.”
Giving reasons for the delay in the kick-off of the allocation, the commissioner explained further: “In actual fact, the allocation was meant to start this December but we are trying to have a sustainable programme that is why it has not started. We want to make sure that everything that needs to be done must be done before we start the allocation”.
Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat while speaking on the Residents Registration Agency (LASRRA), explained that the exercise is neither a census nor for the purpose of taxation.
The Commissioner, who is also the leader of the team of State Executive Council members at the Lagos Central Senatorial District said: “The exercise is meant to know the number of people that live in Lagos. It does not matter where you come from; whether you are Igbo or Hausa or Yoruba, once you live in Lagos. This will help us to plan infrastructure, plan hospitals, plan schools and so on and so forth. So we encourage everyone to go and register”.
On Health, Dr. Hamzat said that the State Government had increased the Maternal and Child Care Centres in the State to 10 reiterating that the idea was to bring healthcare to the doorsteps of citizens.
He said that within the period under review, the Government hosted the 56th National Council on Health with the theme; “The Health Sector Now and Beyond 2015.” Mr Jeje said that a total of 92 patients were screened for limb deformation correction surgery while milk sachets were distributed to 58,600 primary one pupils in 983 primary schools in the State under the Schools Milk Programme.
A question and answer session was held at the event, which had other members of the team joining Hamzat in answering questions from those present. They include the Commissioners for Commerce and Industry, Mrs. Sola Oworu, who delivered the welcome address, Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Housing, Mr. Bosun Jeje, Education, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye, Physical Planning and Urban Development, TPL Olutoyin Ayinde and Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adesina, among others.
Also present were Secretary to the State Government, Oluranti Adebule, Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Wale Ahmed, Body of Permanent Secretaries, Special Adviser on Information and Strategy, Mr. Lateef Raji, the first Military Administrator of the State, Brig. Gen. Mobolaji Johnson and Chief Molade Okoya Thomas, among other dignitaries.
President Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria while addressing the 19th Nigerian Economic Summit, on Tuesday, encouraged youths of the nation to participate in the agricultural sector which can help them become private jet owners.
The President commended the youth who are now shifting away from the mindset that agriculture is a “simple poverty-alleviation programme” and encouraged them “to begin to think that agriculture can make you have your own private jet.”
The economic summit, which provides an opportunity to discuss issues with a view to providing practical solutions, is organised by the Nigerian Economic Summit Group, National Planning Commission and the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
The summit is also the “foremost platform for dialogue between the public and private sectors,” for which the President thanked the organisers, for ensuring consistency for the annual event.
In his address, the President stated that the summit is coming at a critical time in the nation’s political history, following the launch of his administration’s mid-term report on the transformation agenda, on May 29th.
He stressed the government’s determination to “lay a solid foundation for the transformation of the country’s agricultural sector for enhanced growth and development”.
“The country is more determined than ever to unlock the great potentials of agriculture in order to ensure food security, create jobs and generate wealth,” he said, adding that it is “part of our continued effort to demonstrate our drive and commitment to work with the private sector to make agriculture once again, the main stay of our economy”.
This year’s summit focuses on the agricultural sector, which the President said he is not totally in agreement with because “you cannot discuss agriculture without discussing land. You cannot discuss agriculture without talking about farm managers, agronomists, agric engineers and agric economists, and that is education.”
He highlighted other sectors of the economy such as transportation, trade, finance and petroleum.
He also expressed satisfaction in the participation of middle class citizens adding that the involvement of the middle class signals the “beginning of a proper revolution”.
The 19th Nigerian Economic Summit currently on-going, is the third in the Goodluck Jonathan administration.
The event which is broadcast by Channels Television in Abuja has members of the National Assembly, Federal Executive Council, Members of the Economic Summit Group, Captains of industries and other guests in attendance.
Briefing journalists at the headquarters of the Eastern Naval Command, the Flag Officer Commanding, Rear Admiral Joe Aikhomu disclosed that the theme of the conference, Regional Maritime Awareness Capability Systems: A key for Enhancing Maritime Security in the Gulf of Guinea.
According to him, the international event is born out of the necessity to have a complete maritime domain awareness of Nigeria’s maritime environment including the Gulf of Guinea and the need to protect it.
He said expanded economic activities in the Gulf of Guinea has given rise to renewed interest within the region since the region depends solely on the sea for transportation, food, trade, energy and capital, all of which are essential ingredients of National security.
The Nigeria’s Chief of Naval staff and his counterparts from Ghana, Cote D’Ivoire, Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, Angola, Namibia, South Africa, Benin Republic, Senegal, Togo, Cameroun, Sao Tome and Principe as well as the Commanders, United States African Command and the US Naval Forces Africa are expected to present papers at the conference.
President Jonathan in a press statement said “In respective of our beliefs we can draw strength and inspiration from the Messiah’s enduring personification of selflessness, dedication to duty and commitment to the well-being of others.
He also added ‘The virtues and ideals of peace, tolerance, faithfulness, honesty, fairness, true wisdom, knowledge and understanding must remain relevant to us in Nigeria as we continue to grapple with the challenges of development and nation building’.
President Jonathan maintains that his government is doing its best to deliver on its promises to Nigerians.
According to him “While we continue to deal with the regrettable distractions posed by threats to peace and security in parts of the country, the federal government remains very focused on the primary objective of achieving significant improvements in priority areas such as, power supply, transportation, roads, health, education, job creation, agriculture and industrialization as quickly as possible’.