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N392b Debt: FG Yet To Pay Road Contractors – Fashola

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Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola said on Wednesday that the Nigerian government’s indebtedness to construction companies handling 711 road projects in Nigeria now stands at N392 billion.

“With the situation on ground, a stop has come for new projects and the country needs to prioritise the existing ones in order to complete some of them,” Fashola told lawmaker.

In the defense of the 2021 budget for the works and housing ministry, the Minister said the N392b debt is 42% bigger than the allocation for road projects in the proposed 2021 budget, which is N276 billion.

The Federal Government requires fund in the region of N6.62 trillion to finance the 711 road projects across Nigeria.

He added that much as the resources needed to accomplish that are not available at the moment, prompting government to concentrate on the essential ones.

“The situation on ground requires us to cut our coat according to our cloth and not according to our size because no good will come out of more new road projects now.”

The 711 road projects have been divided into four broad categories on the basis of funding and execution.

First is the highway projects funded with the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund. Such projects include the 2nd Niger Bridge, Lagos-Sagamu-Ibadan dual carriage way and the rehabilitation of Abuja-Kaduna-Kano dual carriage way.

The second category comprises highway projects funded with the Sovereign Sukuk Fund involving 44 roads in 6 geopolitical zones.

The third class includes highway projects funded under the tax credit like the Apapa-Wharf Road in Lagos, Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin Road, and the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Expressway, among others.

Those in the fourth category, Fashola said, are highway projects funded from multilateral loans.

Adamu Aliero, chair of the committee, recommended that government consider financing some of the projects from pension funds.

“The Central Bank of Nigeria seems to be in the best position to work out such arrangement.

“It will be helpful if that type of funding can be put together,” Fashola stated.

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Transport

Amaechi On Crutches: His Associate, Eze Clarifies Air

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Comments have continued to trail trending photos which captured the Hon. Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, walking with the aid of crutches during the commissioning of an orphanage home and Arabic School in Kaita Local Government Area of Katsina State on Friday.

While details of the circumstances surrounding the Ministers sudden reliance on a walking aid seem sketchy, some Nigerians who gloated over the photos said the Minister may be suffering from an ankle sprain while others concluded that he may be having either plantar fascitis, hemiplegia scissors gait or motor neuron lesion and prayed for his speedy recuperation.

Reacting to the development, chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, erstwhile National Publicity Secretary of the defunct New Peoples Democratic Party (nPDP) and a close associate of Amaechi, Chief Eze Chukwuemeka Eze commended Nigerians for their deep concern but however dismissed comments linking the Minister’s use of crutches to either hemiplegia scissors gait or planter fascitis adding that Amaechi is neither suffering from knee arthritis, nor lower motor neuron lesion, describing such assertions as unfathomable.

In a statement made available to media houses, Chief Eze said many Nigerians and people of goodwill have expressed very dreadful concerns seeing Minister Amaechi walk with crutches while on official duties and as a result, have flooded his cell phone lines trying to enquire the state of health of Nigeria’s decade best Minister and why he is relying on a walking aid.

The party chief said he was however prompted by public concern to engage the Minister, who confirmed the verisimilitude of the trending photos, Sunday morning and said he had a hairline fracture but assured he is getting pretty better.

In a conversation with Eze, Amaechi was quoted as saying thus: “…I had a hairline fracture on 31st December, 2020 but I have been working with it all these weeks before the public pictures showing me with crutches. Nobody should express any fear as my Doctors are on top of it”.

Eze noted that walking and working in pains and crutches simply demonstrates the patriotic zeal and commitment of the Minister in contributing towards rebuilding Nigeria to suit the fancy of the founding fathers of our nation.

Notwithstanding, the party Chief appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to direct Amaechi to rest a little while and allow for a quick recovery from the painful fracture because according to him, Amaechi with his level of patriotism, is ready to risk his life in the service of the Nigerian nation.

While calling on Nigerians to continue to remember the Minister in their prayers especially, for his total recovery, Eze condemned those celebrating the temporary inconvenience involving the Minister describing them as satanic.

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Abia Governor Warns Transport Officers To Shut Proposed Protest

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Abia State Government, on Sunday, said the state will not tolerate any has uncovered plots by members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and Self Acquired Tricycle Owners Association (SATOA), led by Mr Eugene Job to unleash mayhem on the people of the State under the guise of a protest against the ban on activities of the two groups.

The State government in a statement signed by its Commissioner for Information, John Okiyi Kalu, strongly warned that the government will hold Mr Eugene Job responsible for any breakdown of law and order in the State under whatever guise.

Kalu noted that security agencies in the State have been placed on alert to ensure the protection of law abiding citizens and residents, as well as arrest and prosecute anyone involved in the planned unlawful protest.

”Government will not fold its arms and watch any individual or group of individuals disturb the peace of the State and will deploy the full weight of the law against those wishing to place their selfish interest above the collective interests of the people of the State,” he said.

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Peace Mass Transit Acquires 55.82% Ordinary Shares Of C&I Leasing Plc.

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C&I Leasing Plc has announced that Peace Mass Transit has purchased 313,326,316 units of the Neoma Africa Fund L.L.C. (formerly Aureos Africa Fund, L.L.C.) unsecured variable coupon redeemable convertible loan stock in registered units of N4.75 each or its US$ equivalent in C&I Leasing Plc.

This was disclosed by the company in a statement issued and signed by the Company Secretary, Mbanugo Udenze & Co. When fully converted, the loan stock will result in the issuance of 987,500,000 (Nine Hundred and Eighty-Seven Million and Five Hundred Thousand) Ordinary Shares of the Company.

This will represent 55.82% of the issued shares of the Company.

The Company, in the issued statement available on the NSE, argued that: “the transaction will strengthen the capital base of The Company and improve the clarity of the capital structure.”

The Company also notes that: “the acquisition is highly beneficial to the company as the need for a possible redemption of the Notes, with the company’s cash resources, has been eliminated.”

Shareholders approved the Conversion of the Notes to ordinary shares at an Extraordinary General Meeting held on 3rd November 2020.

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