Chinese government approves $5 Billion to support infrastructural projects in Nigeria

The Peoples Republic of China Ambassador to Nigeria, Zhou Pingjian said his home country had approved $5 billion to support infrastructure projects in Nigeria.

Pingjian stated this yesterday when he paid a courtesy visit to the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, at the party’s secretariat in Abuja.

The Chinese envoy requested the party’s support in ensuring Nigeria’s ‘full execution’ of the China’s policy between both countries.

Pingjian, who was accompanied by the Chinese Deputy Ambassador, Jing Lin and Political Officer, Peng Chen, further intimated the Odigie-Oyegun and members of the APC National Working Committee (NWC) present on China’s domestic politics and China-Nigeria strategic bilateral relations.

He noted: “This year is a big one for party politics in China. Every five years, we hold party conventions and we draw a new blueprint for the years ahead. That means, major policy decisions will be made at the national congress of the Communist Party of China. A new central committee will be elected at the congress. The central committee will in turn elect the new central leadership.”


Source: The Guardian

Over N420 billion projects ‘abandoned’ in Niger Delta by Jonathan

Project worth over N420 billion have been abandoned in the Niger Delta region.


The Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Usani Usani, made the disclosure during a chat with reporters yesterday.


He said that on assumption of office, he saw “organised chaos and a deliberate action of disorder. There was an amorphous organisation called a ministry. But there was no ministry. So, attempting to get things in proper perspectives became the first responsibility, which, so far, is beginning to take proper shape.”


According to Usani, “it was a situation where people thought that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was a platform for collecting and sharing. That is the reason we had more than N420 billion disbursed in the ministry and the rate of project completion was just 12 per cent. There was so much waste.”


He categorised the projects into sectors, saying: “In every state of the Niger Delta, there are housing estates of two-bedroom and three-bedroom units. They have skills acquisitions centres. Only one has been completed and donated to the Federal University Otuoke.


The rest are not complete, like the popular East West road, which seems to characterise the image of the ministry.”


Usani, who said he would not like to refer to the projects as abandoned, said: “What we are trying to do is reward contractors who have shown true diligence in execution and should be encouraged by being mobilised further to return to site. And those who are in liability against the recent mobilisation are requested or advised to return to site until they get to the level of project execution that will be commensurable to what they have gained financially.”


On the East West road, he said: “It was first awarded in 2006. One decade has passed and it has not been completed. Yet, it is of so much economic and social importance to the region.”

FG To Spend $150m On Rural Electrification Projects- Fashola

The Federal Government on Wednesday expressed its readiness to spend 150 million dollars on the rural electrification.

Mr Babtunde Fashola, the Minster of Power, Works and Housing, disclosed this in Abuja at a business forum on ‘’Financing Opportunities in the Nigerian Power Sector’’

He said government would use 44 tertiary institutions and small hydro dams in the rural areas as anchors for the electrification programme.

Fashola said the money would be deployed towards providing Independent Power Plants (IPPs) to supply electricity to tertiary institutions and rural communities.

He said that 37 out of the 44 tertiary institutions audited for the project were universities, while seven were teaching hospitals.

The minister said government would deploy 37 IPPs made up of nine gas plants and 28 solar plants with a combined generation capacity of 120 megawatts to power all the universities.

According to him, the 37 IPPs will replace 1,105 generators that were hitherto serving the institutions and generating 210 MW of inefficient and unclean energy.

He said the amount would cover capital expenditure, operations and maintenance.

On financing opportunities in the Nation’s power sector, Fashola, emphasised the need for financing and liquidity stability in the sector.

He said the Distribution Companies (DisCos) required financing for the supply of meters, upgrading distribution equipment like transformers, ring mains units, feeders for DisCos and funding, especially in foreign exchange.

For the GenCos, the minister said adequate liquidity was acquired to procure turbines, parts and accessories which were largely imported.

“They (DisCos) need a lot of operating capital to buy meters, to change transformers that are old, to extend access to their customers, to replace transformers and so on and so forth. They need operational capital and they need it in the mix of foreign exchange because some of the things they want to buy are not made in Nigeria and there are some made in Nigeria”.

Fashola said investment in the GenCos was also profitable, saying that when the market settled and stabilised, the return would be marvellous.

He said the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) would benefit from the financing of its grid expansion programme if it could present a detailed prospect plan that would demonstrate investment needs and return potential.

The minister said that solar, coal, and other energy suppliers required investment to finance the acquisition of photovoltaic panels, heavy duty equipment and related machines not made in Nigeria.

Fashola said Nigeria Buck Electricity Trader (NBET), a government-owned company, was planning to raise a bond for investors to buy into it.

On the financing opportunities in rural electrification, he said: “there exists a list of endless possibilities and opportunities for investment in the nation’s power sector.’’


Kwara State Government Releases N1.7b for Projects

THE Kwara State government has released the sum of N1.7 billion for the completion of ongoing and new projects across the State.

The funds will also cover outstanding payment on completed projects.

Governor Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed this on Wednesday at the traditional sallah homage by the Emir of Ilorin, Alhaji Sulu-Gambari to the Government House, Ilorin.

According to him, the funding is to cover about 54 projects across the education, energy, health, works and water sectors. He also noted that the released fund is expected to put more money in circulation, food on more tables and new jobs for the people.

The governor stated that the fund was released following the recent verification of the state’s outstanding projects and duly certified work on each project.

He noted that the N1.7b is the first tranche of the newly launched Infrastructure Development Fund’, (IF-K) while assuring that all ongoing and new projects would be completed before the expiration of his tenure.

Providing further clarification, the Commissioner Mr Demola Banu, said some of the projects to be covered under the scheme are Micheal Imodu-Afon junction road, Oniju street babanloma, Oloro palace road, Geri-Alimi fly over bridge, college of Engineering building at KWASU and rehabilitation of Anilelerin/Agun/Ita Erin road offa.

Other projects are rehabilitation of Oke-Opin township road, Ilorin water supply and reticulation network phase I, Arandun Rore-Ipetu Aran Orin road, Share-Oke Ode section I and II, Rehabilitation of Egbejila road, Arobadi-Magida road and Ilesha-Gwanara road

Governor Ganduje Reaffirms Commitment To Completion Of Ongoing Projects.

Kano State government has reaffirmed its commitment to ensure successful completion of the ongoing road projects within the period stipulated.


The State Commissioner Ministry of Land and Physical Planning Dr. Farouk Bibi Farouk gave the assurance while inspecting the ongoing road construction works at Lamido and Kingsgarden – Kwanar Tudun Wada road in Nassarawa Local Government Area.


Dr. Farouk disclosed that the administration of Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje awarded the construction of 11 new roads project within the Metropolitan and some of these roads had reached completion stage.


The Commissioner, who expressed satisfaction with progress and quality of work so far achieved by contractor of Lamido road, assured people of the area that the road would be completed in the next few days.


He stressed that it was part of the present Administration commitment to be inspecting ongoing projects in order to ensure total compliance with contract agreement by contractors.


While inspecting the construction work of Kingsgarden -Kwanar Tudun Wada road , the Commissioner revealed that all compensations of structures have been paid and the project was achieving tremendous progress.


Earlier, the Managing Director Kano State Urban Planning and Development Agency (KNUPDA) Arch. Bashir Mudi noted that so far the Contractors were progression in line with the conditions agreed on in terms of quality and scope of the said projects.

Buhari Orders Creation Of Technical Committees On New China-Nigeria On Joint Projects

President Muhammadu Buhari has directed that technical committees be immediately established to finalize discussions on new joint Nigeria-China rail, power, manufacturing, agricultural and solid mineral projects.

A statement by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu on Tuesday quoted the President as giving the directive in Beijing after talks between his delegation and high-ranking Chinese government officials led by President Xi Jinping.

The technical committees are to conclude their assignments before the end of next month. The talks are part of the President’s weeklong trip to China

Buhari had at the talks welcomed China’s readiness to assist Nigeria in her bid to rapidly industrialize and join the world’s major economies.

President Jinping agreed that Nigeria’s chosen path of development through economic diversification was the best way to go. To assist Nigeria to achieve this, China promised to fully support the country through infrastructural development and capacity building.

China also expressed an interest in setting up major projects in Nigeria such as refineries, power plants, mining companies, textile manufacturing and food processing industries as soon as the enabling environment is provided by the Federal Government.

“In response to Buhari’s desire to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, President Jinping offered 15 million U.S. dollars agricultural assistance to Nigeria for the establishment of 50 Agricultural Demonstration Farms across the country.

China and Nigeria also agreed to strengthen military and civil service exchanges as part of a larger capacity-building engagement.

In line with this, China offered to raise its scholarship awards to Nigerian students from about 100 to 700 annually. In addition, 1,000 other Nigerians are to be given vocational and technical training by China annually.

President Jinping applauded the war against corruption being waged by President Buhari. The Chinese leader assured President Buhari that Nigeria will always have a special place in the affairs of the Peoples Republic of China.

After the talks, Buhari and Jinping witnessed the signing of several agreements and memorandums of understanding by Nigeria and China.

The agreements include a “Framework Agreement Between the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the National Development and Reform Commission of the Peoples Republic of China.”

Others were a “Memorandum of Understanding on Aviation Cooperation between the Ministry of Transportation (Aviation) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China” and a “Memorandum of Understanding Between the Federal Republic of Nigeria and the Government of the Peoples Republic of China on Scientific and Technological Cooperation”.

A “Mandate Letter Between the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and the Central Bank of Nigeria on Renminbi (RMB) Transactions was also signed.

Credit: ngrguardian

Buhari Dressed In Agbada Commences Inauguration Of Projects In Ogun

President Muhammadu Buhari has started inaugurating projects executed by the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun in the capital city of Ogun State, Abeokuta.

The President, who arrived at the state on Monday for its 40th anniversary, left the Presidential Lodge inside Ibara Housing Estate, at 10am in company with his host, Amosun, for the project sites.

The projects inaugurated by President Buhari so far in Abeokuta were the Itoku-Sapon flyover named Olufunmilayo Ransome-Kuti Flyover, Ultra-modern market at Sapon, the partially completed ultra-modern market, Omida.

He is currently in the palace of the Alake and paramount ruler of Egbaland, Oba Adedotun Gbadebo, where they are having a closed-door meeting.

The president will also inaugurate a modern estate named after him, President Muhammadu Buhari Estate, located along Abeokuta-Siun- Kobape-Sagamu Expressway, among others, before he leaves.

Credit: Punch

Bonang Matheba & Darey Art Alade To Host The Future Awards Africa 2015

The Central Working Committee for The Future Awards Africa (TFAA) 2015 has announced the hosts of the ?10th anniversary! They are Bonang Matheba,? South Africa’s favourite media personality, Bonang Methaba and award-winning artiste and music entrepreneur Dare Art-Alade.

The hosts represent the best of young Africans from across the continent, and will be presenting the 10th year celebrations of TFAA in grand style. Darey returns as a host after first hosting in 2009.

“I am excited to be coming to Nigeria for The Future Awards Africa,” said Matheba, who is also the first international brand ambassador for Revlon. “This is an exceptional platform telling Africa’s story in a unique, impactful way. Young
Africans see these nominees and winners and have been inspired over the past 10 years to to act right, to get involved and to live their dreams to the fullest.”

Darey just released his 4th studio album #Naked, highlighting a career at the top of songwriting, performing, running a music label and hosting West Africa’s most prestigious events.

“The Future Awards Africa is Africa’s biggest youth event because consistently for
10 years they have celebrated efforts of youths across the continent,” Darey said.
“It’s an honour to be a part of this landmark celebrations, and I am excited to be back on the TFAA stage!”

The Future Awards Africa 2015 – celebrating 10 years! – is presented by RED and UBA.

The award is held in partnership with the British High Commission, the Ford
Foundation, Microsoft, the US Consulate, the Canadian High Commission, Sterling Bank and The Tony Elumelu Foundation.

The Future Awards Africa (official hashtag: #TFAA10) will hold on 6 December in Lagos, Nigeria at the Intercontinental Hotel. The event is strictly by invitation.

About The Future Awards Africa

The Future Awards Africa has been called the ‘Nobel Prize for Young Africans’, and the ‘most important youth awards’ by Forbes. It is a set of prizes given annually to celebrate and accelerate innovation, creativity and enterprise amongst young Africans aged 18 – 31. It has produced over 150 winners and over 1550 nominees since its first edition in 2006.

It is presented in conjunction with The Future Project, which has a mandate to build empowered citizens across Africa, through (inclusive) enterprise and (active) citizenship. This focus on Human Capital Development is informed by our value proposition: Africa’s growth needs a generation of young people who are gainfully employed and able to demand and secure better leadership.

Our projects include, an employability portal presented with Microsoft; the Nigeria Symposium for Young & Emerging Leaders, #StartupsAfrica, Intern4Jobs, The m-Hub, The Future Enterprise Support Scheme and The Future Africa Awards & Summit, described as ‘The Nobel Prize for Young Africans’.

With a network of funders and partners including the Tony Elumelu Foundation, Ford Foundation, the US Government, First Bank, MTN, The Canadian Embassy, HP, the Nigerian Government and the British Council, our work has spanned Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Tanzania, Liberia, Burkina Faso, Uganda, Malawi, Cameroon, Somalia, Equatorial Guinea, Ivory Coast and Kenya.

Founded by the Chude Jideonwo and Adebola Williams, TFP is supervised by a Global Board of Advisors drawn from Africa, Europe, North America and the Middle East, including the Senior Advisor at one of the world’s leading financial advisory and asset management firms, Lazard LTD, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; Senior Economic Advisor with the Open Society Foundations, Dr. Obiageli Ezekwesili; co-founder of ONE, Jamie Drummond and the Chief of Cabinet with the Africa Development Bank, Anne Kabagambe.

Benue To Borrow N10bn For Salaries, Projects

The Benue House of Assembly on Thursday approved the request of the state’s executive arm to borrow N10 billion. The House gave the approval in Makurdi during a plenary session.

The letter, seeking the approval of the House to borrow the amount, was signed by the Secretary to the State Government, Targema Takema. The letter said that the governor of the state, Samuel Ortom, inherited an empty treasury.

Reading the letter, the Speaker, Terkimbi Ikyange, said that reliable information from the state Ministry of Finance indicated that the state treasury was empty. Mr. Ikyange said that the state workers were owed five months salaries.

He said that many state-owned agencies were on strike thereby grounding government activities as a result of non-payment of salaries.

Credit: PremiumTimes

“Don’t Abandon My Administration’s Ongoing Projects”, Jonathan Urges Buhari

AHEAD of the formal handing over to the President- Elect, General Muhammadu Buhari, retd, May 29, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged the incoming Administration not to abandon the on going projects especially the Light Rail project in the nation’s capital city, Abuja.

President Jonathan admitted yesterday that the Federal Government was owing Julius Berger and other Construction firms presently working on the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua way (Airport Road), Kubwa Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX) and the Abuja light Rail respectively, promising that he would pay the outstanding bills before he leaves office.

Speaking yesterday when he inspected three major ongoing projects in Abuja to ascertain the level of completion, President Jonathan stressed that settling the bills became imperative against the backdrop that the projects have changed the face of the nation’s capital, Abuja, just as he asked the President-elect, General Mohammadu Buhari, retd, to complete all ongoing projects initiated by his administration.

The President who took a ride in the ongoing Abuja Mass Transit Light Rail project to personally assess the extent of its implementation, however hailed the level of work done, disclosed that he personally inspected progress on the project as that would guide him properly on what exactly to tell Buhari when they meet soon to discuss.

The projects the President inspected yesterday were the Umaru Musa Yar’Adua way (Airport Road), Kubwa Outer Northern Expressway (ONEX) and the Abuja light Rail respectively.

Jonathan who stressed the importance of rail development in effective mass transit in the country as he observed that any other way would be inefficient and more expensive, also inspected the new rehabilitated and expanded 10-lane Airport Road named Umaru Musa Yar’Adua Expressway which is nearing completion.

The road project was part of the Outer Southern Expressway and Outer Northern Expressway that had been awarded by the administration of Yar’Adua at the cost of N257 billion in separate lots to Julius Berger, Messrs Dantata and Sawoe and CGC Nigeria Limited.

The President, while assessing the Airport Road, disclosed that the contract was awarded in May 2009 and that there was 30 kilometer of telecommunication on the road which has now changed the face of Abuja.

Meanwhile, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration, FCTA, Senator Bala Mohammed who noted that the roads have reduced traffic from city center, pointed out that there was still an outstanding bill of between N5 to N15 billion the federal government was owing the Contractors.

Speaking further, President Jonathan who hailed the Contractors and the FCTA Minister, revealed that the road was now at 98 percent completion, just as he urged the new government to ensure the completion because it serves as a gateway to the city of Abuja, saying that the world appreciates the road.

President Jonathan said, “I emphasised the need for train system in terms of developing an effective mass transit in any nation. We will be talking about mass transit and you cannot talk about mass transit using taxis, small cars, even the luxurious buses. It will be too expensive.

“Until our rail system works, that’s why we are emphasising inter city and intra city, normal rail intra city light rail systems. Of course, this government is leaving on the 29th. The incoming government will definitely continue because this is a noble project to Nigerians especially residents of the FCT.

“We are quite appreciative of the level of cooperation. The CCECC has been doing very well. Of course, the Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory. They are doing wonderfully well. I’m quite impressed. I have be wanting to come and inspect the project for a very long time but for challenges in terms of my commitments.

“I think, this period, I really need to so that when I am having conversation with the incoming president, I will know exactly what to tell him because I have seen it myself, I have seen the level of completion. Of course, you know the usefulness of this project in terms of easing the movement of the people in the Federal Capital Territory. I have to congratulate Nigerians for this project.

“It is the plan of this government to replicate this in all the state capitals. I hope the new government will replicate it in other state capitals. “We must make sure that the most pending bill myself and the Finance Minister will be discussing now how to sort out your bills before the 29th of May, be rest assured that this project will be completed because this project has really changed the face of Abuja.

“When you visit a country, the airport and the road leading from the airport into the main city will give you the first impression of the country and that’s why we are quite passionate about it. We want to do a similar thing in Lagos, but I believe that the new government will come up and do better, we have done well and we appreciate what we are doing and we will also try and meet up our own obligation.

“These projects really have improved the face of Abuja tremendously and people come to Abuja full of praises, if you look at all these, it is really making Abuja a real modern city, we are quite pleased with the progress of work, and we will do our best to see that the commitments of the government are met.”

Also commissioning the Kubwa express way and the main terminus of the Abuja light rail project in Idu, Federal Capital Territory, President GoodLuck stated that the light rail was key to ensure that commuters pay less fares which explains why the government plans for inter city rail which would link Abuja to other cities to ensure that every city in the country was linked to the rail system.

President Jonathan said, “The use of Taxis, small buses, even the big buses are too expensive, but for real effective mass transit where commuters are made to pay very low rate, of course the rail system is key and that is why the government has this plan for city rails like this and intercity rail system.

“Then within the big cities, Abuja, Lagos and others, we encourage governors of these states, where we need to partner with them, we partner with them, where they can do it alone, they do it to make sure that we have within the city like within these phases , though we are leaving on the 29th of May, I believe that by the time we finish this main lot one and two, this other one to come on stream maybe in two years time or in five years time, but I believe that it will come on stream.

“When people begin to enjoy this and commuters now know the cost implication that the savings is low for them, we will implore the government to handle the other one, I believe it will surely come on board, we are very hopeful that Nigerians especially residents of the FCT will enjoy this when it is ready.

Speaking further, FCTA Minister, Senator Mohammed explained that some of the advantages of the project include, to reduce the travel time on the busy airport express road, to create employment as well as improve the socio- economic well being of Nigeria citizens.

He said, “We must accept and appreciate what the federal government has done in terms of financing this project and the outstanding payment of this project which is about N5 billion and of cause looking at the total amount of the project you will discover the the federal government has done very well.”

Also speaking while inspecting the light rail project at Idu, Director of Transport, FCT Transport Secretariat, Alex Usuma, revealed that the official date of completion of the rail project remains December 2015. He added that the project is already at 61 percent completion.

According to him the administration was working on lot 1A and 3 at the moment because of financial constraints, adding that the start point of the rail service will be the location where the NNPC mega station presently occupies.