Minister Fashola Denies Frustrating Reconstruction Of Road In Lagos

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has debunked claims by the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, that the ministry is frustrating plans to reconstruct the road leading to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport.

Mr. Fashola said that the correct position on the airport road and presidential lodge issues, is that the process that would lead to their approval by the Federal Executive Council has not been completed.

Governor Ambode, during a press briefing, alleged that he approached the Ministry of Works on the matter but had not received permission to go ahead with the project.

He added that he had also been denied access to the Presidential Lodge in Lagos after President Muhammadu Buhari approved its handover to the state.

The Ministry of Works has also accused the Lagos state government of refusing to approve the ministry’s request for land, for the National Housing programme in the state.


Source: Channels TV

Fashola lists top federal road projects for 2017

The Minister for Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has explained how the federal government has prioritised highway projects across the country in order of economic importance.

Mr. Fashola appeared before the Senate on Works on Monday to defend his ministry’s budget.

In the 2017 budget proposal, the Ministry has N564.2 billion for the three sectors, out of which works gets N311.5 billion.

It has the highest vote for capital expenditure in the 2017 budget.

Mr. Fashola said the highway projects were grouped into categories in order of priority and importance of the projects.

According to him, the “priority 1” projects are “national priority projects on critical economic routes on the federal road network.”

“These are highly trafficked North-South, East-West routes used for the distribution of goods and services across the country and major river-crossing bridges.

“The sum of N150, 470,553,292, which represents 62.22 per cent, is proposed to execute “national priority 1” projects in 2017.

“Some of the projects are the construction of Second Niger Bridge at Onitsha; construction of the dual carriageway of Abuja-Abaji-Lokoja (Sections I-IV) in FCT/Kogi State; construction of the Kano-Maiduguri dual carriage Road (Sections I-V) in Kano/Bauchi/Yobe/Borno states; and the rehabilitation of Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway (Sections I-IV) in Enugu/Abia/Rivers states.”

“(Others are) Rehabilitation/reconstruction of the Lagos-Shagamu-Ibadan Expressway in Lagos/Oyo states; construction of Loko-Oweto Bridge in Nasarawa/Benue states; reconstruction of outstanding sections of Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Sagamu Road in Edo/Ondo/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene Road section I: Odukpani-Itu Bridgehead; and rehabilitation of Ilorin-J’ebba-Mokwa Road.”

“National Priority 2”

According to the minister, these are projects along the branch routes from the critical economic routes on the federal road network.

“These roads serve as links between the major routes and agricultural producing hubs, factories and mining deposits for the evacuation of agricultural produce, manufactured goods and raw materials to markets and ports across the country. The sum of N43, 143,299,357, which represents 17.84 per cent, is proposed to execute “National Priority 2” projects in 2017.”

He listed some of the projects as dualisation of Sapele-Ewu Road in Delta/Edo states; dualisation of Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road in Lagos/Ogun states; rehabilitation of Hadejia-Nguru-Gashua-Bayamari road in Jigawa/Yobe states; and the rehabilitation of Ilorin-Kabba-Obajana Road in Kwara/Kogi states.

Others are the rehabilitation of Yola-Mubi Road; rehabilitation of Owerri-Umuahia Road in Imo/Abia states; dualisation of Yenagoa Road Junction-Kolo-Otuoke-Bayelsa Palm in Bayelsa State; and the rehabilitation of Damaturu-Biu Road.

National Priority 3

“These projects are specifically targeted at routes leading to the nation’s refineries, petroleum depots, major ports and mineral producing areas in the country to ease the movement of petroleum products and imported goods from the ports and depots to other parts of the country.

“Also, the sum of N25, 508,708,266, which represents 10.55 per cent, was proposed to execute national priority 3 projects in 2017.

“Some of the projects are rehabilitation of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in Lagos Phase I & II; dualisation of Suleja-Minna Road; construction of Bodo-Bonny Road with a bridge across the Opobo channel in Rivers State; access road to Apapa/Tin Can Port, NNPC Depot (Atlas Cove) to Mile 2; and the construction of Agaie-Katcha-Baro Road,” Mr. Fashola explained.

National Priority 4

Road projects in “key agricultural states producing cash crops like yam, rice, maize, cassava, fruits, etc.” were categorized under “national priority 4” with objective of boosting “the production of these crops and ease their movement to markets. This is to enhance food sufficiency in the country and minimise losses.”

Mr. Fashola disclosed that N8.9 billion, representing 3.68 per cent, was proposed to construct and rehabilitate roads in this category.

Such projects include the rehabilitation of Sokoto-TambuwaI-Jega-Kontagora-Makera in Sokoto/Kebbi states; rehabilitation of Otukpo-9th Mile-Enugu-Port Harcourt dual carriageway in Benue/Enugu states; rehabilitation of Abakaliki-Afikpo Road in Ebonyi State; rehabilitation of Akure-Ondo Road in Ondo State; rehabilitation of Aba-Azumini-Opobo Road (Aba-Azumini section) in Abia State; rehabilitation of Wukari-Mutum Biyu-Jalingo-Numan Road Section I: Wukari-Mutum Biyu Road in Taraba State.

The minister said inadequacy of budgetary votes to sustain annual cash-flow requirements hinders timely completion of projects in Nigeria.

We are building roads in every states of the federation – Fashola

Babatunde Fashola, minister of power, works housing, says he is in doubt if there is any state in the country where roads are being constructed.

While defending the 2017 budget for works before the senate committee on Monday, Fashola said there was a possibility of the ministry getting more funds before the 2016 budget expires.

He explained that the ministry received only 53 percent of N300 billion appropriated to it in the 2016.

“It is not the question of lack of capacity but the question of how much revenue the country earns and how they can give to us to pursue our work,” he said.

“We received only 53 per cent on the allocation; there is the possibility that we will get more before the current budget fully winds down.

“I doubt that there is any state in the federation where there is no road project going on, whether it is our own direct project or constituency project.”

On his part, Kabiru Gaya, the committee chairman said it was the work of the national assembly to appraise budget proposals sent to it.

“The budget is a draft, we will do our work. The national assembly could not have been said to have padded the budget.

“By law, it has constitutional rights to appraise the budget proposal sent to it. It will therefore be a misnomer in the process of considering the budget to be seen as padding.

“We must explore more resourceful ways of delivering quality service in this sector. We must consider alternative sources of funding like public-private partnership and foreign investors to support the budget in the future.”

Reps to increase fuel price by N5 for roads maintenance.

If the House of Representatives signs the current National Roads Fund bill into law, Nigerians may pay additional N5 for petroleum products.

A technical committee set up by the House Committee on Works, chaired by Toby Okechukwu had made the recommendation.

The National Road Fund is aimed at generating revenue for routine and periodic maintenance works on Nigerian roads.

The committee recommended that “fuel levy of N5 chargeable per litre on any volume of petrol and diesel products imported into Nigeria and on locally refined petroleum products.”

It also recommended toll fees not exceeding 10 percent of any revenue paid as user charge per vehicle on any federal road designated as a toll road; international vehicle transit charges; inter-state mass transit user charge of 0.5 percent deductible from the fare paid by passengers as well as surcharge of 0.5 percent chargeable on the assessed value of any imported vehicle into the country.

The fund is to be managed by a governing board with a managing director as the head of the fund.

Labour Party drags Governor Amosun to court over road projects

The Labour Party, LP, in Ogun State has dragged Governor Ibikunle Amosun to court for details of the contracts for all road projects awarded by his administration since 2011.


The party in the suit filed at the State High Court, Abeokuta, joined the state Attorney-General and Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure as respondents.


The suit was instituted on behalf of the party by its state chairman, Arabambi Abayomi; secretary, Oginni Olaposi; and two members, Olufunmilayo Oginni and Sabur Aroyewun.


The applicants are seeking an order of mandamus directing the respondents to allow them access to the information on all road projects awarded by the state government under Mr. Amosun.


The party wants the information to include the names of contractors, costs of the contracts, and expected dates of completion.


The case comes for hearing on January 25 before Justice Mobolaji Ojo at High Court 4 in Abeokuta.


Source: Premium Times

Five Die in Anambra Road Crash

Five passengers of an Onitsha bound commercial vehicle on Friday lost their lives when the Toyota Previa vehicle they were travelling in collided with a truck near Abba junction in Anambra State, on the Enugu- Onitsha expressway.

Mr Sunday Ajayi, the state Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps, confirmed the deaths in a telephone interview with the News Agency of Nigeria.

Ajayi, who said four adults and a child lost their lives in the unfortunate incident, noted that the accident occurred around 6.19am on Friday, blaming it on route violation by the truck driver.

“We were there to rescue the victims of the accident where five souls were lost.

“From the information I have with me, I learnt that the truck was taking one-way and because of that, they had head-on-collision and five people were killed instantly.

“We have six people involved in the accident which meant that only the driver of the truck is alive.

“It is wrong to take one – way on the highways; it is dangerous and may lead to death.

“We advise people not to lay too much claims on their rights. They should be conscious while driving on the road. If someone is doing wrong on the road, they should avoid such driver to stay alive.

“The law will surely catch up with whoever does the wrong thing on the road,” he said.

Ajayi said the bodies of the deceased had been deposited at the Enugu-Ukwu General Hospital mortuary.

An eyewitness, who said the commercial vehicle took off from Enugu, also blamed the truck which was heading towards Awka for the accident.

The source appealed to FRSC to sensitise and enlighten commuters on the need to always utilise their routes to avoid such fatal accidents.

Federal Government opposes Senate’s bid to scrap FERMA.

The Federal Government has opposed the plan by the Senate to scrap the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and replace it with the Federal Roads Authority (FRA). The upper chamber of the National Assembly was wanting to repeal the Act establishing the agency having being sponsored by the chairman of its Committee on Works, Kabiru Gaya (APC Kano South) in October this year.


In moving for its disbandment, the former Kano State governor had alleged lack of capacity, citing the deplorable state of the roads nationwide over the years.


Gaya in his lead debate said FRA would serve as a semi-autonomous road agency responsible for the professional management of federal roads in the country involving planning, design, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance, thereby ending the duplication of functions between FERMA and the Highways Department of the Ministry of Works.


But in puncturing the move yesterday at a public hearing in Abuja, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said FERMA was already a brand which should not be changed.

“We welcome the idea of creating roads fund, we also welcome the idea of creating a maintenance agency but we think this will be details of the substance of the presentation that I will make.


“We think that all of the recommendations that have been made for maintenance should be embodied in the agency that government has already created, FERMA.


“Repeal the existing FERMA law, re-enact it and put all of the new things we want to create inside it instead of creating a new agency because FERMA was set up for maintenance in the very first place.


“It has acquired the name, it has acquired the brand, we can build on that brand instead of creating a new one. People who managed brands like this change their drinks but they don’t change their names,” he remarked.


Also yesterday, the chamber expressed displeasure over the failure of the Comptroller General of Customs, Col. Hameed Ali (rtd) to appear before it over the move to repeal a 58-year old Act to allow for its efficiency.


The Hope Uzodinma-led Committee on Customs and Excise was yearning to get the service’s input for the piece of legislation titled, “A Bill for an Act to Repeal the Customs and Excise Management Act Bill 2016.”

Shettima resumes construction of abandoned roads, drainages in Borno

Governor of Borno State, Kashim Shettima, has said that with relative peace and the degrading of remnants of Boko Haram sect by the military, his administration has resumed work for the construction of abandoned roads and drainage networks in Biu local government area and other communities in southern senatorial district of the state.


Shettima added that the ongoing projects for rehabilitation of township roads in Biu and the construction of 40 kilometre Miringa- Gunda road and bridges that was abandoned due to insecurity will be completed before the end of first quarter of next year.


The governor stated this when he paid courtesy visit to the Emir of Biu, Alhaji Mai Umar Mustapha Aliyu, at his palace in Biu.


Shettima represented by the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Hon. Adamu Lawan said: “The weeklong official engagement in the area, is to inspect the commencement of ongoing roads and drainage projects to ensure that quality work is not compromised.

“We are in your domain to spend at least a week to inspect projects being executed by the Borno State government through Borno Road Maintenance Agency (BORMA).


“As you are aware that this government had embarked on massive projects in your area, but due to activities of Boko Haram, the roads and drainages as well as other meaningful projects were at a point abandoned. Now that peace have returned, we have no option than to see to their completion.


“We have visited the newly acquired Quarry Plant near Kwaya Kusar Local Government Area, and the decision by government to acquire this plant became necessary, as it will reduce cost of construction of roads to at least 50 per cent. We have been to 40km Miringa- Gunda and other road projects that were abandoned to activities of insurgency, and very soon we will mobilize our people back to sites for speedy completion”.

Lagos-Ibadan Road to Be Completed Soon – Fashola

Expansion and rehabilitation work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be completed soon, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola, who reviewed his first year in office in Lagos at the weekend, said the long bridge at the Lagos-Ogun boundary on the road had to be shut because construction work was ongoing underneath it.

“Roads are depreciating assets that need constant maintenance and regulated usage,” he said, adding that the issue of overloaded trucks was being addressed.

According to him, the government is looking into the issue of double-axle articulated vehicles that transport more tonnage than most roads were built to accommodate.

Fashola also said weighbridges will be reintroduced on the roads to arrest overloading.

He said, however, that warehouses have to be built by the weighbridges to take in offloaded extra goods from arrested haulage vehicles.

The minister added that the issue of reintroducing tollgates on roads would be decided by Nigerians, noting that he had not forgotten his experience as Lagos State governor.

The minister said electricity generation had improved considerably in the last 12 months, peaking at above 5074MW for the first time in the nation’s 63-year-old electricity history earlier this year.

He said this had created jobs for hitherto idle artisans, small and medium scale entrepreneurs and empowered other businesses.

He said more than 800 containers of imported power generation and distribution components stranded at the ports had been released as a result of his ministry’s efforts and the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

He regretted that about 3000MW of electricity was lost to vandalism, adding, however, that the Federal Government was discussing with agitators to end the destruction.

Fashola said electricity generation would continue to appreciate as more stations come on stream and contribute to the National Grid.

The minister appealed to electricity consumers to be patient with distribution companies over insufficient prepaid meters, noting that the privatisation of the sector was only three years old.

He said the meters would soon be readily available as more companies embark on their production in Nigeria.

The contractor handling the road rehabilitation, Julius Berger Nigeria Ltd, will divert traffic on additional sections of the road.

The Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), in a statement at the weekend, said Ibadan bound traffic will be diverted to the Lagos bound carriageway CH38+400 and CH 43+700 to allow the laying of the wearing course.

The diversions will lead to the closure of the Ibadan bound exit road leading to Sagamu as well as the Sagamu bound exit road leading to Ibadan.

The temporary closure would be from Wednesday till November 23.

My administration has spent over N90bn on roads, says Wike.

The Rivers state government has spent over N90 billion on the construction of critical roads in the last 17 months, according to Nyesom Wike, the governor.

Wike made the disclosure while declaring open the West Africa Architects Fair (WAAF 2016) in Port Harcourt.

He also said the infrastructure development programme  of his administration had been insulated from political consideration for the attainment of positive results.

“We have spent over N90 billion on construction, rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads, bridges and jetties,” Simeon Nwakaudu, his spokesman quoted him as saying.

“This money has effectively delivered over 80 roads while work is ongoing on the construction of about 35 new roads, spread across the three senatorial districts of the state.

?”Most importantly, in order to derive maximum value for money spent, we have insulated our infrastructure development and delivery master plan from political considerations by ensuring that the designing, construction and supervision of all our roads are handled by reputable professionals and construction companies.”

?Wike said his administration had overcome the initial challenges of empty treasury, unpaid salaries, insecurity caused by closed courts and a weak economy.

?”When we assumed office, we met a state that was at the lowest rung in all indices of development,” he said.

“Besides an empty treasury, we inherited months of unpaid salaries to civil servants and a totally broken infrastructure.

“The poor security situation was exacerbated by the prolonged closure of the courts for over 12 months, leading to unprecedented capital flight and disinvestments.

?”However, 17 months after, we have recorded remarkable achievements in several areas of development.”

He said his administration’s priority was to clear the backlog of salaries, fix broken roads and transport infrastructure and create jobs by reflating the economy.

“In all these, we have successfully delivered,” he said.

?”For instance, apart from clearing the arrears of salaries, we are among the very few states with proven capacity to meet our financial obligations to civil servants, contractors and vendors.”

He lauded Nigerian architects for their contributions to the development of the country.

He recalled that since his days as council chairman of Obio/Akpor local government area  up to becoming the minister of  state for education, he had been collaborating with architects to deliver quality projects.

No new roads until existing projects are completed – Fashola

The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has stated that his ministry will not award any new contract for the construction or rehabilitation of federal roads until existing ones are completed.

Mr. Fashola said past administrations in Nigeria awarded contracts for 206 roads at about N2 trillion naira, which were mostly unpaid for.

He was responding to questions from State House correspondents on Wednesday at the end of the meeting of the Federal Executive Council. He spoke on the terrible state of some roads within the Federal Capital and the reason his ministry appears to be more interested in the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Mr. Fashola said the roads went bad at a time when there were resources but the governments of the time refused to fix them.

“What we have done was first to say that we would not award any new road contract,” he said. “We would deal with the over 206 roads that have been awarded but not funded for over three years.”

Mr. Fashola also said because of the limited resources available to his ministry, road projects have to be prioritized.

He said the Lagos-Ibadan expressway is a very important road for the whole country and carries the heaviest traffic.

“Now the budget that we have for the three ministries that I superintend is in the region of N400 plus billion and over 200 billion is dedicated to roads across the country.

“So that is the deficit that we have to deal with and in making those choices we then have to deal not with roads that necessarily border us but roads that carry the heaviest traffic,” he said.

He said attention is being given to roads that have economic significance for the country such as routes for the evacuation of fuel and food produce going to the different parts of the country.

The minister also disclosed that the council approved the purchase of three transformers of 150 MVA to be installed in substations of Shiroro in Niger, Osogbo in Osun and Kumbotso in Kano as requested by the Transmission Company of Nigeria, TCN.

Mr. Fashola, who did not mention the cost of the transformers, said the purpose of the purchase which overrides the cost implication is to “continue to reinforce, expand and maintain the existing transmission capacity so that as the progress of our incremental power initiative expands and achieves its purpose, transmission company is able to competently deliver the power.”

FG to Pay States On Rehabilitated Roads – Fashola

The Federal Government is set to pay states that have used their resources to rehabilitate federal roads in their areas.

Speaking Thursday in Katsina State, Minister of Power, Works, and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, said President Muhammadu Buhari has assured to pay the debt.

Fashola, who was speaking at the 22nd meeting of National Council of Works, said a committee was set up under his leadership and recommendations have been made to the government on the matter. He said the ministry inherited roads liability of N2 trillion, but that only a budget of N18 billion was made last year for road projects.

He, however, said the current government improved upon it and budgeted N226 billion this year for road projects, and that N73 billion has been paid between June and July in liabilities.

The minister said some petrol tanker drivers were in the habit of overloading products, saying some of them were ferrying 60,000 litres of petrol instead of the lawful 33,000 litres.

He said their actions were detrimental to the lifespan of the roads, even as he warned petrol tankers to desist from such illegal activities or face the consequences.

Fashola said roads that help access mining areas, evacuate fuel, cargoes at sea, and roads that allow for heavier traffic would be given priority in road projects to be executed in the country.

He, however, said that the 45.7 meters right- of-way would be enforced, while the ministry is to carry out intervention on roads across the states of the federation on a yearly basis.

He said Federal Controllers of Roads at the states would henceforth be held accountable for the quality of roads in their various states.

He called on them to liaise with stakeholders including traditional rulers and government, to achieve the objective of quality federal roads at the states level.

He said contractors handling road projects would henceforth not be paid by the government till they are confirmed to have insurance cover for their workers.

Governor Aminu Bello Masari, on his part, lamented problem of overloading of vehicles on the nation’s highways, with the call on relevant agencies to check the menace.

He said several crimes committed in the state and elsewhere were often by motorcycle owners, and that such was another issue that needed be addressed.

Buhari Inherited N1.5trn Debt on Road Contracts – Fashola

The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari inherited road contractual liabilities worth N1.5tn, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has said.

Fashola said this in a statement in Abuja on Sunday by his Special Adviser, Communications, Mr. Hakeem Bello.

The minister said the ministry inherited 206 roads that were not budgeted for or poorly funded, but added that it had now developed a road map consisting of identifying and prioritising heavy traffic bearing roads for conveying essential goods and services across the country.

He said, “We have to build roads that evacuate our sea and airports; roads that drive our energy for now; roads that go to the tank farms to evacuate fuel from the South to the North; and roads that sustain us, that is roads that bring in our feed stock, cattle and vegetables and livestock from the North down to the South.

“And that is why you see us building from Lagos to Ibadan, to Ilorin, to Jebba to link all the way to Kaduna and Kano, and go on up North. And we are doing the same thing trying to connect River Benue through the Loko-Oweto Bridge and the Second Niger Bridge; Kano-Kaduna, and Kano-Maiduguri. Those are the choices we have made because this is a period of hard choices, trying to do more with less.”

Fashola added, “Those are the choices that we have made; they are not esoteric choices, they are simple and rational choices. All the roads we are working on had been awarded before I got into office by the previous administration – over 206 roads. You don’t have resources to build 206 roads; so, where you put your limited resources is in those areas.

“The total outstanding contractual liabilities are in the region of N1.5tn and this administration is taking them in batches, starting from the critical heavy traffic highways that evacuate goods from ports, fuel from tank farms and move foodstuffs and agro-produce across the country.”

The minister also said Nigeria lost more than 3,000 megawatts of electricity to the activities of vandals in the last six months.

Fashola said this in a presentation titled, ‘Leadership and the Politics of Reforms in Africa: Lessons from Nigeria’ at the Wilson Centre, Washington DC, United States.

The minister added that electricity supply increased by 4,00MW in the last two weeks due to increase in the generating capacity of the hydropower plants occasioned by the repair and maintenance carried out on them in the last one year.

He attributed the loss of over 3,000MW of power to consistent vandalism and sabotage of oil and gas pipelines and assets.

‘President’ Ambode: Lagos to link inner roads to Smart city project

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday said plans are afoot to link inner roads in the State to the Lagos Smart City Project, just as he expressed readiness to commence deployment of Close Circuit Television (CCTV) Cameras in October across the State.

Governor Ambode, who disclosed this in Coker Aguda area of the State at the commissioning of some of the 114 roads, newly constructed in the 20 Local Government Areas (LGs) and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs), said Government will complement the project with strategic security management driven by technology.

The Governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Science and Technology, Olufemi Odubiyi at the commissioning of 500 meters Bolaji Banwo Street in Coker Aguda LCDA, said security remained one of the cardinal objectives of his administration, and that technology will play a key role in securing residents.

Also in Coker Aguda LCDA, Governor Ambode commissioned 580meters Opere Street through a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly representing Surulere Constituency 1, Desmond Elliot.

Speaking to journalists, the Governor said: “One of the cardinal areas in which we focus on is security in the State and we have realised that the man policing we have in Lagos is not sufficient if you look at the ratio of the policemen that we have to the citizens of the State.

“We have come up with an initiative which is an ongoing project and it is called the Smart City Project. In the area of security, we are going to be deploying CCTV Cameras to ensure that when you are sleeping, you have a guaranty that you are being watched.

“The present administration is interested in making sure that this city is safe and technology is one of the areas we are looking at by deploying CCTV Cameras which will be linked to our Command and Control Centre in Alausa. We are going to have an eye over Lagos and this is because of the importance this government is paying to security of lives and property,” he said.

At the handover of Otolu and Ojuoto/Ajegunle streets in Lekki LCDA, Governor Ambode said good road network remains a veritable tool for economic prosperity of any community especially the Lekki Free Trade Zone, just as he assured investors of friendly business climate.

The Governor who was represented by the Chairman House Committee on Transportation, Fatai Mojeed and a House of Representatives member, Gbenga Ashafa, said Lekki community would soon be the greatest generator of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for Lagos State with a call on residents to pay their taxes promptly for more dividends of democracy.

At the handover of Borno Way, Ebute-Meta in Lagos Mainland LG, the Governor represented by the Secretary to the State Government, (SSG) Tunji Bello, cautioned against arbitrary cutting of roads and vandalism.

He said the government will not take vandalism of public infrastructure lightly, tasking community leaders in the areas where the new roads were built to take custody of the roads.

The Governor also commissioned Oloto Road, Ebute-Metta also in Lagos Mainland LG and was represented by Alade Adebayo.

In Agboyi-Ketu LCDA, the Governor who spoke through his Chief of Staff, Olukunle Ojo at the commissioning of Zion Street, said the use of inter lock stones, asphalt and concrete to construct roads by local companies was an indication that the era of foreign construction companies in Nigeria was nearing its end.

Likewise, at the inauguration of Adedoyin Street also in Agboyi-Ketu, the Governor who was represented by his Special Adviser on Food Security, Ganiu Sanni lauded the quality of work done, saying it was up to standard.

Watch Tower and Imam Salisu Street in Imota LCDA were also inaugurated by the Governor through his representatives, Hon Sanai Agunbiade of the Lagos State House of Assembly and HRH the Ranodu of Imota, Oba Ajibade Bakare Agoro, with a call on residents to put the facilities provided by the Government to judicious use.

In Badagry LG, Governor Ambode who inaugurated Hunwi Tande Road, Ajara and Hundeyin Street where he was represented by his Special Advisers on Environment, Hon. Babatunde Hunpe and Transport, Prince Anofi Elegushi said his administration would not neglect any community within the state.

In Oto-Awori LCDA, the Governor who was represented by his Deputy, Dr. Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, at the inauguration of Babalola Ilogbo Okeagbo Road, said his administration will continue to carry out people-oriented projects to make life more comfortable for Lagosians.

Governor Ambode also inaugurated Goriola Oseni Street and Mosafejo/Ilufe Road in Ojo LG, and was represented by Ebenezer Kuponu of the Ojo Community Development Council (CDC) and Prince Rabiu Adio-Oluwa, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Similarly, the Governor also commissioned Sotunde and Omodunni Street in Agbado-Okeodo LCDA and was represented by a member of the House of Assembly, Hon. Yinka Ogundimu and his Special Adviser on Civic Engagement, Hon. Kehinde Joseph.

Kayode Street and Odebiyi/Dosumu Street, both in Ifako-Ijaiye LG were commissioned by a member of the House of Assembly, Hon. Rasheed Makinde and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce, Hon. Adeyemi Olabinjo as representatives of the Governor

Militants Threaten to Burn 500 Tankers Over Bad Road

Members of the Black Mambas militant group have threatened to set ablaze over 500 tankers if nothing was done by the Federal Government, by today, to alleviate the suffering of commuters on the Calabar-Ikom Road.

Leader of the group and coordinator of the Niger Delta People Volunteer Front (NDPVF), Asu Simeon Mbi (also known as General Simba) said his men were determined to execute the operation, if nothing urgent was done to alleviate the suffering of transporters and other road users.

Mbi, in a statement, yesterday, vowed that, if nothing was done at the expiration of the ultimatum, Federal Government would count losses.

“I will set fire on those tankers queuing along Calabar-Ikom Highway because of one bad spot the government cannot fill. No matter the security in place, we will execute it. Just watch and see. Then, the federal government should get ready to count losses again,” Mbi declared.

The group also warned Biafrans and other communities around the vicinity to relocate by October 16 “for their own good.”

Meanwhile, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has, once again, intervened on the failed portions of the Calabar-Ikom highway, after a successful emergency repairs of the Calabar-Itu-Ikot-Ekpene-Aba federal highway.

The acting Managing Director, Ibim Semenitari said an urgent intervention was necessary to alleviate the problems facing commuters and transporters on the road.

She said despite funding constraints, the commission was ready to take up the challenge of providing relief for those using the road and stated that NDDC’s engineers would commence rehabilitation work immediately.

FG Vows to Enhance Safety, Prevent Economic Losses on Highways

The Federal Government has vowed to intensify efforts towards reconstruction and rehabilitation of highways cross the country in order to promote safety and prevent economic losses on the roads.

In that regard, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has directed Federal Controllers of Works to ensure the removal of all obstructions on the Right of Ways across the country.

The Minister also directed that the issuance of permits to erect structures on Right of Ways on Federal Highways should no longer be granted and there would be no renewal for those who already have such structures on the highways.

Fashola, was quoted in a statement issued by Hakeem Bello to have giiven the directives at a meeting in Abuja with Federal Controllers of Works and Sector Commanders of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) from across the Federation, said that while those with permit would be allowed to stay till the expiration of such permit, those with no permit should immediately leave the Right of Way.

Expressing dismay at the ease with which the permits are issued in the name of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR), Fashola told the controllers, “Our first step is how to secure our Right of Way back. We have the right of way in this country; 45 metres from the centre line”.

The Minister pointed out that roads are built to move human beings, goods and services with ease adding, “If after building the roads we issue all sorts of permits on the Right of Way of the roads we have built in the name of Internally Generated Revenue are we not defeating the purpose we set out to achieve?”

He added, “If that road works, you will take personal benefits. One, you will spend less on food, I assure you, because the average transporter, whether the road is good or bad, will move and by the time he gets to his destination he just calculates how much extra fuel he has burnt and he will pass it into the full cost”.

“Then when you come next month you complain that rice has gone to N20,000; you caused it because he cannot do that business at a loss. If a journey that should take him four hours takes him eight hours instead, he will burn more fuel and he will pass the cost to the trader”, the Minister said.

Fashola said although there might not be any scientific measure to put a cost on what the driver had spent, he would like to get as much as he could to cover his cost, adding, “So, you can issue your permit for the Right of Way but be sure you have diminished the value of your own salary; because price of rice has moved up and you must buy. That is one way that we all undercut ourselves”.

Listing further benefits of unhindered traffic, Fashola declared, “If that road moves freer and faster, even if today you don’t get a reversal, at least prices will stay where they are. You may not get immediate price reduction but you can get a stable price economy you can plan your life with”.

The Minister said, however, that although it was in the interest of the government to clear the Right of Way, there was no suggestion to start breaking the structures currently on them adding, “There is an enlightenment process that we must pursue in doing this. But we must plan it together. Tell the people there is no more renewal of licenses you have given. Stop the renewal”.

He further warned, “So anybody who is still renewing is looking for trouble for himself. The ones that have no permits then we tell them to go”, adding that he has notified the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to stop issuing permits for petrol stations on Right of Ways.

According to the Minister, although there is need for petrol stations as people have to buy fuel, such fuel stations should not be built on Right of Way.

“So petrol stations must be approved within the appropriate setbacks. This is where you should partner with the state governments because the state is the planning authority. You have to work with them so that when the final permits are given they don’t land on your Right of Way. They must observe the setbacks” he told the controllers.

Fashola, who said the enforcement of the ban would need the cooperation of State Governments as well as the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), urged the controllers to return to their states with a new mind-set that getting it right on the roads and highways would need the cooperation of all the stakeholders.

The Minister told them, “You must know the number of roads under you and in how many local governments and how many people. You should know how many of your Right of Ways are obstructed. You need to have that data; you must file that report; is it 10 per cent, 20 per cent or 80 per cent? Which one has the heaviest traffic that we may have to attend to quickly?”

Reiterating the benefits of a free flow of traffic, Fashola, who noted that government would not attend to everything at the same time, added, “I am sure if you free all the right of ways, traffic will move better. Some of the best sides of our roads have been covered up by parking”.

Our Roads Are Dead– Buhari

President Muhammdu Buhari on Wednesday admitted that Nigerian roads are “dead” and required urgent attention of the Federal Government.

The president spoke at a dinner he hosted in honour of senators at the new Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja Wednesday night.

The event was also attended by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo; a national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu; the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu; top government officials and presidential aides.

“The roads are dead,” Mr. Buhari said. “Those who drive between Lagos and Ibadan will have a lot of stories to tell you. Those who drive from Kaduna to Jebba may have more stories to tell. The same thing is applicable to the East West roads.”

The president asked the lawmakers to concentrate on the challenge of infrastructure confronting the country, including rail and power.

According to him, if the government could get the railways working, lives and fuel would be saved.

He also urged them to study the various agreements Nigeria entered into in the last six years with a view to detecting where the country had defaulted, especially in the area of counterpart funding.

Credit: PremiumTimes

Military Checkpoints: Blocked Roads Reopen In Jos

A resident of Jos, the Plateau State capital, Garuba Usman, has expressed reservation with the order of President Muhammadu Buhari, directing that military checkpoints across the country should be dismantled.

As early as 7.30am on Tuesday, some security operatives, especially those of the police, supervised the removal of sandbags and sign posts, usually mounted by the military as shields.

Most of the roads closed as a result of the incessant crises in the metropolis were opened to traffic.

For instance, the road from Muritala Mohammed to Terminus, closed since May 20, 2014, when two bomb blasts killed over 200 people in the crowded Terminus market, has been reopened.

Most of the residents, who spoke to our correspondent on the development, described the removal as hasty, preferring rather that the dismantling be in phases.

A resident, Usman, said for a state like Plateau, where common argument between people of different faiths or tribes could lead to serious crisis, the dismantling of road blocks should not be rushed. He said, “For a city like Jos, with segregated living, road blocks are necessary for areas where one tribe or religion predominate.”

However spokesman for the Special Task Force, Mr. Ikedichi Iweha, allayed the fears of the residents.

Iweha said in some areas, soldiers were still on the standby to respond to emergencies, adding that the road blocks were being dismantled to reposition security agencies for greater efficiency.

He said, “In taking the decision, we are not unmindful of the security situation in the country and so where the checkpoints are dismantled, security men are still on standby to respond to any emergency.”


Aso Rock Gives Us 12 Reasons Why Jonathan Deserves Reelection

The Presidency has given 12 reasons why Nigerians must re-elect President Goodluck Jonathan for another term of four years during the March 28 presidential election.

This was contained in a piece, titled, “Twelve reasons to support Jonathan,” published in the current edition of the in-house magazine of the State House, Abuja, called Villascope.

It listed some of the reasons to include the present administration strides in road construction, railway rehabilitation, remodeling of airports, transformed agriculture sector and increased access to education.

Others are increased access to housing, improved power supply, improved water supply, better health facilities, reformed security infrastructures, economic transformation and increased Nigerians’ participation in downstream oil sector.

The Presidency said Jonathan met 4,500km of motorable roads but constructed/rehabilitated 25,000km of roads.

This, it said, had drastically reduced travel time nationwide.

It added that about five million Nigerians now travel by train after the present administration rehabilitated the nation’s railway.

On education, it said, “Jonathan built 125 Almajiri schools, 14 universities and special schools for girls in 27 states.

“He gave 101 scholarships to first-class graduates to pursue postgraduate courses in the best 25 universities in the world.

“He sponsored 7,000 lecturers of federal and state universities and polytechnics for postgraduate studies to improve quality teaching.”

The Presidency further said that 61,000 housing units had been built in the six geo-political zones of the country.

Source – Punch Ng