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Kaduna-Kano project: We’ll accord railway infrastructure development greatest priority – Buhari

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By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Thursday in Kano pledged that his administration will continue to accord railway infrastructure development the greatest priority, describing rail transportation as a potent economic driver.

Speaking at the ground breaking ceremony of Kaduna– Kano segment of the Lagos– Kano railway modernization project, the President said the take-off of construction activities on this segment of the Lagos– Kano vividly represents the commitment of the Federal Government in the revival of the country’s railway system.”The ground breaking ceremony for Kano – Kaduna segment of the Lagos – Kano railway modernization project signifies an important milestone of the construction of the third segment, having completed and commenced commercial operation on the first segment Abuja–Kaduna and recently the second segment Lagos-Ibadan.

“This project is crucial to the establishment of a supply chain in railway transport within its corridor, Kano –Kaduna-Abuja, as it links the major commercial cities of Kano and Kaduna to the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. Upon completion, Kaduna-Kano railway project is to link the Lagos–Ibadan Railway project via Abuja, Minna, Ilorin, Oshogbo, Ibadan to Lagos on one end, and Maradi, Niger Republic on the other.”This railway connection when completed will establish the ports in Lagos, as the choice for import and export business of the people of landlocked Niger Republic. This would positively drive our economies through employment from new business opportunities and wealth creation,” he said.

“OIn financing for the project, the President expressed confidence that the Federal Ministry of Transportation and Ministry of Finance were working to engage co-financiers to conclude financial agreements for the development of the Ibadan–Kano line and to further increase the bankability of the project.He said the railway line would be linked to the second Port in Lagos, the Tin Can Island Port, while expecting that the Inland Dry Port on these routes will be activated with the ports receiving imports directly from the international market as ports of destination such as the Ibadan, Kaduna and Kano Inland Dry Ports.

The President commended the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, and project implementation partners that are contributing to this national effort of railway infrastructure development.He said, under this administration, several landmarks have been achieved, beginning from the flag-off for commercial operation of Abuja – Kaduna railway in 2016 to the recent commissioning of the Lagos – Ibadan railway project on June 10 2021, thereby maintaining the pace for the actualization of this vital thoroughfare.In his remarks, the Minister of Transportation thanked the President for the strong will in driving the overhaul of Nigeria’s moribund railway transport subsector.He assured the President that the ministry would remain committed to his vision for a strong and sustainable railway transportation backbone to engender and facilitate a new path to positive economic transformation of the country.

Highlighting some features of the project, the Minister explained the rail line is also provided with accessories and special installations including power and water supply schemes, signalling system and communication in GSM-R, freight yards, rolling stock depots and maintenance workshops.He said the ministry has finalized plans to commence construction of the remaining addendum of Ibadan-Abuja to complete the entire stretch of the Lagos-Kano Railway modernization project.At the ground-breaking ceremony at Zawaciki, Dawakin Kudu Local Government Area of Kano State, the President was joined by Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje of Kano State, Governor Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State and Governor Simon Lalong of Plateau State.While in Kano, the President also commissioned Dangi Underpass built by the Kano State Government. 


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Blackout hits Nigeria as electricity grid collapses again

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Nigeria is currently experiencing a blackout, as a collapse of the electricity grid has been reported.

In a recent statement, Oyebode Fadipe, general manager, corporate communications at the Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC), said the system collapse occurred at about 12:26pm on Wednesday.

According to him, the incident led to an interruption of power supply in Abuja and its surroundings.

Fadipe, meanwhile assured Nigerians that power supply will be restored to the states within its franchise as soon as the firm receives significant improvement in energy allocation.

“We have been unable to serve our customers in Niger, Kogi and Nasarawa States as well as a significant portion of the entire Federal Capital Territory,” Fadipe said.

“At the moment, only 20 megawatts (MW) have been allocated to AEDC as against the over 400MW that we have been receiving in recent times.”

The grid often records partial or total collapse, which renders most homes in darkness. The grid collapsed in February and May, leading to a blackout across the country. This is worsening the blackout being experienced by households and businesses in parts of Nigeria.

The grid, which is being managed by government-owned Transmission Company of Nigeria, has continued to suffer system collapse over the years. This will be the fourth time this is happening in recent times.

Eko Electricity Distribution Company, in a text message to its customers, said, “Dear customer, the present outage is due to a system collapse on the National Grid. TCN (Transmission Company of Nigeria) assures us that supply will be restored shortly.”

NAN


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Buhari signs N982 billion 2021 supplementary budget, commends NASS for expeditious consideration

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By Abdullahi Mohammed, Abuja
President Muhammadu Buhari Monday in Abuja signed a supplementary budget of N982.7bn for 2021 to address urgent security and COVID-19 needs of the nation.The President signed the Supplementary Appropriation Act, 2021 in his office at the State House in the presence of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, Chief of Staff, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari and Director-General, Budget Office of the Federation, Ben Akabueze and Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (House), Hon. Umar  el-Yakub.

Of the amount, N123.3 million is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the sum of the N859.3bn is for contribution to the Development Fund for the capital expenditure for the year ending on the 31st day of December, 2021.The President commended the National Assembly for the expeditious consideration and approval of the supplementary budget, assuring that the executive arm of government would ensure the timely delivery of capital projects to achieve the laudable objectives of the Budget.

 Meanwhile, the President has also, at an earlier date, signed the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board (Amendment) Act, 2021.The Act amends the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board Act Cap. O10 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 to provide for the establishment of the Orthopedic Hospital Jos, Plateau State under the control of the Orthopedic Hospitals Management Board affiliated to the Jos Teaching Hospital to provide specialised orthopedic treatment and medical services.


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Nigeria’s indigenous company, Madugu Cement, partners Chinese firm, to float cement company in Gombe

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By Goodluck Ikiebe.

Nigeria’s indigenes company, Madugu cement, in collaboration with Sinoma Engineering company of China, has unveiled its intention to establish a 5 million metric tons cement company in Kembu, Akko LGA and Yamaltu Deba Local Government Area of Gombe State, North-East Nigeria.

The project is to be executed in two phases, with the construction and commissioning of a fully integrated 2.5million metric tons of lime per year and a 60 megawatts power plant, while the 2nd phase will be the additional 2.5 million metric tons per year.

The company believes that Nigeria and the surrounding regions have good opportunities in construction, housing and infrastructure development.

For over 40 years, the North-eastern Zone has only one cement company, which makes it difficult to meet the demand of the immediate environment.

The Chief Executive Officer of Madugu Cement Company, Mr. Mohammed Madugu, revealed this during a visit to Governor Muhammadu Inuwa Yahaya in Gombe.

Mr. Madugu said his technical partners had come to seek the Governor’s guidance, advice and blessing in setting up the cement company, which is aimed at bridging the cement deficit in the zone.

“In the absence of a new major investor in the region, I have taken this decision to invest and build new plant in partnership with the Sinoma Company of China,” Mr. Madugu said.

He stated that the project when fully completed and operational, would positively impact on the host communities and the state, such as the dependence of the company local manpower, 90% locally source materials, skills and technology transfer, among others.

Mr Madugu said; “Training, capacity development to locals, building the installations and commissioning improved corporate social responsibility, schools, healthcare centres and potable water and to increase revenue generation to the state are some of the benefits.”

The Project Manager of International Marketing Africa Region of Sinoma International Company, Mr. Sun Yujin, said the company considered it an honour to be invited by Madugu Cement for an investment in Gombe State.

Mr. Yujin said; ”the company would in no doubt provide the needed labour and contribute to the development of Gombe State.”

Governor Muhammad Yahaya said the state would provide a good market for cement, because it had about 25 million people with the need for development, which would require cement, providing a robust commercial activity as the centre of the North East.

He said this was so because of the good trade relations and boundaries it had with the remaining five states in the North East and Cameroon, Chad and the Republic of Niger.

“So, your coming here is very apt and we welcome you most profoundly, because we’ve benefited from the existence of the cement company in this sub-region, but may be with close to three-quarters of the North West. In the whole of the North, I think we have only four cement plants now, that of Obajana, that of Sokoto, then Gboko and that of Ashaka,” Governor Yahaya said.

He said an additional cement company in the North would greatly improve on the economic activities and deliver social infrastructure and fiscal infrastructure of the North East.

Governor Yahaya advised the investor to delve into other ventures like power generation, which could easily be sourced in the state.


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