P.M. NEWS Nigeria » Transportation http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com First with Nigeria News - Nigerian leading evening Newspaper - Sat, 18 Oct 2014 14:07:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 NUPENG Strike: Rivers residents, commuters groan over fuel scarcity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/nupeng-strike-rivers-residents-commuters-groan-over-fuel-scarcity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/nupeng-strike-rivers-residents-commuters-groan-over-fuel-scarcity/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 11:09:42 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215230 Okafor Ofiebor/Port Harcourt

Heavy duty truck that fell due to a bad portion of Eleme-Onne road

Heavy duty truck that fell due to a bad portion of Eleme-Onne road

Commuters and business owners are now going through tough times in Port Harcourt, Rivers state capital, following the industrial action embarked upon by the National Union of Petroleum and Natural gas (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Divers (PTD) Port Harcourt Unit.

The union commenced its strike Thursday last week in protest against the deplorable condition of the Port Harcourt Eleme-Onne federal road that is the only access road to the refineries and petrol tank farms near the state

A make over of the road was done by Federal Road Maintenance Agency, FERMA, last year when the wife of the president, Mrs Patience Jonathan, buried her step mother in Okrika, her hometown, to allow easy passage for important dignitaries who attended the burial ceremony.

Tanker drivers blocked the refinery, depots and private tank farms in the state, making it impossible for dealers to buy from them.

The strike however has caused artificial scarcity and long queues in the few filling stations that have the products.

PM News which was at various petrol stations as early as 5:30 a.m. today found out that a litre of DPK now goes for N140 while a litre of petrol goes for N120 as against the usual N97.

Calamity: Another truck gives way on Eleme-Onne Ogoni road

Calamity: Another truck gives way on Eleme-Onne Ogoni road

Some drivers who spoke to our correspondent on their frustrations lamented that the products are not available at filling stations, noting that, the few stations selling petrol have long queues.

Cletus Nwato said the stations have begun to hoard the products preferring to sell to the black markets for higher profit.

Meanwhile, a tanker driver, Molekwu Obinna, recounted how a colleague lost 33,000 liters of fuel valued at N3.9 million on the road when his tanker fell and the products spilled off.

“On daily basis, our trucks get damaged”, he said, adding that, on more than one occasion, both products and vehicle go in flames as a result of the bad road”.

The Chairman of NUPENG, Port Harcourt, Godwin Eruba, said that the situation would remain as long as the Eleme-Onne road remains in such poor condition.

He said that the strike is also for the safety of both the tanker drivers and other road users because when a loaded tanker falls it spills it highly inflammable content causes losing of lives and property.

It would be recalled that the union, a fortnight ago, threatened to declare industrial action if Federal Government does not fix the bad road.

In a similar view, the youths of Eleme, in Eleme Local Government Area of Rivers state also threatened few days ago that they would block entrance of the federal government owned Oil and Gas free zone.

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FG approves N1.1bn for purchase of locomotives http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/fg-approves-n1-1bn-for-purchase-of-locomotives/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/10/09/fg-approves-n1-1bn-for-purchase-of-locomotives/#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 06:22:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=215218 Senator Idris Umar, Transport Minister

Senator Idris Umar, Transport Minister

The Federal Government on Wednesday approved a N1.1 billion contract for the purchase of two modern locomotives for the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line now under construction.

The Minister of Transport, Mr Idris Umar, said this while briefing State House correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Umar said that the contract was awarded to CNR Darling Locomotives and Rolling Stock Company Limited and CCECC Nigeria Ltd. with a delivery period of 10 months.

“The two locomotives are to be used for mass transit services on the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge rail line, which is expected to be completed by the end of this year.

“The scope of work includes the design and manufacturing of two number diesel electric locomotives with a capacity of 2,800 kilowatts for standard gauge tracks;

“Training of 30 personnel of the Nigerian Railway Corporation on operation and maintenance of the locomotives.

“Commissioning and test running in Nigeria, as well as one year maintenance and technical support with two resident technicians.

“As you are fully aware, government is committed to the revival of the Nigerian Railway Corporation, and as I speak to you today, we are working assiduously to see to the completion of the Abuja-Kaduna standard gauge line.

“This is the first batch of the rolling stock that we are acquiring, specifically the locomotives, to be used for the transportation of passengers and indeed freight from Abuja to Kaduna and vice versa”.

The minister said that the Federal Government would place orders for more locomotives in 2015 as part of efforts to modernise the country’s rail transport system.

He said that the government was also working hard to complete the ongoing rehabilitation of the narrow gauge line in order to have a complementary rail transport service in the country.

According to him, the overall objective is to eventually dedicate the standard gauge line to the transportation of goods.

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Ebola screening for ships’ at Apapa port http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/ebola-screening-for-ships-at-apapa-port/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/30/ebola-screening-for-ships-at-apapa-port/#comments Tue, 30 Sep 2014 09:52:03 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213989 Sand is unloaded from the vast hold of the  MV Pintail cargo ship into waiting trucks at Apapa port

Sand is unloaded from the vast hold of the MV Pintail cargo ship into waiting trucks at Apapa port

Sand is unloaded from the vast hold of the Pintail cargo ship into waiting trucks at the port of Apapa in Nigeria’s financial capital, Lagos.

But on board, port health officials are keen to stop the crew bringing anything else into Nigeria, especially the Ebola virus, which has claimed more than 3,000 lives this year in West Africa.

In a cabin on board the 56,880 tonne vessel, which arrived in Lagos on Sunday, the 19-strong crew are undergoing daily temperature checks until they eventually weigh anchor.

Twenty people have contracted Ebola in Nigeria and eight have died, according to the World Health Organization.

But with no case since September 8 and no one under surveillance, officials are keen to keep it that way.

“This (the screening) is important because we still have an outbreak (of Ebola) in other parts of the (West Africa) sub-region,” Alex Okoh, director of point of entry health services in Lagos, told AFP.

Health officials takes the body temperature of an Ukrainian sailor on the MV Pintail ship

Health officials takes the body temperature of an Ukrainian sailor on the MV Pintail ship

“Whatever their route is, we want to ensure that the crew is safe.”

Screening — part of wider checks at all entry and exit points in Nigeria — is no small task at the sprawling port, which is west Africa’s busiest.

Apapa has 33 berths capable of accommodating three ships each and anywhere from 50 to 70 or more ships are docked at one time every day.

Port health officials, wearing protective masks and latex gloves, get crews to fill out health forms: last port of call, next port of call, plus the names and details of everyone on board.


Daily temperature readings are also recorded, allowing ship owners easy access to information, particularly if the vessels make stops along the west African coast, including in Ebola-affected nations.

Port authorities in Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea, which have been worst-hit by Ebola, as well as Senegal are conducting similar screening programmes, a spokeswoman for the UN health body said.

“The health of the crew is very important. It’s a priority. It’s good modern practice,” said Ruslan Rosenko, the Ukrainian master of the Cyprus-flagged bulk carrier.

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Funding, militancy, delay completion of East-West Road http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/funding-militancy-delay-completion-of-east-west-road/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/28/funding-militancy-delay-completion-of-east-west-road/#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 17:17:46 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213795 Jethro Ibileke/Benin

Architect Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works

Architect Mike Onolememen, Minister of Works

C‎hallenges ranging from unpaid mobilisation fee, youth militancy and difficult terrain have been cited as among reasons delaying completion of the East-West Road.

The Minister of Works, Architect Mike Onolememen, who disclosed on this on Sunday during an interactive session with journalists in Benin, explained that the project was beset with a lot of challenges.

He said when the road contract was awarded, mobilisation was not paid to the contracting firm to enable it move to site until 2008, but that the funding challenge has been resolved by the Jonathan administration.

Architect Onolememen however announced that the road construction has reached 85 per cent completion, assuring that it would be completed this year.

He said in 2010, only about 4,000 km of roads out of 35,000 km of roads owned by the Federal Government were in good condition, but that the government in the last three years, has built 25,000 km of roads made up of 62 road projects across the country.

According to the Minister, the South-South like other parts of the country, has benefited from the President Jonathan’s transformation agenda maximally. He listed some of the projects his administration attracted to the area to include power stations, rail lines, Maritime University, Institute of Construction Technology and Oil and Gas Institute, among others.

While saying that Jonathan’s approach to governance has motivated ministers to perform beyond their expectations, Architect Onolememen explained that it was because of his good performance that the PDP party organs decided to give him the right of first refusal in a bid to re-elect him to enable him complete most of the projects he has initiated.

On whether he would join the Edo state governorship race in 2016, the minister said his focus was on delivering on his mandate, adding that, “it will be madness to start talking about governorship when you don’t know what would happen tomorrow. 2016 is in the hands of God.”

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Abuja light rail to be completed Oct. 2015 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/abuja-light-rail-to-be-completed-oct-2015/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/24/abuja-light-rail-to-be-completed-oct-2015/#comments Wed, 24 Sep 2014 19:34:00 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=213281 Nigeria rail project

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Malam Bala Mohammed, has said that the ongoing Abuja Light Rail project traversing the Central Business District to Kubwa will be completed by October 2015.

Mohammed disclosed this in Abuja on Wednesday during the signing of Memoranda of Understand (MoU) with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) on the Addendum II of the rail project.

According to him, the Addendum II consists of final design and construction of Lot 1B of the Abuja Light Rail Project.

The minister said it was expected to take care of Garki I District, Wuse I and II districts, Utako and some districts in Phases II and III of the city.

“The ongoing Lots IA and 3 will cover a distance of 45.245km, while Lot 1B whose MoU was signed is about 31km, crisscrossing the FCT.”

Mohammed said the Lot 1B was expected to cost 792 million dollars. “The process has not been completed because it has to go to the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) for vetting as well as the Federal Executive Council.”

FCT Transportation Secretary, Mr Jonathan Ivoke, said the project was very significant to the overall development of the FCT because every modern city needed an effective transportation network.

Also, the Managing Director, CCECC, Mr Cao Baogong, said the company would ensure that the light rail was the best in Africa.

Baogong said the company had executed up to 50 per cent of the phrase one project and promised that it would be ready by October, 2015.

He assured the minister that his company would unfailingly deliver the Lots 1A and 3 of the ongoing rail project by October 2015.

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Jonathan’s priority is railway transformation – Tukur http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/jonathans-priority-is-railway-transformation-tukur/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/17/jonathans-priority-is-railway-transformation-tukur/#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 19:48:47 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=212232 Bamanga Tukur

Bamanga Tukur

Alhaji Bamanga Tukur, Chairman, Board of Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), has assured Nigerians that transforming railway system was President Goodluk Jonathan’s topmost priority.

Tukur said this in an interview with journalists shortly after inspecting railway facilities during a familiarisation tour to the Railway Northern District in Kaduna on Wednesday.

“President Goodluck Jonathan had intensified efforts toward transforming the railway system to give it a new and dynamic face.

“With the determination of Mr President, board, management and the entire staff we will rebuild an enviable railway system in Nigeria.”

According to him, Nigerians should expect a new, vibrant, dynamic and consistent railway system very soon.

He said revitalising the railway system would facilitate job creation, boost business activities and strengthen bond of relationship among Nigerians.

Addressing railway workers earlier, Tukur charged them to be committed to their duties to complement the tireless efforts of the Federal Government toward rebuilding a new railway system.

On workers’ agitation for salary increase, the chairman promised that the board would look into the possibility of raising their salaries to boost their morale.

Earlier, the Railway District Manager (RDM), Northern District, Mr Akinwale Akintola, said Kaduna junction was symbolic to NRC because it was the hub of many passengers and freight services.

He said the NRC in collaboration with Kaduna State Government was presently running “four single directions daily intra-city train services” under public private partnership arrangement.

“The train cumulatively runs 24 train services per week and 96 trains per month, respectively,” he said.

He said in view of the successful delivery of the existing intra-city services, the “diesel multiple unit” has been proposed to be launched as additional intra-city for a segmented service in the state.

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53 per cent of Abuja Rail project executed – Minister http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/53-per-cent-of-abuja-rail-project-executed-minister/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/53-per-cent-of-abuja-rail-project-executed-minister/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 06:46:34 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211280 Nigeria rail project

The Minister of Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Bala Mohammed, has said that 53 per cent of work on Lot 1 and Lot 2 of the Abuja Light Rail project has been executed.

Mohammed, who was represented by Mr Obinna Chukwu, the Permanent Secretary in the FCT, made the fact known when he hosted participants of the National Defence College Course 23.

The minister spoke on the topic, “Investing in building a capital city”.

He said the integrated rail system was targeted at bringing thousands of commuters from the satellite towns into the city centre.

He said although contract for the project was awarded in 2007, the actual work began on the site with the procurement of the Chinese loan in 2012.

“The rail network when fully operational will provide full time employment for 20,000 people as the administration has set a benchmark of opening up, at least, 10 new districts by 2015,” Mohammed said.

While highlighting the infrastructure deficit challenge in the territory, the minister said the aggregate infrastructural development in the FCT, which had been funded mostly by government, was about 30 per cent.

He said that the infrastructure and services were over-stretched, adding the FCT was planned with only one million people in mind but its current population had exploded to five million.

“There is an increasing cost on resettlement and compensation which is becoming unwieldy. FCT requires N200 billion to resettle and compensate those living in the Federal Capital City.

“The demographics have shown the need for Abuja as emerging city to address the infrastructural deficit,” Mohammed said.

He listed some of the ongoing projects as the rehabilitation and expansion of Airport Expressway Lot 1 and Lot 2 which had reached 90 per cent and 98 per cent completion respectively.

Others are reconstruction of Lower Usuma Dam-Gurara Dam-Jere Road project was now 93 per cent completed.

He said with some efforts being made by the administration, the housing deficit would be reduced by 20 per cent and cost of leasing by 15 per cent.

Leader of the delegation, Mr Aliyu Lawal, said the 118 participants of the course, including eight foreigners, were on an environmental tour.

“Essence of the visit is to launch us into the environment we are operating.

“The way the course is designed is that we need to give respect to whom it is due. The course is an 11-month course.

“We start with our environment here then we go to other states and other region.

“At the end we will take our stance on environmental issues, especially with regards to the Ebola disease, then we will write our report,” he said.

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Zamfara distributes 200 tricycles to commercial operators http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/zamfara-distributes-200-tricycles-to-commercial-operators/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/12/zamfara-distributes-200-tricycles-to-commercial-operators/#comments Fri, 12 Sep 2014 05:11:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211267 Keke Marwa

Keke Marwa

The Zamfara State Government on Thursday distributed 200 tricycles to members of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Association and WAZOBIA KEKE NAPEP Association in the state.

The tricycles were distributed by the committee set up by the state governor and chaired by the Speaker of the State House of Assembly, Alhaji Sunusi Rikiji, in Gusau.

Speaking at the occasion, Rikiji said the state government decided to provide the machines to the associations because of their vital roles in moving people from one place to the other.

“It is unfortunate that women in the state use motorcycles while moving around; we, therefore, decided to bring a safer alternative and more affordable means of transportation to them.

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

Governor Abdulaziz Yari of Zamfara State

“The tricycles were provided to members of the associations to support their businesses and provide jobs to the teeming unemployed youths.”

He commended the state government for the gesture and advised beneficiaries against selling the machines.

In their response, the chairmen of the associations, Isma’il Abdullahi, WAZOBIA KEKE NAPEP and Aminu Haido of the Amalgamated Commercial Motorcycle Association, thanked the state government for the gesture.

They assured that their members would comply with the agreement reached before approval was given by the state governor to provide the tricycles.

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Cross River to inaugurate Nigeria’s first monorail http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/cross-river-to-inaugurate-nigerias-first-monorail/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/09/10/cross-river-to-inaugurate-nigerias-first-monorail/#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 15:07:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=211061 Monorail


Ten rail cars expected to power Nigeria’s first operational monorail will be inaugurated in Calabar in March 2015, Mr Bassey Oqua, the Cross River Commissioner for Special Projects, has said.

Oqua told journalists in Calabar on Wednesday that the train would convey passengers between the Calabar International Convention Centre (CICC) and Tinapa Business and Leisure Resort.

He said the CICC and Tinapa resort were conceived by the State Government as “landmark tourism development projects in West Africa.

“There are currently three stations; these are located at the CICC, Tinapa Lakeside Hotel and the parking lot close to Studio Tinapa and the shopping mall.

“Each of the 10 rail cars is equipped with an automatic sliding door, two-way communication, air-conditioning and large panoramic windows.

“The large windows will give passengers an amazing view of the Calabar River and the surrounding rainforest during the two-minute ride across the lake,” he said.

He said that the monorail, which he said is a thoroughly modern transport system, would be powered by electricity generated by an independent power plant to ensure sustainability.

“In addition, the power plant will serve Summit Hills, a development that consist upscale residential units, an 18-hole championship golf course, specialist hospital, four-star hotel and the CICC.

“By connecting Tinapa to the CICC, the monorail will make it convenient for delegates and organisers staying at the Tinapa Lakeside Hotel to attend conferences at the CICC, in style and with ease.”

The commissioner stated that during their free time, delegates could visit the shopping mall or water park at Tinapa Resort for a much-needed break.

“For very large conferences, the monorail will serve as a quick connection between the CICC and breakout meeting rooms across the lake at Tinapa,” Oqua said.

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Akwa Ibom acquires 14, 900 hectares of land for seaport http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/akwa-ibom-acquires-14-900-hectares-of-land-for-seaport/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/30/akwa-ibom-acquires-14-900-hectares-of-land-for-seaport/#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 13:06:51 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=209447 Governor Godswill Akpabio

Governor Godswill Akpabio

Akwa Ibom government on Friday said it had acquired 14, 900 hectares of land for the take-off of Ibaka Deep Seaport in Mbo Local Government Area of the state.

The state governor, Godswill Akpabio, made this known in Uyo when the chairman of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Senator Ken Nnamani, visited him.

Akpabio said that the development of the seaport would be done through Public-Private-Partnership (PPP), and therefore solicited the involvement of ICRC in the project.

“We have worked really hard to fast-track the emergence of Ibaka Deep Seaport, which has a free trade zone. We have also received a license from the Federal Government for the commencement of the project.

“The Ibaka Deep Seaport would change the matrix of the unemployed in the country; it will attract investors to the state,” he said.

He restated that his administration was committed to building a sustainable economy through infrastructure development in the state.

Akpabio thanked the chairman of ICRC and his team for the presentation made on the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport. He said that their visit had rekindled the hope that the seaport project would be realised through PPP.

He also called on the commission to partner the state government on the construction of dual-carriage way on Uyo-Aba Road, saying that the road would have a toll gate as approved by the Federal Government.

Sen. Nnamani said that the team was in the state to “share current issues in the commission with the state government.”

Nnamani, who is a former President of the Senate, commended Akpabio for promoting the concept of uncommon transformation of the state through infrastructural development.

He noted that the state had had infrastructural development and that the next phase was industrialization. He also said that the governor had laid foundation for investment in the state and assured that the commission would encourage him to do more.

In his presentation, Mr Chidi Izuwah, the Executive Director, Public Private Partnership, ICRC, said that the visit was to discuss how to sustain the infrastructure development in the state.

Izuwah said that the projects executed by Akpabio’s administration needed a framework to be developed for them for sustainability. He assured that ICRC would partner the state government on the development of the Ibaka Deep Seaport.

The seaport, according to him, comprised a terminal for containers and cargoes, free trade zone and industrial city. Izuwah said that the seaport was a project for the state, country and the world and that PPP was the appropriate choice for the maintenance of projects in the state.

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FG approves dredging of Calabar channel http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/26/fg-approves-dredging-of-calabar-channel/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/26/fg-approves-dredging-of-calabar-channel/#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 18:36:56 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=208814 President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan has approved the dredging of Calabar channel to boost the economy of Cross River and the country.

The Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, made this known when he received South-South and South-East traditional rulers led by Edmund Daukoru, the Amanyanabo of Nembe, in Abuja on Tuesday.

Umar said the delay in the dredging of Calabar channel had impacted negatively on the economic activities of Cross River and the entire country.

“The delay had also affected the economic fortunes of the area and the entire country. Tinapa Resort, Calabar has been a little bit dormant because of the non-functionality of the channel.

“At last the matter has been concluded and President Goodluck Jonathan has graciously approved that work should commence at the channel.

“The remaining part of the channel that has not been dredged will now be dredged and the Calabar Channel Management Company will take charge of the capital and maintenance,” he said.

The minister thanked the council on the approval granted by the president for the commencement of work at the Calabar channel.

He said the present administration was determined to transform the transport sector, saying that government had revitalised the railway system, which had been out of operation for two decades.

The minister said that the Federal Executive Council had approved development of additional deep seaports which included Lekki, Badagry, Ibaka and Warri seaports, in an effort to improve the maritime sector.

He said the present administration recognised the support and continuous cooperation of the council of traditional rulers.

Earlier, Daukoru commended the Federal Government over the contract, and described the approval of the presidency as gratifying news.

According to the monarch, the economic significant of the award of the contract is enormous.

“The Calabar port is of strategic importance because it links Port Harcourt, Warri and Lagos and any effort made to open up the port will improve the country’s economic growth.

“Any kind of maritime activities in Cross River generally will be of immediate benefit to the entire geo-political zone,” he said.

NAN learnt that the delay was caused by some controversial issues surrounding the award of the dredging contract since 2005.

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Eastern railway line to create 1, 600 jobs – Wogu http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/eastern-railway-line-to-create-1-600-jobs-wogu/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/19/eastern-railway-line-to-create-1-600-jobs-wogu/#comments Tue, 19 Aug 2014 02:18:32 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=207624 Emeka Wogu

Emeka Wogu

The Minister of Labour and Productivity, Emeka Wogu, said on Monday that 1, 600 jobs would be created at the completion of the Eastern Line of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).

Wogu gave the assurance at the flag-off of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme’s (SURE-P) Technical Vocational Education and Training Project (TVET) in Lagos for the newly recruited staff of the NRC.

The two-month capacity building training programme is meant for new staff members along Western Line corridor, covering Lagos to Kano.

Wogu also said more than 1, 800 jobs would be created in the corporation at the end of the training service holding at the NRC’s Training Institute in Ebute Metta, Lagos.

“The sustainability of the operation of the railway system depends largely on the quality of manpower recruited to power it.

“We are happy to announce to you that 1,805 job spaces would be filled at the end of this exercise.

“Another 1, 600 jobs are expected to be created when the eastern line is rolled out.

“This is for professional engineers and technicians along the Port Harcourt – Maiduguri railway section,” the minister said.

According to him, the ministry has made remarkable impact in creating wealth for young Nigerians.

“In my ministry, we have also made impact through the activities of the community service youth employment programme, and technical vocational education and training project (TVET).

“We have made impact in areas such as renovation of eight technical vocation training centres in different parts of the country for different trade,” he said.

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Patience Jonathan inaugurates fishing vessel in Poland http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/14/patience-jonathan-inaugurates-fishing-vessel-in-poland/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/14/patience-jonathan-inaugurates-fishing-vessel-in-poland/#comments Thu, 14 Aug 2014 03:39:24 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206947 Patience Jonathan, wife of the president

Patience Jonathan, wife of the president

Dame Patience Jonathan, wife of the president has inaugurated a research and fishing vessel, expected to reposition the marine and fisheries sub-sector of the Nigeria’s economy in Poland.

This was contained in a statement signed by her Media Assistant in Abuja on Wednesday.

It stated that the vessel, built in Poland and acquired by the Nigerian Institute of Oceanography and Marine Research, was also christened by Dame Jonathan at the WISLA Shipyard in Gdansk, Poland.

The first lady said that the acquisition of the vessel would enhance exploration. She also said that the vessel would boost Nigeria’s capacity in Marine and Oceanography research for sustainable development and management of the country’s vast resources.

Jonathan expressed happiness that when put to use, the vessel would further drive the agricultural policy of President Goodluck Jonathan to make Nigeria self-sufficient in food production, especially fish production.

Similarly, the statement said the inauguration was attended by the Minister of Agriculture, Dr Akinwunmi Adesina, and Nigeria’s Ambassador to Poland, Dr Samuel Jimba.

Akinwunmi and Jimba both expressed appreciation to the president for his efforts to ensure a secured and efficient marine coastline as an ingredient of national development.

It said they agreed that the birth of the vessel would strengthen the economic relationship between Nigeria and Poland.

The vessel is expected to commence its sail to Nigeria soonest.

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Railway moves 280,549 tonnes of cargo in 2 years http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/09/railway-moves-280549-tonnes-of-cargo-in-2-years/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/09/railway-moves-280549-tonnes-of-cargo-in-2-years/#comments Sat, 09 Aug 2014 10:25:23 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206241 Train

The Nigeria Railway corporation moved 280,549 tonnes of cargo between 2012 and 2013, according to a report released by the Ministry of Transport.

The report, which focused on the ministry’s activities in 2012 and 2013, was made available to NAN by the Nebolisa Emodi, the Permanent Secretary, in Abuja on Friday.

The report stated that in 2012, 182,465 tonnes of cargo were conveyed by rail while in 2013, 98,084 tonnes of cargo were transported.

According to the report, 4,155,988 passengers were transported by rail in 2012 and 4,328,789 passengers in 2013.

It also stated that the ministry rehabilitated 1,494 kms of narrow gauge in 2012 while 1,931 kms were rehabilitated in 2013.

Furthermore, 518.7 kms of standard gauge were constructed in 2012 while 406 km of standard gauge were constructed in 2013, the report said.

“The volume of cargoes throughput stood at 77 million tonnes in 2012 and 77 million tonnes in 2013 while 80 million tonnes were being targeted in 2014.

“Thirty-four wrecks and derelicts were removed in 2012; six were removed in 2013 while 30 are targeted to be removed in 2014.”

On the volume of cargo moved through the inland waterways, it said that 3.4 million tonnes were conveyed in 2012, six million tonnes in 2013 while six million tonnes were targeted in 2014.

It also said that 1,308,864 passengers used the service in 2012, 3,350,000 passengers in 2013 while 3, 600,000 passengers were targeted in 2014.

It said that the number of boats, ferries, barges and vessels that navigated the waterways increased from 35,136 in 2012 to 39,000 in 2013.

The report explained that the amount of cargo conveyed by rail was as a result of a drop in haulage due to the non-completion of the rehabilitation works on haulage carriages.

According to the report, track rehabilitation work was carried out on Akere Bridge in Niger state in the Western Line during the period under review.

It stressed that the ministry’s focus was on providing safe, secure and adequate inter-modal transport system, to facilitate Nigeria’s socio-economic development and ensure the welfare of members of the public.

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FG raises transaction advisers on railway stations remodeling http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/fg-raises-transaction-advisers-on-railway-stations-remodeling/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/08/08/fg-raises-transaction-advisers-on-railway-stations-remodeling/#comments Fri, 08 Aug 2014 08:10:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=206003 The new Oshodi rail line. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

The new Oshodi rail line. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye

The Federal Government said on Thursday that it had inaugurated transaction advisers to drive the process for Public Private Partnership (PPP) in remodelling and redeveloping nine railway stations nationwide.

The Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Nebolisa Emodi, said this in Abuja when the Peer Review Team, led by the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Alhaji Bukar Aji visited the ministry.

Emodi identified Iddo Terminus, Ebute Meta Junction Stations in Lagos, Ilorin and Kaduna Junction Stations, as some of those to be remodelled.

Also to be remodelled are Kano, Port Harcourt, Enugu, Jos and Gombe Stations.

In a presentation, Emodi said the remodelling through PPP was followed by the lifting of the embargo on rent and lease of the Nigerian Railway Corporation’s land and landed property.

“Transaction advisers have been commissioned to drive the process for PPP. Advertisement for the expression of interest is expected to be published in Oct. 2014,” he said.

He said the remodeling was part of Federal Government’s agenda to resuscitate and revitalise Nigeria railway system for the haulage of goods and movement of passengers.

Emodi said the ministry was striving to develop policy and enabling environment for PPP in inter-modal transport system.

He said Bills, which would allow for more private sector participation, were under consideration by the Federal Executive Council for transmission to the National Assembly.

He said they included the Nigerian Railway Authority, National Transport Commission, Ports and Harbour and the National Inland Waterways Authority bills.

Emodi said the ministry was focused on formulating policies on road, rail, maritime and inland waterways in line with federal government’s goals and objectives for an efficient transport sector.

Emodi added that the ministry was create a world class transportation system which could position it as a hub in the West and Central African Sub-region.

He said under the 2014 budget, the ministry and its agencies sought to consolidate and sustain the gains and performances recorded with 2011, 2012 and 2013 budgets.

“This will be done by focusing on the completion of ongoing projects as well as sustenance of the gains achieved in the transport sector,” he said.

Aji said the purpose of the peer review was to achieve the desire and objectives of the national strategic public service reform.

He said the team was focused on achieving a world class public service by aligning the objectives and mandate of Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

He said the team was a body of Permanent Secretaries put together to assess their performance in the MDAs.

“It is a group of the same persons, doing the same assignment but differently trying to review one another to see whether they are on the right track.

“We need to do this to justify the confidence reposed in us by Nigerians to be in various offices we are holding on their behalf,” he added.

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Railway corporation warns against trading on rail tracks http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/railway-corporation-warns-against-trading-on-rail-tracks/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/railway-corporation-warns-against-trading-on-rail-tracks/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 21:15:58 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204519 NRC headquarters

Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) District Office in Minna, Niger, has warned people in the state against trading and clustering on rail tracks, saying it was unlawful.

The Public Relations Officer of the corporation in the district, Alhaji Akinwoye Abdulraouf, gave the warning in an interview with NAN in Minna on Friday.

Abdulraouf said the illegal acts were also dangerous as to lives and could adversely affect operations of the corporation.

The new Oshodi rail line. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye PM News

The new Oshodi rail line. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye PM News

“The corporation put gates at all its terminals but motorists and traders at the Gwari Market in Minna have destroyed the gates, in the name of trading.

“The gates at the rail tracks have been destroyed repeatedly by impatient motorists in spite of sensitisation in the media and one-on-one encounters with traders in the market,” he said.

He added that the keeper of the level crossing alerted people with a red flag whenever a train was approaching but was usually not taken serious by traders and motorists who continued to clog the rail tracks.

“A locomotive engine cannot stop for traders on the tracks; it is not done; it is impossible because it has the right of way but people are careless and adamant in their ways,” he stressed.

Abdulraouf recalled a recent incident which involved a couple at a rail line at the Gwari market in Minna, saying that the wife managed to escape but the husband was not as lucky.

He said that the train driver struggled to avoid hitting the couple but was unsuccessful, adding that if the driver had done otherwise, the train would have derailed and all the people on board would have died.

According to him, items recovered from the accident are yet to be claimed by the family of the couple.

He stated that by the corporation’s regulation, the accident victims were supposed to pay for the damage to the locomotive as a result of the incident, adding that it would cost the corporation a lot of money to repair the locomotive.

He, however, said that the corporation would sustain its sensitization of the public on the dangers of trading along the rail lines and of ignoring the red flag alert by the level crossing’s keeper.

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Okonjo-Iweala lauds FG’s rail projects http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/okonjo-iweala-lauds-fgs-rail-projects/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/25/okonjo-iweala-lauds-fgs-rail-projects/#comments Fri, 25 Jul 2014 06:13:21 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=204338 Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala

The Minister of Finance, Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, on Thursday commended the progress made so far in the construction of the Federal Capital Territory’s rail projects.

Okonjo-Iweala made the commendation when she inspected the project sites of Abuja terminal expansion at the Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport, Abuja.

The minister expressed satisfaction with the level of work on the light rail in Idu and the Abuja-Kaduna rail projects.

According to her, the Federal Government is looking forward to a constructed terminal that is similar to those found outside the country which Nigerians will be proud of.

“My impression on the progress is very good, the work is going on well and the terminal is 30 per cent completed.

“I am quite excited as you can see because what I saw up there is quite impressive. The quality seems solid and the design looks good.

“The Federal Government took a loan of 500 million dollars from the NEXIM Bank of the Chinese Government to construct modern terminals in the country.

“We have four terminals that are going to be financed from this money, they include, Abuja, Lagos, Kano and Port-Harcourt,”she said.

On the light rail, the Minister said what she had in her head was different from what she had seen; adding that what she had seen would endure longer.

“They have explained to me how they will be working on phases for the project and God willing by May next year we will be riding on it.

“What we had borrowed was 500 million dollars but they had started work before then and we had already paid 162 million before the loan was approved.

“This is not just about borrowing money, it is about a relationship between China and Nigeria, and for this segment we have already borrowed what is needed to complete this section,” she said.

The Chinese Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Gu Xiaojie said the Chinese Government was committed to the partnership and that CCECC was also committed to completing the project.

“Best quality is ensured for the project and CCECC is also undertaking the project and are undergoing training programme and employing local force for the project.

“It is a very good project and the Nigerian Government is making very good use of the Chinese loans.

“I think from what I have seen, it is going on very well, they are constructing according to the standard and I think we will finish this on time,” Xiaojie said.

The Director, Rail and Mass Transit, Federal Ministry of Transport, Gafai Bature, said the national rail was at 84 per cent completion and would be ready for inauguration by December.

“The Idu station is the first station and one can come here and take a train to Kaduna within a maximum of one hour.

“The train speed is about 150 kilometer per hour. We are hoping that by December, new locomotives will arrive to carry passengers within the FCT.

“The light rail is like a city train within the FCT and its environs but the national rail is a heavy gauge train that carries passengers and goods.

“The national rail is segmented into six. After this, we will embark on Lagos to Ibadan, Lagos to Ilorin, Ilorin to Minna, Minna to Abuja and Minna to Kano.”

He noted that the first stage of the project covered 186 km from Idu to Kaduna, adding that the total sum of the project was 849 million dollars.

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Fashola visits Apapa again, decries FGs insensitivity http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/20/fashola-visits-apapa-again-decries-fgs-insensitivity/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/20/fashola-visits-apapa-again-decries-fgs-insensitivity/#comments Sun, 20 Jul 2014 22:42:16 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203701 Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State

In a bid to find a lasting solution to the traffic gridlock in Apapa as a result of fuel and other cargo distribution operations, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, again on Sunday visited the Apapa Port area to renew his pledge that his administration would neither give up nor surrender until a solution is found.

Sunday’s visit was the third in July as the governor pledged to work closely with all the stakeholders in the distribution of fuel and other cargo at the port in order to enable residents and those who have businesses in the area to access their homes and work places on a sustainable basis.

Fielding questions from newsmen after being briefed by some government representatives and other haulage business operators at the Apapa Port, Fashola vowed that in spite of the seeming nonchalance on the part of the Federal Government which owns the ports, his administration would continue to engage the problem with other stakeholders while also seeking the attention of the Federal Government to do what is right.

Describing the problem as a multi-agency one, the Governor said from the briefings he received from the state government representatives and other stakeholders working on the problem, there is apparent lack of coordination among the many agencies of the Federal Government working on the distribution of fuel at the Ports.

Fashola said from the briefings he got from the General Manager of the State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Babatunde Edu and the General Manager (Admin) of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Mr. Aloga Ogbogo, these agencies lack the required coordination to bring needed efficiency in the operations of both the tank farm owners and their tanker drivers, adding that, “As a result, people in Lagos, especially people in Apapa, are at the receiving end of the very uncomfortable life they are made to experience getting to their offices, getting to their homes”.

Decrying the insensitivity of these Federal Government agencies to the sufferings of Lagosians, especially those living or doing business in Apapa, Fashola noted, “Clearly you have heard from those who know the business that if the NNPC, for example, pumps fuel to Mosinmi and Ibadan this place will decongest; so why are they not doing that?”

Fashola noted that if the Federal Ministry of Works would come to takeover and repair the Apapa-Oshodi-Tin Can Island Road, which is a Federal Government road, clearly people living in the area would have some relief adding, “The reality is that once there is congestion in one place, it just locks everybody in”.

He also drew attention to another lapse where the suggestion to conduct spot checks on trucks before they go into the ports for loading was turned down by NPA officials pointing out that it would have been easier to clear the trucks outside so that they could go in batches of 20 and the operation would be faster.

“But somebody at the NPA wants to do it one at a time at the gate and from the briefing we have heard from some of our representatives here, there are perhaps some benefits in doing that,” noting that, “there is also some corruption suggested in process, because why would anybody not want to make something efficient unless there is a personal benefit?”

The governor said that other problems that compounded operational problems at the ports included lack of necessary equipment, adding that, a situation where only two cargo handling equipment are deployed to about 40 trucks would grossly slow down the operations.

“The Federal Government should listen and understand that the concessioning and management of the port requires much more than just signing an agreement, it also requires people making investments and government being alive to its responsibilities.”

On what the state government is doing to assuage the situation, Fashola said in the meantime about eight inner city roads are under construction and rehabilitation in the Apapa area expressing regrets, however, that because of the traffic gridlock, the contractors, Messrs Julius Berger, has found it difficult to move its equipment to bring materials for the construction of the roads.

“We are working on some inner roads in Apapa, about seven or eight roads. But even for Julius Berger, the contractor, now to bring their equipment in to supply materials to construct the inner city roads that we are committed to is now a problem because of the failure of the Federal Government,” he said.

Pointing out that it is also becoming difficult to even move refuse trucks in the area. “I don’t know what other country can treat her commercial capital like this; I don’t know what kind of leadership continues to allow this kind of eyesore and disgraceful happening,” he lamented.

Restating his resolve to tackle the problem head on, the governor declared: “Clearly, this is a government (Federal Government) that is losing touch, clearly not showing empathy for the pains the people of Lagos are going through under its watch. But we will continue to bring to their attention the pains that they are inflicting on our people here and we won’t give up.”

He recalled a text message sent to him during the week by a citizen who expressed loss of hope in the possibility of solving the traffic problem in Apapa adding that in response he told the man that since the problem was created by men, it would also need the effort of men and women to solve it.

Fashola who pointed out that the problem is not just what happens in Apapa but what is in Tincan Island as well. “You can see that even the bridge coming into Apapa is now threatened. It is just incomprehensible to me; I have never seen a country treat its commercial capital like this.”

“But I am here because we won’t give up. This is our job and this is why we are in government. So we are not going to give up and we won’t surrender, we won’t abdicate our responsibility, we will continue to work with the stakeholders.”

Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, told the Governor that the problem in the Apapa area was further worsened by the state of the roads in the area pointing out that Creek and Liverpool roads have collapsed making movement of vehicles almost impossible.

He said the NNPC was yet to comply to an appeal made at a meeting to suspend pumping fuel to tank farms along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in order decongest the trucks in the area adding all the agencies of the Federal Government working on the distribution of fuel in Apapa were not cooperating with the State Government and other stakeholders in seeking solution to the traffic problem.

Also speaking, General Manager, Operations, of the State’s Traffic Management Authority, Mr. Babatunde Edu, told the governor that efforts being made by the authority and other stakeholders at the ports to decongest traffic were being frustrated by some interests and people who, according to him “have seen what happens here as means of making money”.

According to him, if spot check is done on the trucks outside before getting to the entry gate, it would hasten the operations and reduce congestion. “But they prefer to do it right at the gate of entry and for about 20 minutes one vehicle will not go in,” he said adding that as a result although the authority has done a lot to confine the trucks to a lane, there was always a spillover.

The General Manager (Admin) of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Aloga Ogbogo, in his remarks said the major problem has been the collapse of many of the roads around the ports saying there was need to persuade Julius Berger to whom the roads have been contracted for rehabilitation to move to site and repair some of the critical roads.

Saying there has been some level of compliance in the directive by the governor to restrict the trucks to one lane, Ogbogo said his association later discovered that Messrs Dangote company is located at the service lane of the road and the appeal by the association that the company allow only trucks listed to load to come in was yet to be abided by.

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2.5 million people travel by rail – NRC http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/2-5-million-people-travel-by-rail-nrc/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/07/19/2-5-million-people-travel-by-rail-nrc/#comments Sat, 19 Jul 2014 07:20:54 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=203543 An official of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) announced on Friday in Lagos that no fewer than 2.5 million people travelled by rail in the first half of this year.

David Ndakotsu, Assistant Director, Public Relations of the NRC, told NAN that about 560,000 people out of the 2.5 million were conveyed from Lagos to other parts of the country.

He said that one of the major challenges facing the NRC was the persistent flood that usually slowed the movement of goods and passengers on inter-state trips.

The new Oshodi rail line. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye PM News

The new Oshodi rail line. Photo: Idowu Ogunleye PM News

“Another challenge is passengers’ refusal to abide by the rules, hanging on doors of moving trains as a way of avoiding purchase of train tickets,” he said.

Ndakotsu, however, commended the efforts of the Federal Government in ensuring that there were improvements in the
services being rendered by the company to the public.

He said that a bill had been passed by the National Assembly to amend the Railway Act of 1995, which only allowed government participation.

Ndakotsu said that the amendment of the law would facilitate private sector participation in rendering rail services to the populace.

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FG develops 30-year infrastructure Master plan http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/fg-develops-30-year-infrastructure-master-plan/ http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/2014/06/25/fg-develops-30-year-infrastructure-master-plan/#comments Wed, 25 Jun 2014 09:16:48 +0000 http://www.pmnewsnigeria.com/?p=200216 Supervising Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda

Supervising Minister of National Planning, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda

The National Economic Council (NEC) on Tuesday considered the final draft of the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan (NIIMP) meant to accelerate infrastructure development in the country.

Addressing State House correspondents on the outcome of the NEC meeting in Abuja, Supervising Minister/Deputy Chairman, National Planning Commission (NPC), Ambassador Bashir Yuguda, said the master plan was formulated to span for 30 years.

According to him, the master plan beginning from 2014 to 2043 will focus on key areas of infrastructure including energy, housing, agriculture, ICT, roads, and security.

“Today, at the National Economic Council, I presented the National Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan, which is a total way of looking at the infrastructure stock in the country.

“The idea of the master plan is to look at the various sectors that make up the infrastructure in the country, develop a framework, develop monitoring and evaluation and also develop focused areas for us as a nation

“The idea of the Integrated Infrastructure Master Plan is to focus on key areas of infrastructure: energy, transport, which includes rail, roads and aviation.

“We are also focusing on ICT, Housing and security. We also have water, agriculture and mining,” he said.

He said the document was designed to raise “infrastructure stock as a percentage of GDP from current 35 per cent to a minimum of 70 per cent”.

He said Nigeria’s core infrastructure level was significantly below the target benchmark level, and identified the required investments to improve infrastructure in line with the country’s growth aspirations.

Yuguda said the document which would be resubmitted to NEC before the final approval of the Federal Executive Council (FEC), also provided for short and medium terms priorities to guide project selection with the first term covering the next five years.

He said the council directed the National Planning Commission and the state planning/finance ministries to review the document in line with the council’s observation as well as reflect the actual required funding in view of the value of the rebased economy.

Governor Ibrahim Dankwambo of Gombe State, said state governors had agreed to set up a technical committee to study and further enrich the document.

“Essentially, what NEC agreed like we all said, was that this is a robust document, well researched document and since it is a document that we expect to last for about 30 years that we should not just browse over the document.

“We should look at it critically, especially at state and regional levels.

“We have agreed that each and every one of us should set up small committees of technical people within two weeks to work on the document so that as stakeholders whose buying-in is required we will add to the document that we will produce,” he stated.

Dankwambo said the council commended the National Planning Commission for the comprehensive report on the draft NIIMP.

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