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Nigerian Govt Budgets N80bn As Counterpart Funding For Railway Projects, Bonny Deep Sea Port


The Nigerian government says it will spend at least N80,217,035,252 to complete some ongoing railway and maritime projects in 2019.

In the 2019 budget proposal presented to the National Assembly last December, the President said that the sum serves as its own counterpart funding for various projects in the railway and maritime sector.

The breakdown of the N80.2billion budget proposal to the National Assembly indicated that the sum would be committed to at least five railway projects.

Of the five projects, one is being initiated by the government, while the other four are ongoing.

The projects, according to the 2019 budget proposal, include the ongoing construction of Lagos-Kano, Calabar-Lagos, Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Aladja (Warri) and Port Harcourt-Maiduguri rail lines, while Kano-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradi in Niger Republic rail line was newly initiated.

Two projects in the maritime sector under the N80.2bn fund were Abuja-Itakpe and Aladja (Warri)-Warri Port and refinery, including Warri New Harbour, while Bonny deep sea port and Port Harcourt also appeared on the list.

Also mentioned in the 2019 budget proposal was the provision of electricity, water supply, construction of protective fences along the corridor in Abraka, Oria, Oruwhorum, for Itakpe-Ajaokuta-Aladja railway at the sum of N2.1billion.

In the submission to the National Assembly, the project was listed as ongoing.

Besides, the government proposed that it would expend the sum of N105million for the engagement of a transactional advisor to drive concession of the construction of Abuja-Baro-Itakpe and the segment of Aladja-Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Barrow-Abuja railway line and Kano-Kazaure-Katsina-Jibiya railway line.

The government further set aside the sum of N200million as consultancy fee for the complete integrated system of signaling and telecommunications equipment for Itakpe -Ajaokuta-Itakpe-Warri railway line projects.

According to the government, it intends to spend additional N141.3million as feasibility studies for the new standard gauge rail line in Kano-Dayi-Katsina-Jibiya rail line, including the realignment of Dambata-Kazaure-Katsina-Jibiya-Maradin in Niger Republic.

The sum would also expend on feasibility studies on Ilela-Sokoto-Jega-Yauri-Makera-Minna, with a branch line to Kotangora. Others are Port Harcourt-Aba-Umuahia-Lafia-Karu-Bauchi, Gombe-Biu-Maiduguri, Calabar-Ikom-Obudu-Ogoja-Wukari-Yola-Maiduguri and Aba-Ikot Ekpene-Ibiono-Itu-Odukpani-Calabar rail lines.

Apart from this, the government proposed that it would expend N12,588,800 on engineering research and development of rail and marine infrastructure, which it said was ongoing.

Another N15million was proposed to be spent on feasibility study and design of Illorin-Okeyi-Paligi-Baro-Giri/Airport Road Abuja Rail.

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Education

2019 UTME: JAMB speaks on release of result to candidates, gives reasons for delay

The Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) says it would reach out to candidates through their telephones as soon as all the results of the 2019 UTME were ratified.

The board’s Head, Media and Information, Dr Fabian Benjamin disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos.

According to him, candidates should not be carried away by what he described as rumours and misleading information in some sections of the media, especially the social media.

“The board want to distance itself from such rumours about releasing the results of candidates of the just concluded UTME and steps to check these results as being speculated.

“Candidates should disregard this information as it is not true. It is not emanating from the board.

“No results have been released yet. Yes the results are all ready, but we are yet to release them because they are still being ratified.

“The board is carrying out all the checks and balances regarding these results by way of viewing the CCTV camera as well as attend to all findings brought before it while the examination lasted.

“The release of the result will be publicised as soon as we are through with all the board has set out to achieve. We will let the public know

“Candidates should not bother themselves going to any cyber cafe to check any result. Our result check has been standardised. We will forward the results to the respective telephone numbers of those candidates who are deserving of it,” he said.

He said that the board was intensifying efforts to ensure that results of deserving candidates were released by next week.

Benjamin further explained that it was not also true that the board was deducting some marks from candidates with proven cases of examination malpractice.

According to him, once the board establishes evidence of any form of examination malpractice, it will cancel outrightly, the result of such candidate rather than deduct marks.

“If we establish any case of infraction or examination malpractise being carried out in any centre too, such centre is shut down and the entire results of candidates who wrote in that centre from the commencement of the examination, which is Aprill 11 to the end will automatically be cancelled.

“Such affected candidates are rescheduled immediately for the examination in another centre as was the case in some centres in Abia,” he said.

He added that the board made several arrests of persons caught trying to undermine the integrity of the examination and process, while it lasted, just like it shut down centres that fell short of standard.

Benjamin said that Prof. Ishaq Oloyede led JAMB has a zero tolerance for any form of corruption, which included examination malpractice.

“Right now, we have just read from a major national daily that an ex-JAMB staff is about to be arraigned by the EFCC over an alleged diversion of about N100 million belonging to the board.

“Let me make it clear that this said case was not during the tenure of the current JAMB Registrar.

“Infact, one of the major guide lines of the current board is total transparency and accoubtability, coupled with its ooen door policy,”, Benjamin told NAN

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Crime

Police arrest 5 traffic robbery suspects in Lagos

A team of surveillance attached to the Police Command in Lagos State has arrested five traffic robbery suspects, the Spokesperson of the command, DSP Bala Elkana, has said.

Elkana said in a statement that the suspects were arrested by the police patrol team on surveillance along Oshodi/Apapa express way.

“The policemen sighted some armed bandits at Toyota bus stop, under Daleko bridge, taking advantage of the traffic congestion, robbing motorists and other unsuspecting members of the public of their valuables such as laptops, cell phones and money.

“Three suspects namely; Daniel Ani, 19; Akinbode Muiz, 17, and Oluwasegun Emmanuel, 24, were arrested. They confessed to being responsible for traffic robbery along Mushin and its environs.

“They confessed to have stolen numerous phones and bags from different victims as well as a bag containing the sum of N25,000 belonging to one Oyebanji Ibukun of No 14, waheed Ologunju street, Okeafa Isolo before they were apprehended by the Police,” he said.

The statement added that two knives and cutlasses were recovered from the suspects and that investigation was ongoing after which the suspects would be charged to court.

The spokesman also said that two suspects namely Olalekan Taoreed, 20 of No.20, Sunday street, Ijora Badia and Adeniyi Okunloye of No. 25, Alaba Road, Suru Alaba were arrested by the police on April 19, and that one Samsung Duos cell phone stolen from one of the victims was recovered from them.

He said their arrest by the surveillance patrol team attached to Orile Police Station followed a distress call at 8 p.m.that some traffic robbers were operating at Alafia area along Lagos Badagry Express Way.

According to him, “One big sharp cutlass which was used in inflicting injuries on their victims was recovered from them. The suspects confessed to being responsible for traffic robberies along Orileand environs.

“Investigation is ongoing and suspects will be charged to Court, ” Elkana said.

He said the Commissioner of Police, Zubairu Muazu, had warned that with the deployment of surveillance teams across the state, tough times awaited traffic robbers.

“The command will continue to make Lagos State difficult for criminal elements to operate. The commissioner calls on Lagosians to be vigilant at all times,” he said.

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News

Niger-Delta chiefs, elders warn military against invading home of monarchs

Forum of South-South chiefs and elders have condemned the invasion of the residence of the Amanyanabo of Okochiri Kingdom, in Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State, King Ateke Tom, by men in camouflage regalia believed to be military men.

The body warned that the incident should be the last time the military would unwantonly invade the home of a traditional ruler in the region.

It also urged the military to seek a way of pacifying the region for the attack on one of its traditional rulers.

The Chairman of the Forum, High Chief Harry Omubo, made this call, weekend, at the palace of King Ateke, at Okochiri on Okirika Local Government Area of Rivers State.

Omobo said: “We were not happy when we got the news of the invasion of your palace by military men. We are standing against this kind of marginalization and intimidation.

“Your reign as a King is important to us, the South-South Chiefs and elders. And we have come to condemn this very act by the military in its entirety.

“We want to state that this should be the last time the military will under political guise denigrate our traditional stool. Let this kind of thing never happen again.

“They cannot invade the home of an emir or any other prominent person in the North. Because of your leadership qualities, we have decided that you become our patron.”

Responding, King Ateke, thanked the chiefs and elders for their solidarity, stressing that he would continue to work towards the development of the region.

Ateke said, “When this incident happened, The King thought Niger Deltans will not make any move. Now I know that I have people.

“This is a trial period. In the bible all kings were warlords and that is why God chose him at this time.”

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