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FG Spends N49bn On 11 Roads …As Jonathan Seeks Financial Autonomy For PDP

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The Federal Government, says it has spent over N49 billion to complete 11 federal road projects across the country in the last one year.

The Minister of Works, Mr Mike Onolememen, made this known yesterday while giving the stewardship of his ministry to newsmen in Abuja.

The briefing was in line with the ministerial platform approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to mark the 2012 Democracy Day as well as the one year anniversary of President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration.

Onolememen said that the 11 roads were part of the 168 road construction/rehabilitation projects inherited by the administration.

The minister said the completed roads had been provided with the necessary road signs and markings.

“The first on the list which is in the North Central zone is the construction of Bomp-Manchok road, the amount paid to date amounts to about N3.8 billion, still in the North Central, the Langtan-Tukur-Shendam road in Plateau State, the amount paid to date stands at N4.5 billion.

“The completion of the construction of the Gembu-Tongu road in Adamawa State and to date the ministry has paid about N4.6 billion, in the construction of Gombe-Numa-Yola road in Adamawa State, to date, the ministry has paid N3.8 billion.

“ The Gombe bye pass in Gombe State, to date the ministry has paid the sum of N2.1 billion, the access road to the Kaduna refinery, this project has recorded 100 per cent completion and to date the ministry has paid N800 million.

“On Kano-Kazaure-Daura-Yar’Ádua road in Katsina State, to date though the project stands at 100 per cent completion, the ministry has paid N3.8 billion.

“On the rehabilitation of the Aba-Owerri road in Abia and Imo States, to date the ministry has paid about N1.8 billion, on the rehabilitation of the Adaoru-Nsukka-Adani road in Enugu State, the ministry has paid the total sum of N1 billion.

“On the Onitsha-Owerri dual carriage road, to date the ministry has paid N19 billion, on the construction of Eleme junction fly over in Rivers State, to date the ministry has paid N5.6 billion.”

He said that the ministry was working assiduously to deliver on the roads based on available resources.

The minister said that government was also working to ensure that additional funds were accessed to complete other major road projects across the country.

On the provision of road signs and markings on major high ways, the minister explained that some of the newly completed roads had been provided with the necessary facilities, adding that the provision of road signs and markings was to ensure the safety of road users.

Onolememen, however, said roads that had been opened to users without road signs were not fully completed, adding that the Federal Government had decided to open such roads to ease the sufferings of road users.

The ministerial platform continues tomorrow with presentations from the Ministries of Water Resources, Agriculture and Environment.

Meanwhile, President Goodluck Jonathan yesterday urged the leadership of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party to seek ways of generating funds internally to free itself from the influence of money bags.

The President gave the advice in Abuja at a forum with the new members of the National Working Committee (NWC) of the party.

Jonathan noted that achieving financial autonomy would free the party from depending on donations from rich party members, who in turn, would influence its decisions in one way or the other.

“Members of the party must pay monthly contributions based on our guidelines.

“We must all work to create an avenue where the party will source for funding, so that if you are the chairman of the party, members of the working committee can manage the party without excessive influence from people.

“Even though we expect all money bags to be in PDP, but we don’t want the money bags to influence the activities of the party,’’ he said.

According to the President, the party must come up with programmes that would make it financially self sustaining.

Jonathan pledged to always carry the party along in the running and implementation of government policies and programmes.

“My cabinet is totally committed and we will not come up with any major programme without involving the party.

“Whether you are in the executive or parliamentary arm of government, we all belong to our party and we must project the agenda of the party.

The President urged the party leadership to feel free to request all cabinet members to brief them on the activities of the government.

He challenged the party not to shy away from its responsibility of giving direction to the government and the legislature, to enhance good governance in the country.

The president admonished the party to enforce discipline among members, irrespective of status, adding that the leadership must ensure that the party’s guidelines were followed and implemented to the latter.

“In South Africa, the ANC can admonish the President because the party is superior’’.

In his goodwill message, the pioneer National chairman of PDP, Chief Solomon Lar urged the new leadership of the party to remain united and make patriotism their watchword.

Chairman, Convention Committee, Chief Ojo Maduekwe and the National Chairman of the party, Alhaji Bamangar Tukur, in their separate speeches, assured the President of their unflinching support.

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IPPIS: FG, ASUU Meet, Today, As Fresh Strike Looms

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Delegations from the Federal Government and Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are expected to meet, today, in a bid to avert a fresh strike.
The chairmen of ASUU branches had expressed readiness to commence a fresh strike over the non-implementation of their agreement with FG on IPPIS.
One of them, Chairman, ASUU, Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, Dr Ibrahim Inuwa, said the protracted strike, which was to press home the union members’ demands for the continued survival of the public university system in Nigeria, was suspended in December after the two parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on the various issues and providing timelines for the implementation of each of the eight items in the agreement.
Inuwa said over seven months after the MoU was signed only two out of the eight issues had been addressed.
He listed some of the outstanding issues to include payment of the earned academic allowance, funding for revitalisation of public universities, salary shortfall, proliferation of state universities and setting up of visitation panels.
Others are renegotiation, replacement of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) with the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and withheld salaries and non-remittance of check-off dues.
A statement by the Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, will be hosting the leadership of the ASUU to a meeting at the ministry’s Conference Room, Federal Secretariat in Abuja.
“The Minister for Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, will be hosting a meeting with ASUU. The meeting is scheduled for Monday, August 2, 2021 at Minister’s Conference Room,” the letter read.
The National President, ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, had said that the union was invited by the Ministry of Labour to discuss issues surrounding the Memorandum of Action, which was signed with the Federal Government in December, 2020.
However, Osodeke, explained the last time the union met with the government was around March/April.
He said, “The Ministry of Education, which is our ministry, has not called us to any meeting since we signed the Memorandum of Action. But the Ministry of Labour, which is just an intervention ministry, around March/April called us to a meeting in which we discussed and they promised to implement all those things.”

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30 Of 65 Private Jets In Nigeria Owe Duties, Customs Insists

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The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) says 30 out of 65 private airplanes verified owe duties to the Federal Government of Nigeria.
The Public Relations Officer, Joseph Attah, made the disclosure to newsmen, yesterday.
He said some of the airplanes came into the country by Temporary Importation Agreement which allows them in without payment because it was secured by bond.
The spokesman noted that many later fail to turn up to pay on the expiration of the agreement.
The customs explained that the verification was not meant to embarrass anyone but to collect payments due to the government.
The service has given another two-week extension which commenced from Monday, July 26, to Friday, August 6.
Attah said with the increasing economic challenge, every revenue is important.
“With this, you can now tie proper ownership to every aircraft or private jet that flies in and out of the country.
“The owners of private jets are highly placed Nigerians who should be respected and approached in a manner that provides convenience. That is what these extensions stand for,” he added.

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FBI Indictment: PSC, IGP Suspend Kyari, Name Inquiry Panel

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The Police Service Commission (PSC) has suspended embattled Deputy Commissioner of Police and Head, Intelligence Response Team (IRT) of the Nigeria Police Force, Abba Kyari, from the exercise of the powers and functions of his office.
Kyari’s suspension was contained in a press statement by the commission’s Head, Press and Public Relations, Ikechukwu Ani, made available to newsmen, yesterday.
The commission said Abba Kyari’s suspension took effect from Saturday, July 31, 2021, and would subsist pending the outcome of the investigation in respect of his indictment by the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
The commission has also directed the Inspector General of Police to furnish it with information on further development on the matter for necessary further action.
The commission’s decision which was conveyed in a letter with reference, PSC/POL/D/153/vol/V/138 to the Inspector General of Police today, Sunday, August 1st, 2021, was signed by Hon. Justice Clara Bata Ogunbiyi, a retired Justice of the Supreme Court and Honourable Commissioner 1 in the commission for the commission’s Chairman, Alhaji Musiliu Smith, a retired Inspector General of Police who is currently on leave.
Earlier, the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Baba, had recommended the immediate suspension of DCP Abba Kyari from the service of the Nigeria Police Force, pending the report of the four-man investigative panel constituted to probe him.
A statement by the spokesperson of the Force, CP Frank MBA, last Saturday, the IGP, in his letter to the Police Service Commission (PSC), dated July 31, 2021, noted that the recommendation is in line with the internal disciplinary processes of the force.
According to the IGP, the suspension would also create an enabling environment for the NPF Special Investigation Panel, to carry out its investigations into the allegations against Kyari without interference.
He explained that the suspension is without prejudice to the constitutional presumption of innocence in favour of the officer, the statement said.
The four-man Special Investigation Panel (SIP), is headed by the Deputy Inspector General of Police in-charge of the Force Criminal Investigations Department (FCID), DIG Joseph Egbunike.
“The SIP is to undertake a detailed review of all the allegations against DCP Abba Kyari by the US Government as contained in relevant documents that have been availed the NPF by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
“The SIP is also to obtain detailed representation of DCP Abba Kyari to all the allegations levelled against him, conduct further investigations as it deems fit, and submit recommendations to guide further actions by the Force leadership on the matter,” Mba said.
Meanwhile, the IGP has reaffirmed the commitment of the force to the rule of law, and assured the public of the sanctity of the probe as well as the absolute respect for the rights and privileges of the officer throughout the period of the investigations.

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