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FEC Approves N221.9bn For New Lekki Seaport

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved the signing of an agreement for the development of the Lekki deep sea port in Lagos State.
The Minister of Transport, Alhaji Idris Umar, stated this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting presided over by Vice-President Namadi Sambo.
He said the seaport project would be executed at the cost of $1.345 billion (about N221.9 billion).
Umar said it would be executed through the Private-Public-Partnership arrangement, and has been concessioned to Messrs Lekki Ports LFTZ Enterprise for 45 years.
He said 20 per cent is for the Federal Government in terms of the project’s equity shares, with 18.5 for the Lagos State Government and 61.5 for the private investors.
The minister said 800 million dollars out of the project cost would be funded through debt financing, while the balance would be contributed by equity.
He said the seaport when completed would give Nigeria its first deep sea port since independence and end congestion at the Apapa port.
“The economic benefits of this port to this country and to the economy of the country in particular need not to be over-emphasised.
“Not less than 9.3 billion dollars will be accrued to the (Nigeria Ports Authority) NPA, made up of 2.6 billion dollars from marine services and royalties and then 6.7 billion dollars’ share of profits from the investments.
“Other benefits that will accrue will be the ripple effects of operation of the port from Customs charges and other economic benefits which will not be less than 379 billion dollars over the period of 45 years.
“The ports will create jobs of not less than 162,000. It is therefore of immense benefit to the economy of this country. Therefore, that underscores the need for us to have this deep sea port.”
The minister further stated that the port would automatically revert to the Federal Government at the end of the concession period.
Also speaking, the Minister of State for Works, Alhaji Bashir Yuguda, said FEC further approved about N30 billion for the construction/rehabilitation of some roads across the country.
He said the road projects were meant to fast track the development of infrastructure and boost socio-economic and agricultural activities.
“The projects include the construction of Kankara-Gurbi road in Katsina State at the cost of N1.4 billion and theconstruction /rehabilitation of Yashi-Duguri-Yalo Road in Bauchi State at the cost of N1.75 billion.
“Also, there is the construction of Isoko Ring Road in Delta at the cost of N2.1 billion and the Jarmai-Bashar Road in Plateau State at the cost of N1.38 billion.
Others include the rehabilitation of Wukari/Akwana Road in Taraba at the cost of N3.97 billion, and the construction of Ajase/Offa/Erin-Ike/Osun State Boundary Road in Kwara at the cost of N1.24 billion.
“There is also the Takum-Dongawa Road and Katsina-Ala at the cost of N1 billion, and the rehabilitation of Amanwaozuzu-Uzoagba-Eziama-Orie-Amaohia road in Imo which will gulp N1.275 billion.
“The rest will see N1.48 billion being spent on the construction of River Ebba Bridge at Cheche, Katcha Local Government Area in Niger, and the construction of Bida-Sacci-Nupeko Road in Niger which will gulp N8.673 billion,” Yuguda said.
In his contribution, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, told State House correspondents that the National Good Governance Tour would resume with a visit to Kaduna state on Saturday.
He also stated that the Minister of Sports, Malam Bolaji Abdullahi briefed the council on the forthcoming National Youth Games (NYG) billed to start this weekend in Abuja.

Representative of the wife of Rivers State Governor, and Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Joeba West (left) cutting the tape with the assistance of her Commerce and Industry counterpart, Barr Chuma Chinye, at the opening of the 3rd Port Harcourt Xmas Discount Market in Port Harcourt , yesterday. Photo: Chris Monyanaga

Representative of the wife of Rivers State Governor, and Commissioner for Women Affairs, Mrs Joeba West (left) cutting the tape with the assistance of her Commerce and Industry counterpart, Barr Chuma Chinye, at the opening of the 3rd Port Harcourt Xmas Discount Market in Port Harcourt , yesterday.
Photo: Chris Monyanaga

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Stakeholders Meet To Assess Nigeria’s Preparedness For AFCFTA

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Stakeholders are expected to converge in Lagos today to take a look at the Nigeria’s preparedness to maximize the gains of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). 
The Tide learnt that stakeholders will be converging at the instance of a popular online newspaper, Primetime Reporters, to assess the progress made so far by the Federal Government through the National Action Committee on AfCFTA agreement.
The event which is the Third Annual Lecture and Awards of the online medium has as its theme: “Assessing Nigeria’s Preparedness to Maximize the Gains of AfCFTA.” 
The event will also witness conferment of awards on eight eminent Nigerians who have distinguished themselves in various fields of human endeavours.
The Managing Director/Editor-In-Chief of Primetime Reporters, Mr. Saint Augustine Nwadinamuo, made this known in a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Monday.
According to him, the event will hold at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, Lagos beginning from 10.00am.
Nwadinamuo said that the event would be chaired by a renowned legal practitioner, Barr. Osuala Emmanuel Nwagbara of the Maritime and Commercial Law Partners, Lagos, while the Director General, Lagos Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), Dr. Muda Yusuf, would be the lead paper presenter.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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EFCC Nabs 419 Kingpin Over N250m Fraud

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The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), has arrested a leader of a deadly 419 syndicate, Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka (a.k.a Awise) over an alleged attempt to swindle an innocent Nigerian of N250 million. 
The Tide learnt that the syndicate operates from a shrine at Ashipa Town, near Abeokuta, Ogun State.
According to a statement made available to The Tide in Lagos on Sunday, by the EFCC, Awise’s arrest followed a petition by his victim, Juliet Bright who lost N250m to the fraudster after she was tricked to provide money for sacrifices and invocations to heal her of an ailment.
The statement said Bright was introduced to Alaka by one Akinola Bukola Augustina (a.ka. Iya Osun) whom she met on Facebook in the course of her search for solutions to her health challenge. 
What drew her to Augustina was the latter’s post under the name, Osunbukola Olamitutu Spriritual Healing Centre.
 Once Bright contacted Augustina, the latter promised to heal her if she could pay N16 million. 
The victim paid the money through an Access Bank account belonging to one Mohammed Sani, who later turned out to be a Bureau De Change Operator.
After paying the money without receiving healing, Augustina transferred the victim to other members of the syndicate, notably Awise. 
Bright revealed that she met Awise at his shrine in Ashipa Town and was hypnotized and subsequently transferred various sum through bank accounts and in cash to the suspect and his syndicate members, until she lost N250 million to them.
Despite all the monies collected from her, her health conditions has never improved.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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Expert Wants Farmers To Grow Plant Produce For Export

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An expert in Quarantine Agriculture, Dr Vincent Ozuru, has advised Nigerian farmers to give more attention to growing plants produce that could be exported.
He said that plant like the hibiscus, popularly known as Zobo is on high demand in some countries around the world, today.
Ozuru who gave the advice while speaking to aviation correspondents at Port Harcourt International Airport, Omagwa, noted that some plants produce, particularly hibiscus, had yielded huge revenue to the Federal Government through export.
According to him, Nigeria exported about 1,983 containers of hibiscus to Mexico alone in 2017 and earned $35 million within nine months of that year.
The agricultural quarantine expert explained that the export of the plant had a setback as a result of storage pest discovered by the Nigeria Agricultural Quarantine Service in some consignments.
“The issue has now been taken care of and the export is resuming again, and all matters have been resolved with the stakeholders across the value chain.
“Mexico is the largest importer of Nigerian hibiscus, and our farmers should brace up to the challenge.
“The good news is that Nigeria has a vast growing belt in hibiscus, and the harvest is available all year round.
“We need to take advantage of this opportunity to earn foreign exchange for ourselves and for the country at large, even with the commitment of the present administration to diversify the economy”, he said.
Ozuru called on Nigerian farmers to show more commitment to the growing of export produce and also endeavor to get ready information on it in order to increase their income.

By: Corlins Walter

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