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‘FG Needs N30bn To Complete East-West Road’

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The Federal Government needs N30bn to complete the East-West Road project.
The Supervising Minister of Niger Delta Affairs, Mr Darius Ishaku, said this when he received members of the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme (SURE-P) sub-committee on the East-West Road.
Ishaku said in spite of the budgetary provision and funds from the African Development Bank (AfDB), there is a gap of N30bn still needed.
The Tide source reports that the Federal Government obtained N50bn from the AfDB for the project.
He reiterated the ministry’s plans to approach the Infrastructure Development Bank to ensure the completion of the project.
He commended the efforts of the Federal Government in securing funds from the SURE-P and called for regular disbursement.
He said that the ministry would strengthen its cooperation with the SURE-P to ensure the completion of the project.
Reports say that the project, which was started in 2010, has a total contract sum of N349.9bn, and  that out of the money, N250bn has been disbursed.
The 338-kilometre road stretches from Effurun in Delta to Oron in Akwa Ibom and cuts across four states in the Niger Delta region.
The design for the project has 42 bridges and 786 culverts, which are divided into five sections.
The ministry said the project was 70 per cent completed after an assessment of the level of work done by the contractors.

L-R: Director-General, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Sir Emeka Okereke, Vice President Works, ECCIMA, Mr Nonye Osakwe and Ebonyi State Commissioner for Commerce, Dr Ifeanyi Ikeh, during a reception for Ebonyi State for participating in the on-going 25th Enugu International Trade Fair, recently.

L-R: Director-General, Enugu Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (ECCIMA), Sir Emeka Okereke, Vice President Works, ECCIMA, Mr Nonye Osakwe and Ebonyi State Commissioner for Commerce, Dr Ifeanyi Ikeh, during a reception for Ebonyi State for participating in the on-going 25th Enugu International Trade Fair, recently.

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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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