NRC To Receive Five Locomotives, February
Sequel to the promise made by the Minister of Transport, Alhaji Ibrahim Bio recently that the Federal Government has ordered 25 locomotive engines, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) is to receive the first batch of five locomotive engines in February this year.
The Tide has reliably gathered that the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has already issued a letter of credit (LC) to General Electric of Brazil as requested by the Federal Ministry of Transport and the Nigerian Railways, to cover the balance of payment for the procurement of 25 new locomotives.
The station manager of the NRC in Port Harcourt, Mr. Biodun Daniel in a chat with The Tide said that the arrival of the new locomotive engines would go a long way to turn around the operations of the NRC, if the promise made by government sees the light of day.
According to Biodun, several promises have been made in the past with respect to rehabilitation of the Nigerian Railways, but that they did not materialise, pointing out that only the arrival of the first batch of locomotives in February as promised will determine how serious government is on the matter.
He said that the NRC at the moment particularly in the Eastern zone of the corporation, had only one locomotive engine in operation, and that it was used mostly to operate between Enugu and other nearby communities around Benue belt to carry agricultural products.
The Tide also gathered that the arrival of the brand new locomotives in batches is in line with the contract agreement, and that hence, the arrival of the first batch of five engines next month will begin a new era in the NRC’s operations, while the complete delivery of all the 25 would be concluded in September this year.
It was also disclosed that the expansion of the rail track was on-going and would likely be concluded before the arrival of the new locomotives, and that about $24 million had been paid to a consultancy firm The Team Consultants, for its consultancy on Kaduna – Abuja single track standard gauge spanning 180 kilometres.
Also the scope of work for the Ibadan – Lagos segment was under review, while the Ajaokuta – Warri line project which was before now to cover the contract for completion of 22km track distance, had now been expanded to accommodate the rehabilitation of the entire 254km line.
These also included the reconstruction of undermined bridges and culverts, and other exigencies that are related to the job.
Infrastructure Deficit, Insecurity, Limit Maritime Contribution To GDP – Expert
A Maritime stake holder, and Chairman of Sifax Group, Taiwo Afolabi, has attributed maritime industry’s minimal contribution to Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) to infrastructure deficit, insecurity on the nation’s waterways, low level of technology adoption, and deployment in the sector.
Afolabi made this known at the 5th Taiwo Afolabi Annual Maritime (TAAM) conference organised by the Maritime Forum of the faculty of law, University of Lagos.
Afolabi noted that other hindrances are foreign exchange bottleneck and inconsistent policies.
“These have limited the ability of the sector to contribute significantly to the country’s Gross Domestic Product GDP.
“If well harnessed, the maritime industry has the potential to become a major revenue earner for the country, particularly with the declining oil revenue.
“The lessons of the last few years as a nation should not be lost on us. The non-oil sector is increasingly becoming the mainstay of the country’s economy. We have funded our national budget in the last few years majorly without proceeds from oil but from other sectors.
“The days of our over reliance on oil is behind us now and it’s about time we focused on transitioning from an oil-dependent economy to non-oil reliance.
“The maritime sector, I can say without any fear of contradiction, will play a crucial role in this economic transitioning if more attention is committed to the industry.
“Judging by the potentials of the industry, we are of the opinion and belief that Nigeria’s maritime industry can rank among the best in the world.
“It will only take careful planning, progressive policies, generous funding, enabling environment, friendly economic policies, manpower development and massive infrastructural development”, he noted.
Loans Repayment Default: DMO Exonerates Nigeria
The Debt Management Office (DMO) has refuted the claim by the Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP) that Nigeria has defaulted in repaying its Chinese loans.
SERAP had in an earlier statement hailed the judgement that ordered the present regime led by President Muhammadu Buhari to account for how it spent $460 million obtained from China to fund the Abuja Closed-Circuit Television project which later was not implemented.
The NGO also quoted a report in its statement saying “Nigeria has failed to repay loans for which penalties stand at N41.31bn”.
But DMO in its refuttal said the statement is ‘false’ as Nigeria has not defaulted in its loan repayment.
It said, “Nigeria is fully committed to housing its debt obligations and has not defaulted on any of its debt service obligations”, DMO said on Monday.
SERAP had sued the Federal Government following a 2019 disclosure by the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed that “Nigeria was servicing the loan”, adding that she had “no explanations on the status of the project”.
She reportedly said, “We are servicing the loan. I have no information on the status of the CCTV project”.
Giving his judgement, Justice Nwite agreed with SERAP that “there is a reasonable cause of action against the government. Accounting for the spending of the $460 million Chinese loan is in the interest of the public. It will be inimical for the court to refuse SERAP’s application for judicial review of the government’s action”.
The presiding justice also said the Minister of Finance is in charge of the finance of the country and “cannot by any stretch of imagination be oblivious of the amount of money paid to the contractors for the Abuja CCTV contract and the money meant for the construction of the headquarters of the Code of Conduct Bureau (CCB)”, SERAP said.
CBN Names Four Firms To Print Cheques
Nigeria’s apex banking institution, Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), has named four local firms for the printing of cheques, excluding the Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company (NPSMC) PLC.
The list of the approved firms for the printing of cheques was contained in a circular issued by CBN.
The circular, which was signed by the Director of Banking Services, Sam Okojere, said the approved firms include Superflux International Limited, Tripple Gee and Company, Yaliam Press Limited, and Marvelous Mike Press.
“The re-accreditation of Cheques Printers and Cheque Personalisers is in line with the relevant qualification criteria”, CBN stated.
The circular also revealed that seven banks were approved as personalisers of cheques: they are Zenith Bank Plc, Ecobank Plc, First Bank Ltd, Stanbic IBTC Bank Plc, Keystone Bank Ltd, Providus Bank Ltd and Wema Bank Plc.
It further disclosed that all accredited printers and personalisers had been duly notified and certificates issued.
The Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc is the sole printer of N200, N500, and N1000 new notes.
Nigeria Security Printing and Minting Company Plc and Euphoria Group Limited were accredited and approved on Thursday, 04 December 2014, in a letter REF: BPS/DIR/GEN/CIR/02/033.
Business5 days ago
Dangote Refinery Petroleum Products To Hit Market, July
Sports5 days ago
BYSG Lauds Team Nigeria’s AWC Feat
Special Edition2 days ago
Goodbye Mr Projects, Welcome Sim
Politics5 days ago
‘Tinubu Is God’s Answer To Nigerians’ Prayers For Good Leadership’
News5 days ago
Buhari Confers GCFR Honours On Tinubu, GCON On Shettima …I Won’t Disappoint Nigerians -Tinubu
Opinion5 days ago
Rivers At 56: Journey So Far (1)
News5 days ago
10th NASS: Group Wants Yari, Betara, Others To Respect APC’s Zoning Arrangement
Special Edition2 days ago
Wike: Eight Years Of Infrastructure Revolution