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Niger Delta

Inflation: Delta To Review Contract Values Upward

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Delta State governor and Vice-Presidential Candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Ifeanyi Okowa, has said that due to rising prices, it has become inevitable for government to review the value of contracts upward.
Okowa, who stated this during an interview with newsmen at Isheagu, said the inflationary trend informed the need for the recent review of costs of some ongoing projects in the State.
The governor, after inspecting ongoing construction of Isheagu-Ewulu road and bridge in Aniocha South Local Government Area of the State, said current economic indices in the country had taken negative tolls on every segment of activities and therefore, made review of the contracts’ values inevitable.
He said the road and bridge when completed, would serve two major agrarian communities of Isheagu and Ewulu.
The contract for the project, he said, was awarded in January 2021 and would be completed in December 2022, adding that 4.7-kilometre Isheagu section was already reconstructed.
He also said that from the bridge to Ewulu, another fresh section of 4.4 kilometres of road would be constructed.
“With what is going on in Nigeria now, the inflation rate is very high and it is affecting every other thing, particularly construction of infrastructure.
“Most of our contractors are actually struggling, so we had no option than to review the rate because inflation has risen as much as 18.6 per cent and that is actually affecting every aspect of life of the people.
“As regards the cost of construction, the high cost of diesel at the moment, asphalt, has also gone suddenly very high and of course, to drive most of the motorised equipment you require for construction work, you need a lot of diesel.
“The cost of rod has also gone up and it’s going up by the day. Unfortunately, beyond the global tendencies of Russia-Ukraine war, which has also devalued our Naira, making it to depreciate on daily basis, and this goes a long way to affect the original cost of contracts,” he said.
Okowa, who was conducted round the project by the Commissioner for Works (Highways and Urban Roads), Mr Noel Omodon, explained that government was left with no option than to review the cost of the projects to ensure their timely completion amid biting inflation.
“Having looked at everything, we needed to save the budget and the earlier we find a pathway to completing the projects the better. Otherwise, the escalation continues even more on a daily basis.
“So, it’s quite difficult and we wished we didn’t get into the kind of difficulties we are into, but we have no choice.
“We have started the projects and we have to complete them, otherwise the contractors will move out of site and when they move out, to remobilise is at a higher cost and we don’t want to go through that route at all.
“It’s a very unfortunate situation we find ourselves; it distorts our budgeting and we just hope that we are able to continue realigning our budget to keep pace with the construction that we are undergoing.
“Beyond having the infrastructure in place, it also creates jobs for our young ones and we cannot afford to have the contractors move out of site because it will mean that you are going to take food off the table of families, which is also not good for us.
“I have been informed that the project would be completed by the end of December.
“From what we are seeing, life is coming back to Isheagu from the excitement on the faces of the people because the road would help them to evacuate their farm produce,” Okowa said.
The Governor also inspected ongoing works at the Sector C1 of the Ughelli-Asaba Road by Obo River, where the contractor said the bridge construction would be completed in October while the road would be ready in December.

 

 

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Niger Delta

Police Kill Five Suspected Kidnappers, Rescue Victim

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Police operatives in Edo State have rescued one Innocent Achebe, 38, from a kidnappers den, killing five suspects in the process.
Achebe was rescued on Sunday in Ughosi-Afe bush in Ibilo, Akoko Edo Local Government Area of the State, where the victim was held in captivity for days.
This is contained in a statement by Deputy Public Relations Officer, Edo Police Command, ASP Jennifer Iwegbu, on Monday in Benin.
She said that the operation was part od the command’s commitment to rid the state of violent crime, including kidnapping.
“This feat was achieved following credible information at the command’s disposal that hoodlums suspected to be kidnappers were operating in Ughoshi- Afe bush, Ibillo in Akoko Edo LGA, Edo State.
“On receipt of the information, the command immediately mobilised its tactical team of operatives from the Ibillo sector in collaboration with vigilantes and hunters to the scene.
“The kidnappers on sighting the operatives opened fire on them which led to a gun duel that left five of the kidnappers fatally injured and were later confirmed dead,” Iwegbu said.
She added that the victim, who was rescued unhurt, had been reunited with his family.
The police spokesperson said two locally made pistols, charms and cartridges were recovered from the scene.
Iwegbu said the Commissioner of Police, Abutu Yaro, commended the gallantry exhibited by the operatives and pledged that the command would work with relevant stakeholders and law-abiding citizens to secure the State.

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Niger Delta

Bayelsa Spends N3.52bn On Debt Service

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Bayelsa State Government said it spent N3.52 billion on servicing its loan obligations to commercial banks for the month of May.
The Tide’s source reports that domestic debt stock data from the Debt Management Office for Bayelsa as of March 31, stood at N151.41 billion.
Technical Adviser to Governor Douye Diri of Bayelsa State on Treasury Matters, Mr Timipre Seipulo, stated this while giving an update of the state’s income and expenditure profile for the months of May and June in Yenagoa.
According to the financial highlights, the state generated some N1.68 billion from internal sources in addition to a gross inflow of N22.86 billion from the federation account to make a total of N22.91 billion for May.
Of the amount, derivation revenue, a 13 per cent of value of crude oil produced within the state for May stood at N17.82 billion.
On the other hand, non oil revenue of N124.69 million accrued to the state for the month under review.
According to Seipulo, the state’s wage bill for civil servants and political appointees gulped N6.2 billion.
For the month of June, Bayelsa got N18.67 billion after deductions at source from the federation account.
Oil derivation accounted for N14.02 billion, while the internally generated revenue was N1.99 million.
The total wage bill for the month of June was N6.14 billion.

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Niger Delta

Delta Seals Gas Plant Over Student’s Death

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The Delta Government sealed a gas plant over outbreak of seizure leading to the death of a student in a close-by school.
The gas plant closure followed the report of an emergency committee, comprising representatives of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education, officials of the Ministry of Health and the management of Mary Mount College.
It was recalled that on July 16, 10 students of Mary Mount College, near Handeskia Gas Plant in Boji-Boji, Agbor, were suspected to have showed signs of strange ailments and seizure due to gas emission.
One of the affected students died few weeks after her parents took her to the hospital.
Mr Godspower Asiuwhu, the state Commissioner for Environment, warned the gas company that stiffer sanctions would be meted on it, if the seal was broken.
“The activities of the company has posed ecological and health threat to students of Mary Mount College, Agbor, situated in the environs.
“The management of Handeskia Oil and Gas should desist from causing havoc to residents of the host community,” Asiuwhu said.
The commissioner frowned at the unruly behaviour of staff of the gas company, saying that the state government would not condone any attempt by the company to unseal the premises.
According to him, a task force will be set up to monitor activities of the gas company after it had been sealed to ensure they did not return back to business.
Also, Mr Victor Ebonka, the Chairman, Ika North East Local Government Area, said the council had earlier sealed the gas company twice, adding that they later went back to unseal the premises.
“Since the activities carried out by the company were endangering the lives of residents, there is every need to seal the gas company and put a stop to all their activities,” Ebonka said.

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