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FCTA to partner Nasarawa Gov’t on rail line, road infrastructure – Wike

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Last Updated on September 15, 2023 by Fellow Press

(Photo: From L-R Gov Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa State; Minister of FCT, Mr Nyesom Wike and Minister of State for FCT, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, during a visit by the Nasarawa governor on Friday)

The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mr Nyesom Wike, says the FCT Administration will partner with the Nasarawa State Government on the development of rail line and road transportation networks.

Wike stated this when the Gov. Abdullahi Sule of Nasarawa visited him in his office in Abuja on Friday.

Acknowledging the closeness of the Nasarawa State to the FCT, the minister stressed the need for working in synergy for the development of the two entities.

He said that the FCTA would open discussion with the Nasarawa Government on the development of the metro rail line from Apo to Keffi, and the completion of the road network from Abacha Barracks to Masaka.

According to him, the metro line is key but very expensive.

He added that efforts were on top gear to rehabilitate the metro line as directed by President Bola Tinubu, which he said would be completed in the next seven months.

He attributed the key challenge affecting the development efforts of the FCT to shortage of funds, adding that many projects and contracts had been awarded but without execution due to insufficient funds.

Wike said that the FCT Administration was identifying major projects with high impact that can stimulate development to be financed and completed.

He, however, said that Abuja could not grow if it did not do anything that would equally impact positively on Nasarawa state.

On the development of land for a clean city, as proposed by the Nasarawa Government, Wike said that he could not make a commitment for now due to shortage of funds.

He also emphasised the need for stronger partnership with the Nasarawa government to tackle insecurity.

Earlier, Sule said that the visit was to congratulate Wike for the well-deserved appointment as the Minister of the FCT and to also discuss the issue of development for mutual benefits.

The governor pointed out that more than 40 per cent of people working in Abuja were residing in Nasarawa State, stressing the need for partnership for development.

“This is why we have this road from Abacha Barracks down to the border that is so difficult to define in Nyanya.

“We have challenges on transportation. But thanks to the FCT for the road network from Abacha to the border. We understand that the road will continue all the way to Masaka.

“The FCT has a part to play, and the state government will do its parts, ” he said.

He explained that based on the agreement, the Nasarawa Government was to provide the needed security, collapse the 22 motor parks causing traffic on the road and build a terminal in their place.

The governor said that a terminal that could accommodate 900 vehicles had been built on seven hectares of land and already in use.

“So, we have met our part of the bargain in order to see that the project is concluded.

“I am hoping that Mr Project (Wike), without any doubt in my mind, will meet the other side of the bargain so that we will have the clean city we are looking for,” he said.

On the metro train rail line, Sule said that his government wanted to tap from the FCT additional metro line development.

“We discussed with the previous minister that whatever it is, we don’t want free meal, Nasarawa state will bring its own part of the bargain for the rail line development from Apo going all the way to Keffi.

“We have even initiated a discussion with CCECC Nig. Ltd and a Russian company that are willing to construct. With this, we can say we are more than happy to work jointly with the FCT to develop that.

Sule said that the development of the rail transport linking Abuja city with Nasarawa would open another area of development for housing, not only for Nasarawa residents but also for the FCT.

The governor added that at the border, just about five km from Maitama 2, the government had about 13,000 hectares of land at Garku-Kubusu for housing development.

He explained that it was the initiative of the previous governor of the state that was sold to the FCT for joint development.

“That is an area we sold to the FCT, that we can jointly build another Kigali and build another Dubai. We cannot do it alone, but with the help of the FCT, we can build a clean city,” the governor said.

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Food inflation soars by 61 per cent in one year– NBS

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Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Nigerians are finding it more difficult to feed themselves, as food inflation rose to 40.66 per cent in May.

This was as the cost of food rose by 61 per cent from 25.25 per cent in June 2023 to 40.66 per cent in May 2024, highlighting a steady rise in the cost of living.

This is according to an analysis of the latest Consumer Price Index and Inflation report released by the National Bureau of Statistics.

The CPI measures the average change over time in the prices of goods and services consumed by people for day-to-day living.

On Saturday, the NBS disclosed that headline inflation moved by 0.26 per cent to 33.95 per cent from 33.69 per cent recorded in April.

The report noted that the inflation rate climbed to a 28-year high since March 1996 on higher food and transport prices.

It said, “In May 2024, the headline inflation rate increased to 33.95 per cent relative to the April 2024 headline inflation rate which was 33.69 per cent.”

The statistics agency also reported major contributing items to headline inflation in May 2024 including food & non-alcoholic beverages (contributing 17.59 per cent), housing, water, and electricity, gas & other fuel (contributing 5.68 per cent), and clothing & footwear (contributing 2.60 per cent).

A breakdown of the data showed that the price of food commodities increased steadily from 25.25 per cent in June, to 26.98 per cent in July, 29.34 per cent, 30.64 per cent in August, 31.52 per cent in September, 31.52 per cent October, 32.84 per cent in November and 33.93 per cent as the end of December 2023.

The rate further increased to 35.41 per cent in January, 37.92 per cent in February, crossed the 40 per cent mark in March, 40.53 per cent in April and 40.66 per cent in May.

NBS said the rate rose to 40.66 per cent in May, compared to the 24.82 per cent reported in the same month last year — indicating an increase of 15.84 per cent points.

The bureau said semovita, oatflake, yam flour prepackage, garri, bean, etc (which are under bread and cereals class), Irish potatoes, yam, water yam, etc (under potatoes, yam and other tubers class), contributed to the year-on-year increase in the food inflation rate.

Other contributors are palm oil, vegetable oil, etc (under oil and fat), stockfish, mudfish, crayfish, etc (under fish class), beef head, chicken-live, pork head, and bush meat (under meat class).

“The food inflation rate in May 2024 was 40.66 per cent on a year-on-year basis, which was 15.84 per cent points higher compared to the rate recorded in May 2023 (24.82 per cent).

“The average annual rate of Food inflation for the twelve months ending May 2024 over the previous twelve-month average was 34.06 per cent, which was 10.41 per cent points increase from the average annual rate of change recorded in May 2023 (23.65 per cent),” the report said.

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Omokri tackles Peter Obi over his criticism of ‘new’ presidential jet for Tinubu

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Peter Obi

Last Updated on June 18, 2024 by Fellow Press

Former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, Reno Omokri, on Monday accused the 2023 Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, of lying over the reported purchase of a presidential jet for President Bola Tinubu.

Omokri said, contrary to Obi’s claim, the Nigerian government has no plans to buy a new private jet for Tinubu.

He clarified that the idea to change Tinubu’s presidential jet did not emanate from the presidency.

On Friday, the House of Representatives Committee on National Security and Intelligence asked the FG to purchase new aircraft for Tinubu and Shettima.

Reacting, Obi said: “It’s on record that our presidential jets have an average age of 12 years, purchased when most Nigerians could afford basic necessities. Now, as our country faces significant challenges, including a high debt profile, our citizens are in even greater need.”

However, Omokri faulted Obi’s comment, which he described as “another Gbajue lie.”

Posting on X, Omokri wrote: “The statement by Peter Obi condemning the Federal Government’s plan to buy new presidential jet for President Tinubu is another Gbajue lie from a man who has elevated lying to an art.

“The reason for this is because there is no such plan. It was the National Assembly that mooted the idea, as is their right. The Executive did not make such plans and has not budgeted any money for such a purpose.

“It is the same way he lied and blamed the Tinubu administration for spending N21 billion on the new residence of the Vice President. What he failed to tell his gullible supporters is that that project was initiated and funded by previous administrations, dating to when our party, the Peoples Democratic Party, was in office. Please note that Peter Obi was then our card-carrying member, but he did not attack the project.

“Mr. Peter Obi counts on your gullibility and refusal to research what you read before believing him. That is why he tells such fibs.”

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