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Tinubu approves naming Abuja road after Soyinka



Bola Tinubu

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by Fellow Press

President Bola Tinubu has approved the request by the FCT Minister, Nyesom Wike, to name the Arterial Road N-20 after Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka.

The Arterial Road N-20 stretched from Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway to Outer Northern Expressway (Murtala Mohammed Expressway).

Wike made the appeal in Abuja on Tuesday, during the inauguration of the road by the President, to celebrate his one year in office.

The minister said: “It is not when somebody dies that we will remember his contributions.

“It is good, in the lifetime of someone who has contributed to the greatness of this country, to recognise him, rather than waiting for him to die.

“A dead man does not know what happens.

“I will appeal to you sir, to let us recognise one of our own, by naming this road after him. The only Nobel Laureate we have, who has made Nigerians proud in the world.

“I recommend that this road be named, Wole Soyinka Way. In that case, other people will have hope. People like me will have hope that tomorrow they will also recognise me,” Wike requested

Tinubu approved the Minister’s request to name the road after Soyinka, whom he described as “a famous playwright, novelist and Nobel Prize winner”.

Wike explained that the road was awarded in 2020 at N30.6 billion and had no variation, adding that he had inspected the execution of the road more than 10 times to ensure timely delivery within specifications.

He argued that it would be difficult for any leader to challenge Tinubu’s achievements in FCT, considering the spade of infrastructure and administrative development in the territory in just one year in office.

“It will be difficult for anybody to challenge you in FCT. It will be very difficult.

“I said so because the facts are there; the things are there. It is not about theory; it is about reality,” he said.

Wike, particularly, commended Tinubu for changing the narrative of civil service in FCT.

According to the Minister, with the establishment of FCT Civil Service Commission, workers in FCTA no longer run to the Federal Civil Service Commission, for progression.

“They get promoted on their own. Most of them have never dreamed in their lives that they would reach the peak of their career as head of service and as permanent secretaries.

“Your political will, which you have always shown, has given them hope, and that is why today, if we decide to do something, you will see everybody working together so that we achieve it.”

The FCT Minister of State, Dr Mariya Mahmoud, said that Tinubu’s efforts not only transformed the infrastructural landscape of the city but also laid a foundation for smoother transformation and enhanced connectivity.

“By today’s inauguration, we are invariably creating a safer, more efficient and more sustainable transportation network that benefits everyone in the nation’s capital city.

“May this arterial road serve as pathways to progress, prosperity and unity for generations to come,” he said.

Earlier, Mr Shehu Ahmad, Executive Secretary, Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) explained that the arterial road N-20 stretches from the Murtala Mohammed Expressway to Airport Expressway (Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Expressway).

Ahmad said that segment that was inaugurated was 3.5km from the Murtala Mohammed Expressway to Ahmadu Bello Way, out of the 5.6-kilometre road from Murtala Mohammed Expressway to Northern Parkway.

He explained that the road was a six-lane dual carriageway, with extensive underground engineering infrastructure services, and streetlights.

He added that there were two interchanges, one at the intersection with the Murtala Mohammed Expressway and the other at Northern Parkway.

Ahmad added that the road crisscrossed two Sector Centre A and B, crossing four Districts at Sector Centre A – Katampe, Jahi, Mabushi and Kado, and crossed Jabi, Utako Daki Biyu, and Wuye Districts at Sector Centre B.

The inauguration of the Arterial N-20 Road was the fifth in a row, beginning with the Southern Parkway named after Bola Tinubu and the commercial operation of the Abuja Rail Mass Transit System.

Also inaugurated by the President were the Wuye Interchange bridge and the Outer Southern Expressway to Ring Road I

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



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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FG updates on UAE lifting visa ban on Nigeria



The Minister of Aviation, Festus Keyamo, has revealed that the United Arab Emirates (UAE) government will soon announce the date for lifting the visa ban that has been imposed on Nigerian travellers.

This information was shared during an interview with Otega Ogra, Senior Special Assistant to President Bola Tinubu, which is available on the official YouTube page of the State House of Nigeria.

Keyamo acknowledged that while a resolution was reached between President Bola Tinubu and UAE President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan during President Tinubu’s working visit to the UAE in September 2023, additional processes were required before the ban could be officially lifted.

He said the processes have now been completed, paving the way for the imminent announcement from the UAE government.

“After that high-level meeting, Mr. President, credited to him, made things very easy for us all. We did our follow-ups as his ministers. We have done everything. We have resolved everything.

“Just wait for the announcement from the UAE government, and that announcement is imminent,” Keyamo stated.

The Minister further mentioned that he is aware of the specific date when the travel restriction will be lifted, but he emphasized that it is up to the UAE government to make the official announcement.

The lifting of the ban is expected to restore ease of travel for Nigerian citizens to the UAE, thereby enhancing bilateral relations and cooperation between the two countries.

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