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Airbus, Boeing interested in Nigeria’s National carrier – FG

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…As Tinubu says Jonathan’s administration won gold in corruption***

The Federal Government has said that two major internationally renowned aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing, have indicated interest in Nigeria’s national carrier.

According to the Minister of State for Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, the manufacturers have expressed willingness to discuss their interest with the government.

The minister said, “Boeing said they can’t wait to discuss their proposal for the Nigerian national carrier. Will sign an MoU at the IWAF (ICAO World Aviation Forum).”

In another tweet, he stated, “Airbus signified interest in our national carrier and our MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul). Will discuss further during the upcoming ICAO forum.”

On several occasions, Sirika had announced the Federal Government’s determination to establish a national carrier as well as a facility for the MRO in order to reposition the country’s aviation sector.

Transaction advisers for the national carrier and the MRO have since been announced by the government.

In the meantime, the All Progressives Congress chieftain, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, on Thursday in Abuja said the Goodluck Jonathan administration won gold medal in corruption and a red card in good governance.

Tinubu stated this in a keynote address at the presentation of the book: “Making Steady, Sustainable Progress – for Nigeria’s Peace and Prosperity’’, which took place at the Presidential Banquet hall, Abuja.

He said the defunct administration used public treasury as a private hedge fund or a charity that limited its giving only to themselves.

“So much money grew feet and ran faster than Jamaican runner, Usain Bolt, ever could. That which could have been spent on national development was squandered in ways that would cause the devil to blush.

“One minister and her rogues’ gallery picked the pocket of this nation for billions of dollars.

“While poor at governance, these people could give a master thief lessons in the sleight of hand. In governance, they earned a red card but in the corruption, they won the gold medal.

“It was not that our institutions had become infected by corruption. Corruption has become institutionalized,’’

According to him, should the government had remained in power, Boko Haram would have taken more territory and devoured more people.

He said that the “war on corruption has been won as President Buhari has set an axe to what he called, “the root of this dangerous tree.”

Tinibu noted that, “gone are the days when a minister can pilfer billions of dollars as easy as plucking a piece of candy from the table.’’

He said: “We have much to do to combat this disease. Not only must we track down the takers.

“In the long term, we must review the salaries of public servants and create universal credits for our people to reduce temptation.”

The APC chieftain said though Boko Haram had not been completely defeated, there is no question it had been decimated and made shorter and weaker.

He said the sect would never constitute the threat they once were.

“Had the previous government remained in place, Boko Haram would have surely eaten more territory and devoured more people.

“This nation might have been divided and cut asunder, not by choice but by the knife of terrorism.’’

With additional report from Punch

Economy

Sanitary Pads: Reps Query Minister Over N65m Spent On New Year Party, Others

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 The Minister of Women Affairs, Mrs Uju Kennedy-Ohaneye has drawn the ire of the House of Representatives following the unguarded manner she allegedly spent monies which included expenditures of N45 million for a New Year party and, N20 million for sanitary pads.

The House of Representatives which has now queried the minister, also frowned on her other unrelated expenditure which includes N1.5 million for vehicle fuel.

Rep. Kafilat Ogbara, Chairman, House Committee on Women Affairs, led the interrogation of the Minister, over the non-payment of N1.5 billion to contractors despite the fund release in Abuja.

She said that the investigative hearing was aimed at uncovering the truth and not witch-hunting the Minister and the officials of the ministry.

The committee also investigated the alleged diversion of funds meant for contractor payments, following a petition from contractors.

The committee also sought clarification on funds appropriated for the African First Lady’s mission and the whereabouts of the N1.5 billion meant for contractor payments.

The minister however denied the allegations of misappropriation, overspending, and non-payment to contractors.

The procurement officer confirmed contractors’ claims, and the Director of Finance and Administration acknowledged only paying approved contracts.

It would be recalled that the committee had at its last sitting summoned the minister to appear before it to explain the rationale behind the non-payment.

The committee also ordered the stoppage of all 2024 contract processes by the Ministry of Women’s Affairs until the whereabouts of the money for the said contracts are determined

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Economy

LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaningful

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LASU: Town, Meets Gown Next Tuesday, To Make Rails Transportation More Meaning

…NRC Boss, Engr. Okhiria is Pointman

The Town and the Gown will on Tuesday converge at the Lagos State University (LASU), in a mutual fusion of quality and sustainable ideas, as the Managing Director, Nigeria Railways Corporation speaks on where the eggheads necessarily need to intervene, for the overall benefit of the nation.

NRC Boosts Passenger- Safety With  Strong Armed Forces Collaboration 
Engr. Fidet-Okhiria

Prof. Bamidele Badejo who is now back in LASU, confirmed this to the Maritime First, highlighting that Engr. Freeborn Okhiria would meticulously dissect a critical issue, titled: ‘From Exclusive Clause To Concurrent List: Potency for sustainable rail infrastructure development in Nigeria and the Lagos State example.

Oluwaseun Osiyemi, the Lagos State Commissioner of Transport, will be in attendance; at an event which will flag off by noon prompt, Tuesday 16th, July 2024, at the Femi Gbajabiamila Conference Centre.

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Economy

Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

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Reps Probe Cbn’s N1.12trn Anchor Borrowers Scheme, NIRSAL’s N215b Loan

The House of Representatives has ordered probes into the N1.12 trillion anchor borrowers scheme, an initiative of the Federal Government’s interventions and agricultural funding through the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).

Also included in the probe are the Nigeria Incentive-Based Risk Sharing System for Agricultural Lending (NIRSAL), the Bank of Industry (BoI) and other agencies.

The resolution followed the adoption of a motion by Rep. Chike Okafor (APC-Imo) on the floor of the House in Abuja on Tuesday.

Presenting his motion, Okafor linked the growing food scarcity and malnutrition in Nigeria to the alleged mismanagement of agricultural funds intended for agricultural development in the country.

He said the Federal Government had expended N8 trillion in 8 years on various schemes and interventions in the last eight years with the view of making food available for millions of Nigerians.

He added that the alleged mismanagement, misapplication of funds and abuse of the programmes had left Nigeria with the twin challenges of food scarcity and malnutrition.

Okafor said that funds advanced to end users of the various Federal Government interventions had also been allegedly misused, misapplied and channelled to non-farming and non-agricultural purposes.

This, he said, was responsible for the current acute scarcity of food in the country.

Adopting the motion, the House mandated the Committee on Nutrition and Food Security as well as the Committee on Agricultural Production and Services; Agricultural Colleges and Institutions and Finance, to probe

The Committees were mandated to thoroughly investigate CBN’s alleged mismanagement of the Anchor Borrowers Program (ABP) for which ₦1.12 trillion was to be disbursed to 4.67 million farmers.

The farmers were said to be involved in either maize, rice or wheat farming through 563 anchors.

The committees are to look into NIRSAL’s disbursement of ₦215,066,980,274.52, to facilitate agriculture and agribusinesses.

The House gave the committees four weeks to report back to the House.

The house also mandated the committees to equally assess how the Bank of Industry (BOI) disbursed N3 billion to 22,120 smallholder farmers through the Agriculture Value Chain Financing (AVCF) Programme.

The committee is also to investigate the handling of the N5 billion loan facility to the Bank of Agriculture (BOA) for livestock farmers across the country.

This will include the management of the National Agricultural Development N1.6 billion Recovery Fund for the Ginger Blight Epidemics Central Taskforce (GBECT).

This is for the control of Blight disease in Ginger, among other interventions. 

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