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FIREWORKS: I’m Not Involved In Any Maritime Contract Mess- Sambo



Transport Minister Threatens to Sanction CCECC over rail contract

…Sambo Plots To Hijack Juicy Maritime Contract- TheCable 

The Minister of Transportation, Muazu Jaji Sambo on Tuesday responded to a publication by The Cable, stressing that he hasn’t been in any way, involved in any Maritime Contract mess.

The Cable in a recent report, which the Minister described as “false and baseless”, gleefully captioned: ‘Nigerian Transport Minister, Sambo Plots To Hijack Juicy Maritime Contract With Two Weeks To Handing Over

“The news outlets that carried the false report relied on anonymous sources, fabricated documents and distorted facts to create a narrative that suits their agenda or that of their sponsors”, Sambo blasted the publication, stressing in a statement made available by his Chief Press Secretary, Dr. Samuel Idiagbonya, that “They (the writers) not only violated the core ethics of journalism and the principles of fair hearing but have (also) shown contempt for the truth, objective journalism and balanced reportage”.

An Industry Stakeholder who defended the Minister’s anger said Sambo was justified, as he particularly noted that just two of such publications could be costly to Sambo’s possible ambition to return as a Minister in the next dispensation.

First, the Cable Report:

“Nigerian Transport Minister, Sambo Plots To Hijack Juicy Maritime Contract With Two Weeks To Handing Over

“The accusation is coming just two weeks before the minister leaves office with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration ending on May 29th.

“The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, has been accused of attempting to hijack the award of a lucrative maritime contract.

“The accusation is coming just two weeks before the minister leaves office with President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration ending on May 29th.

“The details of a document obtained by TheCable showed how Sambo allegedly pressured relevant government institutions to terminate a procurement process and give the contract out to July Seventh Ventures Limited, a company linked to a former governor of Ogun State.

“It was reported that the job in contention is the channel dredging contract by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).

MUAZU SAMBO: Minister of Transportation

“It was gathered that following the expiration of the previous Bonny Port dredging contract, the NPA management initiated a process to contract the task to qualified companies through an international competitive bidding process.

“Meanwhile, apart from the documented communication, Sambo allegedly told persons involved privately that his attempt to seal the deal was at the behest of President Buhari, who he allegedly claimed had directed him to give one of the channels to his long-term associate and former governor.

“A search at the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) showed that two directors of July Seventh Ventures Limited, who served under the former governor, were appointed into the position around the time Sambo began pushing for the company to take over Bonny Port dredging through the now controversial process.

“Insiders reportedly said that the minister, in his bid to hasten the process and push for the contract, is said to be working round the clock to pull the strings and ensure the Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP) is pressured into giving its approval on the deal.

“Sambo also reportedly held a weekend meeting with the Director-General of BPP, Mamman Amadu, and the leadership of the NPA on May 6.

“It was also alleged that he also took the BPP DG to see a top presidential aide at home to have the process fast-tracked, but Mamman was said to have pointed out the implications to both the minister and the presidential aide and pleaded with them to allow the NPA management conclude the process already in the pipeline.

“It was gathered that the process for engaging new dredging companies for the three pilotage districts covered by the NPA was halted following refusal by its management to issue award letters to the pre-qualified companies, despite the certificate of no-objection issued by the BPP.

“TheCable further reports that the NPA management in a letter dated November 23, 2022, employed some technicalities along the initial procurement process to justify its request for cancellation of the almost concluded process and restarting it.

“But two of the pre-qualified companies in the botched procurement process, Messrs Dredging and Reclamation Jan De Nul Limited and Red Star Global Construction Limited who were disturbed by the suspicious moves approached the Federal High Courts sitting in Lagos and Abuja separately, challenging the attempt to cancel the procurement process.

“It was therefore gathered that following the new legal challenge, both the BPP and the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice (AGF), Abubakar Malami, advised against the termination of the process pending the determination of the matter in court.

“In a letter dated February 22, 2023, to one of the plaintiffs signed by the Director Solicitors of the ministry, it was indicated that Malami was unable to intervene on the matter in view of its pendency in court.

“However, insiders reportedly said that Sambo has refused to yield any ground”.

 The Minister’s Robust Response:


“My attention has been drawn to false and baseless publications on some online media platforms regarding my alleged involvement in a purported hijack of a maritime contract at the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), a parastatal under my supervision. 

“These allegations are nothing but a smear campaign orchestrated to tarnish my reputation and undermine my work as the Minister of Transportation.

“Let me be clear: Since I assumed Office as Minister in July 2022, my focus has been to meet the high expectations of stakeholders in the transportation sector. I have always acted with honesty, integrity and transparency, in accordance with the law and public interest. 

“Surprisingly, the news outlets that carried the false report relied on anonymous sources, fabricated documents and distorted facts to create a narrative that suits their agenda or that of their sponsors. 

“They not only violated the core ethics of journalism and the principles of fair hearing but have shown contempt for the truth, objective journalism and balanced reportage.

“It is even more laughable for anyone to think that just one man will sit back to award contracts of such a humungous amount. The contract awarding process in the Country is quite complex for manipulation. 

“These purveyors of falsehood forget that contract awards under our extant laws and regulations involve rigorous due process, diligence and authorizations by different agencies and levels of government such as the Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP) and the Federal Executive Council (FEC) among others. 

“I am certain some persons are intimidated by our achievements in the Ministry within a short time, thus their desperation to drag us in the mud. They are out to use me to chase clout. It is expected that with the transition to a new government, these persons and/or groups may want to target me as a basis to curry favour or seek relevance. Who is indeed afraid of Mu’azu Jaji Sambo? 

“Consequently, the public is urged not to fall for this propaganda. Under my leadership, this Ministry has executed initiatives to improve the Country’s maritime domain as well as the mobility and safety of Nigerians. We have also promoted innovation, sustainability, and social inclusion in the transport sector.

“Let me emphasize that I will continue to serve this nation with dedication and commitment till I exit Office. And even out of Office, I will remain a loyal and law-abiding Nigerian. I will not be intimidated or distracted by these false accusations, which only seek to divert attention. I am not involved in any (maritime) contract mess. The public should be guided.

“Meanwhile, I have requested appropriate security and law enforcement agencies to expeditiously investigate the content of the misleading publications so that the peddlers of fake and malicious news will be made to face the law.

“Mu’azu Jaji Sambo 

Honourable Minister of Transportation 

16th May 2023″.

Editor: Readers’ reactions are welcome, please.


Children’s Day: London Academy Business School Celebrates Nigerian Children



...Reiterates commitment to provide high-quality education to Nigerian Child***
Dr. Larry, the Director of London Academy Business School (LABS), joined other Nigerian leaders from other industries to celebrate children on children's Day. In his words, Dr. Larry stated that children remind us of the future.
While speaking to reporters, he emphasized the aura of love that children create in the homes and throughout society, Also that "the joy and happiness from children are amazing, sufficient enough to drive energy for nation building."

Dr. Larry also advocated for effective child protection policies and implementation, urging all critical stakeholders, including parents, teachers, and the government, to protect and celebrate children.
  To ensure that high-quality education is available to children in Nigeria, London Academy Business School has established a Lagos Study Centre with state of the art facility and modern technology with plans to expand across all cities in Nigeria.

Dr. Jones-Esan, who has big plans to change the face of education in Nigeria, has also urged the government and private stakeholders to work with him and his team of professionals to change the face of education in Nigeria. He claims that many children have big potentials but can't realise them because they're not in school.
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Tinubu To Adopt Price Control Mechanism For Agro Products



… Vows to Defend Nigeria From Terror, Criminality – Tinubu***

President Bola Tinubu says he will take steps to ensure price control for agricultural products.

Tinubu said this in his inaugural address on Monday in Abuja.

According to him, rural income shall be secured by commodity exchange boards guaranteeing minimal prices for certain crops and animal products.

He said that agricultural hubs would be created throughout the nation to increase production and engage in value-added processes.

“The livestock sector will be introduced to best modern practices and steps taken to minimise the perennial conflict over land and water resources in the sector.

“Through these actions, food shall be made more abundant yet less costly. Farmers shall earn more while the average Nigerian pays less,” he said.

On foreign policy, Tinubu said that the crisis in Sudan and the turn from democracy by several nations in “our immediate neighbourhood were of pressing concern”.

He said that his primary foreign policy objective would be the peace and stability of the West African continent.

“We shall work with ECOWAS, the AU, and willing partners in the international community to end extant conflicts and to resolve new ones.

“As we contain threats to peace, we shall also retool our foreign policy to more actively lead the regional and continental quest for collective prosperity, ” he said.

The President called on all Nigerians, irrespective of political affiliations, to support his government in his bid to take Nigeria to greater heights.

“Our administration will govern on your behalf but never rule over you.

“We shall consult and dialogue with, but never dictate. We shall reach out to all but never put down a single person for holding views contrary to our own.

“We are here to further mend and heal this nation not tear and injure it,” he said.

In the meantime, President, Bola Tinubu, has promised to defend Nigeria from terror and all forms of criminality threatening the peace and stability of the country and the sub-region.

Tinubu said this in his inaugural address after he was sworn in as the 16th democratically elected president of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

He said that security shall be the top priority of his administration, saying that neither prosperity nor justice could prevail amidst insecurity and violence.

“To effectively tackle this menace, we shall reform both our security Doctrine and its Architecture.

“We shall invest more in our security personnel, and this means more than an increase in number.

“We shall provide, better training, equipment, pay and firepower,” he said.

Tinubu said his mission was to improve the lives of Nigerians in a manner that nurtured humanity, encourage compassion toward one another, and duly rewards collective effort to resolve the social ills that sought to divide the nation.

“Our constitution and laws give us a nation on paper, saying we must work harder at bringing these noble documents to life by strengthening the bonds of economic collaboration, social cohesion, and cultural understanding,” he said.

He called for the development of a shared sense of fairness and equity, adding that the South must not only seek good for itself but must understand that its interests were served when good come to the North.

“The North must see the South likewise.

“Whether from the winding creeks of the Niger Delta, the vastness of the northern savannah, the boardrooms of Lagos, the bustling capital of Abuja, or the busy markets of Onitsha, you are all my people.

“As your president, I shall serve with prejudice toward none but compassion and amity towards all.

“In the coming days and weeks, my team will publicly detail key aspects of our programme,” he said.

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Fuel Subsidy Removal: Don Predicts Reduction In Fuel Price



Prof. AbdulGafar Ijaiya of the Department of Economics, University of Ilorin, has expressed optimism at President Bola Tinubu’s inaugural remarks on the removal of fuel subsidies, saying this may reduce prices at the long run.

Ijaiya, who spoke on Monday in Ilorin, observed that with commitment from the Federal Government in revamping existing refineries alongside Dangote refineries, will increase the availability of petroleum products.

The expert who however explained that though such effect may not be felt immediately, noted that the present pump price is about N200, depending on filling stations across the country.

He questioned if the present fuel price at about N200 was as a result of the subsidy removal, adding that if it is not, then fuel may likely increase with about 50 per cent rate after the removal.

“But the thing is that very soon, what has gone wrong with the refineries will be corrected and Dangote refineries will commence by July/August,” he said.

Ijaiya, who teaches in the Faculty of Social Sciences of the university, pointed out that in the beginning there might be an increase in the prices of foods and services.

He however asserted that in a society like Nigeria where people are used to hike in prices, it would not mean much to the citizens.

“By Economics principle, we have adjusted our expenditure profile consumption to particular items. We have moved from consuming luxury and unnecessary items to necessary items.

“This means people go for what is necessary and do away with those that are not,” he said.

Ijaiya affirmed that in the long run, the fuel pump price will adjust downward and there would be more supply of the products.

He further added that when there are more supply of a particular product in the market, it will automatically reduce the price.

“If we have enough supply, with time and there are no other man-made distortion that has to do with our behaviour, I see us buying it between N80 and N100 per litre,” he predicted.

The economist also foresee filling station advertising and competing for sales, saying it will be good for the nation.

He, however, cautioned that “we are in an uncertain world”, but maintained that fuel subsidy removal would be good for the country eventually as only a minority are benefiting from it.

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