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Narrow gauge lines: GE to invest $2.7bn on infrastructure, maintenance—Amaechi

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Amaechi unhappy over CCECC slow pace of work on Lagos -Ibadan Rail project
  • As Amaechi, Wike convoys in bloody clash

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi on Saturday said General Electric (GE) was investing 2.7 billion dollars on infrastructure, Operation and Maintenance (O and M) of the entire narrow gauge lines concession.

Amaechi made this known in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) while giving account of his stewardship in the last two years in Lagos.

According to him, GE is investing 700 million dollars on infrastructure, with two billion on O and M.

He, however, said that the ministry concluded the agreement on interim trade with GE on Nov. 6, for them to commence work in December.

Amaechi noted that with the interim trade, Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) would still be on the platform until proper negotiation and agreement were concluded by April 2018 when GE would fully take over.

“We are already in conversation with GE, we are negotiating with them, by Monday we will conclude agreement on the interim trade, which means that they will start working and functioning from this December.

“But NRC will still be on the platform, till we conclude the proper negotiation agreement, which will likely be within March and April 2018.

“ Then NRC will be out, it will be fully managed by GE. They will work on the infrastructure, which is about 700 million dollars worth of investment on infrastructure.

“Two billion dollars for O and M, so their investment is about 2.7 billion dollars for the entire project,” he said.

He, however, said that the narrow gauge rail lines would be managed for the period of 20 to 30 years, adding that Nigerian contractors would be engaged.

This Amaechi said would create jobs for the youth.

In the meantime, a bloody clash was on Saturday recorded in Port Harcourt, Rivers State between the security convoys of Governor Nyesom Wike and that of the Transportation Minister, Rotimi Amaechi.

Security officials of Governor Wike allegedly attacked  the convoy of the Transportation Minister.

Amaechi’s escort details were, however, unlucky during the 3 p.m. attack, as one of them, Sgt. Eteng Ewelu, was battered, with blood on his face, while the AK-47 rifle of Sgt. Princewill Ubaji was snatched, while being forcibly disarmed.

Wike, through his Special Assistant on Electronic Media, Simeon Nwakaudu, in his reaction, however, claimed that personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) and soldiers attached to the minister of transportation attacked his convoy, while allegedly attempting to assassinate him.

Report of the sad incident was immediately lodged at the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) of the Rivers Police Command, headed by Zaki Ahmed, while Ubaji’s rifle had not been recovered, with Ewelu and other injured policemen still receiving treatment in undisclosed hospitals in Port Harcourt, as at press time.

When contacted for his reaction through the telephone yesterday evening, the Rivers Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Nnamdi Omoni, a Deputy Superintendent of Police (DSP), stated that he would find out the details.

He asked our reporter to call back in ten minutes, but when contacted twice, after thirty minutes, he did not take the calls, and he had not called back, as at press time.

Nwakaudu said: “Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Ezenwo Wike, on Saturday escaped assassination, as Special Anti-Robbery Squad operatives and soldiers of the Nigerian Army in the motorcade of the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi, attacked his convoy.

“The governor, who was on project inspection, was attacked at Nwanja Junction on Trans-Amadi Road. The SARs personnel and soldiers in the minister’s convoy hit down the governor’s escort rider and attacked the policemen in the pilot car. Mr Debewari, Aide-de-Camp (ADC) to the minister of transportation, supervised the attack, which included damage of cameras held by journalists.

“Also part of the attack was the Commander of F-SARS in Rivers State, Mr. Akin Fakorede (a Chief Superintendent of Police), who received  the minister of transportation at the Port Harcourt International Airport and accompanied on his trip.

“After the attack, the Rivers State governor continued with his  inspection of projects. Governor Wike was not harmed, despite  the attack. The minister of transportation had over 50 personnel of F-SARS, soldiers and mobile policemen in his motorcade.”

The reaction of Amaechi’s Spokesman, David Iyofor, was still being expected as at press time.

Additional report from Nation

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MWUN: Bello-Koko Is An Extra Ordinary Administrator Of Note Says Adeyanju

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MWUN: Bello-Koko Is An Extra Ordinary Administrator Of Note Says Adeyanju

… As he congratulates NPA Boss Bello-Koko, and SIFAX Boss, Dr. Afolabi 

The President-General of Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) Comrade (Dr.) Adewale Adeyanju has described the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Alhaji Bello Koko as an extraordinary administrator of note, who is truly deeply rooted, in port administration.

A Prince of Ibadan, Adewale Adeyanju made the observation, while congratulating Alhaji Bello Koko, who was recently honoured with double plaques, one for recognizing him as the “Public Servant of the Year 2023”; and as head of the “Outstanding Government Agency of the year 2023” respectively.

Dr. Adewale said that the Managing Director of NPA is not a mean administrator, having been so bestowed upon with these laudable awards by the Management of Champion Newspapers Limited.

Comrade Adewale Adeyanju, President General, Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN)

“Alhaji Koko is deeply rooted in the Maritime sector, an extraordinary administrator of note; hence, his Germaine expertise has brought so many reforms of development to the Maritime sector”, the Ibadan Prince stated.

Comrade Adeyanju, who is also the Deputy President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in concert with his executives believe that Koko still has a lot to offer in the industry, and his double awards are no flukes but a charge for more development in the Maritime sector.

In a similar vein, Prince Adeyanju also congratulated  Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi (M.O.N) for his appointment as the first Chancellor of Gerar University of Medical Sciences, Ogun State recently.

Dr. Taiwo Olayinka Afolabi (M.O.N)

Adeyanju and his entire Executives of the Maritime Workers Union salute the CEO/Founder of the SIFAX Group over his pragmatic conduct on work excellence, commitment to nation-building and a wonderful employer of labour in the Maritime Sector, whose better management of workers cannot be overemphasized.

Comrade Adeyanju says that Afolabi’s appointment as the pioneer Chancellor of the Gerar University of Medical Sciences is a result of his love for academic excellence, research and development for the growth of quality education in the country. It’s therefore not surprising that the Maritime Industry Guru was so appointed.

The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria fervently pray that both the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority ( NPA ), Bello Koko and the CEO of SIFAX,  Dr. Afolabi find favour and mercy in the eyes of the Almighty God to accomplish much more in their various designations as so honoured.

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Customs, VIO Confrontation: CGC Condemns officers’ misbehaviour, Opens Comprehensive investigation

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Customs, VIO Confrontation: CGC Condemns officers' misbehaviour, Opens Comprehensive investigation

…Says officers’ behaviour undermines CGC’s key policy thrusts of fostering collaboration with sister security agencies 

Customs Officers shown in a viral video in a physical confrontation with Vehicles Inspection Officers VIO are now in hot soup, as the Abuja High Command, has dissociated the Service from their unwholesome behaviour and began a comprehensive investigation on the development.

The National Public Relations Officer, Chief Superintendent of Customs, Abdullahi Maiwada who confirmed this on Tuesday, also stressed that the incident contradicts the values and operational standards of the NCS, aside from undermining key policy thrusts of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which is to foster collaboration with sister security agencies and other stakeholders.

“Furthermore, the NCS unequivocally dissociate itself from the actions of these officers…”

“The NCS acknowledges that the event occurred on Friday, 24 May 2024, at AYA Roundabout, Abuja VIO Office. The officers involved in this regrettable incident are NCS personnel attached to the Customs Mechanical Unit in Karu Barracks, Abuja”, Maiwada stated, expressing deep concern.

“The Service wishes to express its deepest concern and empathy for those affected by this regrettable incident. 

Customs, VIO Confrontation: CGC Condemns officers' misbehaviour, Opens Comprehensive investigation

“Furthermore, the NCS unequivocally dissociate itself from the actions of these officers. Their condemned behaviour, which appears to be self-motivated, is under thorough investigation, and appropriate disciplinary measures will be taken to forestall future occurrences.

“Such behaviour undermines one of the key policy thrusts of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which is to foster collaboration with sister security agencies…”

“It is essential to state that this incident contradicts the values and operational standards of the NCS. 

“Such behaviour undermines one of the key policy thrusts of the Comptroller-General of Customs, which is to foster collaboration with sister security agencies and other stakeholders to ensure the safety and security of Nigerians and their properties. 

“The NCS, under the leadership of CGC Bashir Adewale Adeniyi MFR and his Management Team, strongly condemns such conduct and does not tolerate any actions that jeopardise the commitment to professionalism and inter-agency cooperation”, the national spokesman said, stressing that the Customs Service remains steadfast in its mission to generate revenue, facilitate trade, and suppress smuggling to support a more robust and secure economy for all Nigerians, and would not tolerate any contradictory or unwholesome behaviour.

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Seme Customs Generates N2.6bn Revenue; Facilitates Export Of 143,468Mt Cargo

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… Comptroller Bomodi says command recorded 474 interceptions of various contraband items

The Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) has achieved a significant milestone in revenue generation and export facilitation at the Seme/Krake border from January to May 2024. 

According to the Customs Area Controller (CAC), Comptroller Timi Bomodi, the command generated revenue of N2,634,190,645, surpassing the same period in 2023 by 272%.

The Command also facilitated the export of 143,468 metric tons of produce, with a Free Board (FOB) value of N35,199,971,097, equivalent to $38,461,397.39.

 Additionally, the command recorded 474 interceptions of various contraband items, including premium motor spirit, rice, used vehicles, codeine, cannabis sativa, wild animals, and general merchandise.

The seized items had a combined Duty Paid Value (DPV) of N840,003,646, and 18 suspects were arrested in connection with the seizures.

 The command has also set up a complaint desk to address issues concerning the molestation of females on this corridor, and has warned that stringent action will be taken against any officer found guilty of such acts.

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