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OYO GOVT: Makinde not Responsible for Lagos-Ibadan Road Project-delays

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May Day: We’ll not delay action on new minimum wage – Makinde
… Commissioner notes Fashola’s red herring, saying less than 3km stretch affected***

The Oyo State Government on Monday debunked Mr. Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works and Housing claim that the State was tacitly responsible for the non-completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project.

The Oyo State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatubosun made the clarifications in a statement in Ibadan, saying it was imperative to set records straight as a government, committed to ensuring that the good people of Oyo State enjoy the dividends of good governance.

Fashola had last Thursday declared that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway was suffering delay because of the drainage channel being constructed across the road by the Oyo State Government in its Ibadan axis.

The minister made the statement at the inaugural edition of President Muhammadu Buhari’s Administration Scorecard 2015-2023 Series, organised by his Ministry of Information and Culture.

Fashola said that the 127.6 kilometres expressway had recorded a lot of progress, appealing to motorists and commuters to endure the delays being encountered at the Ibadan and Lagos axis, respectively.

“The Oyo State Government is building a drainage channel across the road, so we are having difficulties because the contractor has slowed down and we have to slow down too.

“We do not want to finish the road and come back to destroy it for the drainage channel construction,” he said.

Reacting, Olatunbosun said Fashola’s claim was far from the truth, more so, when the affected stretch is less than three kilometres.

“It is imperative to set the records straight, as a government committed to ensuring that the good people of Oyo State enjoy the dividends of good governance.

“First, we need to clarify that two major projects, the dualisation of the 8.2 km Agodi-Gate-Old Ife-Adegbayi Junction Road and a few projects under the World Bank assisted Ibadan Urban Flood Management Project (IUFMP) interface with the 127.6 km Lagos-Ibadan Expressway project at CH 115-117, CH 117 and CH 125.

“In real terms, this stretch is less than three kilometres.

“Secondly, we would have expected that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing would have reached out to us to find out how long we would need to complete the aforementioned projects being that Oyo State has been in communication with the Ministry.

“In fact, just about a year ago, we had requested permission from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (through the Director of Federal Highways) to dualise the underpass at CH 115 -117.

“We were advised to make sure that the diversion routes are completed before embarking on the diversion. We complied 100 percent.

“Also, it is on record that the majority of the 22km stretch of the Lagos-Ibadan Express Road between the old Tollgate Ibadan-Ojoo is still in progress.

“Earthwork between Iwo Road Interchange and Ojoo has only just commenced, while work between the Old Ibadan Tollgate and Onipepeye is still in progress and characterised by road diversions.

“With all these works yet to be done, why is the Federal Minister blaming the Oyo State Government for delaying the project?,” Olatunbosun said.

He said if the Minister had reached out to the State government, they would have told him that though, the contract for work on the dualisation of Agodi-Gate- Old-Ife Road-Adegbayi Junction, including an underpass interface with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway at Onipepeye, had to be terminated at 60 percent in September.

According to him, this was due to slow pace of work by the contractor, whose contract was awarded under the previous administration.

He said: “Oyo State Government is in the process of re-awarding the remaining 40 percent with a February 2023 delivery date.

“We have also provided 500m diversions of the main expressway lanes from the impacted site to allow traffic flow on both sides. Similarly, the IUFMP projects also have four-month completion schedules”, Olatunbosun further highlighted.

 

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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