Dangote Group To Reconstruct port Access Roads For N72.9bn


After years of neglect the Federal Executive Government on Wednesday approved N72.9 billion for the reconstruction of the road from Apapa ports to the toll gate on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

According to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, the work will be done using a Public-Private Partnership model.

He named Dangote Group as the constructing firm for the road project, saying that the N72.9 billion for the execution of the project would be recovered through the funding credit tax policy of government.

The Minister said when fully constructed, the road will have 10 lanes — five on both sides, with a total of 270.8 linear kilometers, including drainage, rehabilitation of some of the bridges and interchanges.

Fashola, revealed government’s decision at the end of Wednesday’s FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said the decision was taken to provide a long-term solution to the road, which had suffered much gridlock in recent times.

“The Ministry of Power, Works and Housing secured approval for the reconstruction of the Creek Road Tin Can Island-Beachland right through to Oworoshoki to the toll gate end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for the full reconstruction of that road which was built around 1975, as part of our first port expansion undertaken then in the 1970s.

“That road was intended to evacuate cargo out of Lagos without running through the spine of the city. The road is now in some state of disrepair and Council has approved its reconstruction at the cost of N72.9bn.

“First, it will be done through PPP model. The constructing company will be the Dangote Group. It will be financing that construction to the tune of N72.9 billion as certified by PPP.”

This will be the first full reconstruction of that road since it was constructed at about 1975.

“All previous efforts had been to repair damaged sections. So, it is going all the way to reconstruct the road. The third thing to note is that the entire construction is that it involves procurement of 27.8 kilometres made up of 10 lanes – five lanes on both sides – three on the main carriage way, two on service lanes.

“So, essentially, you are constructing about 79.8 linear kilometres and that also include drainage and use of extensive cement work and rehabilitation of bridges.

“We expect contractors to move to site. This is our own long term solution to the problem contributed by the road congestion there,” the minister said.

Universal Insurance: NSE lifts suspension

The Nigerian Stock Exchange has lifted the suspension placed on Universal Insurance Plc.

The NSE in its market bulletin said the company had submitted its Audited Financial Statement for the year ended 31 December 2017.

According to the exchange: “In view of the submission of its accounts and pursuant to Rule 3.3 of the Default Filing Rules, which provides that: “The suspension of trading in the issuer’s securities shall be lifted upon submission of the relevant accounts, provided The Exchange is satisfied that the accounts comply with all applicable rules of The Exchange. “

Universal Insurance Plc, along with eight (8) other listed companies, were suspended for non-compliance with Rule 3.1, Rules for Filing of Accounts and Treatment of Default Filing, Rulebook of The Exchange (Issuers’ Rules) (“Default Filing Rules”).

It provides that: “If an Issuer fails to file the relevant accounts by the expiration of the Cure Period, the Exchange will:  “(a) Send to the Issuer a “Second Filing Deficiency Notification” within two (2) business days after the end of the Cure Period; (b) Suspend trading in the Issuer’s securities; and (c) Notify the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Market within twenty- four (24) hours of the suspension.”

FMBN invests N6.37bn in estates in five states

Related imageThe Ibadan Zonal Coordinator, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, Mr Stephen Owoshagba, has said that the lender has invested about N6.37bn to build estates in five states.

He identified the states and amounts so far disbursed as Oyo, with N2.33bn; Ondo, N2.03bn; Kwara, N1.06bn; Ekiti, N725m; and Osun, N227.6m.

He spoke during the FMBN Summit in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital on Friday.

Owoshagba said the summit brought together all the desk officers in all the 16 local governments of the state and the civil service in Ilorin to give them an appreciation of the benefit of the National Housing Fund.

He stated, “Essentially, as we are trying to get to the next level in in the development of the scheme, which is to make sure that our information and communications technology is established to give SMS alert to each contributor, we need to be able to surmount the problem of building up the database that will enhance that.

“Over time, especially in this state, we have been collecting money from consultants and the desk officers are supposed to give us the schedules of the different deductions so that at our end, we will be able to set up the individual accounts, the setting up of individual accounts will be able to enhance our sending balances of contributions on SMS alert on monthly basis to the contributors. This platform is to educate them.”

The Acting Kwara State Coordinator, FMBN, Mr Nurudeen Mohammed, said the summit was an enlightenment forum for schedule officers to know the importance of submitting the schedule of payment.

He added that most of the organisations in the state that subscribed to the National Housing Fund scheme were remitting the deductions from their employees’ salaries.

Mohammed, however, stated that most of the time, the subscribers were not accompanying their payments with the schedule of payment.

According to him, the schedule of payment is what will enable the bank officials to properly match the employees with their contributions.

PenCom says Pension fund assets hit N8.14tn

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The National Pension Commission said on Sunday that the total pension fund assets stood at N8.14tn as of May this year, the News Agency of Nigeria reported.

PenCom said in a statement signed by its spokesperson, Mr Peter Aghahowa, that the assets rose from N7.52tn in December 2017, to N8.14tn in May 2018.

“The pension assets as of December 2017 stood at N7.52tn; it moved up to N7.8tn as of February and soared to N7.94tn in March, then to N8.14tn in May,” the commission stated.

It explained that N5.2tn had been invested in the Federal Government securities by the Pension Fund Administrators.

It said the investment represented 70.08 per cent of the N8.14tn pension assets.

It added, “A breakdown of the investment shows that FGN bonds got N3.96tn; treasury bills, N1.68tn; agency bonds like the Nigeria Mortgage Refinancing Company and the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, N6.54bn; Sukuk bonds got N51.98bn; and green bonds, got N8.26bn.

“The state government securities gulped N154.02bn; corporate bonds, N393.27bn; corporate infrastructure bonds, N8.36bn; banks, N662.80bn; commercial papers, N71.75bn; and real estate properties, N228.86bn.

“Other classes of assets are supra-national bonds, N8.21bn; open/close end funds, N10.16bn; mutual funds, N19.87bn; private equity fund, N37.27bn; infrastructure fund, N8.95bn; and cash and other assets, N96.13bn.”

Economic challenges not over, says MAN president

Image result for Dr Frank JacobsNotwithstanding the growth of the manufacturing sector in 2017, the President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Dr Frank Jacobs, has stated that the economic challenges facing the country are not yet over, as the manufacturing sector is still on the brink of recession.

Jacobs said the lingering lacklustre performance of the economy had made it imperative for a rethink on the country’s development strategy.

To this end, he advised the federal and state governments to work in synergy and carry along relevant stakeholders in fashioning appropriate strategies to improve and stabilise the economy.

Addressing stakeholders at the 45th Annual General Meeting of the association in Kano, Jacobs regretted that Kano had declined in terms of industrial development relative to what it was in the past.

To this end, he stressed that efforts must be made to encourage more investment in manufacturing by providing appropriate incentives and infrastructure that would encourage investors as well as taking a closer look at the regulatory functions of government Ministries, Departments and Agencies that discouraged investors.

According to him, the manufacturing sector has been acknowledged as the highest contributor to job and wealth creation, skills development and technology transfer.

El-Rufai: Saraki leading the worst senate in history

Related imageThe Kaduna State Governor, Nasir el-Rufai, has described the 8th Senate, led by Bukola Saraki, as the worst in the history of the country.

The governor said this in an interview aired on several local radio stations in Kaduna on Thursday, an online newspaper, TheCable, reported.

In the interview, el-Rufai knocked Saraki for listing some members of the ruling All Progressives Congress among those who defected to the Peoples Democratic Party on Tuesday.

He said many of the lawmakers who defected rode on the back of President Muhammadu Buhari to get elected to their positions.

The governor said, “We have never had a bad senate leadership like this one by Bukola Saraki. Some people whose names were mentioned among those who defected said they never authorised it.

“We know those who cannot win elections in their homes. Many of them found themselves in the National Assembly by riding on the back of Buhari.

“Some of them won the elections because the presidential and parliamentary elections held on the same day.”

In one day, Facebook CEO, Zuckerberg, loses $16bn

Image result for ZuckerbergFacebook Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg’s fortune took an almost $15bn hit on Thursday, as the social media giant headed for the biggest one-day wipe-out in the United States stock market history, a day after executives forecast years of lower profit margins.

At least 16 brokerages cut their price targets on Facebook after Chief Financial Officer, David Wehner, startled an otherwise routine call with analysts by saying the company faced a multi-year squeeze on its business margins, Reuters reported.

That “bombshell”, as one analyst termed it, played into concerns on Wall Street that Facebook’s model could be under threat after a year that has been dominated by efforts to head off concerns over privacy and its role in global news flow.

Shares fell as much as 19.6 per cent to $174.78, a decline that if sustained would wipe about $124bn off the company’s value – or nearly four times the entire market capitalisation of Twitter Inc.

Dismal revenue, which initially pulled the stock down nearly nine per cent on Wednesday, clearly was not the end for wounded investors.

Sen. Dino Melaye “Kidnapped” -Brother

Related imageFresh controversy surrounds the whereabouts of the lawmaker representing Kogi West in the Senate, Dino Melaye.

A lawyer to the lawmaker, Yemi Mohammed, on Thursday, said the senator was attacked at Gwagwalada on his way to Lokoja on Wednesday.

Mohammed, who represented Melaye’s lead counsel, Chief Mike Ozekhome (SAN), said this at a Senior Magistrate’s Court in Lokoja, Kogi State where Melaye is facing charges of illegal possession of firearms and arms dealing.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, Mohammed told the court that he had it on good authority that Melaye was attacked in Gwagwalada on his way to Lokoja.

“I learnt that he was attacked yesterday (Wednesday) in Gwagwalada on his way to Lokoja to attend his trial and up till now, I have not been able to reach him, I don’t know where he is at the moment,’’ the lawyer said.

The magistrate, Sulyman Abdullah, adjourned the case till August 9 for the commencement of trial as the prosecution could not open its case due to the absence of its lead counsel, Dr Alex Izinyon (SAN).

The Officer in Charge of the Legal Department of the Kogi Command of the Nigeria Police, Mr Theophilus Oteme, told the court that Izinyon had an emergency call on Wednesday that made it impossible for him to appear in court on Thursday.

Oteme, therefore, applied for an adjournment until September 23 for the commencement of trial in view of the absence of the lead prosecutor. More so, one of the defendants, Melaye, was not in court.

In his ruling, Abdullah turned down the application by the prosecution for a long adjournment till September   23.

He said that the Kogi State Administration of Criminal Justice Law did not allow for an adjournment beyond two weeks in a criminal case.

The magistrate, therefore, adjourned the case till August 9 and ordered that the bail earlier granted to Melaye continued.

Abdullah, however, ruled that the other two accused persons, Nuhu Salihu, alias “small’’, and Kabiru Seidu,  also known as “Osama’’, standing trial on a seven charges bordering on illegal possession of firearms and arms dealing, should remain remanded in the police custody.

Meanwhile, Senator Ben Murray-Bruce had on his Twitter handle earlier on Thursday alleged that Melaye was abducted in the Abaji area of the Federal Capital Territory.

Murray-Bruce said he was told that the lawmaker was blocked by some gunmen on the Abuja-Lokoja highway.

He tweeted: “I have just been informed by Moses Melaye, Dino Melaye’s brother, that Dino has been abducted by unknown persons in a Toyota Sienna that blocked their car and overpowered them on their way to Kogi to answer to Dino’s court case. Let’s be on the watch out. Will keep you updated.”

After defections, Buhari meets with APC senators

President Muhammadu Buhari has met with Senators from the governing All Progressives Congress at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting on Wednesday night came after the defection of some APC lawmakers to other parties on Tuesday, especially the main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.

The meeting started at about 10pm and ended after 11pm. It had 42 senators in attendance.

The senators in attendance were Adamu Aleiro, Bala Ibn Na-Allah, Aliyu Wamako, Ibrahim Gobir,  Kabiru Marafa,  Abu Ibrahim, Kabiru Gaya, Barau Jibrin, Abdullahi Gumel,  Shehu Sani and Ahmed Lawan.


Others were: Ali Ndume, Abubakar Kyari, Baba Kaka Garbai, Aliyu Abdullahi, David Umaru, , Abdullahi Adamu, George Akume, Francis Alimekhina, Andrew Uchendu, Magnus Abe, Ovie Omo-Agege, John Enoh,  Nelson Effiong, Andy Uba, Sunny Ugboji, Hope Uzodinma, Ben Uwajimogu,  Yusuf Yusuf, Oluremi Tinubu, Gbenga Ashafa, Solomon Adeola, Tayo Alasoadura, , Soji Akanbi, Ajayi Boroface, Yele Omogunwa, Fatima Rasaki, Olanrewaju Tejuoso and Yahaya Abdullahi.

APC Chairman, Adams Oshiomhole and Secretary to Government, Boss Mustapha, were also present at the meeting.

Nigeria doomed without rule of law, says CJN

Image result for Justice Walter OnnoghenThe Chief Justice of the Nigeria, Justice Walter Onnoghen, on Tuesday, said the country was doomed without the rule of law.

Onnoghen, therefore, charged judicial officers to remain steadfast and committed in the build-up to the 2019 general election.

He gave this charge during the unveiling of the ultra-modern Court of Appeal Complex in Calabar, Cross River State.

Onnoghen, who performed the unveiling alongside the President of the Court of Appeal, Zainab Adamu Bulkachuwa, and the Governor of Cross River State, Prof Ben Ayade, told judges to remain firm no matter whose ox was gored.

He urged the judges to always be mindful of the fact that the society depended on the justices and the decision they made.

He said, “I use this opportunity to still call on judicial officers in the country to remain steadfast to their oath of office, the constitution of the country and continue to remember that without the rule of law, the society is doomed.

“Hold firm to the wheels of justice and ensure that when cases are placed on a scale, whichever weighs more should be where the judgment should go. It does not matter whose ox is gored because the society depends on us and that decision you have to take. The society survives because you are courageous enough to tell whoever is wrong that you are wrong.”

Also speaking, a former Minister of Justice and Attorney General of the Federation, Senator Kanu Agabi, who spoke on behalf of legal practitioners, commended the judiciary for standing firm and helping to shape the country through the decisions that had helped prevent anarchy.

“The decisions of our courts are shaping the country and by these, the judges have demonstrated their capacity and disposition to save the country from anarchy. They are proving that that is indeed the third arm of government,” he said.

In his remarks, Governor Ayade commended the judiciary for living up to its tenets of upholding the rule of law, justice and equity in the dispensation of justice.

According to Ayade, the judiciary has now and truly assumed its independent status in Nigeria as it is no longer at the whims and caprices of politicians, but one fully and firmly in control.