By Laide Akinboade, Abuja
The Minister of Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Malam Muhammad Bello, on Tuesday said his administration was borrowing N200 billion to finance the provision of road infrastructure and water projects across the Territory.
FCT Minister, made this disclosure during inauguration of a Technical Committee on the Proposed FCT Issuance of SUKUK of N200 billion for the FCT 2022 Statutory Budget, in his office on Tuesday.
According to Bello, the loan facility was needed to enable the FCTA achieve its desired objective of rehabilitating and expanding some existing roads in the city and open up more roads to arrest traffic gridlocked on major roads in the city.
Attributing the congestion and traffic situation of the city centre to “unprecedented influx of people to the FCT” since return to democracy in 1999, Bello opined that an alternative funding outside statutory funding to finance completion of projects in the FCT was inevitable.
He noted that the population upsurge in the FCT has overstretched Abuja’s infrastructure and social amenities, while resources for development became more and more scarce and unavailable, this threatening the dreams of the capital’s founding fathers.
Expreasing gratitude to the Debt Management Office (DMO) and National Assembly for their continued support, Bello stated that the proposed N150 billion loan would complement the N29 billion loan earlier received from the Federal Ministry of Finance through SUKUK funding.
Some of the terms of targets given to the seven-man technical committee include to develop a framework for accessing SUKUK fund by the FCTA in the domestic capital Arreton for financing of infrastructure projects in the FCT; review and advise on the procedure and options for obtaining sovereign guarantee for the issuance of SUKUK by the FCTA and prepare the budget estimates for the issuance of sukuk by the FCT and present same for approval.
Others include, to advise on the appointment of transaction parties and methodologies and advise on the eligibility and packaging of projects identified for funding with the proceeds of SUKUK, among others.
Earlier, Director-General, DMO, Ms Patience Oniha, while assuring the FCTA support in obtaining the loan facility, warned that it should be judiciously used for the purposes it was sought.
She stated that one could hardly drive around Nigeria without noticing the good works of Sukuk, adding that Sukuk has attracted a lot of good will and buy-in from Nigerians because they were witnessing work done with monies borrowed.
Senator, representing FCT and Senate Minority Whip, Senator Philip Aduda; Chairman, Senate Committee on FCT, Senator Abubakar Kyari, and Chairman, House Committee on FCT, Abdullahi Idris Garba, who was represented by Hon. Igariwe Iduma, all pledged the support of the lawmakers to the FCT Administration and promised to continue to work together to archives its goals.
Lagos-Shagamu Expressway’s Long Bridge Undergoes Repairs March 4 — Federal Controller
The Federal Government has announced that the Lagos-Shagamu Expressway’s Long Bridge will undergo repairs to its damaged expansion joints from Monday.
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mrs Olukorede Kesha, disclosed this in a statement on Friday night in Lagos.
Kesha, who regretted the inconvenience that these repairs might cause motorists, appealed for patience and cooperation by members of the public.
“The Federal Ministry of Works wish to inform the motoring public that repair works for the damaged expansion joints on the long bridge will commence by Monday, March 4, 2024, simultaneously on both bounds of the bridge.
“Consequently, traffic leaving and entering Lagos through the long bridge will be narrowed to two lanes on both sides of the bridge to enable the contractor handling the repair works to commence works on the other two lanes of the carriageways.
“Thus, all road users are advised to be patient and adhere to lane discipline on both approaches to the Long Bridge and around the narrowed sections on the bridge.
“The earth road beside the Shagamu bound carriageway will be made motorable, to serve as complimentary road. Other road users are advised to use alternative routes.
“Motorists are further advised to cooperate with the traffic management officials deployed to manage traffic and ensure hitch-free movements to minimise discomfort during the duration of the repair works,” she said.
According to the notification, the repair, which will begin by 7.00a.m. on Monday, will last till March 25.(NAN)
NAFDAC Clamps Down on Illegal Sachet Water Companies in Anambra
The National Agency for Food Drugs Administration and Control (NAFDAC) has shut down some unregistered sachet water production factories in Anambra state.
The companies were said to be producing water in unhealthy environments and operating without subjecting their processes to regulatory standards.
Coordinator of NAFDAC in Anambra, Louis Mmadubuatta, told newsmen in Awka that the exercise was part of the routine surveillance of the agency with the aim of protecting the health of members of the public.
“We have over time visited a number of water factories that do not comply to good manufacturing standards and normally such places are shut until they comply and those we earlier closed have done so.
“Those places are sealed and we are not opening them until they respond to the regulatory action taken against them,” he said.
Mmadubuatta, who did not reveal the locations of the sealed companies for strategic reasons, warned companies engaging in illegal manufacturing of table water and other regulated products to desist from such activities.
He said the companies should go to NAFDAC and register their products and those whose licenses had expired should endeavour to renew them.
“We are still embarking on massive sanction activities against erring companies,” he said.
The Coordinator urged members of the public to assist NAFDAC with information on illegal table water production activities going on in their neighbourhood for swift reaction while assuring them of anonymity.
He further advised that consumers should look out for product name, production and expiry dates, NAFDAC number and batch number and if they had doubts they should reach the agency.
Court Sentences Lady to Death by Hanging for Killing Enugu Make-up Artiste
From Sylvia Udegbunam, Enugu
An Enugu State High Court, sitting in Enugu, has sentenced Chiamaka Ifezue to death by hanging for killing an Enugu-based make-up artist, Ijeoma Nweke.
The court, presided over by Justice Kenneth Okpe, in a two-hour judgement on Wednesday, found the accused guilty of killing the victim by forcing her to drink a poisonous substance.
The corpse of the make-up artist was found in Maryland within Enugu Metropolis on Monday.
The deceased, Nweke had left home on Wednesday November 11, 2020, for a job but went missing afterwards.
Her supposed client, having refused to disclose the location for the job, asked the deceased to stop at the Enugu State Broadcasting Service (ESBS) Bus Stop, where she would then be taken to the venue.
Nweke, having perceived foul play, sent the client’s phone number to her brother via text.
Her phones were unreachable after hours leading to suspicion that she might have been kidnapped.
This led to a frantic search for her by friends and relatives until early on Monday morning when her corpse was found at Maryland in Enugu.
Eyewitnesses said that her corpse was mutilated with a substance suspected to be acid.
While delivering the judgement, Justice Okpe, said every evidence pointed to the fact that the convict lured the deceased to her house where she poisoned the deceased and evacuated her body out of her house.
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