Thursday, 5 February 2015

FG Unveils Take-off Of High Speed Train From Abuja To Lagos

Nigerians who often feel unsafe in Nigeria’s airspace and yet cannot endure a nine-hour road trip between Lagos and Abuja, have received cheery news from the federal government who announced the planned take-off of a three-hour high-speed train project between the two cities. Announcing this in Abuja on Wednesday, the Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar, disclosed the federal government’s partnership arrangements with private firms within and outside Nigeria towards the commencement of the project. Umar made this disclosure at the public presentation of a book, “Showcasing Goodluck Jonathan’s Monumental Strides: A Third Party Perspective,” authored by the Director-General of Citizens Network For Peace and Development in Nigeria, Mr. Dressmann Preye. According to Umar who also said the Abuja-Kaduna rail project would commence full operation next month, the federal government equally carried out a number of feasibility studies with the plan to construct more standard gauge lines across the country. He disclosed that the government had also successfully completed feasibility studies in seven new corridors including, the Abuja-Lagos high speed train adding that different private firms within and outside Nigeria have expressed interests in the project. The project, largely expected to be private sector-driven, according Umar, would formally take-off in 2018, “The consultants who carried out the feasibility studies have submitted their reports. Part of the report contains the involvement of the private sector to drive the project. This is because we want to develop these lines under a public, private partnership arrangements. “We have already received a lot of expression of interests even ahead of advertisement for the purpose from various companies in the country and indeed, in other countries of the world. “The idea is that, if we have this in place, the trains can move from Abuja to Lagos and from Lagos to Abuja in a maximum of three hours. We are intending to compete favourably with other transportation systems in carrying passengers from Abuja to Lagos. “When fully actualised, a train will leave Abuja to Lagos and Lagos to Abuja, every hour. The feasibility studies had been completed, it is not a question of story. The trains will start running within the next three years, say by 2018.” He further explained that the federal government had completed the rehabilitation of western rail lines through the administration’s revivalist strategy in the rail transport sector, insisting that Jonathan’s government is working towards the completion of the eastern line. He said: “At the moment, the trains are moving from Port Harcourt all the way to Gombe – a distance of over 1, 000 kilometres but as soon as the security situation improves around Borno State, we will complete the line from Gombe to Maiduguri. “While that is going on, we have constructed the standard gauge from Abuja to Kaduna. We have completed the laying of the track and very soon, President Goodluck Jonathan will inaugurate it and by March this year, we are going to commence full operation on that line. “We have placed orders for the procurement of locomotives and coaches that we are going to deploy on the track. It is a standard gauge. The trains can move on an average speed of 150 kilometres per hour. “That means that in a maximum of one and half hours, you can leave Kaduna for Abuja and from Abuja to Kaduna by rail. It is the first standard gauge to be completed fully in the whole of West Africa.” He used the forum to drum support campaign for the re-election of the president for another term of four years, saying his re-election, would offer him the full fledged opportunity to complete the projects in the works. Also speaking at the occasion, Preye, the author of the book, said the contents were drawn by a team of independent media practitioners as well as representatives of civil society organisations whom he said carried out an on-the-spot assessment of all projects executed by Jonathan’s government. “I am convinced that this book, will serve not only as a research material but also, a proof that the transformation agenda is working and is yielding fruits,” he claimed. In his submission, the book reviewer, Dr. Casimir Anyanwu, accompanied by his wife, Senator Chris Anyanwu, said the book embodied the landmark achievements of Jonathan’s government in 15 critical sectors of the economy. Such areas where he said federal government’s footprints had been visible were macro-economic management strategies; trade and Investment policies; infrastructure development; agricultural transformation; oil and gas industry reforms; power and renewable energy; education and health reforms, among others. Source:- This Day Live Tweet @Lastborn11 (07060428346)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

Pastors collected N6b to campaign against APC, Buhari - Amaechi

Gov Rotimi Amaechi, who is also the DG of the APC campaign organization has accused the PDP of paying some Christian clerics N6billion to campaign againts the APC and its presidential candidate, Gen Buhari. Amaechi made the allegation during the state's APC governorship candidate, Dr Dakuku Adol Peterside's campaign in Emohua local government area of Rivers State today. ¤¤¤"Some pastors collected N6 billion and they are circulating documents and telling you not to vote for an Hausa man, not to vote for a Muslim because they want to Islamise Nigeria. Tell them to return our N6 billion. They gave them N6 billion. They should return it to the Federal Government coffers. They will tell you that Buhari wants to Islamise Nigeria. Tell them we are too educated. I am a Catholic, but no Catholic priest has told me that story right now in the Catholic Church, because I will ask him how. If any Pastor tells you that, tell him to return the money. Nobody can Islamise Nigeria. They have commercialized Jesus Christ. They should stop commercializing Jesus Christ. He is our Lord and Saviour. You know what Jesus Christ did in the temple. He chased them away. We shall chase away those pastors who collected money from PDP leaders to tell us lies. We shall chase them away on behalf of our Lord Jesus Christ.” he said Tweet @Lastborn11 (07060428346)

Monday, 2 February 2015

I will Banned Importation Of Rice and Tomatoes if Elected::BUHARI

The presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Maj.-Gen. Muhammad Buhari (retd), on Monday said if elected on February 14, he would ban the importation of basic items like rice and tomato in order to enhance local production of the products. He also said his administration would focus on agriculture, mining, infrastructure and job provision at the top of its economic agenda. Buhari, who gave a summary of how he intended to revive the economy in a meeting with the Organised Private Sector in Lagos, said his government would place emphasis on three key issues of security, tackling corruption and reviving the ailing economy. The meeting, which had all the key members of the APC in attendance, was hosted by the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola. “How can Nigeria be importing virtually everything? How can we be importing even tomatoes? If I am elected, basic items like rice and tomatoes, which we have the capacity to produce, will be banned from being imported,” Buhari said. The APC presidential candidate said his commitment to the Nigerian people would be governed by the highest consideration for how his policies would create jobs. He also said he would focus on the provision of infrastructure such as power and roads. Buhari, who said he agreed with the current administration on the privatisation of the power utilities, however, said there would be a need to also privatise the transmission segment. According to him, the privatisation of the power sector has yet to achieve the desired result because after the handing over of the assets to private investors, the hard work to connect the various parts of the power chain, supply gas, install transformers and complete substations has not been done. He added, “Our studies show that we will require no less than 200,000 trained personnel to support the initiative to provide power and light up Nigeria. “Apart from the inherent direct employment that this will give, the reduction in the cost of production, the savings from self-generation by Nigerians, who currently spend a lot of their income on purchase of diesel and petrol to generate their own electricity, will reduce the burden on their disposable income.” An existing plan to build a refinery in Lagos will be supported by the Federal Government, according to Buhari. Another area of infrastructure investment that will receive attention, according to him, is road and highway construction from one end of the country to the other. He said his administration would concentrate on roads and highways that linked the states, while state governments would be expected to connect their respective areas to the highways. Buhari said, “Road construction alone will unlock value chain of opportunities for construction companies, builders, engineers, architects, quarry operators, cement and iron rod producers and suppliers. “The successful opening up of Nigeria by the construction of new roads and highways will revive road transport, truck manufacture, tyre manufacture as well as engine oil and brake pad production on one hand. It will also create a demand for job for mechanics, drivers and those engaged in transport support businesses.“We expect a revival of all the interstate economies to thrive across Nigeria, providing support to travellers by way of canteens, restaurants, farm produce etc.” He, however, said because corruption was affecting the performance of the economy, he would tackle it headlong if elected into office. According to him, the alleged $20bn missing crude oil proceeds, which was estimated to be equal to about N4.2tn, were nearly a year’s budget. He said with N5m per vehicle, the amount could provide 840,000 patrol vehicles to help improve on the security of towns and villages across the country. The APC presidential candidate also noted that the amount could provide 311,000 buses that could revolutionise the transport sector of the economy. He said, “If the average cost of generating one megawatt of power is about $1.5m (excluding gas and distribution costs), $20bn would have brought us over 13,333MW of power. What a difference that will make in the country! Source:- Punch Tweet @Lastborn11 (07060428346)