Online Editor at Interarchtiv Media Company
By Chris Agabi
The Chairman, Senate adhoc committee on Aviation, Senator Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso has said the second runway for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja will be captured in the 2016 budget so the project can be executed without further delay.
Senator Kwankwaso gave the assurance shortly after he led other members of the committee to an oversight inspection of facilities at the Abuja airport.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the inspection, he said the Abuja airport's second runway will be a part of the recommendation that will be set on the Senate and that it will be included in the budget for 2016.
"So many people are involved in the second runway project especially the executive. Ours is to make our recommendations and make sure it is included in our 2016 budget," he said.
He added, "We have seen the facilities and we are concerned about some of the things we saw and we will make our recommendations to the Senate. Especially the issues of second runway and the maintenance of our equipment are considered. Maintenance needs to be improved upon, both minor and major ones."
Commenting on the relevance of the adhoc committee, he said, "the Senate set up an adhoc committee to access the situation in the aviation industry and make some suggestions so that together with other arms of government, we can move the industry forward."
Lagos — Nigeria needs N23 billion annually to meet its infrastructure financing needs.
Mr Adekunle Oyinloye, the Chief Executive of The Infrastructure Bank (TIB) who disclosed this at a press conference in Lagos at the weekend, said that infrastructure decay in the country was massive and required huge funding.
He said that the Federal Government, through the National Planning Commission, once came up with a need of N30 trillion for infrastructure provision in the next 30 years.
Oyinloye said that the current reality was that government could no longer develop the infrastructure alone and needed the partnership of the private sector.
"Government has the responsibility to provide infrastructure, but does not have enough resources to do it.
"Government money can never be enough to develop the infrastructure.
"The government is doing everything within its reach to engage the private sector in the legal regulatory area to ease doing business so that private sector can come in and close the gap.
"This is important as the crude oil price continues to drop at the international market.
"This means that the government must deliberately befriend the private sector to close the gap in infrastructure funding," he said.
Oyinloye said that the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) was now the best option available to develop the infrastructure in the country in view of declining crude oil earnings.
He said that there were ways to structure deals to ensure iron-cast protection of private investors in PPP.
The bank chief executive said that once private investors were sure of the safety of their investments, they would be more willing to release their funds.
"The first principle in PPP is the principle of fairness and our job is to do that. Once a project is bankable, you can always find financiers," he said.
Oyinloye, however, said that a major challenge in sourcing funds was the unstable exchange rate of the naira, stressing that many resources were being mobilised abroad.
He said that the bank was devising means to address the problem and attract funds to the country.
Source: allafrica .com
Kano — The Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, said the Kano Emirate Council will build 500 low-cost housing units for low income earners.
Emir Sanusi disclosed this yesterday during the commissioning of 15 housing units constructed by Kano Emirate Council at Darmanawa quarters of the metropolis.
The 15 housing units commissioned are part of 500 housing unit initiated by the late emir of Kano, Alhaji Ado Bayero under the Ado Bayero Royal City Trust Fund.
The emir said the three-bedrooms housing units tagged "Darmanawa Royal City" is expected to be completed in two years.
In his address, Governor Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje said his administration has earmarked N1.85 billion for the construction of 2000 low-cost housing units.
Ganduje said the houses will be constructed across the 44 local government areas of the state to address housing deficit in the state.
He added that his administration will complete projects inherited from the past administration.
The Dangote Foundation, on Sunday said the ongoing construction of a multi-billion naira State-of-?the-Art operating theatre and diagnostic centre at the Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital is due for completion next year.
A statement by the foundation said Ms Halima Dangote, chief executive of the foundation, revealed this during a visit to Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje at the weekend.
She said the foundation is spending N7 billion on the Operating Theatre and Diagnostic Centre, blaming technical hitches for the earlier delay, assuring that Dantata and Sawoe, the new contractor handling the project has returned to site.
She also said that the routine immunisation programme of the Foundation is being extended to Bauchi, Yobe, Maiduguri and Katsina.
Ms Dangote added that the foundation's business school project at the Bayero University Kano has gulped N524 million, besides injecting another N500 million into the Kano School of Technology.
She equally revealed that the foundation is determined to build a 500 mega watt power plant in the state.
She said some of the project, described as game changers?, would be completed in the next two years.
Responding, Governor Ganduje praised Alhaji Aliko Dangote, President of the Dangote Group for doing so much already for Kano and its people who would remain grateful forever.
He singled out the contribution of the foundation to the fight against polio, describing it as a massive intervention and that with the help of the Foundation, the State will soon be given its Polio-Free Certificate.
"We are ready to do anything to support your effort," the governor said.
He further described the group's intervention at the specialist hospital, one of the oldest in West Africa, as as massive.
The foundation has also completed the construction of seven of the 11 Primary Health Care Centers it is building in the State.
At a handover ceremony of one of the health centres at Gwale Local Government, Ms Halima Dangote said the construction of health centres in the state will cost the foundation? N72 million.
Speaking at the handover ceremony, Ms Dangote said her father Aliko would prefer that most of his interventions are not mentioned in public for Allah's sake.
She however said the Foundation that she heads will continue to assist the poor and support overnment's efforts around the world.
Speaking also Executive Director Stakeholders Relations and Corporate Communications, Engr Mansur Ahmed said the new healthcare centre will help the communities overcome most of their simple health challenges.
The Permanent Secretary in the state's Ministry of Health Abba Kailani, expressed government's appreciation and promised to support the health care centres through staffing.
Secretary to the chairman of Gwale Local Government Shehu Haza who represented the chairman of the Council, while commending the Foundation, said Government will ensure that the health care centres are functional.
The Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) has denied reports that it granted a new "secret concession" over the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway through "a back door arrangement".
The commission, in a statement signed by its Head of Communications, Ms Deborah Okafor affirmed that "there has been no new concession granted as required by law and the national policy on Public Private Partnership (PPP) on Lagos- Ibadan Expressway."
The statement explained that "after the termination of the concession granted to Bi-Courtney Highway Services Limited, the Federal Government decided to reconstruct the Lagos-Ibadan expressway as a traditional procurement through Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC).
" However, the government could not wholly finance the project and had secured private financing from a consortium of banks to ensure the speedy completion of the road. Government is bound to repay the financing arrangement (such as interest payments, loan repayment, fees, charges and associated returns on equity investment) either through the annual budgetary system or from revenues accruable to Government if the operations and maintenance of the road is granted as a concession to a private party.
"If and when the Federal Government decides to grant concession over the operations and maintenance aspect of the project, the ICRC, as the regulatory agency, will ensure that the project passes through a normal competitive process as provided for under the Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (Establishment, Etc) Act, 2005 Act, (the Act) and the National PPP Policy on Public Private Partnership."
Therefore, the commission pointed out that "any PPP structuring over the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway can only take place after the ongoing reconstruction is completed and handed over to the Federal Government.
"The Federal Ministry of Works would then commence the process of procurement of a competent project proponent to handle the tolling,"
Copy Right: All Africa.com
One of the major reasons for the transfer of the Federal Capital City (FCC) to Abuja was the intractable transportation problems associated with Lagos. Hence, transportation is the dominant structural element of the new FCC plan. All the relevant categories of transportation services are proposed in the transportation plan to ensure viable and efficient national capital for Nigeria.
Presently what bothers Abuja residents and workers is the ever increasing traffic congestion, specifically on the major entry routes of Abuja from the FCT neighbouring settlements in Niger and Nasarawa States. These are along the ONEX, Kubwa-Zuba-Suleja axis, towards Niger State and the Nyanya-Mararraba-Keffi axis, towards Nasarawa State. This has the capability of sending wrong signals that the urban transportation problems of FCC experienced in Lagos cannot after all be prevented in Abuja.
It is necessary to emphasize that majority of Abuja workers cannot afford accommodation within the city or FCT in general. Thus, they resort to living in the FCT neighbouring towns in Niger and Nasarawa States. This is not unusual. Abuja's plan to some extent, specifically the city size was modeled after Washington DC, where many of the workers live across the neighbouring states of Maryland and Virginia. Thus, rather than restricting the city management to its political boundary Washington assumes a metropolitan approach by encompassing areas of the neighbouring states.
In general, the dynamics of spontaneous urban growth respond to transportation (accessibility) and economics. Characteristically, urban management tends to ignore political boundaries, as is readily apparent in almost all modern metropolitan areas throughout the world. Such is the situation, even where land development is highly controlled by public policy and unified regulation codes like what we have in Abuja, or where a relaxation of policy enforcement has resulted in unplanned growth.
In the Regional Development Plan of Abuja, this phenomenon was envisaged, hence, the IPA made provision for the FCT-States Joint Planning District in the master plan. As envisaged by the IPA, when the plan for the city and the whole territory begin to take form and outlines of issues relating to the development of the surrounding regions also begin to assume shape, one of the major issues is how to control unwanted urbanization. This is the prevailing situation, both within the FCT and in the peripheral states adjoining it. The Joint Planning District proposal of the Master Plan is yet to be implemented almost 40 years from the FCT creation.
On the other hand, despite the fact that there is a proposal to connect Abuja to the national rail system in the Abuja Master Plan, its prioritization was deemed as economically unfeasible. This is part of the shortcomings of the master plan.
As a very important component of modern urban transportation system, it is only the metro that has the capacity for safe and fast transportation of large number of urban commuters than any mode of transportation.The emerging reality has now shown that the city is paying dearly for the utter relegation of the importance of the metro service. Nevertheless, a suitable corridor for the location of rail alignment and its maintenance in the event that rail service to the FCT is found to be feasible in the future has been preserved. Human imperfections aside, the system as planned is very adequate to alleviate the occurrence of chaotic urban transportation problems being experienced in the city.
The 2014 Abuja Housing Show could have come and gone, but the memory of Professor Pedro Ortiz's presentation as the Guest Speaker during the opening ceremony still lingers. In a paper entitled Housing/Urban Policy Integration, Prof. Ortiz ingenously developed a Mega Abuja Metro-Matrixon an East-West alignment traversing from Minna through Suleja, Abuja city, Keffi to Lafia. Rather than North-South, the population movement within the subregion dictated by the movement of commuters who are largely workers on their daily routine of home to work and vice versa and the delivery of goods and services to Abuja the FCC is much more active along the East-West alignment. Unfortunately, as observed by Prof. Ortiz, the emphases of the railway corridor is North-South, which is the Kaduna-Abuja railway corridor now being implemented.
Although FCT is very large, the fact is that conditions already existed right from the early period when the Abuja Master Plan was being prepared in both the FCT and the adjourning states inducing development to occur in ways not likely to be specified in the plan. The plan thus recommends that those areas in the FCT adjoining highways, particularly highways linking areas outside the territory shall require great attention. Apart from being a very essential transportation corridor for the entire sub-region, the East-West metrol ine from Minna to Lafia, traversing the heart of Abuja is additionally a potential economic corridor; its establishment is too long overdue.
Abuja — Work is set to start on the first phase of Ondo State's proposed 1050 mega watts Independent Power Project, as the Mimiko administration sealed a Memorandum of Understanding with POSCO E & C of South Korea for the engineering, procurement and construction of the facility.
POSCO E & C is to handle the design, engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning and testing of the 550MW first phase open cycle gas turbine power plant.
Actual construction is expected to commence in first quarter 2016 and would take about 26 months from commencement and date of issuing the notice to proceed.
The state government is currently partnering Kingline Development Company, a South Korean Company, through its Nigerian subsidiary, Kingline Development Nigerian Ltd, for the development of the Independent Power Project (IPP).
The first phase of the project involves the construction of a gas-fired power plant that will generate 550 MW of electricity to be sold into the national grid. The second phase is expected to add another 500 MW.
Already, a special purpose vehicle, called Kingline Ondo IPP Ltd, has been registered to implement the power generation project, officials said in a statement at the weekend.
Head of Kingline Development in Nigeria, Fola Akinnola said in Abuja at the weekend that funding had been secured for the project, stressing that the contract was signed recently at POSCO E & C's headquarters in Inchon, Seoul, South Korea.
Among other progress reports, he noted that Certificate of Occupancy had already been issued by Ondo State government in October for the project, with the environmental impact assessment panel review, scheduled for end of November.
Akinpelu Dada and Rasheed Bisiriyu
Contractors handling the re-construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Julius Berger Plc and Raynolds Construction Company (Nigeria), are back on site in continuation of the job.
Julius Berger’s men were seen working at the Redemption Camp and Arepo areas at the Lagos end of the road on Friday. But the work was more of a palliative as the firms only attended to the failed sections of the road. No reconstruction or expansion was done.
The News Agency of Nigeria also indicated in a report on Sunday that while palliative work was ongoing at the failed spots around the Redemption Camp area of the road, major construction work was being done at the Arepo area.
The repair on the Arepo spot caused gridlock on the Long Bridge on Friday and travellers spent about two hours moving from the Berger Bus to Arepo, a distance that should take less than seven minutes.
It was, however, not clear the role of the Ogun State Government in the return of Julius Berger to the site. A signpost erected by the state government was still at the Arepo spot as of Sunday, showing that it was responsible for the palliative work.
Julius Berger is handling Section One of the project, which stretches from the Sagamu Inter-Change to Lagos, while RCC is in charge of Section Two, stretching from the Sagamu Inter-Change to Ojoo, Ibadan.
Motorists have clamoured for an early completion of the road, which is about the busiest highway in the country.
A source at the Julius Berger end of the road, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that the company was back on the road for good, saying: “It is time to move forward on the project.”
The expected date for the completion of the project, which is being financed through Public-Private Partnership, is July 3, 2017.
Meanwhile, motorists and commuters who use the road have continued to appeal to the Federal Government to speed up work to make travelling on the road pleasurable.
A commercial vehicle driver plying the road daily, Ojo Agege, told NAN that it was high time the government ensured the speedy completion of the project.
Another commercial driver, Lateef Mohammed, said motorists would continue to have nightmares on the road until the Federal Government fixed it.
“All we are saying is that the government should help to fast-track the construction of the road to ease the delay being experienced daily by travellers,” he said.
A female trader, Simisola Joseph, expressed optimism that with the coming of Babatunde Fashola as Power, Works and Housing Minister, the construction would soon be completed.
A driver, Femi Ajegun, told NAN that vehicular movement was now easy with the completion of work on some critical areas at the Ibadan end of the road.
“With the quality of job done and removal of long stretch of diversion by the RCC, motorists and travellers now experience some pleasurable ride,” he said.
Sule Maito, a bus passenger, at Ogere area of the road, told NAN that if the contractor could continue with the way it was going, the job would be completed on schedule.
The Federal Ministry of Works last week, after a meeting of stakeholders with the Presidency, said that the government had committed N50bn to the project.
The ministry promised that no stone would be left unturned to ensure the completion of the rehabilitation on time.
Source: Punch Newspaper.
As part of efforts aimed at providing quality and affordable housing in the FCT, a real estate firm, BuildOptions Limited has unveiled its first set of houses in Guzape district of Federal Capital Territory.
Speaking at the occasion, Chairman of the firm, Alhaji Aliyu Hammadu, said the firm has built over 100 units of houses and has over 23 active projects that are being carried out concurrently within the FCT, adding that the company intends to move to other states of the federation very soon.
He said the projects range from 4 bedroom luxury apartments with unique and modern designs like the one we are commissioning today to smaller units tailored to accommodate the budget of the middle class.
The chairman noted that the importance of housing cannot be over emphasised, saying that every Nigerian is entitled to a place where he or she can call a home.
He said although not peculiar to Nigeria alone, the housing deficit in the country is one that raises a lot of concern with an estimated fifteen to sixteen million housing deficit for a population of about 170 million Nigerians.
According to him, “It is the realisation of this fact that prompted the creation of our company. We have partnered with individuals and corporate bodies alike to come up with ideas and solutions to the housing issue in the country and with over 100 units in less than 11 months, I think I can rightly say that we are on the right track.
He however called on the Federal Government to tackle the issues that obstruct access to affordable housing such as high cost of land, and raw materials, limited access to housing finance, access to infrastructure and the process of legal documentation in land matters.
“We are optimistic that with the appointment of the new Minister of Power, Works and Housing, we will witness the much-needed development in the housing sector. We also hope that the new FCT Minister will support companies like ours to give the good people of the FCT more quality and affordable houses by providing us with access to Land and the attendant Infrastructure.
“We are ready to partner with the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria, (FMBN), the Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and other mortgage and financial institutions to provide affordable houses to Nigerians.