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Vested interests frustrating revamping on ports in S’East, killing its economy – importers

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Importers Association of Nigerian (IMAN), on Wednesday, called on the governors and the stakeholders in the South East to come together and decide how to revive the Oseakwa Seaport and other ports within the zone to ensure the growth of its economy, urging them to work more closely with the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) for this purpose.

The group, which bemoaned how a $600 million deal between former Imo state governor, Chief Achike Udenwa, and the Chinese government for a Blue Sea Port project in Oguta Lake was lost, argued had the project been realised, it would have by now helped in the revival of the seaport in Ihiala, Anambra State which functionality, he believed, would add value to the economies of the South East and South-South regions.

National President of the association, Kingsley Chikezie, who told reporters in Awka that the project, would have added value to Nigeria’s economy, was frustrated by forces with ethnic colours, regretted that it was in furtherance of the effort to frustrate the said ports, that the authorities ordered the importation of pharmaceutical goods to be done through the Lagos seaports, specifically the one in Apapa.

He said: “These are the things and obstacles that we the importers are facing due to the abandonment of the Oseakwa Seaport by successive governments in the country and you know that we in the South East and South-South are the importers. We call on the governors of the South East to establish a South East Economic Corporation to kick start the process irrespective of political interests just as the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) has concluded arrangements for the rail lines that would link up the oil producing states in the area.”

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“I want you to imagine what this place would have been like if that 600 million dollars deal had worked out. And that would have also affected the Oseakwa Seaport project to come on stream by now. Today, the NDDC is putting up rail lines linking those areas and the governors of the South East should set up that commission which would have its members drawn from the five states and funded with the equity contributions of the five state governments.

He commended NIWA headed by Chief George Moghalu, for its achievements in reviving some dead and moribund river and sea ports across the country but urged it to partner with the South East Governors Forum (SEGF) to jumpstart the revival of the Oseakwa Seaport.

“There is no doubt that the management of the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) has been doing their best in the area of recovering our dead or moribund river and sea ports but a lot needs to be done. Let our governors in the South East have that synergy with NIWA to look at the Oseakwa Seaport and fashion out ways of making the abandoned Oseakwa Seaport come alive again because our people are going through hell and losing billions of Naira because of the absence of the Oseakwa seaport.”

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Tough economy: Trouble in APC, as staff plan strike

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A loud grumbling has enveloped the 40 Blantyre Crescent, Wuse, Zone 2, Abuja, headquarters of the All Progressives Congress (APC), where staff across different departments are threatening to down tools in protest of poor welfare and biting economic hardship.

Daily Trust, is reporting that the staff are specifically asking the party’s top echelon to make provision for their housing and other allowances, stressing that the economic situation of the country had become quite unfavourable to them.

The paper quoted one of the staff, who spoke on condition of anonymity, as saying that the party’s executive members had left them to suffer, while taking home humongous amounts of money as salaries and allowances.

Though Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, National Chairman of the party, is said to have commenced payment of N35,000 provisional wage award to them in January 2024, they argued that the largesse would in June, and they would be back to square one and therefore, they needed more stable welfare packages.

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In a swift riposte, Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, was quoted as dismissing the agitation, saying: “Those matters I don’t really discuss them. As you can see, there are many important things to discuss; at the national level, in Edo State. We are battling with all that. So, any in-house matters are not my focus right now.”

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BREAKING: Davido ups the ante, doles out N300million to orphanages

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David Adeleke Nigerian music sensation, otherwise known as Davido is stamping his giant feet with which he has mesmerised his audience across the world in the arena of philanthropy, with an announcement of a fresh donation of a whopping N300million to some orphanages across the country.

The latest is an increase of N63million up from the N237million the popular singer, who disclosed the largesse in a statement on his social media accounts on Tuesday, dolled out last year as part of the gesture in what is now turning out a yearly programme since it started a few years ago.

The gesture is coming at a time Nigeria is under an intense weather of deprivation and poverty, with the prices of food and other commodities hitting the roof and citizens, unable to afford basic items mostly going to bed on empty stomachs as a result.

In recent weeks, demonstrations had erupted in many parts of the country, including Niger, Kano, Ogun and Oyo States, where residents trooped into the streets to demand an end to the parlous situation, which they blamed on the insensitive policies of the government of Bola Tinubu, the Nigerian President.

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The singer, who first gave out N250m to 292 orphanages in October 2022, said the this year’s donation would be done through The David Adeleke Foundation (DAF), adding: “I and my foundation pledge the sum of 300 million Naira to orphanages around Nigeria … as my yearly contribution to the nation. Details of disbursement tomorrow.”

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BREAKING: Tinubu set to probe Buhari’s N23trillion Ways and Means debt

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At last, President Bola Tinubu, may be going through the N23trillion Ways and Means debt obtained by his predecessor, Muhammadu Buhari, with a fine comb to determine what the funds, which is attributed to a major part of the current debt overhang in the country, went into.

The Nation, quoted Wale Edun, Minister of Finance and Coordinating Minister for the Economy as revealing this much to participants at the ongoing Public Wealth Management Conference organised by the Ministry of Finance Incorporated (MoFI).

Besides, the Minister reportedly said the Federal Government would also present a bill to the National Assembly, soon to authorise the removal of “all taxes and levies that constitute nuisance from the country’s tax system, as a measure to wean itself from future Ways and Means indebtedness.

The government, Edun added, will vigorously pursue policies that will allow it harvest revenue in real time from Government Owned Enterprises (GOEs) and Corporate entities.

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It was also on the same day that the Minister explained that Tinubu’s administration inherited a surge in food and general commodity prices from the previous government, but emphasised the government’s commitment to reducing food prices and tackling the nation’s high inflation rate.

Outlining the measures government was taking in tackling the situation, he revealed that, the government had released 42,000 metric tons of grains, with an additional 60,000 metric tons scheduled for release soon.

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