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Umahi: If you fight me, you fight Tinubu *Vows to end low quality roads in Nigeria



To Dave Umahi, Minister of Works, contractors spoiling to fight him for abandoning asphalt in place of reinforced cement for Nigerian roads, must be ready to start from President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, whom he said had fully bought into the new proposal.

Umahi, who was speaking at the weekend on the state of the roads in the country, bemoaned a situation, where roads being constructed across the country went bad even before they were completed, adding that in most cases there life-spans did not exceed five years.

Speaking on a day he also revealed that the budget for road projects inherited from past administration, had bloated to as high as N14trillion, covering 18,000 kilometers, Umahi, former governor of Ebonyi State, said the only answer was to redesign the roads for the deployment of the cement technology.

Hear him: “Just look at over 2600 projects, 18,000 kilometers of roads, and N14trillion. That is huge! And the worrisome part of this is that even the ones that are being funded properly, the roads hardly last up to five years.

“The short lifespan of roads necessitated my recent proposal to the President to redesign and construct yet-to-be-completed federal roads using reinforced concrete. So I briefed Mr. President on what we are doing by introducing reinforced concrete technology for our road pavements.

“I’ll fight the entities poised to frustrate this plan. I know that there are a lot of fights from contractors, but I’m David, I’m known for fight and I will fight this because I’ve reported myself to Mr. President. I’ve received the President’s blessings to adopt the concrete reinforced pavements for roads across the country. Incidentally, Mr. President is also an infrastructure guru and he fully supports that we should use reinforced concrete for our road pavements.

“So there is no other place you can report me other than to report me to God. So Mr. President is supporting me that way. We’ll redesign our roads in reinforced concrete pavement. I’m aware that the contractors have been quarreling and arguing. So, I want to declare that I’m open to any kind of blackmail, but my eyes are on the ball. And my eyes are on how we can get Nigerians to have value for the money. That is the assignment President Bola Tinubu gave to me and I’m going to do that with the fear of God.”

Umahi, who spoke to reporters while emerging from a meeting with the President at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, after a meeting with President Bola Tinubu over the weekend, said the affected roads were 2,604 in number, adding that N4 trillion out of the N14 trillion owed in contracts had already been defrayed, while the government had already identified funding sources to offset N4 trillion more of its outstanding debts, leaving N6 trillion funding gap.

Informing that some of the projects had lingered for about two decades were never appropriated and will, therefore, be terminated, he said: “The ministry inherited a total of 2,604 projects, worth N14 trillion and for 18,000 kilometers of road, that’s what we had. Between when we came on board and now, about N4trillion has been paid and so that is a balance of N10 trillion remaining. Now, in this N10trillion, we have defined sources that could fund up to N4trillion. So, we have a funding gap of about N6trillion. That is what is there now.

“We have a number of programmes for road development under the previous administration. We inherited all the projects. We have not dropped any of them. But it is curious to know that some of these projects have lasted for 20 years, some 10 years.

“In fact, in most cases, they were never appropriated throughout every tenure. So I went to seek Mr. President’s nod so that I will be able to terminate some of the projects that have stayed up to 10 years without any defined source of funding.”

He, however, lamented the current appropriation system for federal road projects, saying the piecemeal disbursement of funds to contractors is frustrating delivery, adding that he had already appealed to the President to engage with the National Assembly to prioritise projects.

Umahi, who also revealed that he had written the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) to release monies for the East-West Road, said: “I know that’s what the Rivers people mentioned when they came to see Mr. President. So that road is going to be on concrete.”

Dwelling on his tour of the all parts of the country, he said his attention would now be focused particularly on federal roads in Lagos State, including the ongoing work on Third Mainland Bridge, Carter Bridge, Liverpool Bridge, the Eko Bridge and Marine Bridge, adding: “I want to see things for myself and appraise the ongoing projects. I want to see who is doing a good job and who is doing a bad job. So I briefed Mr. President about that.”


BREAKING: Mother of all strikes! D-Day, October 3! *Stockpile food, essentials – NLC, TUC   



The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC)) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) on Tuesday, announced midnight Tuesday, October 3 as the date for the commencement of total strike by their workers to get the Federal Government accede to their demands to end the current sufferings of their members and Nigerians at large.

The two labour centres representing the organised labour in Nigeria, which arrived at the decision after they had met separately at their local levels directed their affiliates to mobilise for protests from October 3, saying they took the decisions were approved at the meeting of the joint National Executive Council of the two unions on Tuesday, September 26, in Abuja.

Joe Ajaero, President of the NLC, speaking on behalf of his group, while urging Nigerians to stock their homes ahead the total strike, bemoaned the situation where the government had ignored the demands of the workers, saying it “substantially failed to meet its demands after the removal of fuel subsidy,” added that adding that the grace period given by the two labour centres had expired.

The organised labour, is demanding wage awards for public workers and a new minimum wage, apart from the removal of tax exemptions and allowances to public sector workers, provision of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses, the release of modalities for the N70billion for Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) and immediate reversal of all anti-poor policies of the Federal Government.

The union, which on September 5th and 6th, the NLC embarked on a two-day warning strike which led to the partial crippling of economic activities in some states and gave the government a 21-day ultimatum to meet its demands, is also demanding a stop to the increase in public school fees, the release of the eight months withheld salaries of university teachers and workers as well as the increase in Value Added Tax (VAT).

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BREAKING: Total strike looms! *NLC, TUC, finally meet, agree on action



The Federal Government, may have finally lost the move to stop the impending strike by organised labour, or at least mitigate it by dividing its membership, following a meeting of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), hitherto in disagreement over the issue.

In fact, the two bodies representing the junior and senior workers in Nigeria are reportedly meeting currently to announce a statewide indefinite strike, a move coming about three weeks after the NLC held a warning strike on Tuesday, September 5, and Wednesday 6, 2023, without the TUC, which it explained was to call attention of the FG to the painful suffering of Nigerians, particularly workers.

However, indications, suggests that having agreed to come to an understanding in the interest of the working masses of Nigeria, both camps, having also met separately in their different local organs, decided to hold a joint press conference at 3 p.m. on Tuesday to announce an indefinite nationwide strike in response to the FG’s failure to address the suffering and other socioeconomic hardships caused by the removal of subsidies on Premium Motor, PMS, commonly known as petrol.

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Tinubu will shock Atiku and his gang – APC *Why meeting with Biden didn’t hold



Having met with Joe Biden, at a parley of the G20 group in India, it was unnecessary for President Bola Tinubu to hold another session with his US counterpart at the recent United Nation General Assembly (UNGA) in New York, the All Progressives Congress (APC), explained on Monday.

Felix Morka, spokesman of the party, in a statement, also explain other issues in a quick riposte to the attacks of Atiku Abubakar, presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who claimed that the POTUS avoided Tinubu at UNGA because he did not want to be associated with the putrid stains trailing his Nigerian counterpart.

Morka, National Publicity Secretary of the party, also dismissed Atiku’s claims through his spokesman, Phrank Shaibu that fuel subsidy, which the Tinubu administration said it has jettisoned having dismissed it as a drain on the nation’s resources, had returned through the backdoor, saying the payment of the mark up in the pump price of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS) by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company Limited (NNPCL), in August, was to ensure stability.

Hear him: ”Shaibu’s claim that fuel subsidy is back is not correct. The government’s intervention to ensure some measure of price stability and predictability does not amount to the return of the ruinous fuel subsidy of the recent past.

“Lifting the Visa ban on Nigerians by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities should ordinarily make any well-meaning Nigerian happy. Diplomatic rapprochement between Nigeria and UAE authorities is ongoing and details of outcomes will soon be made public.

“The matter of the proposed meeting with United States of America President Joe Biden does not even require elaboration. Having met with President Tinubu on the sidelines of the G-20 Nations summit in India, another meeting with President Biden during the United Nation’s General Assembly (UNGA) had become unnecessary and was not even on President Tinubu’s schedule, contrary to preliminary indications on the matter.

“Nigeria is facing pressing challenges that require focused efforts and undivided attention. Issues such as economic recovery, security of lives and property, infrastructure development, and social welfare demand continuous, sustained and innovative efforts.

“President Tinubu is committed to ensuring an inclusive, honest, transparent and accountable governance system. We encourage citizens to actively participate in democratic processes, ventilate their views, and contribute constructively to national conversations. As the discerning people that we are, we remain confident that Nigerians will continue to differentiate between genuine, constructive and development-oriented criticisms and those driven by self-interest, mercenary considerations and disruptive political agenda.

“While we urge Nigerians to ignore purveyors of fake news and other inanities, it is obvious that Shaibu and his likes will stop at nothing in their desperation to distort facts and give oxygen to their politically knocked-out principal. But that can only worsen his infamy in the light of the President’s determined commitment and strides to improving the social and economic conditions for all Nigerians.

“The PDP and all its agents of misinformation should know by now that no amount of sleazy propaganda, muckraking, lies, half-truths, misrepresentations, misinformation or disinformation will confer the presidency of Nigeria on their candidate.

“Nigerians have freely chosen our party, the APC, and President Bola Tinubu, to continue to steer the ship of state. And the President is making good his campaign promises to deliver purposeful leadership to remake Nigeria, open the economy to rewarding investments, promote inclusive growth, create jobs, secure lives and property and renew hope for a vibrant future.”

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