About 10,000 Nigerians were employed during the construction of the Abuja Light Rail Project, which was recently commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari, while 100,000 more will be directly or indirectly employed when the project begins full operation.
The Chief Resident Engineer for the Abuja Light Rail Project, Anthony Agbakoba, disclosed this on Thursday while briefing the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who took journalists on a tour of the project, which is now being test-run.
Agbakoba said that in addition, 68 highly-skilled personnel have been trained in Malaysia and China on Railway Operations and Management in order to build the required technical capacity needed to run such a modern rail system.
“FCTA (Federal Capital Territory Administration) and Nigeria now have capacity to supervise similar railway construction projects from start to completion within 3 to 4 years of conception,” he said.
While conducting the Minister and his team round the train stations, the Secretary of Transportation in the FCTA, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the present administration inherited the Abuja Light Project at 53% completion stage and delivered the project within 18 months.
He said the project is the first integrated mode of Transportation in Africa that connects the railways and the airport in order to ensure seamless movement of passengers.
Opeifa said a desk will be assigned to the Federal Ministry of Information and Culture at the Airport Station to showcase the nation’s rich cultural heritage and tourism attraction, adding that the station itself is a tourist attraction.
He said although the Abuja Light Rail is currently on a test run with 3 coaches, contract for the construction and supply of 48 additional coaches has been awarded, with the coaches expected to be delivered in batches.
In his remarks, Mohammed, said the Buhari Administration is building a legacy of enduring infrastructure for posterity.
“This administration is not looking for quick fixes because quick fixes don’t work. We are laying a foundation for an enduring infrastructural development. We are painstaking and very transparent and we remain focused and committed,” he said.
Alhaji Mohammed expressed the confidence that Nigeria possesses the required technical competence to manage the Light Rail Project and turn it into a huge success.
“Some of the key personnel, who have worked in virtually major rail companies in the world, are actually anchoring the programme. Some of them have been trained in the best schools in the world for transportation and so we are confident of the expertise and experience of the personnel that are handling the light rail and the regional rail,” he said.
The Minister said the level of successes being recorded by the present administration, in its key priority areas, has left the opposition in shock, hence their resort to fake news and hate speech.
The 45.2-kilometre Light Rail Project, which is divided into six lots, comprises 12 stations, 50 culverts, 13 railway bridges, 9 pedestrian bridges, 15 flyovers, and a 21-building Rolling Stock Depot.
Since kick-starting the nationwide tour of Federal Government projects in May 2018, the Minister has inspected eight Federal Government projects, including the Lagos-Ibadan Standard Gauge Rail Line, Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo-Ogbomoso and Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressways, and the Second Niger Bridge.
$217.7b looted in Nigeria in 38 years – Magu
The Acting Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, Ibrahim Magu, has revealed the total money stolen in Nigeria between 1970 and 2008 was $217.7 billion.
Magu made this known during annual conference of the Online Publishers Association of Nigeria, held in Abuja.
Represented by the EFCC spokesman, Tony Orilade, Magu said Nigeria constituted about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share of illicit financial outflow.
He said: “In February 2015, a High-level panel on illicit Financial Flows from Africa constituted by the African Union under the chairmanship of the former President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, revealed that Nigeria ranked first among 10 African countries by Cumulative Illicit Financial flows between 1970 and 2008.
“The total outflow from Nigeria for the period was $217.7 billion, constituting about 30.5 per cent of Africa’s total share.”
Magu also said the investigation, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries undertaken by EFCC over the years confirmed that the level of corruption in Nigeria was truly staggering.
He said: “The various investigations, arrests, prosecution and asset recoveries we have been undertaking at the EFCC over the years have confirmed to us that the level of corruption in Nigeria us truly staggering.
“Thus horrible and inhuman crime is being perpetrated by individuals and groups in both the private and public sectors all over the country.
“The latter include serving and defunct state governors, cabinet ministers, high ranking officers, chief executives of parastatals, and top bureaucrats in the state and federal government agencies.
“The alarming rate of corruption committed by these unpatriotic elements can be partly seen in the number of convictions secured by the EFCC from Nigerian courts since I assumed duty as the head of the Commission in 2015.
“The figure stands at 103 in 2015, 195 (2016), 189 (2017) and 312 for the period January to November 2018.
“The total figure for the period January 2015 to 2018 is a mind blowing 799 convictions.
“In the process of such convictions, the EFCC recovered: N794.5 billion, $261 million, £1.1 million, 8.1 million euro and CFA 86,500.
“Other recoveries under my tenure include: Seized 407 mansions, 281 under interim forfeiture and 126 under final forfeiture.
“Confiscated hundreds of filling stations, petroleum products, real estate, heavy machineries and investment shares.
“Seized 87 lands, 56 under interim forfeiture and 42 under final forfeiture.
Acting IG Adamu reverses Idris last-minute postings
Strong indications emerged Tuesday that four out of the seven Deputy Inspectors-General of Police in the Nigeria Police Force may leave the force alongside the former Inspector-General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, who retired on Tuesday.
It was gathered that the DIGs, who are members of the Police Management Team and senior to the acting IG, Mohammed Adamu, might be forced out of the service to pave the way for him to set up a new management team he could work with.
It was gathered that those that might be affected by the reorganisation include DIG Maigari Dikko in Charge of Department of Finance and Administration; DIG Joshuak Habila, Department of Operations; DIG Emmanuel Inyang, Information and Communications Technology; and DIG Agboola Oshodi-Glover, Logistics and Supply Departments.
Police sources said that DIGs Mohammed Katsina (Research and Planning Department); Sani Mohammed (Training and Development Department); and Peace Madueke -Abdallah (Federal Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department) who were promoted late last year could survive the impending purge of the Police Management Team.
“The three DIGs were on the same rank as Adamu last year. In fact, Abdallah was a Commissioner of Police the same time the acting IG was also a CP, so they were almost on the same level. By virtue of this fact, the new police boss may include them in his management team and save their career from sudden death.”
It was gathered that Abdallah, who has about six years to retire, may be the worst casualty of the purge if Adamu decided to dispense with all the police management team members.
The decision to retain any of the PMT members rested on the acting IG, who is expected to write to the Police Service Commission about his chosen team members.
Meanwhile, the new Police Chief has reportedly reversed some last-minute postings and redeployments carried out by Idris few days before his retirement.
It was gathered that the redeployment of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal, by the former IG was overturned while other senior officers who were also posted to new commands and formations had been asked to stay action until further notice.
This development, sources said, meant that the redeployment order by Idris would not be obeyed unless sanctioned by the acting IG.
Shortly after meeting with the DIGs in his office at the force headquarters, Adamu was seen going from floor to floor, meeting officers and familiarising himself with his men.
The acting IG, who was decorated with his new rank at the State House by President Muhammadu Buhari, hailed from Lafia, Nasarawa State, and is a holder of Bachelor of Science degree in Geography.
He enlisted into the Force on February 1, 1986 as Cadet Assistant Superintendent and had attended several Senior Officer Courses on Law Enforcement, Crime Prevention, Control and Management within and outside Nigeria.
Before his appointment as acting IG, he was at the National Institute for Policy and Strategic Studies, Kuru, Jos, Plateau State.
He was also the Commissioner of Police in Ekiti and Enugu states and also Assistant Inspector-General of Police in charge of Zone 5 Police Command Headquarters, Benin, Edo State.
Earlier on Tuesday, the acting IG said the police under his watch would be professional and fair to all parties while providing security for the general elections beginning on February 16.
Adamu stated that there were rules of engagement for the Nigeria Police, adding they would be strictly applied in dealing with security matters. He stressed that the police would not pander to the desires of any groups or interests.
Adamu was decorated by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa. Idris, who was appointed IG in 2016, bowed out on Tuesday as he retired from service at the age of 60 years.
2019 elections: Kwara sets up Joint Security Task Force
The Kwara State Government has established a Joint Security Task Force headed by the Nigerian Army to check political violence before, during and after the general elections in the state.
The State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfatah Ahmed disclosed this on Monday at Agbaji Quarter in Ilorin when he led other members of the State Security Council to assess the extent of the damage during Sunday’s political violence in the area.
Governor Ahmed described the incident as unacceptable and a clear case of criminality which shows a complete degeneration of political values the state is known for.
The governor who had earlier presided over the State Security Council meeting promised that all the culprits would be identified and brought to book to forestall reoccurrence.
Dr Ahmed assured the people that the government and security agencies would ensure adequate protection of lives and property during the electioneering period.
The State Security Council meeting was also attended by the Deputy Governor, Elder Peter Kisira, Secretary to the State Governor, Alhaji Isiaka Gold, Emir of Ilorin, His Royal Highness, Dr. Ibrahim Sulu Gambari, Commissioner of Police, State Director, DSS, representative of the Brigade Commander, heads of the Navy, Airforce and Commandant of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps.
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