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Lai Mohammed: Atiku Abubakar has no jinx to break in infrastructure financing

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this on Friday in Lagos at the Platform Capital Forum, organised by UNICORN Group.

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The Federal Government says the promise by Alhaji Atiku Abubakar to ‘break the jinx’ in infrastructure financing, if elected president in 2023, is worn.

According to the Federal Government, President Muhammadu Buhari has long done so.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said this at a media briefing on Thursday in Abuja.

Newsmen report that the minister was reacting to the recent Economic Blueprint unveiled by Atiku, the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP)’s presidential candidate in the 2023 elections.

“We state unequivocally, that the worst jinx in infrastructure financing was the PDP administration from 1999 to 2015.

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“Indeed, the Buhari administration has long broken that jinx, leveraging on such innovative schemes as the Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF), Sukuk and the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme (RITCS),” he said

According to the minister, the PIDF is being used to finance the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, 2nd Niger Bridge and the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano road, while Sukuk has delivered a total of 1,881 kilometres of roads between 2017 and 2020.

  It can’t happen, NNPP stepping down for PDP or APC is absolute rubbish – Kwankwaso

He said the RITCS was used for the construction and rehabilitation of Lokoja-Obajana-Kabba-Ilorin road, reconstruction of Apapa Wharf road, construction of Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota road and the Bonny-Bodo road with bridge).

Mohammed said that the NNPC-funded part of the RITCS was also delivering nine roads in North-Central, three in North-East, two in North-West, two in South-East, three in South-South and two in South-West for a total of 1,804 kilometres of roads.

He said the Buhari administration’s “warm handshake’’ with the private sector had delivered and was delivering an unprecedented number of projects.

The projects according to the minister, included, the 650,000bpd Dangote Refinery, Dangote Fertilizer plant, Lekki Deep Sea Port, BUA Cement, the 5,000bpd Waltersmith Modular Refinery in Imo State and the 2,500bpd Duport Modular Refinery/Energy Park in Edo.

They also included the 2,000bpd Atlantic Modular Refinery in Bayelsa State; the 12,000bpd Azikel Modular Refinery also in Bayelsa; the five LPG Bottling plants and six LPG depots in 10 northern states and Abuja.

Others are the 48,000 L/D base oil production plant in Rivers and the 10,000 Metric Tonnes Per Day methanol production plant in Bayelsa, just to mention a few.

  If FG frees deadly criminals, then no Nigerian deserves to be in prison — Kanu

The minister said the refineries and other projects were the result of a ”warm handshake” between the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board and private sector actors.

On power, the minister said Atiku’s promise to propose legislation to, among others give states the power to generate, transmit and distribute electricity, was also not new.

“It is amazing that His Excellency the former vice president has not heard or read that the Senate has passed the electricity bill 2022 that will allow states to generate and distribute power as well as solve the sector’s challenges,’’ he said.

Mohammed said contrary to Atiku’s position, the Federal Government’s investments in additional generation capacity were not futile and had consideration for the complementary transmission and distribution infrastructure.

He said the Nigeria-Siemens partnership consummated in 2019 to improve “the seemingly-intractable power sector on which the PDP frittered more than 16 billion dollars to procure nothing but darkness would be a game changer.

“The three-phase project will deliver 7,000MW in the first phase, 11,000MW in the second phase and 25,000MW in the third phase.

“This will positively impact job creation, boost investor confidence, accelerate economic growth and reduce cost of doing business.

  South-South group urges greater cooperation of native residents in Lagos

“For those who may be in doubt, let me say that this project is a game changer. As you may have read, electricity equipment ordered under the project have started arriving in the country.

“When they are installed, there will be a major improvement in the supply of electricity across the country,’’ he said.

The minister also faulted Atiku on his promise that poverty reduction would be the ‘centerpiece of our economic development agenda’.

He said the Buhari administration’s National Social Investment Programme (NSIP) is unprecedented in impacting the lives of poor Nigerians directly and indirectly and creating jobs, especially for the youths, women and the elderly.

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Politics

PDP appoints Directors for National Campaign Management Committee

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PDP appoints Directors for National Campaign Management Committee

The leadership of the presidential campaign organisation (PCO) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has approved the appointment of Directors and Deputy Directors for its National Campaign Management Committee (NCMC).

A statement by Hon. Aminu Waziri Tambuwal, the Director General of the campaigns, yesterday listed the directors of the campaign directorate to include Director, Training, Austin Opara; Director, Strategic Communications, Dele Momodu; Director, Field Operations, Umar M. Bature, Director, Finance, Abdullahi Hussaini MaiBasira and Director, Security & Intelligence, Brig-Gen. Koko Essien, Rtd.

  It can’t happen, NNPP stepping down for PDP or APC is absolute rubbish – Kwankwaso

Others were the Director, Support Group, Mrs. Baraka Sani; Director, Admin, Ibrahim Bashir; Director, Legal Affairs, Kamaldeen Ajibade; Director, Technical, Nurudeen Taoheed Ademola (Youth), Director; Election Management, Prof. Iyorwuese Hagher;

Director, Research, Dr. Sam Amadi, and Director, Monitoring & Evaluation, Mrs. Sanyaolu Modupeola.
Other directors included that for International Affairs, Amb. Ahmed Magaji, Director; Voter Intelligence & Strategy, Chief Osita Chidoka; Director, Diaspora Group, Prof. Isah Odidi; Deputy Director, Election Management (South), Rt. Hon. Tolford Ongolo and Deputy Director, Election Management (North), Hon. Chile Igbawua
Tambuwal called on the directors, “to please contact the DDG, Administration, Prof. Adewale Oladipo for further details.”

  If FG frees deadly criminals, then no Nigerian deserves to be in prison — Kanu

He urged them so stay committed to the campaigns.

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Politics

PDP will loot treasury dry if given access to power again

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Calls for secession: Lai Mohammed identifies key reasons responsible

Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture has stayed that the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) will loot the country’s treasury dry if they are given another opportunity to be in power.

This was stated by Mohammed while speaking in Tanzania, in reaction to the controversy surrounding the return of N122.4 million by members of the PDP’s national working committee (NWC).

“If a man can steal from himself, he will steal without any restrain from other people. The problem is that PDP will never change and like they say, a leopard will never change its spots. When PDP lost elections in 2015, they admitted that they had learnt their lessons, but obviously, they have learnt nothing.

  It can’t happen, NNPP stepping down for PDP or APC is absolute rubbish – Kwankwaso

God forbid, if they ever have access to public purse again, they will leave no kobo there. We know what we met when we assumed office in 2015, we are still wailing from it. We hope Nigerians have now seen from this scandal the intention of PDP if they ever have access to public treasury.”

  If FG frees deadly criminals, then no Nigerian deserves to be in prison — Kanu

Mohammed said the party should be questioned on the source of the funds shared, adding that as a member of the NWC of the APC, no money was ever paid into his account.

“Never did I remember that any form of money, call it, accommodation, or whatsoever, was ever paid into the account of any member of the NWC of either ACN or APC” he said.

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Politics

INEC seeks online publishers’ support ahead of 2023 elections

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Mahmood Yakub

INEC chairman Mahmood Yakubu on Thursday reiterated that votes cast by the electorate would determine the outcome of the 2023 general elections.

Mr Yakubu, who spoke at the sixth annual conference of the Guild of Corporate Online Publishers (GOCOP), also called for the fight against fake news while speaking on ‘2023 Elections: Managing the Process for Credible Outcome’ in Lagos.

The INEC chief, who commended the leadership and membership of GOCOP for extending an invitation to him, said, “As the commission is doing its best to ensure a credible process, we also appeal to the media for continuous partnership. Managing the electoral process for credible outcome is the responsibility of all of us.”

  It can’t happen, NNPP stepping down for PDP or APC is absolute rubbish – Kwankwaso

He added, “As campaign activities get underway, the media will continue to play an important role. A lot of the activities will take place in the media, of which the new media is a critical player. We must continue to work together against the spread of fake news, misinformation and disinformation that seek to create or exacerbate tension or de-legitimise processes and outcomes.”

  If FG frees deadly criminals, then no Nigerian deserves to be in prison — Kanu

According to him, GOCOP must lead a network or alliance of stakeholders to curb fake news engineered by unpatriotic individuals.

“Fake news is a threat to national security, and all hands must be on deck to check it. Managing this process requires, in part, concerted efforts. We have noticed that your members have so far steered clear of fake news. We urge you to do more,” the INEC chairman stressed. “GOCOP should come out strongly in the battle against fake news, which is clearly a challenge to the electoral process going forward.”

  South-South group urges greater cooperation of native residents in Lagos

(NAN)

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