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Africa’s Transport Ministers Meet on Establishment of Maritime Bank

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Nigeria’s transport minister, Rotimi Amaechi, and his counterparts in West and Central Africa are mulling the establishment of a Maritime bank, a statement said at the weekend.

The statement issued by Amaechi’s media aide, Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, said the ministers met in Lagos on Friday at a one-day conference of Ministers of Transportation, under the auspices of the Maritime Organization for West and Central Africa (MOWCA).

The minister said that the establishment of the bank had become imperative for maritime development in the region, stressing that Nigeria will make her financial contributions as soon as other countries paid up, especially given the fact that government had already made provisions for the bank in the 2020 budget.

“We couldn’t have been pushing and nobody is responding the way we thought everybody should respond, we will make our contribution when others have made theirs.

“I wish we could make our contribution this year because we have budgetary allocation for it, but if it is next year, I can’t guarantee that we will have the budgetary provision. We believe that this bank is a necessary tool we need for maritime development in our regions, both West and Central Africa”, Amaechi said.

Meanwhile, Master Didier Mukanzu, Minister of Transport and Communication, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Chairman of MOWCA, has expressed his gratitude to the 25-member states, including Nigeria.

“Indeed, the Committee of Experts of MOWCA met in Lagos from September 15-16, 2020, on the project to set up the regional maritime bank of development. The Minister of Transport of the Federal Republic of Nigeria has taken upon himself the commitment to speak with his counterparts from other Member States to convince them to support the project. The aim is to particularly approve the Charter and get the States to express their commitment to the project”, Mukanzu said.

He recalled that the project was first adopted by the sixth session of the Bureau of Ministers held in Abidjan on Aug. 9, 1999, saying: “So for more than 20 years, many initiatives have been taken. But this time, the partners are there and ready to invest in the project.

“I, therefore, recommend that these partners should not be won over by doubt, on the real desire of the sub-region to equip itself with an institution. Great achievements in the world have always begun with reservations at the beginning. Ministers, we are at a decisive turning point in this project.

”I hope that the will of the sub-region, expressed overwhelmingly, align so that we can take a big step forward,” he said.

Mukanzu, emphasized that approving the Charter should not be misconstrued as ratification of the project, but that the step would allow provisional bodies, based on the agreement of the Ministers responsible for transport, to discuss start-up procedures and financing.

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Business Edge | Nigeria, UAE Signs MOU, Eskom Faces R5 Million Over Kendal Power Station Pollution

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The Nigerian Government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which provides a platform for both countries to establish a Joint Commission between the two friendly countries, seeking to enhance cooperation and coordination between both countries in all fields.

Also, Eskom could face fines of up to R5-million under South Africa’s air quality legislation for supplying blatantly false and misleading information about its toxic pollution at the Kendal coal-fired power station to authorities.
On 28 January 2021, the state-owned energy utility will appear in the Emalahleni regional court on four counts of environmental transgressions.

Tolulope Adeleru-Balogun and Mukhtar Mohammed, CEO Asher Dynamic Solutions, discussed these on Business Edge.

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Nigeria’s Federal Government Approves N117 Billion for Road Rehabilitation

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N117.6 billion for the rehabilitation of some major roads across Nigeria.

This was disclosed to journalists by the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, after the meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Ministry of Works and Housing presented three memoranda, two relating to roads, and one relating to a banking application.

Read also: Full Text Of Nigeria’s President Buhari Budget Proposal Speech

“The first set of roads is for a total sum of N18,923,846,198.47, and it is with respect to roads and bridges as follows: rehabilitation of 26 km road linking Kano, Jigawa and the Katsina States, N8.767 billion; Omo-Umulokpa road in Anambra and the Enugu States, N1.712 billion; rehabilitation of Oye-Oranta road in Anambra, N2.504 billion; Okpoko bridge along Benue-Cross River road, N1.057 billion; the bridge at km 22.7 along Bida-Zungeru road in Niger State, N1.022 billion; Nkumi bridge linking Abia and Enugu States, N1.0.72 billion, and Challawa-Nunku road in Kombotso, Kano State, N2.787 billion.

“The other memorandum relating to roads is also for the total sum of N98,073,840, 842.81. The roads are Rijiya-Gusau road in Zamfara State, N7.799 billion; Jegga-Kwana-Sanagi-Gumi road in Kebbi State, N31.539 billion; Koko-Mahuta road in Kebbi, N19.713 billion; Kuka Babbangida-Ganagara road in Katsina State, N11.731 billion; Ihiala-Olu-Umudu road, N16.750 billion; Oye-Ama-Etite-Umuawulu road in Anambra, N2.155 billion and Bichi road in Kano State, N8.384 billion,” Fashola said.

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Arik Air Workers Ground Operations

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, adding that pensions were being owed.

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Operations of Arik Air, one of Nigeria’s carriers have been grounded by the National Union of Air Transport Employees over poor working conditions.

The workers on Thursday blocked the entrance of the airline’s headquarters in Lagos, the country’s commercial capital in the South West, carrying placards with different inscriptions.

Some of the inscriptions read, “End Arik brutality”, and “Sign our condition of service and recall all staff.”

They alleged that several members of staff had been furloughed, and that pensions were being owed.

The Lagos state Secretary of NUATE, Ijeh Anthony, said the issue had lingered for long, vowing to continue the strike till all demands are met.

He said, “The contentious issue is the signing of the Conditions of Service which we have been negotiating for the past three years.

Read also: Unions Shut Down Nigeria’s Arik Air Operations Over Anti-Labour Practices

“But the only aspect remaining in the CoS is the issue of the severance package. We have sought interventions from the Ministry of Aviation, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority.

“However, in most discussions, Arik Air Management will always renege.”

At the Murtala Muhmmed Airport 2 terminal, several passengers booked for 8 am flights were stranded.

Some of the passengers were distraught after waiting for several hours.

Officials from the airline were seen trying to manage the situation.

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