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Nigeria Needs $14bn Every Year For Infrastructural Development – Okonjo-Iweala

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Nigeria needs an annual investment of $14 billion to boost infrastructure in the country, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Coordinating Minister for the Economy and Minister of Finance has said.

The minister said this at the Public Private Partnership (PPP) stakeholders’ workshop organized by the African Development Bank (AfDB), in Abuja, yesterday.

“To fund infrastructure, Nigeria needs about $14 billion every year, out of which $10 billion should come from the federal level. And this estimate is not comprehensive because it is likely to be higher when the total financial outlay needed to fund the Infrastructure Master plan is calculated,” said okonjo-iweala.

“Currently the country’s spending on infrastructure is about $6 billion, so there is a big gap that needs to be filled. We are talking about something in the region of $8 billion. That is why PPPs are very important to Nigeria at the moment”.

The minister stressed the need for continued PPP, as she noted that the government cannot do it alone. She however noted that some of the PPP arrangements of the past were bogged down by certain inadequacies in the frameworks of the deals, hindering their progress. She therefore recommended that PPPs be reviewed in so as to deliver desired benefits.

“We need to improve the PPP model to ensure that it suits the country’s needs, delivers clear benefits without leaving us with difficult problems.

“One of the problematic areas is the amount of time needed to complete a PPP project. On the average, according to studies, it takes seven years to complete a PPP project in Africa. This is too long! For policy makers and political leaders who are operating on a four-year term, seven years to deliver a project which they have promised the people is not very attractive.

“The difference in time horizon between policy makers and technical partners needed to be reduced. PPPs need to be processed faster. In other words, we need better financial, legal and regulatory capacity to achieve faster results.

“Another issue, which we have observed is that there is s tendency to make legal requirements too complicated and load every risk on government to the benefit of investors who walk away with rewards at virtually no risk. Government alone can’t bear all the risk. The risks need to be shared to make the project fair and sustainable.

“Besides, the rate of return expectation of investors tends to be too high and this is reflected in unsustainably high costs of PPP projects. Sometimes it is as high as 30%. The consequence is that tolls are too high and the public understandably becomes hostile to the project and this leads to all kinds of problems.

“There is therefore a need to have a right financial and economic framework which will ensure that investment is profitable but also benefit consumers and the economy,” Okonjo-Iweala said.

The AfDB Director in Nigeria, Dr. Ousumane Dore, while speaking at the event disclosed his organization’s decision to establish a PPP Hub in Nigeria to assist the nation and others in the West-African Sub-Region in their efforts at attracting private funds to infrastructure investment.

Some PPP projects such as the Lekki Deep Sea Port, the Onne Port in Rives State, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Second Niger Bridge have already commenced, according to the Finance Minister, who added, “we need much more because our needs are so great”.

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Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu

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Cult Violence: Wike Imposes Two-Week Curfew Around Okoro-Nu-Odu

Governor Wike

Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State has imposed a 24-hour total curfew for two weeks on some parts of Port-Harcourt, the state capital.

The Governor made this known during a broadcast on Sunday where he noted that the curfew begins from Monday 23rd November 2020.

The statement noted that the upsurge noticed by the state government in cases of cult activities, other forms of violence, and killings is responsible for the curfew.

Also Read: Umahi Unhappy With PDP Because Atiku Picked Peter Obi – Wike

Wike in the statement declared that the entire area along and around the Okoro-nodu flyover up to a one-kilometre radius from Saint Emmanuel Anglican Church, Rumuokoro, extending to the Rumuodomaya Slaughter and Local Government daily market will be affected.

He added that no form of trading, human or vehicular movement is allowed in the affected areas until further notice.

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Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims

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Zamfara Governor Secures Release Of 11 Kidnapped Victims

Bello Matawalle

Governor of Zamafara, Bello Matawalle has announced the release of 11 kidnapped victims.

According to reports, ten of the victims were male and a female from Bukkuyum Local Government Area.

Matawalle received the rescued kidnapped victims on Saturday night at the Government House in Gusau, the state capital.

The Commissioner of Security and Home Affairs, Abubakar Muhammed Dauran revealed that the victims were released without paying a ransom.

Also Read: Nigeria still needs SARS, Zamfara gov, Matawalle insists

He stated they were released as a result of the peace initiative and stakeholders meeting summoned by Governor Matawalle with all critical stakeholders from Bukkuyum Local Government Area on Thursday.

Governor Matawalle assured that his administration will not rest on its oars until total peace is achieved in all parts of the state.

 

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Police Confirm Abduction Of Nasarawa APC Chairman

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Police Confirm Abduction Of Nasarawa APC Chairman

Police

The Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Nasarawa State, Philip Shekwor, has been kidnapped by unknown gunmen.

According to reports, Shekwor was abducted on Saturday night at his residence along Dunamis church, Bukan Sidi in Lafia.

Also Read: Gunmen Attack Police Station In Ibadan; Kill Police Corporal

Confirming the incident, Police Commissioner Bola Longe said the unidentified gunmen in large number stormed the residence of the APC chairman in Lafia around 11 pm and took him away to an unknown destination.

According to him, security agencies had reacted swiftly by deploying personnel to different forest locations to ensure the safe release of the APC chieftain.

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