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You’re being economical with the truth, MAN says as Fashola claims Nigerian roads are not as bad as portrayed

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The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola [SAN], has insisted that Nigerian roads were not that bad as often portrayed, a statement the Chairman, Infrastructure Development Committee, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria [MAN], Ibrahim Usman, described as untrue.

Speaking shortly after the Federal Executive Council [FEC] meeting, on Wednesday, Fashola said reports on the poor state of the country’s roads were mere hypes.

The FEC meeting was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo. The meeting approved N58.4bn for the construction of Bida-Sachi-Nupeko road and the Nupeko-Patigi Bridge across River Niger, linking Nupeko and Patigi in Niger and Kwara states.

The PUNCH had on June 24, reported that federal roads were in a terrible state of disrepair. According to the report, the bad state of the roads has been aiding bandits and herdsmen, who kill and kidnap travellers in impassable spots on the highways.

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Some of the roads listed included the 110-kilometre-Gusau-Dansadau Road in Zamfara State; the Oyo-Iseyin road in Oyo State and the Makurdi-Gboko-Katsina Alla-Zaki Biam Road, which links Benue State to Taraba State.

Speaking to State House Correspondents on Wednesday, Fashola, while dismissing reports on the bad state of the highways said,

“The roads are not as bad as they are often portrayed,” he said.

“I know that this is going to be your headline, but the roads are not that bad.”

The minister explained that, but for funding challenges, most road projects would have been long completed.

Fashola also stated that some parts of the country faced peculiar issues like the high water table, which made construction in the rainy season difficult.

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He mentioned the South-East and the South-South among areas with such difficulties.

The minister added that the ministry and contractors were waiting patiently for the rains to subside so that they could return to sites.

But Usman disagrees, saying,

I think the minister is being economical with the truth. The roads are terrible. Take for instance the Biu to Gombe road that took one-and-a-half hours in the past to ply, now it takes four hours to get from Biu to Gombe. The luck we have is that Boko Haram has not stuck on that road.

“Another terrible road is the Damaturu-Biu road. That also takes four hours when in the past it took less than two hours.That was where military trucks and equipment were seized and taken into the bush by bandits some weeks back. At least if the roads are good, cars can move with speed but when the roads are terrible, movement is difficult and it is easy for robbers to attack.”

Usman said his cars could no longer ply the roads and he had to park them.

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He said he recently travelled from Lagos to Cotonou where he spent three hours getting to Cotonou but from Cotonou to Lome, he did not find a single pothole and the trip took less than the length of time it took to go from Lagos to Cotonou.

 

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(JUST IN) Edo 2020: Wike to head PDP’s campaign

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The National Working Committee of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) has appointed the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, to head its campaign council in the governorship election in Edo State.

The party also appointed his Adamawa counterpart, Umar Fintiri, as the deputy campaign chairman.

The PDP candidate in the election, Godwin Obaseki, won the primary election unopposed after his opponents stepped down.

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Social distancing breached at Ondo commissioner’s burial who died from COVID-19 (photos)

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Social distancing guidelines were not followed during the burial ceremony of Ondo state’s former commissioner for health, Wahab Adegbenro, who died of COVID-19.

Adegbenro died of COVID-19 at the state infectious disease hospital in Akure on Thursday, July 2, 2020. He was 65 years old.

According to a government official who spoke with SaharaReporters, Mr Adegbenro died on Thursday after he was rushed to a hospital in Owo after contracting Coronavirus.

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The source said;

“The Commissioner died at the Federal Medical Centre in Owo and this has just thrown the entire cabinet into chaos.

“He died of COVID-19 because he had contracted the virus earlier and was taking drugs at his own comfort being a medical doctor.”

Wahab Adegbenro was buried earlier today July 3rd, 2020, however, a major highlight of the event was a violation of the social distancing rule as advised by health authorities to curb the spread of Coronavirus.

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See photos below;

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JUST IN: AbdulRazaq reshuffles cabinet

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Kwara State Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq on Friday effected a minor cabinet reshuffle involving five commissioners.

The affected commissioners are to move from one ministry to the other.

Those affected are the Commissioner for Communication Olanrewaju Murtala who moves to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; and Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development Harriet Adenike Afolabi Oshatimehin who goes to the Ministry of Communication, AbdulRazaq’s media aide Rafiu Ajakaye has said.

Ajakaye in a statement said the

“Commissioner for Environment Aliyu Mohammed Saifudeen switches to the Ministry of Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development; Commissioner for Local Government, Chieftaincy Affairs and Community Development Hajia Aisha Ahman-Pategi moves to the Ministry of Special Duties; while the Commissioner for Special Duties Funke Juliana Oyedun goes to the Ministry of Environment.”

The governor has also commended the BUA Group for donating three ambulance buses to the Kwara State Government — some two months after the conglomerate donated N100m to the state’s COVID-19 campaign.

“I am so glad that BUA has lived up to the expectation again. It is not just the buses. BUA recently gave us N100m which we are very grateful for,” AbdulRazaq said shortly after the ambulances were handed over to him in Ilorin, the state capital.

Insisting that the gradual reopening of the economy does not mean that the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic is over, the governor urged citizens to adhere to all safety protocols as the world now appears to be in the middle of the health crisis.

“I want to specifically thank the chairman of BUA, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, for N100m, these ambulance buses, the hundreds of people being employed in Kwara State, and for the internally generated revenue they contribute to the state and for future prospects and investments,” he added.

Senior General Manager of the Lafiagi Sugar Company (BUA Group) AbdulRasheed Olayiwola said the ambulances were meant to further Kwara’s campaign against the pandemic which affects everyone.

“We are stakeholders in Kwara State and our Chairman is very particular about development and, as a responsible corporate organisation, we’re not only interested in our investment here, we are also interested in the wellbeing of Kwarans. We deem it fit therefore to support this government in its drive to fight the scourge of COVID-19,” he said.

The state government, meanwhile, has announced the receipt of N243m as financial donations from private individuals and corporate bodies between March 27th and now.

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The donations were in respect of the government’s fight against COVID-19 pandemic, and had at various times been acknowledged in official news releases, Ajakaye, who doubles as the spokesman of the COVID-19 Committee, said in the statement.

“The government is most grateful for these gestures from distinguished Kwarans and organisations, including citizens whose contributions were borne out of patriotism than the size of their pockets,” it added.

The statement also said a total of N1,569,107,944.70 has so far been expended on the pandemic between April 1 and June 29.

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The breakdowns are running (cost) of the activities of the technical committee (N132,931,510); medical supplies and equipment (N713,480,100.90); palliatives (N525,277,030.00); COVID-related renovation works N149,928,753.80; and security, health workers’ allowances and logistics (N47,490,550.00).

These expenses covered the purchase of military-grade Toyota Land Cruiser Ambulances; automated ventilators and several other Intensive Care Unit (ICU) gadgets/equipment; production of hand sanitizers; and the cost of running the activities of the technical committee and its subcommittees, the statement added.

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The expenses also included the cost of the palliatives that were distributed during the lockdown; renovation of the Sobi Specialist Hospital and the Hajj Camp; mass production of face masks, purchase of surgical masks, digital thermometers, N95 and respirator-sperien 5311, and other Personal Protective Equipment; medical supplies and consumables; security expenses; trainings; allowances for medical personnel and other supportive staff in charge of the pandemic; part-renovation of the Offa General Hospital as an isolation centre; and patients’ management, among others.

“It is important to add that the government has not spent a kobo from these donations as the funds have not been appropriated by the House of Assembly. However, materials including foodstuffs donated have been distributed accordingly,” the statement added.

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