FG, oil companies owing NDDC over N4 trillion – Interim Administrator - Breaking News Nigeria
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FG, oil companies owing NDDC over N4 trillion – Interim Administrator

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The Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), has disclosed that the Federal Government is indebted to the commission to the tune of over N1.9 trillion.

Interim Administrator of the Commission, Mr. Effiong Akwa, who spoke with journalists on Wednesday also oil companies are owing the commission about N2.2 trillion.

Akwa made the disclosure while reacting to claims by contractors who said the commission was owing them.

There are reports that the commission is currently owing some of the contractors who executed some projects in the region.

But, the interim administrator, Effiong Akwa in his reaction, said the commission could not pay the contractors due to trillions of naira owed the commission by the federal government and oil companies.

Akwa who pledged to settle all verified outstanding claims by the contractors remarked that this would be done as soon as the commission reconciled its account.

He added that he was saddened that contractors who had done their jobs were still being owed many years after completion.

He spoke further by saying that he regretted the closure of NDDC headquarters by aggrieved contractors.

He also declared that the bulk of the indebtedness was inherited from past administrations in the commission.

Awka said, “The Interim Administrator is not happy that contractors who had completed their jobs were yet to be paid. There is no reason to owe these contractors except the fact that enough funds have not been released to NDDC to take care of the debt.

“Federal Government was owing the Commission over N1.9 trillion, while the oil companies owed in excess of $4billion (about N2.2 trillion). This huge indebtedness to NDDC is far in excess of what the Commission owes its contractors and has exposed us to this kind of situation”.

Akwa while speaking further, maintained that President Muhammadu Buhari had set up a reconciliation committee headed by the Minister of Finance to determine how much is owed NDDC and reconcile the accounts.

“The Interim Administrator is working tirelessly to pay outstanding debts and calls for calm and patience from all aggrieved contractors and service providers.”

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Why we need CBN’s N2.5bn COVID-19 support fund – Rivers govt

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The Rivers State Government has explained why it intends to access the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) COVID-19 support fund for states across the federation.

The state government said the fund will enable it to establish a world-class radiotherapy centre and department at the Dr. Peter Odili Cancer and Cardiovascular Treatment and Diagnostic Centre in Port Harcourt, the state capital.

The state Commissioner for Finance, Issac Kamalu, gave the explanation at the end of the state executive council meeting presided over by Governor Nyesom Wike at the Government House on Thursday.

The commissioner added that the CBN created the fund to cushion the effects of coronavirus on the federal and state governments.

Kamalu noted that “the N2.5 billion is structured into two components. N2 billion will be for healthcare infrastructure support and N500 million as revolving credit for medical consumables.

“As you are aware, the facility has been utilised by virtually all the States and Rivers State is among the few that are yet to utilise the facility.

“So, the government has, in its wisdom, thought it necessary that this facility should be accessed so that members of the public, as well as those living in the state, can utilise the outcome of this in terms of medical service provision.”

He also added that parts of the money will be used to upgrade healthcare facilities at the Prof. Kesley Harrison Hospital and the Dental and Maxillofacial Hospital in Port Harcourt.

Earlier at the meeting, the state executive council approved the construction of the 10th flyover in the state which is expected to cost about N8.2 billion.

According to the Commissioner for Works, Eloka Tasie Amadi, the project, which will be located at the Rumukwurushi-Elimgbu axis of Obio Akpor Local Government Area of the state, is to be completed within 12 months.

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High cost of cement will render most Nigerians homeless – Group

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A group, Coalition of South East Youth Leaders, COSEYL, an umbrella body of all the youth groups in the South-East has said that the high cost of cement would render most Nigerian families homeless if not checked.

The group said it is totally condemnable to sell a bag of cement at the rate of N5,000 per bag in a country where so many families go to bed hungry.

In a press release signed by the President-General of the group, Goodluck Ibem, he said the high cost of cement would make landlords increase their house rent which would be above the reach of the common man.

He added that the attendant consequence was that Nigerians who cannot afford to pay the increased rent will have no other option than to leave the house with their families to live under the bridge or any place where they will not be required to pay rents.

Part of the press release read: “The cement that is sold N5,000 in Nigeria, is sold at the rate of N300 in some other countries. This is wickedness taken too far.

“The monopoly of cement has led to the suffering and death of so many Nigerians. A situation where the federal government gives licence to only one man in the country to be the producer and seller of cement is gross insensitivity and should stop forthwith.

“The Federal Government should liberalize the cement business by giving licences to Nigerians who are capable of doing the business. Competition in business remains the only way to get the best quality of goods and services at a reduced considerate price.”

Ibem said that: “One is tempted to believe that the Federal Government is using Alhaji Aliko Dangote who is the sole producer and seller of cement in the country to raise funds for the APC 2023 campaigns by milking Nigerians dry through high costs of cement.

“Why would the Federal Government give licence of producing cement to only one man in a country that is over two hundred and fifty million (250,000,000) people, if not for the simple reason of oppressing them.

“We will not accept this oppression from the Federal Government and we demand that cement be sold for N1,000 per bag and the business should be liberalized. The federal government should give licences to Nigerians who want to go into the business.

“As youth leaders of the South East geo-political zone that have the interest and wellbeing of our people at heart, we cannot keep quiet and allow this calculated wickedness orchestrated by the federal government against innocent Nigerians to stand.

“The high cost of cement has greatly reduced the rate of development and those intending to build companies, industries and new buildings cannot do so because of the exorbitant rate of cement. The economy is at a standstill. Nothing is moving.

“We, therefore, demand that the Federal Government should reduce the price of a bag of cement to N1,000. The Federal Government should give licence to Nigerians who are ready to do the cement business while also creating an enabling environment for them to thrive.”

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Why 2022 Budget won’t fail – Buhari

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President Muhammadu Buhari has said that the 2022 budget won’t fail but will accomplish the purpose for which it was passed because the National Assembly is led by trusted members of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

Buhari, who said this while speaking on Channels Television on Wednesday, expressed confidence that this year’s budget will succeed.

Recall that following the President’s assent to the 2022 budget, there were reports of friction between the presidency and the parliament.

Buhari had expressed strong reservations on the “worrisome changes” made by the National Assembly to the 2022 Executive Budget proposal.

When asked if he is afraid that the budget might not be able to achieve its purpose, Buhari replied, “No! Not at all.

“My confidence that we can successfully implement the budget is because, in both houses, the party is leading.

“It’s APC party and the leadership; look at the Senate President, he was in the House of Reps for two or three terms before he went to the Senate.

“Look at Femi Gbajabiamila, I was watching on the television, when he was an ordinary member, he was always on his seat fighting for the party and the system we believe in.

“Really, I consider myself lucky. My party and their competent leadership are both leading in the Senate and House of Representatives.”

“That is why you don’t hear much about me, I allow them to do all the things because I can’t go against my party and I can’t go against people I have absolute confidence in. I know they are doing their best,” Buhari added.

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