See Julius Berger’s Progress Report For Second Niger Bridge

Julius Berger, the German construction firm has released its occasional report on the progress of the construction of the Second Niger Bridge. The contract for the construction of the 1.6km long bridge and 10.3 kilometre highway also includes the construction of the Owerri Interchange and Toll Station.

The company was awarded the contract in July 2018 with work commencing in September 2018 with a projected contract period of 3 and a half years.

The report, titled Second River Niger Bridge: Progress Report January 10th 2020, states that approximately 30.12% of construction work has been completed.

1,235 persons are so far engaged on site by Julius Berger.

Find below snapshots of the Report and progress photographs as well:

Drug Trafficking: NiDCOM To Partner Relevant Agencies To Stop Wrongful Indictment Of Nigerians in Saudi Arabia

The Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, in an emergency meeting called by President Muhammadu Buhari, resolved to partner with other relevant agencies to stop the wrongful indictment of innocent Nigerians in relation to drug trafficking offenses in Saudi Arabia.

The meeting which held at the Ministry of Justice on Monday, was called to address the critical issue of drug planting on unsuspecting, innocent Nigerians travelling outside the country to the Middle East most especially to Saudi Arabia which is giving Nigeria a bad name and image internationally.

The technical team provided the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, with a comprehensive report on measures to be taken through Legislation or granting of Executive Orders to curtail further occurrences of drug trafficking and drug syndicate operations.

Malami taxed the technical committee members to forward suggestions on Legislations and Executive orders that can be implemented in this regard to be presented to President Buhari.

The success story of Zainab Habib Aliyu, a 22-year-old Nigerian student, who was released by Saudi Arabian authorities four months after she was arrested over alleged drug trafficking, was used as a focal point at the meeting.

Recall that in April 2019, Chairman / CEO of the Nigerians in Diaspora Commission, Abike Dabiri-Erewa said that no fewer than 20 Nigerians are still on death row in Saudi Arabia and that many were in prisons serving various jail terms.

At the meeting were the AGF, Abubakar Malami, the Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, officials of the Nigerian Police Force, officials of INTERPOL, Director Consular – Min of Foreign Affairs.

Also, representatives of NiDCOM, NDLEA, Nigerian Immigration Service, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, FAAN and the Ministry of Justice, were in attendance.

Forget 2023 Presidency, You Have Taken Your Turn, Ohanaeze Tells South-South

The Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council (OYC) yesterday told the South-South elders that the zone should not dream of producing the president in 2023.

It said that the zone had taken its turn in the place of former President Goodluck Jonathan.

In a statement in Abakaliki, the National President of OYC, Mazi Okechukwu Isiguzoro, noted that inasmuch as Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council supports the position of the South-South on rotational presidency between North and South, they should not think of producing the next president.

“Any attempt by these northern cabals to destroy the unconventional agreement of rotational presidency between North and South will definitely plunge Nigeria into another civil war, civil disobedience and civil unrest.

“In a multi-facet democracy like ours where religion and ethnicity play a major role in our democracy, OYC advocates that in 2023, Nigeria should produce a Christian president from the South to ensure progress and security. It is an invitation to anarchy and suicidal for a Muslim northerner or a Muslim southerner to succeed President Muhammadu Buhari but definitely, a Christian southerner is what is ideal.

“Ohanaeze Ndigbo Youth Council Worldwide observed that in the 20 years of Nigeria’s Democracy, the Igbo supported Obasanjo, Yar’Adua, Jonathan and Buhari, and deserve support from Nigerians across the board, especially the Niger Delta, in 2023.

“It’s on record that during 2011 and 2015 elections, Igbo’s votes exceeded that of the entire South/South for Jonathan. The allusion that the South/South will do one term is a ruse, as it is only Jonathan that is limited by the constitution for one tenure. Until he declares interest, 2023 Igbo presidency project remains the hope of Nigeria.

“We advise Chief Anabs Sara-igbe to follow the footsteps of the leader of Niger Delta and elder statesman, Pa Edwin Clark, who had declared support for 2023 Igbo presidency project for peace.

“Other South/South aspirants are entitled to the constitutional provision of two terms. So, OYC urges Sara-igbe to support Igbo presidency project as Igbo had never been in the saddle 50 years after the Biafra war,” the statement said.

A New Case For A Commonwealth Based On Trade, By Muhammadu Buhari

📷 President Muhammadu Buhari

The United Kingdom’s exit of the European Union is now all but certain. Only the passage of time will reveal what their new relationship shall be. But with this new arrangement, I – like many other Commonwealth leaders – also seek a new settlement: not only of closer relations between the UK and my own nation, but of unleashing trade within the club in which we together shall remain.

Relations between Nigeria and the UK are close and longstanding, most recently reiterated in our 2018 bi-lateral security pact and our collaboration in anti-trafficking. But in recent years, our relationship – particularly economically – has become increasingly defined by Britain’s membership of the European Union.

A new free trade agreement would reconfigure this, presenting new opportunities for both. As the largest economy in Africa, my country of nearly 200 million people has a great deal to offer: Nigeria’s vast natural energy and mineral resources, unbarred through the ending of customs barriers, could help supply growth for companies in all corners of the UK. Greater access would also be forthcoming to one of the world’s fastest expanding groups of consumers – the Nigerian middle classes.

For my country, greater UK engagement in its economy would bring jobs to under-tapped sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing. Millions of highly skilled, English-speaking but underemployed young people, are eager to work but without the opportunities that foreign investment can bring to create jobs and build businesses.

Yet there is also a case to be made that our two Commonwealth countries should try, with other members, to deliver more – collectively. In 2015, I became the first head of a new Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council tasked with boosting trade and investment within the wider organisation. Now with the United Kingdom – the Commonwealth’s largest economy – no longer obliged to ringfence its economy with tariffs, this mission will be given a jolt of vitality.

However, we must be realistic: the commonwealth will not suddenly become a multilateral-free trade zone. Today many members reside within regional free trade and customs zones of their own. Yet without any of us needing to relinquish these ties, we can work together to minimise – consistent with respective memberships – as far as possible many of the tariffs and barriers on commodities, products and services. Because member countries’ national laws are built on the principles of English jurisprudence, we might work together from this common platform to better align regulations on investment, certification and trade.

A renewed sense of Commonwealth solidarity would also be of enormous benefit to the large and vital diasporas – particularly from Africa and the Indian subcontinent – that live in Western Commonwealth countries such as Britain, Canada and Australia. These communities still maintain the strongest of cultural and family links with the countries from which they and their forebears emigrated.

Yet visa restrictions and customs barriers must be reduced to fulfill the potential these connections could bring to the nations where they today reside. As an African leader I have an obligation to speak of the fact that while many in the African Diaspora enjoy considerable benefits from life in the West, they do not always feel at the heart of the community. A renewed sense that there are ties that bind us through the Commonwealth, and a concerted effort to grow those links through trade, could act as a spur to encourage togetherness and the certainty of belonging.

This year provides two critical summits in which this new determination could take seed. In January, London shall play host to the UK-Africa Investment Summit. (The continent is the Commonwealth’s largest constituent, providing over a third of its membership.) And then back to Africa, where Rwanda will welcome countries to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It is at this biennial summit that many of the organisation’s milestones have been achieved – particularly in democracy and human rights. The 2020 summit could be the wrench that begins to tighten our economic structures, drawing strength from our shared bonds of history, friendship and language.

Time will tell if Britain’s new ability to strike free trade deals directly with other countries once it departs the EU can be built into more than bilateral economic cooperation. But there is no reason why, collectively, we should not try.

Nor should we dismiss the potential for making the Commonwealth of Nations more than a voluntary organization of equals based on a shared history that it is today. Instead it is in all our people’s interests to labour, dispassionately, to increase our focus on lowering barriers to achieving what truly brings freedom, friendship and equality: prosperity through trade.

Muhammadu Buhari is President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

A New Case For A Commonwealth Based On Trade, By Muhammadu Buhari

📷 President Muhammadu Buhari

The United Kingdom’s exit of the European Union is now all but certain. Only the passage of time will reveal what their new relationship shall be. But with this new arrangement, I – like many other Commonwealth leaders – also seek a new settlement: not only of closer relations between the UK and my own nation, but of unleashing trade within the club in which we together shall remain.

Relations between Nigeria and the UK are close and longstanding, most recently reiterated in our 2018 bi-lateral security pact and our collaboration in anti-trafficking. But in recent years, our relationship – particularly economically – has become increasingly defined by Britain’s membership of the European Union.

A new free trade agreement would reconfigure this, presenting new opportunities for both. As the largest economy in Africa, my country of nearly 200 million people has a great deal to offer: Nigeria’s vast natural energy and mineral resources, unbarred through the ending of customs barriers, could help supply growth for companies in all corners of the UK. Greater access would also be forthcoming to one of the world’s fastest expanding groups of consumers – the Nigerian middle classes.

For my country, greater UK engagement in its economy would bring jobs to under-tapped sectors, such as agriculture and manufacturing. Millions of highly skilled, English-speaking but underemployed young people, are eager to work but without the opportunities that foreign investment can bring to create jobs and build businesses.

Yet there is also a case to be made that our two Commonwealth countries should try, with other members, to deliver more – collectively. In 2015, I became the first head of a new Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council tasked with boosting trade and investment within the wider organisation. Now with the United Kingdom – the Commonwealth’s largest economy – no longer obliged to ringfence its economy with tariffs, this mission will be given a jolt of vitality.

However, we must be realistic: the commonwealth will not suddenly become a multilateral-free trade zone. Today many members reside within regional free trade and customs zones of their own. Yet without any of us needing to relinquish these ties, we can work together to minimise – consistent with respective memberships – as far as possible many of the tariffs and barriers on commodities, products and services. Because member countries’ national laws are built on the principles of English jurisprudence, we might work together from this common platform to better align regulations on investment, certification and trade.

A renewed sense of Commonwealth solidarity would also be of enormous benefit to the large and vital diasporas – particularly from Africa and the Indian subcontinent – that live in Western Commonwealth countries such as Britain, Canada and Australia. These communities still maintain the strongest of cultural and family links with the countries from which they and their forebears emigrated.

Yet visa restrictions and customs barriers must be reduced to fulfill the potential these connections could bring to the nations where they today reside. As an African leader I have an obligation to speak of the fact that while many in the African Diaspora enjoy considerable benefits from life in the West, they do not always feel at the heart of the community. A renewed sense that there are ties that bind us through the Commonwealth, and a concerted effort to grow those links through trade, could act as a spur to encourage togetherness and the certainty of belonging.

This year provides two critical summits in which this new determination could take seed. In January, London shall play host to the UK-Africa Investment Summit. (The continent is the Commonwealth’s largest constituent, providing over a third of its membership.) And then back to Africa, where Rwanda will welcome countries to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. It is at this biennial summit that many of the organisation’s milestones have been achieved – particularly in democracy and human rights. The 2020 summit could be the wrench that begins to tighten our economic structures, drawing strength from our shared bonds of history, friendship and language.

Time will tell if Britain’s new ability to strike free trade deals directly with other countries once it departs the EU can be built into more than bilateral economic cooperation. But there is no reason why, collectively, we should not try.

Nor should we dismiss the potential for making the Commonwealth of Nations more than a voluntary organization of equals based on a shared history that it is today. Instead it is in all our people’s interests to labour, dispassionately, to increase our focus on lowering barriers to achieving what truly brings freedom, friendship and equality: prosperity through trade.

Muhammadu Buhari is President, Federal Republic of Nigeria

Use Your Talents, Skills To Support David Lyon, Activist Tasks Youths In Bayelsa

Youth activist, Comrade Atti Moses, has tasked youths in Bayelsa State, to use their skills and talents to support the incoming administration of David Lyon, in the state.

In a statement issued by his Special Assistant on Media, Reginald Tobin, on Saturday, Moses, noted that the youths must put together their collective efforts irrespective of political ideologies to ensure the state gets a global recognition.

According to him, youths who are talented and enlightened should pickup roles in the entertainment, agricultural, entrepreneurship, science, technology, politics and leadership sectors.

Moses advised youths in the state to lobby for appointments in areas of interest, to work for the development of the state.

He said: “We must make deliberate efforts to put Bayelsa State in the global map, and we all mustn’t be APC members as youths to achieve this. We all must contribute our quota irrespective of our political boarders or ideologies, we must annexed our individual strength and capacity including political affiliations. Bayelsa State youths are gifted, talented and enlightened, let’s take over the entertainment industry, agriculture, science and technology, entrepreneurship, politics and leadership.

“Bayelsa State youths should be ready to take up responsibilities in David Lyon’s government, don’t be deceived not to lobby for appointments if your interest is there identify or create an office and pass through the necessary procedure to reach David Lyon.”