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Senate urges FG to upgrade PH to Maiduguri Rail Line to standard gauge

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On Wednesday, the Nigerian Senate adopted a motion advocating for the Federal Government to convert the Eastern Rail Line, which runs from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri, from a narrow gauge to a standard gauge rail.

The Senate argued that the use of narrow gauge is outdated globally, and Nigeria should not settle for it. The motion, sponsored by Senator Victor Umeh representing Anambra Central Senatorial District and co-sponsored by 16 others, emphasized that the Eastern Rail Line is the longest and oldest among rail lines in Nigeria, serving four geographical zones.

Senator Umeh underscored the benefits of a functional rail system, stating that it would alleviate pressure on Nigerian roads. He called for increased government funding for the rail system, starting from the 2024 budget.

The Senate noted that the Eastern Rail Line is crucial as the only direct link from Maiduguri to Port Harcourt Deep Sea Port for export processing activities.

Recalling that the previous administration borrowed $6.8 billion for the standardization of certain rail lines, the Senate insisted that a similar approach should be taken for the Port Harcourt to Maiduguri rail line. The Senate expressed concern over the failure and abandonment of the $3.2 billion rehabilitation contract awarded in April 2022, resulting in overgrown weeds and vandalized tracks on the narrow gauge.

Other senators, including co-sponsors, supported the motion, emphasizing the advantages of a functional rail transport system in Nigeria. Senate President Godswill Obot Akpabio sustained the prayers and urged the Senate Committee on Land Transport to ensure that all four geopolitical zones within the Eastern Rail Line corridor benefit from the ongoing Railways Standardization and Modernization Programme of the Federal Government.

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‘You’re responsible for Nigeria’s economic woes’— Atiku tackles Tinubu

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Atiku Abubakar, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate in the 2023 general election, attributed Nigeria’s economic challenges to President Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

In a statement shared on his official social media account on Sunday, the former Vice President of Nigeria urged Tinubu to take cues from Argentina’s President Javier Milei on swiftly restoring investor confidence despite inheriting a troubled economy.

Atiku criticized Tinubu for deflecting blame onto the opposition and his predecessors, calling such actions unnecessary and shortsighted. He emphasized that market dynamics respond to concrete actions, not political rhetoric.

Drawing parallels with President Milei’s leadership in Argentina, Atiku highlighted the need for well-sequenced economic reforms. He commended Milei’s proactive approach in preparing for the post-reform challenges and ensuring the availability of mitigating measures.

Atiku contrasted Tinubu’s administration’s ad hoc and hurried reforms with Milei’s strategic sequencing. He pointed out Argentina’s lean government structure achieved through reducing ministries and privatizing state-owned enterprises, contrasting it with Nigeria’s expanding bureaucracy and excessive spending on official residences.

Atiku likened Tinubu’s administration’s approach to Nero fiddling while Rome burns, accusing him of evading substantive action and blaming the opposition for policy failures, reminiscent of characters in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Expressing admiration for Argentina’s reforms, Atiku suggested aligning his “Recover Nigeria Plan” with Milei’s stabilization strategy to alleviate Nigeria’s economic distress. He emphasized the need for transparent policies focused on economic revival and warned against dismissing discontent, particularly among the youth, which could manifest in protests.

The statement referred to the worsening economic conditions in Nigeria, highlighted by soaring inflation rates and high living costs, as reported by the National Bureau of Statistics, with headline inflation reaching 29.90% and food inflation at 35.42% in January 2024.

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BREAKING: Fire guts FCT Minister’s residence

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A fire broke out at the private residence of Dr. Mariya Mahmoud, the Minister of State in the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA), on Sunday afternoon.

Situated at No. 9, Justice Roseline Ukeji Close in the affluent Asokoro district of Abuja, the property was reportedly completely destroyed by the blaze.

Despite prompt emergency response efforts, including the arrival of fire service personnel, nothing could be salvaged from the premises.

Mr. Austin Elemue, the Minister’s Special Adviser on Media, confirmed the incident, indicating that the cause of the fire remained unknown at the time.

Authorities have initiated an investigation to ascertain the cause of the fire.

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PHOTO: Gov Makinde Host Nigeria Police Games

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1: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) and Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

2: From left, Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr Bayo Lawal; Governor Seyi Makinde; Inspector General of Police, Olukayode Egbetokun and his wife Elizabeth, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

3: Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde (left) take a salute from the Police Mascots, during the opening ceremony of the 14th Biennial Nigeria Police Games, host by Oyo State Government, held at Adamasigba Stadium, Ibadan. PHOTO: Oyo Gov’s Media Unit.

CREDIT: Oyo Gov Media 

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