By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has reaffirmed its determination to complete the construction of the Second Niger Bridge next year.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, gave this assurance at a forum of the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Sunday, June 20, to mark the sixth year anniversary of the present administration.
According to Mr Fashola, the bridge, which will serve as a major link between South-East and South-West Nigeria, will be delivered between the second and third quarter of 2022.
Records show that construction of the bridge commenced on September 1, 2018, with construction cost put at N336 billion when the contract deal was signed.
The minister, however, made no mention if the construction cost of the facility had changed since the commencement of work.
He said that the project would facilitate the influx of investments to the South East when completed, noting that the construction work had gone beyond the water level, explaining that most bridge works were done underwater.
“So, what you see currently is the final work. The sub-structure which entailed building cement structures underwater often costs a lot of money.
“We should finish the bridge next year between the second quarter and third quarter,” he affirmed, saying that construction time was lost because of COVID-19.
The bridge is 1.6 kilometres long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure, including a 10.3 kilometres highway and an inter-change expected to be completed next year.
The bridge spans from Asaba in Delta State to Ozubulu, Ogbaru, and other communities in Anambra State.
The existing Niger Bridge linking Onitsha and Asaba was completed in December 1965. It was built by the French construction giant, Dumez.
Julius Berger to Build Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
A leading construction company, Julius Berger Nigeria Plc, has been awarded the contract to build the Oloibiri Museum and Research Centre (OMRC) in Bayelsa State.
The contract for the project was approved on Wednesday at the Federal Executive Council (FEC) chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
A statement issued by the Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB) disclosed that the project will kick off before the end of the first quarter of this year and would be completed in 30 months.
The museum and research centre will close a significant gap in the nation’s quest for homegrown technology inputs to service exploration and production activities in the Nigerian oil and gas industry.
Recall that about 66 years ago, crude oil was discovered in commercial quantities at Oloibiri, Bayelsa State, by Shell D’Arcy.
The establishment of OMRC has been at the concept stage for over three decades, and the inability to progress to the construction phase is viewed as a historical oversight as an operational museum and research centre would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil and gas sector similar to what obtains in other oil-producing nations.
Details of the project indicate that it has four development partners comprising NCDMB, the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Shell Petroleum Development Company of Nigeria (SPDC), and the Bayelsa State Government, to contribute to the development of the monument in the ratio of 40, 30, 20 and 10 per cent, respectively.
The project team for the symbolic project was first launched in August 2020 by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Mr Timipre Sylva, with the inauguration of key project committees and the setting of delivery timelines.
The historical essence of the project is to convert the location where the first oil was discovered into a monumental edifice that would preserve the heritage and developments in the oil and gas sector. The socio-economic impact of the project includes employment generation, tourism, research & technology development and integration of oil and gas host communities into the mainstream developmental narrative of the country.
CNN Chooses Larry Madowo as New Host of African Voices Changemakers
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Kenyan-based CNN International Correspondent, Mr Larry Madowo, has been announced as the new host of the long-running series, African Voices Changemakers, which profiles outstanding individuals from across the continent.
African Voices has aired on CNN International for over a decade, with the show meeting entertainers, creatives, athletes, and members of the public who are making a difference, finding ways to impact their communities, and making cultural contributions.
In 2017, the new host of the programme, Mr Madowo, was featured on the show, highlighting his work as a Kenyan broadcasting star. He started his broadcasting career at Kenya Television Network at 20.
The journalist has covered stories around the globe since joining the network in 2021. He has highlighted coronavirus vaccine inequality, reported on flooding in Nigeria, broadcast from Expo 2020 in Dubai and the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, anchored news shows from Atlanta, covered the Kenyan elections, and most recently reported from the World Economic Forum in Davos.
“I’m looking forward to highlighting outstanding stories and incredible people from across the continent and showing the world these remarkable African changemakers. Having featured on the show before joining CNN, this is a full circle moment for me,” Mr Madowo, whose first show will air on February 25, 2023, commented on his selection as the new host.
Also commenting, CNN International SVP and Global Head of Features Content, Ellana Lee, said, “Larry is a uniquely experienced journalist with enormous energy, expertise, and skill.
“He is also incredibly passionate about Africa, and I know he is excited by the opportunity to bring his many varied experiences and stories to a global audience via one of CNN’s longest-running and most successful programmes.
“Larry also has a large and highly engaged social following, which presents a great opportunity for us to further interact with our African Voices Changemakers audience, as well as gain new fans for the show.”
African Voices Changemakers will continue to air weekly on CNN International, seeking out leading trendsetters and trailblazers across Africa looking to inspire, empower, and impact the continent in a positive way. On digital and social, audiences can enjoy supplementary content, including the popular My Drive videos, which will also be featured in a special 30-minute compilation show.
The last year has seen the introduction of new formats and content to the show with a focus on athletes, including highlighting sporting achievements from across Africa with a new segment titled African Voices Playmakers, which airs monthly as part of CNN’s flagship sporting show World Sport.
The programme runs in partnership with long-term sponsor Globacom as part of an advertising and sponsorship campaign to engage CNN’s audience seamlessly across all platforms.
Waste Disposal: Oyo Begs Residents Not to Patronise Cart Pushers
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Residents of Oyo State have been urged by the state government not to patronise cart pushers for the disposal of their wastes because it is against the law.
Instead, they have been encouraged to make use of the registered PSP operators so as to make the state cleaner and prevent any outbreak of disease.
In a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Wasiu Olatubosun, on Thursday, appealed to residents to have a change of mindset in terms of waste management, saying they have to imbibe the act of paying for waste bills regularly.
Speaking in Ibadan, the state capital, the Commissioner further advised them to acquire waste bins for their homes, noting that they should work in tandem with the laid down principles by Oyo State Waste Management Task Force and the Oyo State Government waste management consultant, Mottainai Recycling Limited.
“The Oyo State Waste Management Taskforce and Mottianai have appealed to residents at different times to pay their waste bills promptly. The two have also promised to continue offering quality service to keep our city clean,” he said.
Mr Olatubosun reiterated the need for every home to acquire a waste bin, as enforcement on defaulting homes would begin in earnest.
He also lauded the Task Force’s efforts, led by Mrs Adedayo Aderonke, at improving the collection and disposal of solid waste, including the deployment of additional waste collection trucks and the implementation of a new route optimisation system.
Also speaking on Mottainai Recycling’s efforts at tackling the menace of indiscriminate refuse disposal, Mr Olatubosun said the company has stepped up its advocacy campaign this year.
He also harped on the importance of recycling in the waste management ecosystem in the state, urging residents to explore it for its vast economic and environmental values.
“Last year, the Oyo State Government intensified efforts to promote the culture of environmental sustainability among residents through market advocacy programs,” he said.
“One of the key areas we focused on last year was improving the collection and disposal of solid waste and recycling. This year we will do more. We will increase the number of waste collection trucks on our roads to ensure efficiency and effectiveness,” he stated.
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