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AfDB, EU, and France invest $300 million in Tanzania’s hydropower project

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The government of Tanzania, the African Development Bank, and the French Development Agency (AFD) have signed agreements for two development project loans worth $300 million. The funds will finance the construction of the 87.8-megawatt Kakono Hydropower Plant located in Kagera region in the northern part of Tanzania. The project also received a grant of EURO 36 million from the European Union.

Tanzania is dependent on hydropower and thermal power plants—mainly gas-fired—for its electricity supply. However, it has considerable untapped renewable energy potential to meet its rapid growth while taking a low-carbon path.

A coalition of development partners are financing the Kakono Hydropower Project, intended to increase renewable generation capacity and reduce hydrological risk via a dam located on a new watershed that is less affected by droughts. The signing ceremony took place on the 15th of March 2023 in Dar es Salaam.

The Kakono Hydropower Plant is the result of close collaboration between the African Development Bank, Agence francaise de developpement, and the European Union. These institutions are co-financing this project with a $ 161.47 million African Development Bank soft loan, a EURO 110 million soft loan from French Development Agency, and EURO 36 million grant from the European Union.

The Kakono Hydropower Project which will be implemented by Tanzania’s Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 216,065 metric tons per year, and comply with the best international environmental and social standards.

The project will serve 4 million people and increase the service coverage rate by around 7% of the population. It is expected to have a major impact on the economic development of this rapidly growing zone, which lies at the heart of the Great Lakes region. This project will boost industrialization and spur economic growth in Tanzania and the neighboring countries and will strengthen Tanzania’s leading position within the East African Community.

Alongside construction of the new hydropower plant, there will also be associated infrastructure built, including the upgrading of the existing Kyaka substation and a new 39-kilometer 220-kilovolt transmission line, and capacity building support for TANESCO.

Following the ceremony participants expressed their support for the project.

African Development Bank Country Manager for Tanzania Patricia Laverley observed that when completed, the Kakono Hydropower Plant would serve approximately four million people, small-medium enterprises, and mining companies in the northwestern part of the country.

She added: “The construction of the new power plant will help to improve TANESCO’s financial sustainability arising from the decommissioning of the diesel-based power plants in the Kagera Region. The economic benefits derived from the supply of affordable power will be immense. We can expect to see marked improvement in the quality of life for people in the Kagera region and in Tanzania more broadly. These tremendous gains will contribute to building a more competitive economy in Tanzania, under the leadership of President Samia Suluhu Hassan.”

Ambassador Nabil Hajlaoui said: “We have heard President Samia Suluhu’s message. She aims to generate 5 gigawatts of electricity by 2025. France is ready to be part of this journey by investing in power generation and transmission projects to meet the rapidly growing electricity demand, while reducing the carbon intensity of its energy mix.”

AFD Country Director Celine Robert noted: “We are delighted with the signing of this project, which is fully in line with international climate objectives and AFD’s strong commitments in that regard. This investment will have major impact on economic development and on population well-being as the infrastructure will answer the power needs of 3 to 4 million people. This signing represents an important milestone and confirms that the cooperation between Government and AFD is deepening.”

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Ogun Assembly passes Assembly Commission Amendment bill

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The Ogun House of Assembly on Wednesday passed the State House of Assembly Service Commission (Amendment) Bill, 2024.

The passage of the bill followed  presentation of the Committee’s report by the Chairman, House Committee on Establishments and Public Service Matters, Mr Babatunde Tella at plenary in Abeokuta.

Tella moved the motion for its adoption, seconded by Mr Adeyanju Adegoke and supported by all the members.

The bill was later read and adopted clause by clause before the Committee of Whole.

The Majority Leader, Mr Yusuf Sheriff, moved the motion for the third reading of the bill, seconded by the Minority Leader, Mr Lukmon Adeleye and supported by the Whole House through a unanimous voice vote.

Consequently, the Deputy Clerk of the House, Mrs Funmilayo Adeyemi, took the third reading of the bill before the lawmakers.

The Speaker, Mr Oludaisi Elemide, directed that the clean copy of the bill be forwarded to Gov. Dapo Abiodun for his assent.

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Abuja court gives EFCC go-ahead to arrest ex-Kogi Governor, Yahaya Bello

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A Federal High Court, Abuja, on Wednesday, ordered that a warrant be issued to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for immediate arrest of former Governor of Kogi, Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

Justice Emeka Nwite, in a ruling on EFCC’s ex-parte motion, held that after listening to the submission of commission’s counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, SAN, and reading the affidavit in support of the motion, including the exhibits and written address, he was inclined to grant the application.

It was earlier reported that a High Court sitting in Lokoja on Wednesday, restrained the EFCC from arresting, detaining and prosecuting Bello

Justice I.A Jamil, who gave the order in a two-hour judgment delivered in suit no HCL/68/M/2020, held that infringing on Bello’s “fundamental human rights is null and void.”

The judge, who dismissed the commission’s application challenging the jurisdiction of the court, said: “By this order, the EFCC is hereby restrained from arresting, detaining and prosecuting the applicant.

“This is a definite order following the earlier interim injunction given.”

However, in a ruling delivered by Justice Nwite on Wednesday, the judge ordered that a warrant be issued to the commission for Bello’s immediate arrest.

He also directed that the former governor be produced before the court on April 18 for arraignment.

“It is hereby ordered as follows:

“That an order of this honourable court is hereby made directing and/or issuing a warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.

“That case is adjourned to 18th day of April, 2024 for arraignment,” he declared.

NAN reports that the EFCC, in the motion ex-parte marked: FHC/ABJ/CR/98/2024 dated April 16 and filed April 17, sought six orders.

These include “an order granting leave to the complainant/applicant to effect service of the charge together with the proof of evidence on the defendant by substituted means to wit; by pasting the charge at the last known address of the defendant within the jurisdiction of this honourable court being: 9, Benghazi Street, Wuse Zone 4, Abuja.

“An order directing and/or issuing an arrest warrant for the immediate arrest of the defendant for the purpose of bringing him before this honourable court for arraignment.”

In the alternative, the anti-graft agency sought an order issuing and directing the publishing of a public summons requiring/ commanding the defendant to appear before the court on a named date, among others.

The conflicting orders came after the EFCC had appealed against the initial order, and the appeal was scheduled for hearing on April 22 in Appeal No: CA/ABJ/CV/175/2024 between EFCC and Alhaji Yahaya Bello.

The Yahaya Bello Media Office had, in a statement signed by Onogwu Mohammed, alerted the nation to a siege on the former Governor’s Abuja residence.

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Zulum approves N1.3bn scholarship for 997 nursing, midwifery students

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Gov. Babagana Zulum, of Borno has approved the release of N1.3billion as scholarship for 997 nursing and midwifery students from the state.

Zulum stated this on Wednesday while inaugurating the scholarship programme at the College of Nursing and Midwifery, Maiduguri.

He said that out of the 1,080 nominations, 40 from each of the 27 local government areas of the state, 997 qualified to benefit from the scholarship.

He also announced that the 997 beneficiaries of the scholarship would receive automatic employment after graduation.

The governor said that the support was to encourage the students to complete their studies so as to bridge the workforce demand in the state’s healthcare system.

“The government has allocated  N1,305,189,000 for scholarship, with a breakdown of N124,149,000 earmarked for tuition fees, the remaining N1,181,040,000 will be disbursed as monthly stipend of N30,000 to each beneficiary throughout their studies,” Zulum said.

He added that N201 million bursary allowance would be given to 2,010 nursing and midwifery students who did not benefited from the scholarship, and directed that each of them should receive N100,000.

Zulum, who stated that ongoing construction of two colleges of nursing would be completed this year, inaugurated a lecture theatre complex and a 3,000-capacity multipurpose hall at the college.

Earlier, Lawan Wakilbe, the Commissioner for Education, said that the government had approved over N6 billion scholarship, out of which about N2.7 billion was disbursed to students from the state studying in higher institutions across the country.

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