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FG, EU, AFD sign €25m grant to boost power supply in Nigeria’s Northwest

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By Bisi Adewumi

The Federal Government, the European Union (EU), and the French Development Agency (AFD), have signed a 25 million agreement to  boost power supply in the Northwest.

According to the Embassy of France in Abuja, the move was made to witness the development of access to electricity by the Northwest region.

The Minister of State, Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, and the Country Director of AFD in Nigeria, Xavier Muron, signed the agreement in Abuja.

The Ambassador of France to Nigeria, Emmanuelle Blatmann, and the Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Ms. Cecile Tassin-Pelzer were all in attendance at the ceremony.

“The Northern Corridor Project, being implemented by the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN), is meant to strengthen a low-carbon economic growth in West Africa by improving the quality of the electricity network in Nigeria and supporting the development of a regional electricity market under the West African Power Pool (WAPP),” the Embassy of France said.

The Embassy of France listed the objectives of the project, which are in line with the Nigerian Energy Transition Plan (ETP) to include reinforcing globally, the northwest network and develop access to electricity for the population; help evacuate and distribute the solar generated power from future projects in the North and participate in the WAPP interconnection project with Niger Republic.

“The project will build more than 800km of 330 kV double circuit transmission lines and construct or upgrade 13 substations.

“The grant agreement signed today represents the EU’s contribution to the project, while the AFD contribution of  202 million was signed in December 2020. The total cost of the project is around 238 million euros, including a 12 million euros contribution from TCN,” the Embassy of France also said.

The French Embassy added that expected impacts will be 5GW additional evacuation capacity to be created under the project, potential transmission of 17TWh additional electricity every year, possibility of several millions of people to have access to electricity and a better electricity service on a short term, and the creation of 600 jobs – 500 during the construction phase and 100 in the operation phase.

In his remarks, Agba said: “This project will help TCN to operationalize its “Transmission Expansion Plan” through the construction of additional Transmission Lines and Substations across nine states in the northern part of the country : Niger, Kebbi, Sokoto, Kaduna, Kano, Jigawa, Bauchi and Nasarawa.”

Muron also highlighted the importance of the project as a technical enabler for the integration into the grid of the expected solar farms in the Northwest.

He noted that poor transmission networks have been a significant bottleneck in many countries for the achievement of mix diversification.

Batman hunted: “France is committed to helping Nigeria achieve its commitments on climate change in line with the Paris agreement and she welcomes this Team Europe piece of work to address it.”

Tassin-Pelzer who spoke on behalf of the European Union said: “We appreciate this Team Europe collaboration with the Government of Nigeria, which is a concrete example of how the EU Global Gateway can contribute to major investments in infrastructure development.”

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Sanwo-Olu to unveil Eko Cares today

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Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu will today flag off the various interventions deployed to lessen the burden of Lagosians amid the economic hardship.

The interventions – in transportation, education, health and agriculture – are coming under the umbrella of EKO CARES.

The fuel subsidy removal sparked a rise in cost of living. Mr Sanwo-Olu announced a 50% cut in fares on all government transport platforms on February 8, 2024. After a review of the situation, the fare slash was reduced to 25%. For six weeks, the Ounje Eko Sunday market that signalled the reduction of food by 25% has been running. Civil servants from levels one to 14 were asked to work thrice a week. A N35,000 wage award was also given to all civil servants.

About 15,000 women from all the 20 local governments and 35 Local Council Development Areas got N50,000 each to support their businesses. Besides, Mr. Sanwo-Olu announced free delivery for expectant women in all government hospitals, among other initiatives.

To drive the initiatives, the Governor set up a non-partisan Special Dispensation Advisory Council of eminent Nigerians, including rights activists, religious leaders, a youth representative and opposition party chieftains. It is chaired by Mr. Governor; Deputy Governor Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat is alternate Chairman.

Details of other interventions will be unveiled today at a ceremony, which will take place at the Governor’s Office in Alausa, Ikeja

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Nigeria’s future lies in your hands — Bauchi Gov tells corps members

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Rauf Oyewole, Bauchi

The Bauchi State Governor, Bala Mohammed has said that greatness and future of Nigeria will be determined by the youths, particularly the members of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC).

The Governor said this at the Wailo Orientation Camp of NYSC during the swearing-in of the newly posted Batch A stream II 2024, on Tuesday.

Mohammed, who was represented by the Commissioner for Youth and Sports, Mohammed Salis Gamawa, said, “I implore you to take with utmost seriousness the nation’s clarion call to serve with greater dedication and commitment. The future of this country lies in your hands.”

Mohammed enjoined them to cherish his commendation and become a catalyst for change in the orientation camp and during the entire service year. He further urged them to take with utmost seriousness the noble call and dedicate themselves toward achieving the Scheme’s goal of national unity and development.

“The good people of Bauchi State appreciate and understand the objectives and philosophy of the NYSC. In view of this, we have resolved to join hands with you in every way possible to ensure the success of the Scheme in the State.”

Also, the Bauchi state Coordinator of the NYSC, Mrs Rifkatu Yakubu, warned all the corps members across the country that any act of indiscipline would not be tolerated. According to her, any corps member found indulging in any form of indiscipline would be decisively dealt with in accordance with NYSC by laws.

She said, “You must equally obey all camp officials as they are your guardians. Indiscipline is not tolerated here and I assure you that if you are law abiding you will have a very fruitful and enjoyable camping exercise.

“On our part, we pledge to do our utmost best to ensure that you experience the regimented nature of camp throughout the duration of the orientation course and the entire service year.”

Yakubu commended Governor Bala Mohammed for his approval of the renovation and repairs of damaged camp facilities and the release of funds to augment feeding of corps members for the orientation exercise.

She said that the corps members would be given the opportunity to serve in the various committees set up for the smooth running of the camp. This, she believed, would give them practical experience in administration and a chance to contribute to decisions that affect them.

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Information Minister urges religious leaders, traditional leaders to champion awareness on nutrition

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The Minister of Information and National Orientation, Mohammed Idris, has appealed to faith-based leaders and traditional rulers to lend their voices in advocating for policies prioritising nutrition and access to nutritious food for their communities and followers.

The Minister made the call in Abuja on Tuesday at a one-day high-level dialogue on nutrition with faith-based leaders and traditional rulers held in the State House.

Idris, who said access to nutrition food, is not just a matter of sustenance but a fundamental human right of all citizens, decried the situation where malnutrition is afflicting millions of Nigerians including children.

“It is agonising that millions of our fellow citizens continue to suffer from malnutrition, depriving them of the opportunity to live healthy and productive lives.

“Therefore, I appeal to each of you gathered here today to seize this moment as an opportunity to catalyze change within your communities. Let us join hands across religious and cultural divides and unite in our pursuit of a healthier and more prosperous nation.”

The Minister said the launch of the awareness campaign on nutrition with faith-based leaders and traditional rulers as the vanguard, would surely make an impact given their tremendous influence that extends far beyond the confines of their respective congregations and Emirates, kingdoms, and chiefdoms, especially in shaping the fabric of the society.

The event, which was held at the instance of Vice-President Kashim Shettima, brought together religious leaders, traditional rulers, representatives of multilateral institutions, development partners, and policymakers to brainstorm and strategize on the awareness campaign for nutrition.

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