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Finance Minister assures Nigerians of quality funding on infrastructures



By Matthew Denis

The Minister of Finance and Co-Ordinating Minister of the Economy, Wale Edun has assured Nigerians of quality funding of infrastructural development in the country to boost the economy.

He made the disclosure while joining his Federal Ministry of Works  counterpart, Senator (Engr.)David Umahi on the inspection of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Dual Carriage Way.

The Finance Minister said, “We are here today on an inspection tour under the mandate of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Renewed Hope Agenda  to examine and  hear from the contractors and see their commitment,  encourage and support them to the early completion of this all important project and to urge them to do more.”

Edun reiterated that  infrastructure was a critical priority of the President Bola Ahmed Tinubu-led administration,  “In order to  get food prices down, ease transportation of agricultural produce, movement of people freely across the country, and stabilise the economy.”

Edun assured of availability  of funds for the early completion of the road project.

The Finance Minister and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy noted that the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano dual carriage way is a viable project. He added that  he has no doubt about the completion of the project on time by the contractors.

He said, “We have come, we have seen the level of commitment of the contractors to the completion of the project as soon as possible.”

The Minister who was satisfied with the level of work done promised that the fund for the completion of the project was being worked out and would be made available to the contractors, reiterating the need for the speedy completion of the project.

The Minister who commended the level of progress made on the project said the on-going attempt was to improve  domestic resources mobilisation  available to highly viable projects such as this.

Earlier the Minister of Works, Senator (Engr.)David Umahi disclosed that President Bola Ahmed Tinubu had directed that, “They must ensure that work is completed  on this project in 24 months.”

Umahi added, “The two ministers are sorting out the payment modalities and ensuring milestone completion of the project.”

While commending Edun on the reassurance of the release of  funds for this road and other infrastructure projects also thanked  him for taking critical decisions about the completion of the projects.

According to Umahi, “We have set specifications that will make the projects stable and stronger” noting that the contractors had been directed to concentrate on major carriage ways, adding that Nigerians were going to heave a sigh of relief.

Umahi is optimistic of the 24 months completion period of the project with the assurance of the Minister of Finance on the expeditious  release of funds.

He added, “Our plan for Nigerians is for good roads that they can use at any time, emphasising that the Minister of Finance and Co-ordinating Minister of the Economy is more committed than us.”

Programme Manager of Julius Berger, Mr. Benjamin Butt, the contractor handling  the project while highlighting the stages of development of the road project disclosed that the company was using Construction Methodology known as Recycling Technology in the rehabilitation of the Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Dual Carriage Way.


CBN disowns notice on cryptocurrency transactions



The Central Bank of Nigeria says a notice circulating on social media about the risk of cryptocurrency is fake news.

The Apex disclosed this via its official X account, urging the public to disregard the purported notice for all Deposits Money Bank, Non-Bank Financial Institutions, and other Financial Institutions.

The notice reminded “Institutions that dealing in cryptocurrencies and facilitating payments for cryptocurrency exchanges is prohibited”.

However, CBN said the content doesn’t originate from it.

“This information does not originate from the Central Bank of Nigeria.

“For authentic updates, please visit the official website,” CBN wrote.

Recall that the CBN governor, during the Bank’s 293rd Monetary Policy Committee meeting, said over $26 billion funnelled through Binance.

On Tuesday, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Ola Olukoyede, said the anti-graft agency froze about 300 accounts to ensure the safety of the foreign exchange market.

The Nigerian government had continued clamping down on Binance and other cryptocurrency platforms amid efforts to defend the Naira in the foreign exchange market.

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Biden says U.S. will begin sending weapons to Ukraine



U.S. President Joe Biden wants to start delivering of weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week.
The president said this shortly after the U.S. Senate approved billions of dollars in new aid for the country under attack from Russia.
“I will sign this bill into law and address the American people as soon as it reaches my desk tomorrow so we can begin sending weapons and equipment to Ukraine this week,” Biden said.
By passing the legislative package, which also includes billions of dollars in aid for Israel and Taiwan, the U.S. Congress has demonstrated the power of American leadership in the world, Biden added.
“We stand resolutely for democracy and freedom, and against tyranny and oppression.”
There is an urgent need for support for Ukraine, which is being subjected to relentless bombardment from Russia, Biden said.
The bill also contains aid for Israel, which has recently faced unprecedented attacks from Iran.
“This critical legislation will make our nation and world more secure as we support our friends who are defending themselves against terrorists like Hamas and tyrants like Putin,” Biden said.
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NSCDC deploys personnel to JAMB CBT centres in Anambra



The Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), said it has deployed personnel to ensure a hitch-free 2024 Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) in Anambra.

The state Commandant, Olatunde Maku, stated this after monitoring the conduct of the exams across CBT centres in Awka, on Wednesday.

Some of the centres visited are, Integral Development Konsult on Enugu/Onitsha Expressway, White House in Awka, JAMB Centre located inside JAMB office in Amawbia and Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka.

Others are St. John of God ICT Hub, Awka and Kachukwu Ventures Staff Development Centre, behind Government House in Awka.

The examination centres take candidates in three batches: 7 a.m., 10 a.m. and 12 p.m.

Maku said that the synergy between NSCDC and the Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board (JAMB) had yielded positive results in reducing exam malpractice.

He said that the monitoring of the centres would continue till the end of the examination period, to ensure a seamless conduct of the exercise and promote transparency.

“We are firm in our determination to protect critical national assets and infrastructure including JAMB centres.

“Which was why the NSCDC deployed personnel to JAMB CBT centres in the state to ensure security and so far they have been professional in carrying out their mandate,” he said.

Maku advised candidates writing the 2024 UTME to be law abiding and avoid being in possession of prohibited or incriminating items during the examination.

He warned unauthorised persons against loitering around designated exam centre, adding that anyone found wanting would be arrested and prosecuted.

Also speaking, Mrs Jema Iheme, JAMB Coordinator, Anambra state, commended NSCDC for their support and for ensuring security of candidates and staff at the exam centres.

Iheme said that the swift response of NSCDC to emergencies and enforcement of exam rules and regulations was contributing to a smooth and secured exam process so far.

NAN also reports that about 1.9 million candidates are expected to write the JAMB UTME, which commenced on April 19 and would end on April 29.

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