Some retired soldiers under the Coalition of Concerned Veterans have protested the nonpayment of their pension arrears for the past 24 months.
The veterans who gathered at the Ministry of Finance headquarters, Abuja, insisted on getting answers to their demands, else they will continue protesting and demanding for their rights.
They were seen with placards on which various inscriptions were written. One of such placards reads, “CCV demands immediate payment of security debarment allowance.” Another reads, “Military veterans demand 24 months arrears of minimum wage approved.”
SaharaReporters observed a banner which contained a comprehensive list of the demands, it reads, “Immediate payment of 24 months outstanding arrears of minimum wage as approved by the C-IN-C. Immediate payment of security debarment allowance (S.D.A) as approved by MAFA Section V Page 98 without discrimination.
“Inhuman reduction from the medically boarded veterans remuneration to be stopped forth with. N.H.I.S National Health Insurance Scheme should be reviewed to cover essential/serious ailments of the veterans.
“Enough of no cash backing slogan on veterans’ entitlement.”
They further lambasted the Minister of Defence, Maj Gen Bashir Magashi (Retd.) for failing to come out and see the retirees for three days when they visited him in his house in Kano State, though he was one of them.
The leader of the CCV noted, “We are not here to joke, we are old people who served this country when we were still young, when we had strength, now that we are done with service, the Nigerian government decided to abandon us. All our entitlements, they refused to pay us.
“We wrote letters, tried doing other things to ensure we got our demands met but they didn’t heed. During Sallah; we even went to the Minister’s house because I am based in Kano; we went to the Minister’s house on a visit and he said he didn’t want to see us.
“We began to ask questions, is he not also one of us? He’s also a retired soldier, why will he refuse to see us? For three days, we were there, how could he be possibly engaged for three days in his own house? We are his primary responsibility, there’s nothing that should make him say he doesn’t want to see us.
“To our demands: the minimum wage President Buhari signed in 2019, they haven’t paid us the arrears, there’s another thing called debarment allowance, they haven’t paid us. The debarment allowance is supposed to be paid to all military men that have served in the past whether in the Army, Air Force or whatsoever, so we can go and settle ourselves, this will not make criminals recruit trained soldiers to build houses and all but they refused to pay us all, they paid some people but not all.
“The past Chief of Defence Staff was the one who caused confusion and when we cried, we were invited, a committee was set up, the committee members did their job and came up with a report but we haven’t heard anything since then and you know that this government will soon end; so this is the opportunity we have that one of our own; Muhammadu Buhari, and the minister, National Security Adviser; and some members of the parliament are retirees like us.”
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LAGOS STATE GOVERNMENT GIVES UPDATE ON THE CONSTRUCTION OF THE 4TH MAINLAND BRIDGE
The Lagos State Government through the Office of Public Private Partnerships is given the update on the construction of the 4th mainland bridge in Lagos.
Speaking at a media brief in Lagos today, the Special Adviser to the Governor on PPP, Mr. Ope George gave a brief history of the 4th mainland bridge project.
According to him, the 4th MB is a proposed Public Private Partnership transport infrastructure development, which includes the construction and operation of a greenfield tolled road and bridge with a design speed of 120kmh, including the development of adjacent real estates. According to Mr. George, the bridge is expected to become the 2nd longest in Africa, featuring three toll plazas, 9 interchanges, a 4.5km lagoon bridge and an eco-friendly environment.
It is expected to span about 37 kilometers, starting from Abraham Adesanya in Ajah, on the Eti-Osa-Lekki-Epe corridor and transverse the North West towards the lagoon shoreline of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway via Owutu/Isawo in Ikorodu.
It aims to relieve severe congestion on the existing 3rd Mainland Bridge; whilst opening new areas for the future development. The project is expected to cost us $2.5billion.
Mr. Ope George further disclosed that the 4th MB project has gone through the competitive bidding process, the request for proposal Stage 1 (RFP 1) and the request for proposal Stage 2 (RFP 2). The RFP Stage 2 was then issued to three shortlisted bidders, namely:
1. Mota – Engil (Nig & Africa) CCCC & CRBC consort.
2. CGGC – CGC Joint Venture.
3. CCECC & CRCCIG Consortium.
Conclusively, the Special Adviser disclosed that the Evaluation Committee, which comprises of representatives from the LASG, Ministry of works, OPPP and the project Advisers, commenced the evaluation of the submitted RFP Stage 2 documents on the 17th November, 2022, with the announcement of the preferred bidder to be publicised before the end of the year 2022.
LAGOS SET TO HOST THIRD REAL ESTATE MARKETPLACE CONFERENCE, EXHIBITIONS
Lagos State Real Estate Regulatory Authority (LASRERA) has concluded plans to host the third edition of the Lagos Real Estate Marketplace Conference and Exhibitions.
The Special Adviser to Lagos State Governor on Housing, Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka disclosed this at the weekend in Ikeja, stating that the event has been scheduled for Tuesday, 7th and Wednesday, 8th December 2022 at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island.
Benson-Awoyinka added that discussions at the event will be in the form of a Town Hall Meeting, themed: “The Lagos Real Estate Emerging Markets – Mitigating Potential Risks”.
She emphasised the need for stakeholders in the Real Estate Market to protect the sector from impostors whose actions portend great risk to the Real Estate Market in the State.
The Special Adviser revealed that seasoned speakers are already billed for this year’s Conference and Exhibition to deliberate on potential risks in Real Estate Transactions and Laws that protect Real Estate investment Transactions, Policies and Guidelines about Lagos State Real Estate Sector.
Benson-Awoyinka stated that the event is meant to redefine the Lagos State Real Estate Market to meet developmental standards and to attract more international investment opportunities for the State Real Estate.
While assuring that LASRERA will continue to play its role as the State Government’s Regulator in the Built Sector by strengthening and curbing the potential risks for investors/investees in the Market, she urged individuals/organisations that are yet to register with the Agency can do so at the event.
The Special Adviser, therefore, promised that the Lagos State Government will continue to sustain the platform of the annual conference for stakeholders to brainstorm on how to ensure that Real Estate Business Transactions meet the Smart City vision as conceptualised in the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda of the State Government.
She also implored interested persons willing to participate in the two-day Conference and Exhibitions to register via: https://3rdlagrealconference.eventbrite.com free of charge.
Leave Gov Emmanuel Out Of Your N204m Bribery Predicaments – Advocacy Group Warns Sen Albert
Senator Bassey Albert Akpan and his supporters have been warned to desist from further blackmail and smear campaigns against Governor Udom Emmanuel, over the current legal imbroglio of the Young Progressives Party’s gubernatorial candidate.
A major advocacy group, Akwa Ibom Integrity Alliance in a reaction by its Chairman, Barr Stephen Abia, said it was unfair and uncharitable for the embattled senator to transfer blames of his travails to the doorsteps of Governor Emmanuel who neither originated the charges nor even knows of the facts of the case.
The group opined that to remotely or directly blame Governor Emmanuel for the probe of Bassey Akpan’s financial impropriety, was devilish, wicked and malicious.
“From investigations by our team of professionals, Governor Emmanuel was not in office as Governor, when the case of bribery and corruption against Bassey Albert Akpan commenced”, said Barr Stephen Abia.
“The case was purely on the heels of a probe of the infamous alleged slush funds against a former Minister of Petroleum Resources, where part of the funds where allegedly linked to a certain Jide Omokoro who confessed during investigation that he used the funds to bribe Senator Albert Akpan through car donations amounting to N204million to get contracts.
“For the avoidance of doubts, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission arrested and detained Senator Akpan over cars that he had allegedly received as bribe from Jide Omokore while serving as Akwa Ibom Finance Commissioner and Chairman of the State Inter-Ministerial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee.
“Investigations show that the Omokore’s companies – Bay Atlantic Energy and Sahel Energy – received contracts from the Senator Akpan’s InterMinisterial Direct Labour Coordinating Committee and the EFCC claimed the vehicles were used to bribe Akpan.
“We have discovered that it is only on the basis of jurisdiction that the case could not be decided a long time ago when the trial was conducted at Justice O.A. Taiwo presided Federal High Court in Lagos, hence the case was reassigned to the federal high court in Uyo in line with Senator Albert Akpan’s argument that the offense took place in Uyo.
“When he was testifying at the High Court, Senator Albert admitted receiving the car bribe from Omokaro and further brought some members of his campaign team as witnesses that they were given the contentious vehicles to campaign for Albert’s elections in 2015.
“Throughout the duration of this trial and till this moment, there is no record that the Akwa Ibom State government was a party in the case, nor can it be said that Governor Emmanuel or any of his appointees had testified in the case. It is therefore worrisome that Senator Bassey Albert would come out to castigate the Governor for a sin he allegedly committed when Governor Emmanuel had not assumed office”, the group enthused.
According to Barr Stephen Abia, himself an indigene of Ibiono Ibom local government where Bassey Albert also hails from, the people of Ibiono Ibom have disassociated themselves from the corruption allegations against their son, and are also ready to remain in support of the transparent leadership of Governor Emmanuel, which has brought about monumental feats in the State since 2015.
Judgement on the case is expected to come up on Friday this week at the Federal High Court in Uyo.
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