NNPC,JV Partners,NDDC Commission N24.5bn Ogbia-Nembe Road

Mohammed Shosanya

The Nigerian National Petroleum Company Ltd,NNPCL and its joint venture partners – Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC), TotalEnergies, Nigeria Agip Oil Company (NAOC) – in collaboration with the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC), have commissioned the 25.7km Ogbia-Nembe Road in Bayelsa State.

The project, valued at N24.5billion, traverses mangrove forests with seven bridges and five culverts, and connects 14 communities.

Speaking at the commissioning ceremony which held at Nembe on Monday, the Minister of the Niger Delta, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, who represented President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, said the project aligns with the President’s “Renewed Hope Agenda” for sustainable development in the Niger Delta region in particular and Nigeria in general.

He said:”This project is evidence of what good partnerships can bring to communities,” the President said, urging other oil companies to collaborate with the NNPC Ltd and the NDDC to deliver transformative projects”.

In his remarks, the NNPC Chief Upstream Investment Officer, Mr. Bala Wunti, who was represented by Mr. Obinna Aralu, expressed satisfaction with the completion of the road, describing it as “a testament to the power of collaboration and shared vision”.

A statement signed by Olufemi O. Soneye,Chief Corporate Communications Officer,
NNPC Ltd, quoted him as saying that the road was more than just infrastructure as it symbolizes progress, connectivity, and opportunities for the Nembe people through seamless transportation, increase in economic activities and general improvement in the quality of life.

Wunti also thanked all the partners and stakeholders for their contributions to the successful delivery of the project.

Speaking,the Managing Director of SPDC and Country Chairman of Shell Companies in Nigeria, Mr. Osagie Okunbor, highlighted the transformative impact of the project, stressing that it “will connect communities to the city center, boost economic activities, and reduce risks associated with river transport.

Okunbor reiterated Shell’s commitment to partnering with government agencies to deliver projects that are beneficial to the people of the Niger Delta region and Nigeria.

Also speaking, the Managing Director of NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, said the commission was dedicated to completing projects across the Niger Delta region that serve the urgent needs in the communities.

The Bayelsa State Governor, Senator Douye Diri, who was represented by his Deputy, Senator Lawrence Ewhrudjakpo, commended the NDDC, NNPC Ltd and its partners for the project.

The event was attended by top government officials and traditional rulers from Bayelsa State, including the Senate Committee Chairman on Niger Delta, Sen. Asuquo Ekpeyong; Chairman of the House of Representatives Committee on the Niger Delta, Hon. Erhiatake Ibori-Senu; Chairman of NDDC Governing Board, Mr. Chiedu Ebie; the Amayanabo of Nembe Kingdom, King Edmund Daukoru, Mingi XII and the Obanobhan of Ogbia Kingdom, King Dumaro Charles Owaba III.

The completion and commissioning of the Ogbia-Nembe Road mark a significant milestone in the ongoing efforts by the NNPC Limited and its partners to enhance infrastructure and promote sustainable development in the Niger Delta region.

LASAA,LASBCA Partner To Streamline Development Board Signage Permits In Lagos

Mohammed Shosanya

The Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) have strengthened strategic collaboration efforts aimed at obtaining approval process for property development board signage permits and building construction permits.

The initiative which is set to commence on the 1st of January 2024 represents a joint commitment to enhancing the overall development landscape of Lagos State as well as curb corrupt practices in the built environment.

At a meeting of both agencies in Ikeja, the Managing Director of LASAA, Prince Fatiu Akiolu has this to say, “This collaboration marks a significant milestone in our commitment to creating a more efficient and developer-friendly regulatory environment. By working hand-in-hand with LASBCA, we aim to ensure all development signboards are in compliance with the best global standard and contributing to a better environment.

“The process is simple. Application for any building construction to LASBCA will be required to pay for the development board fee for their developments. LASAA will issue a permit letter of approval for the application as well as information board to be affixed to each site.

He noted that combining forces, LASAA and LASBCA are set to harmonize the permit process for development boards as well as ensure a seamless and coordinated approach to obtaining approval for both building construction and signage permits.

He implored estate managers and property developers to desist from using unauthorized and unapproved banners as property signage in their construction sites.

In his remark, the General Manager of LASBCA, Arch. Gbolahan Owodunni Oki (FNIA) said that the initiative is to curb sharp practices in the built industry as well as curb the process of surcharging the state government financially.

He said that the development board permit granted by LASAA will easily identify the details of the construction being undertaken and the manpower deployed at the construction sites.

Architect Oki said further, “The collaboration with LASAA reflects our joint dedication to the sustainable development of Lagos State. Streamlining the approval process for building constructions and signage permits not only benefits developers but also contributes to a more harmonious and aesthetically pleasing urban landscape”.

” Effective January 1st 2024 all existing and new development must obtain along with other approvals the development board permit from LASAA before the letter of authorization to commence construction can be granted. Construction sites not covered by this signage permit will be sealed up’’.

He stated that the unification of billboards and building construction permits will go a long way in regulating the construction industry as it will help to checkmate illegality and reduce the menace of building collapses in the state. He added that the unified permit is an all inclusive initiative for both commercial and residential buildings.

Development Board is a standard requirement in building approval which communicates essential information about a development, such as project details, contactors and engineering information as well as key features providing valuable details to passersby.

The collaboration introduces a unified and harmonised application process that will enable private property developers to apply for both building and development signage permits simultaneously.

Property developers are by this initiative enjoined to achieve holistic compliance by obtaining both building construction approval and signage permits which takes maximum of 48 hours to obtain before mobilizing to site to commence construction which aligns with regulatory standards set by LASAA and LASBCA.

Lagos State Signage and Advertisement Agency (LASAA) is the regulatory body responsible for the management, regulation, and control of outdoor advertising and signage displays in Lagos State while the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA) is tasked with the responsibilities of formulating the enforcement of building control regulations in the State.

Nigeria Customs Gives N90bn Housing Units To Officers

Mohammed Shosanya

The Comptroller General of Nigeria Customs Service, Mr Bashir Adewale Adeniyi has announced the provision of 5,000 housing units for officers across the country.

Adeniyi,who announced thisat the inauguration of housing scheme and symbolic handover of residences to beneficiaries to members of the Nigeria Customs Cooperative which held at Ajoda, Ibadan on Monday,said the development was necessary in order to ameliorate the housing deficit in Nigeria,

The housing units which were provided in partnership with some private companies are located in Ibadan, Port Harcourt, Abuja, Kaduna cost Ninety billion naira (N90b).

He noted that in order to cushion the harmful effects of the fuel subsidy, he had signed a document for the payment of N35,000 to all officers of Customs starting from September this year.

Before the symbolic handover of the housing units, he added that “the aim of NCS is to instill loyalty, motivation and sustained productivity among the workforce.

According to him, “NCS has instituted an array of welfare programmes initiatives, recognition and awards instituted to celebrate exceptional performance, dedication and achievements which serve as catalyst to boost morale and motivation.

“Concurrently, community engagement initiatives actively encourage our officers to partake in social responsibility support programmes recognising the interconnectedness of personal and professional lives, extend services and benefits to the families of our officers.

“Through these initiatives, Customs will foster an environment where our officers would not only flourish in their professional capacities but also experience profound sense of well-being and fulfilment.

“NCS has embarked on ambitious projects which aim to construct 5,000 housing units nationwide. The visionary initiatives seek to provide a stable foundation imploring them to invest in their families and future”.

ASR Africa Begins Construction Of N2bn  Housing Quarters For Nigerian Army

Mohammed Shosanya

The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa), the philanthropic initiative of the Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, has commenced construction of 120 family housing units (Corporal and Below Quarters) for the Nigerian Army.

The groundbreaking ceremony of the construction waa held at the Muhammadu Buhari Cantonment Giri, in Abuja Thursday.

This grant forms part of the 10billion Naira Security Support Fund donated by ASR Africa in 2022 to the Nigerian Armed Forces and security agencies with 2billion Naira allocated to the Nigerian army.

At the event,the Managing Director/CEO of ASR Africa Dr. Ubon Udoh reiterated that this donation is to further support security agencies as there can be no meaningful development without adequate peace and security in the nation.

He further commended the leadership of the Nigerian Army for prioritizing the welfare of the men and women of the Nigerian Army, and promised continued support by the ASR team in ensuring the full implementation and delivery of the project.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, appreciated the Chairman of ASR Africa and BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu, for his kind and rare gesture to the Nigerian Army.

He added that, this support will further boost the morale of the personnel in delivering adequate security to Nigerians.

The high point of the event was the laying of foundation for the 120 Units of Family Corporal and Below Quarters (CBQ) by the MD/CEO of ASR Africa, Dr Ubon Udoh and the Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant Gen. Taoreed Lagbaja.

ASR Africa is the brainchild of African Industrialist, Philanthropist and Chairman of BUA Group, Abdul Samad Rabiu. The Abdul Samad Rabiu Africa Initiative (ASR Africa) was established in 2021 to provide sustainable, impact-based, homegrown solutions to developmental issues affecting health, education and social development within Africa.

Craneburg Construction Reveals Progress On  Eti-Osa/Lekki Expressway Rehabilitation

Mohammed Shosanya

Craneburg Construction Company Limited,says the ongoing rehabilitation and upgrade of the Eti-Osa/Lekki/Epe Expressway (Phase IIB) from Greensprings to Abraham Adesanya in Lagos will continue to make substantial progress while maintaining effective traffic management measures and assuring a smoother commute for all road users.

According to a statement,Craneburg continues to collaborate closely with the Lagos State Government,working alongside the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure, the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, the Nigeria Police Force, and the Neighborhood Watch.

“Road construction of this magnitude inevitably leads to temporary traffic diversions, reducing the number of lanes available for road users. Moreover, the occasional breakdowns and accidents involving heavy-duty vehicles, which are prevalent on this axis, further exacerbate traffic congestion on the already limited lanes, occasionally causing bottlenecks.

“To mitigate these challenges, a series of measures have been implemented as part of the Project to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, including the deployment of road signs and diversion barriers, ensuring that some lanes remain open and pothole-free during construction, implementation of an accelerated and strategic execution program for both daytime and nighttime works as well as deployment of well-trained and motivated traffic management personnel, among others.

“The visual representations of the previous and current states of the road under the Project are displayed, showcasing the tangible progress made in these traffic management efforts.

“We urge all road users to continue to demonstrate patience, cooperation, and adherence to traffic regulations, as this is essential for a smooth traffic flow. Actions that may adversely affect traffic management include non-compliance with road signs and regulations, disregard for the guidance and directions of traffic management personnel, vehicle breakdowns leading to road obstructions, and impatient driving” the statement said.

The Project, which is scheduled for early completion and delivery, remains a commendable and vital initiative that will benefit the entire community. We kindly request the understanding and cooperation of all road users as the Project continues to move forward.

Wike Revokes 165 Plots Of Land In Abuja

Mohammed Shosanya

Barr. Nyesom Wike, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has approved the revocation of 165 plots of Land in serviced Districts of the Federal Capital City (FCC) over non-development.

The notice for the revocation as compiled by the Land Department was approved by the Minister who revoked the plots due to continuous contravention of the terms of agreement as contained in the 1978 Land Use Act.

The revoked plots belong to individuals and corporate organizations, who have continually failed to keep to the terms of agreement as contained in Section 28(5) (a) & (b) of the Land Use Act,according to the notice.

The plots are situated within some districts in the FCC namely: Central Business District, Maitama (A05); Maitama (A06); Wuse II (A08); Gudu (B01) and Wuye (B03).

Others are :Jabi (B04); Utako (B05); Katampe Extension (B19); Idu Industrial Area (C16) and Asokoro (A04) Districts respectively.

The revocation of the affected plots was approved by the Minister following the violation of the terms of Rights of Occupancy.

“The Minister of the Federal Capital Territory has, in the exercise of the powers conferred on him under Section 28(5)(a) & (b) of the Land Use Act 1978 revoked the affected titles for continued contravention of the terms of development of the Right of Occupancy to wit non-development,”the notice added.

Violations: FCTA Demolishes Late Oba Lipede’s Building In Abuja

The Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) demolished a fmultimillion naira duplex on Monday for being built on an illegal plot of land.

The building is reported to belong to His Royal Highness Oba Oyebade Lipede, but it was unlawfully taken over by Alhaji Ibrahim Mohammed Kamba and Alhaji Ademu Teku, who illegally constructed the duplex despite all warnings.

Tpl Mukhtar Galadima, the Director of Development Control, stated that his team had to do thorough investigation to determine the original owner of the land, considering the many claims made by the parties.

He claims that the administration will not consider the status of any defaulting developer, once development rules and regulations are violated.

He said: “We demolished the duplex because somebody built without valid title and building plan approval on someone else land. Investigation revealed that the developer is not the owner of plot, that is why we had to remove the building.

” We allowed the building to this stage before demolishing it, because we had to follow all the processes. He was served all the notices to stop work, but being a recalcitrant developer, he continued without heeding to the notices we served.

” After our investigation we ascertained the original allottee, so we have to remove it. We are going to consult the legal department to know the next action against the developer”

Hilda Baci  Becomes Landlady At Yomade Heritage Estate

Musbau Babatunde

Zealand Properties has announced the latest Guinness Book of World Records holder, Hilda Baci, as the latest landlady at one of its estates, Yomade Heritage in Epe.

She visited Zealand’s Headquarters in Ikeja earlier today to sign and receive her land document, an event that made her an official Landlady at Yomade Heritage.

The company had earlier promised to gift Hilda Baci with a plot of land worth N5.7m at Yomade Heritage Estate when she attempted to break the erstwhile Guinness world record in a cooking marathon.

After receiving her land document and discovering the investment potential in Yomade Heritage, Baci said she’d cash in on the current price and buy one more plot of land for herself

“I’m super excited because they were so kind to gift me a plot of land in one of their prime locations in Epe, and trust me, at the price that they are currently selling, I’d probably buy one for myself because it honestly feels like a steal”.

Managing Director of Zealand Properties, Mr. Adedeji Agarawu,said Hilda Baci’s drive and hard work was worthy of emulation by other youths and she deserves to be rewarded.

He added:”I appreciate hard work, and what you pulled out there was incredible hard work. You must have gone the extra mile and conquered a lot of fear to have achieved your feat”.

Mohammed Shosanya

Property owners across the country owed the federal government the sum of N6trillion in ground rent.

The Senate,on Tuesday,mandated its committee to investigate and recover the accrued debt from the property owners

The Adhoc committee setup by the Senate to recover the money, is also mandated to investigate the inability of Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to investigate and recover these incomes for the government.

The Senate,which also advocated the need for a comprehensive data of federal government property, is also to investigate the circumstances that led to the inability of the land use act allocation committee, saddled with the responsible of handing rent and licence matter, to carry out their responsibility on the matter.

The resolution of the Senate was sequel to a motion by Senator Yusuf Abubakar Yusuf (APC, Taraba Central) .

Coming under orders 41 and 51 of the Senate Standing Rules, the lawmaker noted that the Land Use Act has vested ownership rights on the Federal Government over its land in states and the Federal Capital Territory.

The rights include the power to control and regulate town planning, and physical development in relation to such lands and by extension prescribing and collection of any tax, fees or rates.

Yussuf lamented that since 1992, over two million houses across the 36 states of the federation, including FCT have been built and allocated to beneficiaries by the federal government, yet majority have no evidence of payment of ground rent on their properties.

According to him,with the current revenue challenges facing the country, there is a need for the government to look into other means of generating income than relying on oil revenue.

He stated that investigation reveals that failure of relevant authorities to recover these funds has led the country to loosing over six trillion naira.

Some of the senators who spoke, called on the federal government to come up with a computerized system where all allotted lands and properties, persons yet to pay and fashion out mode of recovering these funds .

They expressed the need for a comprehensive data of federal government property that are sold to the public under the ministry of works and housing across the country.

Members of the committee include, Adamu Aliero (PDP, Kebbi Central ), Sani Musa (APC, Niger East), Sam Egwu (PDP, Ebonyi North), Smart Adeyemi (APC, Kogi West ), Opeyemi Bamidele (APC, Ekiti Central ), Betty Apiafi (PDP, Rivers West) and Yusuf Abubarkar Yusuf (APC, Taraba Central).

Continental Hotel Sale: 11Plc Takes Case To Supreme Court

The Asset Management Corporation of Nigeria (AMCON), Polaris Bank Limited and 11PLC have approached the Supreme Court seeking to quash the recent verdict of the Appeal Court which set aside the sale of Lagos Continental Hotel to 11Plc

The company said that the parties took the matter to the apex court through its Notice of Appeal dated December 5, 2022.

Samuel Ozeh Asst. Company Secretary/Legal Adviser,conveyed this in a statement.

According to him,the parties have also filed a motion for stay of execution of the appellate court’s verdict pending the determination of the suit by the apex court.

The motion for stay of execution, copies of which were made available to journalists, was also dated December 5, 2022.

He added: “This move has effectively arrested the ability of Milan Industries Limited to enforce the Appeal Court’s judgement and would compel the parties to maintain status quo pending the final determination of the appeal by the Supreme Court,” the statement said.

“In view of this situation, the ownership and operation of the Hotel by 11 Hospitality is not in any way impacted. “11 Hospitality remains upbeat in the circumstance as its acquisition of the Hotel followed due process and it believes AMCON assigned a valid title to it pursuant to the extensive powers vested in the Corporation under section 34 of the AMCON Act (as amended)”

AMCON had acquired the Lagos Continental Hotel as an eligible bank asset on account of the failure of Milan Industries Limited to repay its loan to Skye Bank plc (now Polaris Bank Limited) to the tune of N15 billion with the interest element of the loan verging on N30 billion at the time.

The loan may have partly put paid to the bank’s financial distress and thereby necessitated AMCON’s acquisition of its non-performing loans, including that of Milan Industries Limited.

Two years ago, AMCON, in line with its powers under section 34 of the AMCON Act (as amended) assigned its interest in the Hotel to 11 Hospitality Limited, a subsidiary of 11plc (formerly Mobil Oil Nigeria Plc).

But,the sale was challenged by Milan Industries Limited at the Federal High Court, which dismissed the suit and affirmed the sale by AMCON, after it found no merit in Milan’s claim of having repaid the huge loan it took from the Polaris Bank Limited.

Milan Industries Limited then challenged the decision of the Federal High Court, and the Court of Appeal in its judgement set aside the decision of the lower court.