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Osinbajo assigns portfolios to ministers, swears in 15 perm secs


Mr. Walson–Jack (left); Mrs. Ifeoma Nkiruka Anagbogu; Akpan Edith Sunday and Mrs. Ehuria Georgina Ekeoma taking the oath of office as permanent secretaries before Acting President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo at the State House Abuja…yesterday PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA

• FEC okays N37.399b for Ajaokuta-Itakpe rail line

Acting President Yemi Osinbjo has assigned portfolios to two ministers inaugurated three weeks ago.Before the commencement of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting, he deployed Professor Ochen‎i as Minister of State for Labour and Employment while Hassan has been deployed as Minister of State for Power, Works and Housing.

Their deployment came amidst the mounting speculations that a cabal loyal to the ailing President Buhari, may have allegedly prevented the acting president from carrying out the functions.

Meanwhile, the acting president also swore in 15 Federal Permanent Secretaries out of the 21 recently appointed. Six of the new permanent secretaries were not inaugurated and will have to wait for those occupying their states vacancies to retire.

Osinbajo said the new permanent secretaries were coming at a time the Federal Government was carrying out major reforms in order to reposition the country for greater heights.He explained that the anti-corruption war and the government’s economic recovery and growth plan cannot succeed without the support of civil servant which the newly appointees lead.

The new appointees are Mrs. Ehuria Ekeoma (Abia), deployed to Cabinet Affairs, office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF); Mr. Akpan Sunday (Akwa Ibom), ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment; Mrs. Anabogu Nkiruka (Anambra) will serve in the Ministry of Women Affairs.

Others are Walson-Jack Esther (Bayelsa),office of the SGF in charge of Service Welfare; Gekpe Isu (Cross River), Ministry of Information and Culture while Aliboh Lawrence (Delta) is to serve in the ministry of Budget and National Planning.

Uwaifo Clement (Edo) was deployed to Ministry of Health; Folayan Olaniyi (Ekiti) is to serve as permanent secretary communications services, office of the Head of Service of the Federation (HoSF).

Abdullahi Mashi (Katsina), Ministry of Communications; Adebiyi Bolaji Adekunle (Lagos), Ministry of Labour and Employment; Ibrahim Wen (Nasarawa) will serve in the Ministry of Water Resources while Odewale Samson Olajide (Ogun) has been deployed as permanent secretary Special Services, office of the SGF.

Adesola Olusade (Ondo) will serve in the ministry of Youth and Sports Development while Aduda Gabriel Tanimu (FCT) has been posted to the office of the SGF, Political Affairs office; Umar Mohammed Bello (Sokoto), special services office of the SGF.

Meanwhile, FEC has okayed $122. 62 million for the rehabilitation of Ajaokuta- Itakpe rail line.Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who briefed on the memoranda submitted by the minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi, said that it involved track laying, permanent way works and ancillary facilities area and completion of 12 railway stations in favour of CCECC Nig. Ltd in the sum of $122.62 million (about N37.399b).

He said the amount was inclusive of all taxes at the prevailing CBN exchange rate of $1 to N305 with a completion period of 15 months.According to him, Ajaokuta to Warri track was in good condition and when the new contract is completed, access to the seaport will be achieved for the evacuation of goods.
Mohammed added that Amaechi also submitted a memo for the interim phase arrangement for the concession of the Nigeria’s narrow gauge railway system which was approved.

He said that the approval was to issue a letter of comfort to General Electric so that by Oct. 2017 there would be full utilisation of Lagos – Kano and Port Harcourt – Calabar – Maiduguri line.

He said it was part of the efforts to rehabilitate the 30,000 km narrow guage line and make it ready for haulage of goods and services.According to him from October there will be new 17 wagons to move at least a million tonnes of goods from the roads and preserve its lifespan.Mohammed added that FEC approved the variation cost for the construction of one 150 MVA 330/133 KVA transformer at Birnin Kebbi.

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