Ado-Ekiti, Osogbo To Be Linked By Rail as FG signs $6.68b contract

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, has revealed that Ado Ekiti, capital of Ekiti state, would be connected to Lagos-Kano rail line, as he signed a $6.68 billion dollars contract agreement for the Ibadan-Kaduna segment with China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

Amaechi said at the signing ceremony in Abuja that Ado-Ekiti will be connected with a single track branch line from Osogbo,capital of the State of Osun. He signed the contract on behalf of the Federal Government.

“This agreement is for the Ibadan-Kaduna rail line, which is part of the Lagos-Kano rail line, the completion time of the contract should be between two to three years, depending on availability of funds,” Amaechi said.

Amaechi promised that the ministry would be able to provide its counterpart funding between 2018 and 2019 budget provision, stating that the contract was a fulfilment of Federal Government’s plan to complete the Lagos-Kano rail modernisation project.

“The Ibadan-Kaduna standard gauge line will pass through Oshogbo-Ilorin-Minna to Kaduna, with a single track branch line from Oshogbo to Ado-Ekiti.

“This contract is in fulfilment of Federal Government’s plan to complete the Lagos-Kano rail modernisation project started in 2006 and broken into segments for implementation.

“The segmentation phase commenced from Abuja-Kaduna rail line in 2011, which was completed and commissioned into commercial operation by President Muhammadu Buhari in 2016.

“The Federal Government in March 2017 commenced the second leg of the Lagos-Kano line that is currently ongoing and planned to be completed by the end of 2018.

“The signing of the Ibadan–Kaduna segment contract agreement today concludes all outstanding segments of the Lagos-Kano rail line.”


Amaechi Urges Igbo To Back Buhari In 2019

The Minister of Transport, Mr. Chibuike Amaechi, has said the Igbo cannot become the president of Nigeria without the support for President Muhammadu Buhari in 2019.

He said the best thing the Igbo would do was to rally round Buhari’s re-election bid to facilitate the Igbo presidency.

He called on the Igbo to vote for President Buhari’s second term as a way of giving him the chance to serve out the term of the North and make way for the Igbo.

Amaechi stated this in a lecture at the 12th convocation of the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

He spoke on the topic: “The Igbo in the politics of Nigeria.”

He said, “You (Igbo) did not vote for Buhari, true or false? You voted for the PDP and what did they do for you? The PDP abandoned the Enugu-Onitsha expressway since 1999, but Buhari is working on it with dispatch, true or false?

“Buhari is working on the second Niger Bridge; he is working on the Otuocha-Ibaji-Abuja Road; he is working on the Abakaliki-Onueke Road; he is working on the Oji-Achi-Naku Road in Enugu State; he is working on the Ozalla-Akpugo-Amagunze Road. He is also working on Aba-Ikot Ekpene Road.

“Under Buhari, all major cities of the South-East are captured in the existing railway project. Name one government that has done up to this within two years. Our problem is that we are just being emotional.”

He said part of the solutions to Igbo problem in Nigeria was for the Igbo to move into a national political party after what the disappointments they had encountered in sectional parties.

He described the PDP and the All Progressives Grand Alliance as regional parties that would not take the Igbo to anywhere.


The President General of the Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Chief Nnia Nwodo, who spoke as a guest lecturer said the trouble with Nigeria was ethnic suspicion and fear of marginalisation.

He said Nigeria was not run as a federation , adding that pockets of marginalisation agitations were still being meted out to the Igbo.

He said, “I am yet to see a federation in which the security apparatus is domiciled in one section of the country. Doing so has not also solved the security problems of the country.

“Our country is in a state of war, with no one declaring it. I refuse to agree with you (Amaechi) that people should join a federal movement as you said. If our constitution is not revisited for people to live and feel safe, then we are wasting our time.”

Amaechi, Lawmakers Clash Over 2018 Budget Figures

Lawmakers at the National Assembly, the Minster of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, on Thursday disagreed over figures presented in the 2018 Budget of the ministry.

The disagreement was sequel to the visit of the Minister of Tranportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, to the Senate Wing of the National Assembly, who appeared before a joint Senate and House of Representatives Committee on Land Transport Transport Chaired by Senator Gbenga Ashafa, at the National Assembly to defend his Ministry’s budget proposal for 2018.

While the session was ongoing, Vice Chairman of the House Committee on Land Transport, Hon Adesegun Adekoya, representing Ijebu-North/Ijebu-East/Ogun Waterside under the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), showed displeasure over the figures rolled out by Ameachi.

Adekoya, raised a point of order requesting that the Honourable Minister be placed on oath, alleging that the Minister had released figures filled with discrepancies at the 2017 budget defence.

In his words “Mr. Chairman sir, Point of Order, I want to request that the Honourable Minister be placed on oath sir. I need to be sure that the figures he is giving us today are the genuine figures, not like what transpired last year when we were told that counterpart funding for Lagos – Ibadan is N60 Billion Naira and the Ministry went on to receive N75Billion for the same project, without the necessary appropriation for the excess N15 Billion.”

While this ensued into a heated exchange of words between Amaechi and Hon. Adeoya, Chairman of the Committee, Senator Ashafa pointed out that it was against parliamentary procedure to place anybody on oath except during an investigative hearing.

Immediately calm was restored, Amaechi, in a swift response, explained that the extra N12Billion Naira required for counterpart funding of the Lagos to Ibadan segment of the Lagos – Kano Railway Modernisation Project was not received and as such, he notified the Ministry of Finance to withhold disbursement of the sum till the 2017 Appropriation was passed into law.

Wike Is “One Of My Sons”, I Cannot Bend To Him – Amaechi

The Minister for Transportation, Mr Chibuike Amaechi, has denied any rift between him and Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike, describing the governor as one of his ‘sons’.

Amaechi, who was also governor of Rivers State from 2007 to 2015, said this during his appearance on Channels Television’s Question Time.

“He (Wike) was my staff; he is like one of my sons,” Amaechi said during the programme which aired on Thursday. “Why should I engage him? He was local government chairman when I was the Speaker (of the State House of Assembly),” he said.

The minister, however, accused the governor of failing to sustain the efforts he had made in developing Rivers State.

He also alleged that Wike was trying to tamper with the love the people of the state have for him.

Amaechi said: “The governor has just one agenda – if he is in his toilet, ‘Amaechi’; if he is outside his toilet, ‘Amechi’… what baffles me is not the governor, it is the

“When I was governor, I used Rivers State’s money on projects in the state. If you visit the state, you will see the primary schools that we built. No matter what the governor does, the projects are there.

“I hired 13,200 teachers who are alive, I established primary schools, the primary schools are there. They are no longer maintained. When I was there, I appointed a contractor whose responsibility was to come to school like the children.”

Both men have been involved in what many believed to be a ‘lingering quarrel’, even in the face of the clash between the security details attached to both men when their convoys came head to head in November.

On November 11, the security operatives attached to Amaechi made up of men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) had reportedly knocked down Wike’s Escort Rider apparently in a way to make way for the former governor.

The incident, which occurred at Nwanja junction in Trans Amadi area in Port Harcourt, was later brought to a halt after the chief security detail to Governor Wike physically chased the SARS operatives away.

Amaechi Inaugurates 6-Member Committee To Restructure Maritime Academy

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, on Wednesday, inaugurated a six-member Interim Management Committee to restructure Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.

Mr. Amaechi, while inaugurating the committee in Abuja, said that the federal government had approved the implementation of the reports earlier submitted by the committee.

He said that the committee was earlier inaugurated in January to advise the government on the best way to restructure and reposition the Academy, adding that the report had been submitted.

“It is my pleasure to once again welcome you to yet another inauguration on the same matter, the restructuring of the Maritime Academy of Nigeria, Oron.

“As I said during your inauguration as a committee to advise the government on how best to restructure and reposition the Academy to make it comparable to successful academies worldwide.

“To achieve the vision and objectives of establishing the institution, members of the committee now transformed into an Interim Management Committee.

“We approach the Federal Government since May to give us the go ahead to implement your reports and we got the approval of the President for the committee to implement that report,” he said.

Mr. Amaechi urged the newly appointed Rector of the Academy, Duja Effedua to work with the committee, saying he could also act in that capacity after the assignment of the committee was over.

“The federal government had appointed the Rector with the idea to work with the committee and he can only act as a Rector after the committee is done with their assignment,’’ he said.

He said that the ministry would provide the necessary resources to enable the committee function properly.

Responding, the Chairman of the Committee, Adebayo Sarumi, said the committee was willing to carry out the approved recommendations given to them.

He said that the committee would complete its task within the duration of six months as instructed.

Responding, Mr, Effedua said he would assess the situation and challenges of the academy to enable him to know what next to do.

“I am new in that office, I have to go there to assess the situation, nobody can rise above the interim, I must go there to appraise the situation,” he said.

Youths Boo Wike As Osinbajo Commission Projects In Rivers

The Rivers State Governor, Nyeson Wike was on Thursday booed by youths loyal to former governor of the state, Rotimi Ameachi.

Minister for Transport, Ameachi who accompanied the acting President Yemi Osinbajo on a commissioning of projects in the state was joined by APC faithful that besieged the airport with shouts of ‘the Lion” renting the air.

The Acting President was received on hand by Gov Nyesom Wike of Rivers State and a handful of traditional rulers and others who queued for a formal handshake with the August Visitor.

A mild drama ensued as Wike pointed at the already waiting BMW to chauffeur drive Osinbajo who insisted rather that they walked to the already waiting Chopper where Amaechi, Abe and others were already seated.

Wike who was visibly worried tried hard to convince Osinbajo to go with him and commission just one project, but the Acting President insisted that they head to the Chopper for the venue of the commissioning of the World standard Fertilizer project built by the INDORAMA Group.

A disappointed Wike had to leave his aides, supporters and convoy behind and joined Osinbajo to the Chopper where APC faithfuls were already singing the praise of their leader, Rotimi Chibuike Amaechi.

As soon as Osinbajo entered into the Chopper and Wike made his way to enter, the already charged youths began to boo him with shouts of, “Come down!, Come down!” while some others continued with shouts of “the Lion!” until the Chopper left.

The governor’s convoy and his supporters were now grumbling over their leader’s failure to convince Osinbajo to first commission any of his projects decided to make their way back home as it was obvious that they may not make it to Eleme, the venue of the official program for the Ag. President.

It is not yet clear if the visitor will concede to Wike’s pleas to commission any of his projects after the INDORAMA program.

Wike Ordered To Apologise To Amaechi

The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Rivers State has slammed Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State, Governor Ayodele Fayose of Ekiti State and former Aviation Minister, Femi Fani-Kayode, for linking the contentious Ikoyi $43m to the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.

The State Chairman, Chief Davies Ibiamu Ikanya, described the accusation as mischievous, wicked, diabolical, and evil, and urged the three to apologise to the former governor.

Rivers APC said, “It is very sad and unfortunate that over two years that Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi led APC to dust PDP in the 2015 general elections, the PDP Leadership up till date has refused to forgive Amaechi for disgracing them out of power and salvaging our nation from a system whose corruptive tendency is not only contagious but legendary.

Amaechi Slams Wike

Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation and immediate past governor of Rivers State has dismissed the false claims by his successor Nyesom Wike that the $43,449,947, £27,800 and N23,218, 000 recovered by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, from an Ikoyi apartment in Lagos belongs to him.

Wike on Friday night told newsmen that the money and houses in Ikoyi, Lagos State belonged to the former governor Rotimi Amaechi.
Amaechi in a statement titled ‘$43MILLION TALE: AMAECHI SLAMS WIKE’ released by his Media Office on Saturday, Amaechi described the claims as malicious, frivolous and another failed attempt by Wike to divert attention from the mess he has created in Rivers State.


According to the statement: “Rivers State is perpetually in crisis, the state is in a mess as Wike has made a total mess of governance in the State. That child who sits there as governor is confused, he doesn’t know what to do. Wike’s only solution is to attack Amaechi.” “Since he became governor, Wike sleeps and wakes up everyday, with a sole, one-point agenda to attack and denigrate Rotimi Amaechi, no matter how ridiculous and silly he sounds.


Everyday in Rivers State, there is one frivolous, false story of what Amaechi did or didn’t do. Same pattern, the same blatant lies with no proof, same old concocted stories of corruption allegations against Amaechi told with different flavours At this rate, if Wike is unable to perform his spousal duties, he will blame it on Amaechi. Yes, that’s how despicably low he can go in his consuming fixation to throw mud at Amaechi.”


“This latest outburst by Wike is typical of him. We are aware that Wike first tried to float the fake news of Amaechi’s ownership of the recovered $43million and the Ikoyi house in the social media using his minions and lackeys, spending huge sums of Rivers money on the failed project. His minions and lackeys were calling journalists, bloggers and media organizations to run the fake story with promises of almost irresistible mouth-watering compensation for using the fake story. When that failed and the story didn’t gain traction that was when Wike decided to hurriedly hold the press conference Friday night, to rant and spew his outright lies, yet again without providing any proof of Amaechi’s ownership of both the property and the money.”


“For clarity and emphasis, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi is not the owner of the $43million and the Ikoyi apartment in which the money was recovered from. Amaechi has no business, link or connection to the money or property. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi does not know who owns the money or Ikoyi apartment.”


The Statement came to a conclusion  with an address to Nigerians saying:

“Finally, we want Nigerians to note that Wike’s reckless, irresponsible and fictitious tirade against the President Buhari administration at his media briefing of Friday is a declaration of war against the Federal Government. This has been his regular past time in recent times, making false allegations against the Federal government and threatening the President Buhari administration with fire and brimstone”, the statement concluded



Amaechi Dismiss Reports Linking Them To $50m Cash Seized By EFCC

The National Intelligence Agency of Nigeria (NIA) has vehemently denied a report that its officials were laying claims to the cash hoard of $50 million recently seized from an apartment in Ikoyi, Lagos by officials of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission.

An online publication (not SaharaReporters) had reported that officials of the NIA were insisting that the seized cash was part of the agency’s covert operations. The publication had also claimed that NIA officials were furious that the EFCC acting chairman, Ibrahim Magu, had undermined their covert tasks by sending agents of the anti-corruption agency to impound the cash. Seizure of the huge haul of cash, which included millions of US dollars, British pound sterling and the Nigerian currency, the naira, has dominated news coverage in Nigeria for two days.

A top NIA official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told SaharaReporters that the agency was in no way tied to the scandalous amount discovered in an apartment that was built by a former chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Adamu Muazu. According to the source, the NIA never claimed ownership of the funds, contrary to the assertion made by an online paper.

SaharaReporters briefly spoke to the Director-General of the NIA, Ayodele Oke, who said he had not seen such a report and couldn’t comment on it. Pressed further, he said he had not met President Muhammadu Buhari to discuss owning the cash, he then pleaded to speak with our report when he wakes up in the morning saying he had a ‘headache’. One of our sources said the version of the story claiming that NIA owns te money was being spread by Nigerian Senate president Bukola Saraki who claimed the NIA had warnedEFCC chairman Ibrahim Magu not invade the apartment with the cash, claiming the NIA was using it for covert operations.

The EFCC has yet to unveil the owner of the stash of cash unearthed in safes that were concealed behind a false wall at an apartment in Ikoyi, an upscale area of the sprawling metropolis of Lagos, Nigeria’s major commercial city.

Earlier this evening, some individuals began circulating a WhatsApp message stating that former Governor Rotimi Amaechi of Rivers State was the owner of the apartment where the cash was found. The WhatsApp message, which was also tweeted by Lere Olayinka, a spokesman for Governor Ayo Fayose of Ekiti State, claimed that Mr. Amaechi bought apartments 7A and 7B in the apartment complex and then gave one to famous Nigerian TV personality, Mo Abudu.

In an interview with SaharaReporters, Mr. Amaechi, who is Nigeria’s current Minister of Transportation, said he had no connection whatsoever with the apartment or the money. He added that he does not own any apartment or house in Lagos, stating that his only property in Nigeria was in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.


Credit: Sahara Reporters

Rivers State: Wike, Amaechi And The ‘Familiar Spirit’ Tussle By Ifeanyi Izeze

The problem is that talking about the differences between the governors that ruled Rivers State since 1999 has been the frenzy but nobody ever bothers talking about their similarities. And that matters. For the similarities tell a flattering story of a sea of sameness in all of them.

Close watchers of governance and politics in the state and all the activities of the Brick House and the new Government House since the advent of the current democratic dispensation in 1999, would obviously affirm that a “familiar spirit” rules the minds and hearts of all those that governed the state from 1999 to date without exception. Why is this disclosure necessary now? It is simply because the ordinary Rivers people have remained losers due to their manipulation by state governors, who typically abandon governance in pursuit of political enemies and inordinate Abuja ambitions.

As already established, all the governors that ruled Rivers State from 1999 to date usually start the same way and end in the same manner only to turn back and blame almost everybody but themselves for misapplying the state resources and ending up political pariahs both at home and the national stage.

Is it not curious that no incumbent governor of Rivers State since 1999 has ever tolerated, accommodated, or cooperated with their immediate predecessor? Do they quarrel because of the interest of the state and its people? No! Rather it is for the narrow selfish and inordinate ambitions of these men who normally reign like mafia bosses.

Peter Odili planted the seed of the romance with this “familiar spirit” that has continued to short-change the people when he, directly or by proxy, chased away Rufus Ada George from the state and made him a persona non grata. Every politician closely linked to Ada George was literally chased out of Port Harcourt.

Also, when Chibuike Amaechi came, after his days or rather months of “Jacob’s trouble,” he was all out to pay back his enemies and the topmost on his list were Odili, his former Oga, and of course, Celestine Omehia, who was used to replace him.

And in an attempt to make his vendetta mission look legal and patriotic, he recruited the late Justice Kayode Eso to execute the “Rivers Truth and Reconciliation Commission,” an idea that was supposed to heal all wounds and bitter hearts across the state but ended up deepening existing wounds.

And as stated by Odili in his submission on the Kayode Eso Commission, “the setting up of the so-called Kayode Eso ‘Truth and Reconciliation Commission’ was clearly conceived, designed and programmed to permanently indict and incarcerate Odili.

“Clearly, no truth or reconciliation was intended by those who conceived the idea of this Commission, and given the trend so far, I dare say that no reconciliation can be achieved.”

Odili’s belief on the matter turned out to be the truth.

The panel came out with a recommendation that would have contrived Odili into political oblivion and infamy if not for the intervention of the late President Umaru Musa Yar’adua who ensured that the panel’s recommendations were not implemented.

Barely one month after he was sworn-in, Wike inaugurated a six-man panel of inquiry, headed by Justice Godwin Omereji, to investigate the financial transactions of the former government headed by Amaechi. The panel was charged with the responsibility of scrutinising contracts awarded by Amaechi and issue of assets of the state allegedly sold by his predecessor. With the speed of light, the panel nailed Amaechi on sales of state assets to his cronies and diversion of the proceeds to unknown accounts.

In response to the development, Amaechi’s group claimed that Wike’s panel was aimed at blackmailing and rubbishing the former governor as part of alleged desperate efforts to scuttle his chances of getting appointment in the Buhari-led federal government.

When Odili came in 1999 he had only one mission in mind: to frugally apply the state resources in infrastructure and human capital development. And no matter what anybody says, he did well in achieving fleets of milestones in initiating and executing outstanding people-oriented projects across the state, including the health sector and its free medical treatment for pregnant women, children and the senior citizens, the nationwide pioneer in independent power generation, housing scheme, road and transportation projects, etc. Pathetically, he lost every sense of service to Rivers State when he got carried away by the lure of becoming Obasanjo’s successor.

Amaechi also did very well in his first tenure in initiating and implementing relevant people-oriented development projects. He stood out nationwide in his turnaround initiatives in the school systems where he remodeled and fully equipped primary and secondary schools across the state and even tertiary institutions. Amaechi took empowerment of Rivers people to heights not recorded by anybody before him in awarding big project contracts to indigenes of the state. However, this turned out to be one of his biggest undoings, as almost all of these indigenous contractors either did shoddy jobs or outrightly collected full payments for project contracts without lifting a pin on site.

The incumbent, Governor Wike, no doubt, is currently doing well in his peculiar gra-gra way of addressing the development challenges that confront the state and its people. Most of the degraded or abandoned infrastructure development projects: roads, drainages, housing schemes etc across the state are being worked on. Also there are scores of innovative projects being initiated and executed with the zeal of a yewali.

But like his predecessor who literally became airborne in his second tenure, the lure of Abuja politics and power play is already distracting Wike from the pressing needs at home. Like Amaechi who abandoned Rivers State in his pursuit of the Governors’ Forum politics and his alleged vice presidential ambition, the incumbent governor is also losing sight of the state to his commanding role in the PDP crisis and the proposed new mega party project. Odili did the same in his second tenure when Obasanjo and his wife literally relocated to Port Harcourt promising him of handing over power to him in 2007 presidential election.

After all he did in Abuja and across the country with Rivers State money toward realizing his dream of becoming the president of Nigeria, Odili was abandoned by Obasanjo. And whether anybody wants to hear this or not, after all Amaechi also did with Rivers State money to support and actualize the Buhari presidency, he was almost dropped and currently he is almost being abandoned.

Now will Wike learn from the mistakes of his predecessors? Not sure! His dance steps are not in any way suggesting he has learnt a single lesson from the way his ogas were treated at the centre. So he is possibly going to end up like them and that obviously is going to be also after draining the highly needed and now scarce resources of Rivers state to chase familiar spirits in Abuja.

Has anybody ever wondered what could have been the cause of the ongoing “irreconcilable bitterness” between Amaechi and Wike? All the adduced reasons – the senate and governorship ambitions, diversion of contract monies, etc. – are at best mere hoaxes.

Truth be told, none of the two Ikwerre brothers can explain in real terms the root cause and sustenance of the bitterness between them. Amaechi would not hide anything to prove he is a good Christian. As governor, he literally lived in the Church. Wike also has been dangling his new born again identity and currently lives in the Church though the man has no denomination. He worships in white, red, blue and black garment churches and also the Pentecostal brands. The question is: why has it become so difficult or rather impossibility for these two men to forgive each other of whatever the offense in the interest of the state also so that their prayers would not be hindered? Is it not the working of the “familiar spirit”?

Who is the ultimate loser in all these executive quarrels and misbehaviors? Is it not the ordinary Rivers people who have continued to live in abject poverty while their monies are being plundered to fund illicit activities both at home and in Abuja? With the kind of money the state received from 1999 to date, there are infrastructural and developmental programs that are not supposed to still be luxuries in the state. If states like Anambra, which receives little or nothing from the federation account, can proudly parade outstanding infrastructural development projects and life-transforming programs and initiatives, how can Rivers explain its continued backwardness? God will judge our leaders, not in heaven or hell but here on earth. God bless my Rivers State!

Ifeanyi writes from Abuja. He can be reached at [email protected]

FG Pays N72b to China for Lagos-Ibadan Railway

President Muhammadu Buhari led Federal Government has released N72 billion counterpart funding for the construction of Lagos-Ibadan modernisation railway project.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi made this known at the quarterly Presidential Business Forum which was presided over by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Banquet Hall, Abuja, on Monday.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Lagos-Ibadan rail project which was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation would cost about 1.5 billion dollars (N458bn).

Amaechi, who commended the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun for ensuring full release of the counterpart funds for the project, enjoined the National Assembly to ensure speedy approval of the 30 billion dollars foreign loans for various project.

“I think in the history of Nigeria this is the first time that we are releasing counterpart funding in full so that there will be no delay, since the Chinese loan appears to have been approved.

“The only thing we need to do, I thank God there is somebody from the National Assembly is to plead with the National Assembly.

“The National Assembly should please approve the 30 billion dollars loan.

“If you don’t respond, if you don’t encourage the National Assembly to make that approval, then, the economy won’t be making the kind of progress we want the economy to make.

“So, for me here, I will enjoin you to persuade the National Assembly to kindly make that approval because they are tied to projects,’’ he said.

He called on the National Assembly to approve the loans in order to enhance employment opportunities in the country.

On the concerns raised by the President of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Frank Udenba-Jacobs, over the closure of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja, Amaechi said the airport’s runway would be reconstructed not rehabilitated.

“I don’t know if there is anything new you want to hear about the closure of the airport.

“The story is the runway was built to last for 20 years and now it has lasted for 34 years and government does not want to lose anybody.

“I heard that Lufthansa landed and damaged their gear. They have been grounded for three days, trying to repair it and fly back.

“Imagine if those three hundred and something persons had died. The first thing you will hear is Minister of transportation- resign; minister of state for Aviation – resign.

“We don’t want to resign’’ ’

According to Amaechi, the entire architecture of the runway from bottom to top has collapsed, insisting it is totally unsafe to continue to use the runway.

In his remarks, Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, reiterated the determination of the Federal Government to inaugurate its Economic Recovery Growth Plan in February.

According to him, sustainable economic growth is only possible if it is private sector led.

“The main plan of our economic plan is the sustenance of a robust private sector partnership.

“Indeed it is our strong belief that sustainable economic growth is only possible if it is private sector led.

“And a good deal of attention has been paid as you will probably find in sustaining private sector leadership especially in the planning of our economic recovery and growth plan 2017, which is to be launched next month.

“I want to say that the pivot of that plan is private sector led recovery and a private sector led goal plan.

“So this forum is an important one for engendering the continuous engagement that this partnership will entail.’’