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FEC approves N39.7bn for road maintenance, erosion control

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The Federal Executive Council Wednesday approved  N39.7 billion for road maintenance and award of contract for erosion/flood and pollution control accelerated intervention projects.

This was disclosed at the end of the virtual FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja.

While N20.925 billion is for road repairs and maintenance, N17.75 billion is for erosion/flood and pollution control projects.

Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who briefed state house correspondents, said, “The memorandum we presented today was on behalf of FERMA (Federal Emergency Road Management Agency). FERMA is the parastatal of the Ministry of Works and Housing responsible for maintenance of federal roads.

“During the meetings of the Economic Sustainability Committee set up to manage the impact of COVID-19, one of the responsibilities of FERMA is to execute extensive labour works on road repairs and the budget of 2020 was then amended to deal with COVID impact.

“As a result of that, FERMA then had a total of 191 road repairs, road rehabilitation, road intervention projects nationwide. Ninety-two of those projects have been awarded by FERMA at its threshold level. 89 of them have been approved by the ministry at the ministerial tenders board threshold level.

“So, all of those projects are now being issued letters of award, mobilization, and others. Now, there are 10 that require to come to Federal Executive Council because of their financial threshold level. “Out of those 10 projects, three were presented today. So, those three presented and approved by council today was for Gasamu-Hamshi-Gogoram road in Yobe State for N14.528billion to MotherCat, the link road connecting Uneme-Tusamu-Odoga to Okpekpe in Etsako East Local Government Area of Edo State for N991.851million, and Mamabu Donga Local Government Area road in Taraba South Local Government Area of Taraba State to Wishchina Engineering Limited for N6.397 billion.

“These are the late third quarter, early fourth quarter interventions to respond to the Covid-19 impact on the economy. This will tell you some of the things the Minister of Finance was saying that the Economic Sustainability Plan implementation is what will take us out of recession.

“So, you see efforts to do that and so many other departments doing different things. This is our responsibility.”

Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Chief Femi Adesina, said, “FEC gave approval for the award of contracts for emergency procurement of first and second quarters 2020 soil erosion/flood and pollution control accelerated intervention projects in favour of various contractors in the sum of N17.754,717,234.41 inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with various completion/delivery periods.

The contracts are the gully erosion and control contract along Ndam/Agbor road, Nnobi and Alor towns in Idemili/South Local Government Area, Phase two, Anambra State (to Telesis Limited) N.495,878,764 with the completion date of 18 months The erosion and flood menace beside Yem Kem House along Oye-Ifaki road, Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State awarded to Strabic Construction Ltd at the cost of N792,311,211.11) with completion of nine months The Somolu/Bariga Local Government Area, Akoka/Ilaje community, Akoka-Lagos flood, and erosion control project, Lagos State was awarded to Partibon Services Ltd at the cost of N1.786,146,630.98 and 10 months completion.

Others are “gully erosion control at Egbo-Ideh community, Ugheli South LGA, Delta State (Harris & Dome Nigeria Ltd.) N1,328,306,924.00 – 24 months “Gully erosion control and road improvement work in Darazo LGA, Bauchi State (Powerhill Construction Ltd.) N3,897,577,627.79 – 24 months “Gully erosion control works at Ladanal community, Nasarawa LGA, Kano State (U.Y.K. Nigeria Ltd.) N1,337,681,584.69 – eight-month.

“Devastating effect of gully erosion in Gboko township, Benue State (Gaffar Worldwide Resources Ltd.) N1.503,970.714.83 – 12 months “Erosion and flood control works in Wase and Bashar towns, Wase LGA, Plateau State (Global Legend Integrated Concept Ltd.) N1,687,162,328.95 – 14 months.

“Gully erosion control and road improvement work along Plot 1398, off Kainji Crescent and Katampe Extension, FCT, Abuja (IMB Corporate Synergy Ltd.) N555,569,610.76 – six months.

“Soil erosion, River channelisation and slope protection within Maitama District (Phase II, FCT, Abuja (Masarki Nigeria Ltd.) N1,887,495,486.63 – 12 months “Supply and installation of 12 on site flameless/smell-less incinerator (50kg) for the national blood transfusion centres in some federal medical centres and teaching hospitals (Black Wheel Multi-Links Ltd.) N823.677,900.00 – six months.”

Adesina said that a contract for the supply and installation of six containerised incinerators (250kg) for the National Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) one in each geo-political zone was awarded. It is a six-month project costing N658,938,450.00.

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Limit your speed to 30km/h, FRSC tells all motorists

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FRSC Corps Marshal, Boboye Oyeyemi

As Nigeria joins the rest of the world to mark the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week, the Federal Road Safety Corps has asked motorists to limit their speed to 30 kilometres per hour in urban or built-up areas for all categories of vehicles.
The global safety week will be celebrated between Monday May 17 and Sunday May 23, 2021.
The Bauchi Sector Commander, FRSC, Mr Yusuf Abdullahi, made the recommendation on Monday in a statement issued by the FRSC Public Relations Officer in the state, Mr Rilwanu Suleimanu.
The corps said speeding was responsible for about 30 per cent of crashes in Nigeria.
Abdullahi explained that the corps would be using the 6th United Nations Global Road Safety Week to carry out an advocacy programme where people would be educated on the issue.
He said, “The 6th UN Global Road Safety Week will focus on the issue of speed.
“The week advocates for safer streets motoring by making 30 km/h speed limits, the norm for cities worldwide in places where people mix with traffic.
“The week is concerned about policy commitments at national and local levels to deliver the 30 km/h speed limits in urban areas and to generate local support for such low speed measures in order to create safe, healthy traffic flow within Urban cities globally.
“As a lead agency in road safety management and administration in Nigeria, the FRSC is hosting the event and embarking on nationwide advocacy to replicate this global activity in selected Nigerian Cities.
“Pursuant to this, the Bauchi State command of the FRSC organises public education campaign programmes to inculcate the norm of 30km/hr speed limits among road users.”
He called on the general motoring public to always adhere to the maximum legal speed limit while in the city or in built up areas so as to prevent crashes, its attendant injuries as well as its fatalities.
Abdullahi, who further stressed the need to avoid speeding, considered among the critical traffic violations with high risk factor, said speeding would lead to increase in crash severity, resulting in more fatalities or injuries.
The sector commander explained that more damage would be caused to vehicles involved in speeding when they crashed, thereby increasing the likelihood of such vehicles not drivable thereafter.
“Speeding also leads to extra fuel consumption and frequent replacement of auto parts, among others,” he said.
The public advocacy programme would include media charts, roadshows, visits to hospitals, and advocacy visits to stakeholders, including policymakers and others.

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Hyundai working on new high-performance car

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Hyundai is planning a new version of the Ioniq 5 that will raise the performance of the electric model, according to a new report from the Korean automaker.

The Hyundai Ioniq 5 is a Pony-styled electric hatchback that is already rear-drive as standard and offers 300 horsepower in top all-wheel drive guise.

That leaves plenty of performance for Hyundai N to unlock on the enthusiast side of the new E-GMP architecture underpinning the automaker’s new EVS, the report says.

Hyundai is also said to be working with hypercar maker Rimac to build a new top-of-range EV performance car, so it would not be much of a stretch to seek out some of that company’s assistance on the rest of its electric vehicles as well.

Chief Marketing Officer at Hyundai Motors, Thomas Schemera, confirmed the development, saying, “Everybody knows that our electric global modular platform (E-GMP) has a lot of potential and shows a lot of flexibility. One thing is for sure, eco-friendly models are on our priority list – at the top.

“We never stop thinking about extending our product portfolio and strategically, we are moving full speed ahead with eco-friendly offerings.

“We are moving ahead with our battery electric concept and our fuel-cell electric concepts.” So does that mean an Ioniq? “I guess it seems to be realistic,” he said.

Popular auto reviewer, Top Gear, thinks the Hyundai Ioniq 5 is the Tesla rival many will want to own.

It says, “The automotive industry has been waiting for a legitimate and affordable Tesla Model 3/Y alternative for quite some time and with the Ioniq 5, it appears Hyundai has delivered just that.”

The Ioniq 5 is an all-new electric mid-size crossover and the first model to be branded under the new ‘Ioniq’ electric sub-brand.

According to carscoops.com, the new Hyundai Ioniq 5 rides on the dedicated Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP), which blends the traditional skateboard design with an elongated wheelbase for attractively styled and practical EVs?

It also features both 400- and 800-volt charging, thanks to the new platform.

When plugged into a 350kW charger, the Ioniq 5 can recharge from 10 to 80 perbcent in just 18 minutes, with the carmaker claiming that five minutes of charging is enough to get 62 miles of range on the WLTP cycle.

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Scarcity of vital auto parts forces more automakers to shut down

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  • Ford suspends Mustang production May 3

Ford will be shutting down production of its Mustang on May 3-7 with a plan to resume assembling the pony car at a later date yet to be determined.

This is coming after many automobile manufacturers had announced the suspension of production of a number of models, especially the premium vehicles.

The reason for the production shutdowns is that there are not enough semiconductor chips to power all that flashy technology in new cars.

The outlook for the Mustang and other Ford models as well as other auto brands does not look exactly rosy.

Analysts say they have seen this problem for months now, with the GM having to cease production of different vehicles, notably the Chevy Camaro.

Fiat Chrysler (now part of Stellantis) has had to shut down the assembly lines for the Dodge Charger and Challenger as well as the Chrysler 300.

This problem has affected many other automakers such as Toyota, Nissan, Daimler and Porsche.

Industry analysts predict the chip shortages will limit the production of cars in the near term, but thankfully the problem will go away after a while.

In the meantime, this means you can expect to have a harder time finding and paying for certain new car models. It’s the simple economic rule of supply and demand.

Although with rough economic times, more people are holding onto older cars, so while supply is constrained, demand for some models is also lagging.

The shortages have caused automakers to drop some technological features from different models. For example, Stellantis announced it would be scrapping the digital speedometers on at least one Peugeot line.

Ford has been selling the F-150 without the fuel management module as a way to cut back on how many semiconductor chips it uses. Porsche is axing features like an 18-way-adjustable seat for the Macan SUV as a way to conserve its chip supply.

Another strategy to deal with the shortages has been for automakers to shut down production lines for vehicles with thinner profit margins. This means many cars, like the Ford Mustang, Chevy Camaro, and Dodge Challenger, will see constrained supply.

Another example is Daimler shutting down its compact car plant in Germany where 18,500 workers are employed. Instead of pumping out more Mercedes-Benz C-Class vehicles, the company is looking to put what semiconductor chips it has into more expensive model lines so profits don’t take as big of a hit.

The creation of this problem is complex and there’s some contradicting information. Some say production shutdowns at semiconductor plants because of COVID-19 have fuelled the shortage. Others think it has been the overwhelming demand for computers, gaming consoles, smartphones, smart televisions, among others as people are spending most of their time trapped at home.

Another conjecture is that suppliers did not foresee automakers ramping up demand for chips so quickly after plant shutdowns and assembly line reductions last year. So they’re scrambling to ramp up production and that takes time.

This comes after demand for at least some new cars has almost exploded, something few saw coming so early, after all not many people were looking to buy vehicles because of the pandemic last year.

Whatever the cause, this shortage isn’t making the situation of rising car prices any better. Not only are some new vehicles selling for more as a result, demand for used vehicles continues to stay strong. Hopefully by this time next year this problem will be in the rearview mirror.

Sources: CNBC, New York Times, Automotive News Europe and Reuters

 

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