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Senate to screen service chiefs behind closed doors today

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The Senate committees responsible for the oversight of the Nigerian military forces will start the screening of the newly appointed service chiefs on Tuesday (today) .

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Navy, Senator Thompson Sekibo, confirmed this in a chat with The PUNCH’s correspondent on Monday evening.

He, however, said the service chiefs would be screened behind closed doors.

The Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, had on Wednesday, referred the request of President, Muhammadu Buhari for the confirmation of the new service chiefs to the joint committees on Army, Navy and Air Force for necessary screening.

Lawan gave the committees two weeks to carry out their assignment and report to the Senate in plenary.

The appointees for confirmation are Maj. Gen. Lucky lrabor as Chief of Defence Staff; Maj . Gen. Ibrahim Attahiru ( Chief of Army Staff); Rear Admiral Awwal Zubairu Gambo , ( Chief of Naval Staff); and Air Vice Marshal Isiaka O . Amao as Chief of Air staff.

The Chairman, Senate Committee on Army , Senator Ali Ndume , had told out correspondent last week that it was not advisable to screen service chiefs in the open .

He had said, “If you do , it means you will be compromising the security of the country especially if there are issues that bother on national security.

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Updated: FG asks NRC to increase new Lagos-Ibadan trains

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The Federal Government has directed the Nigerian Railway Corporation to increase the number of trains currently being run on the new standard gauge Lagos-Ibadan rail line.
Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, gave the directive on Saturday after inspection of train stations along the route.
Amaechi spoke at Moniya railway mega station, Ibadan, just as the Managing Director of the NRC, Fidet Okhiria, said 16 trips would be run daily on the route.
The corporation began one return trip (two trains) on the new rail line on December 3, 2021 after completing the track laying from Lagos to Ibadan.
Amaechi expressed satisfaction with the quality and level of work done so far by the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation.
He, however, did not give any specific date for the delivery of the entire project.
Meanwhile, the NRC MD said 11 new locomotives, two of which are for shunting, and 44 coaches had been delivered to the corporation.
He added that they would be deployed for freight and passenger standard gauge trains currently running in Nigeria.

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Updated: FG reopens Third Mainland Bridge

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The Federal Government has announced the full reopening of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos after an extensive repair work.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, confirmed this on Saturday via a tweet.
“Third Mainland Bridge rehab completed. Fully opens to traffic at 12 noon today. Thank you all for your patience. Drive safely,” he tweeted.
This is coming about 12 hours earlier than the scheduled reopening.
The Lagos State Government had said earlier in the week that the bridge fully closed from Friday midnight to Saturday midnight to enable the contactor to remove all the heavy equipment used during the repair including replacement of the expansion joints.
The bridge was partially shut on July 24 for another round of rehabilitation work.
The repair was initially expected to last six months but extended by one month due to the recent #EndSARS protests, extending the completion date from January 2021 to February.
The 11.8km bridge is the longest of the three bridges connecting Lagos Island to the Mainland.
Constructed in 1990, the bridge was adjudged as the longest in Africa until 1996 when the October 6 Bridge in Cairo, Egypt was completed.
The reconstruction/rehabilitation of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on the other hand was flagged off in 2013 by former President Goodluck Jonathan and was awarded to two firms.
Julius Berger is constructing section one which spans from Ojota in Lagos to the Sagamu Interchange while the RCC is working from the Sagamu Interchange to Ibadan.

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Abducted Kagara students released

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Exactly 10 days after their abduction, students of Government Science College, Kagara in Rafi Local Government Area of Niger State have been released.
The state government confirmed this on Saturday morning.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Abubakar Sani-Bello of Niger announced this in Minna.
A total of 27 students, three staff members and 12 members of their family were abducted after the attack on the Kagara school in the early hours of last week Wednesday.
The statement said the released persons were received by the Niger State government officials at the Niger State Development Company suite in Minna.

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