The Vice President, Arc. Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has urged the Debt Management Office (DMO) to raise funds for capital projects especially for power generation, transportation and road construction in order to facilitate speedy infrastructural development in the country.
Sambo made the call while the Director General of DMO, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo and his management who were in the State House to brief the VP on the mandate of the Office.
The Vice President said that the country could meet the target of Vision 20:2020 as long as huge sums of money are being raised through bonds to deliver on the infrastructural needs of Nigerians. He noted that the power sector needs to be diversified to include hydro, gas and nuclear power supplies, stating that the Islamic Development Bank has provided funds for the construction of the Mambila dam.
He also advised DMO to facilitate easy access to finance by Nigerian entrepreneurs and monitor how loans are utilized to drive the economy saying that government should not be left alone to finance capital projects
He charged DMO to make right prices for contracts and get the Ministry of Finance and Central Bank of Nigeria to give concessional loans to Nigerians.
Earlier, Dr. Abraham Nwankwo, said they visited the Vice President, who is also the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of DMO to brief him on the mandates, achievements and challenges of Debt Management Office.
He highlighted major activities of DMO to include reduction in external debt from over US$35 billion to US$3.55 billion after exit from Paris and London Clubs, unveiling the Second Strategic Plan for 2008 to 2012 as well as National Debt Management Framework for 2008 to 2012. He also said that in order to meet up with the unfolding challenges in its operations, the enabling laws of DMO need to be strengthened. He said the agency is facing financial constraints towards building its headquarters, acquisition and installation of appropriate IT auctioning and trading platform for the FGN Bond market.
In another development, Vice President Mohammed Namadi Sambo, has disclosed that the Federal Government has approved intervention funds for the resuscitation of some ailing industries in the country. He made the disclosure at a civic reception in his honour in Zaria.
Niger Bridge to be completed in 3 years – Daggash
The Minister of Works, Senator Mohammed Sanusi Daggash has assured Nigerians that the government is committed to commence work on the 2nd Niger Bridge and would ensure its completion within 3 years.
The Minister gave this assurance when the Deputy Senate President, Senator Ike Ekweremadu paid him a courtesy visit in his Mabushi office.
He said plans had been concluded to send a Special Audit Team to the South East zone to verify the capacity of contractors handling jobs on behalf of the Ministry to determine their capacities to complete the projects in record time. The audit would be on personnel, equipment etc.
He therefore, solicits support from the National Assembly for adequate funding, while restating his intention to put in place a comprehensive data bank in the ministry.
Senator Daggash at another forum with Federal Controllers of Works reiterated the critical role of the officers in the management and monitoring of projects in their respective states, especially on road networks.
According to him, he is determined to improve staff welfare and to professionalize and make the ministry IT compliant in a most transparent and accountable manner.
In his remarks, the Minister of State for Works, Engr. Chris Ogiemwonyi charged foreign firms operating in Nigeria to employ Nigerian Engineers at the directorate and other senior levels so as to improve their productivity and meeting of set targets.
The Permanent Secretary, Dr. Tukur Bello Ingawa, and Directors in the ministry were at the two occasions.