Abia Govt reiterates commitment to reconstructing Aba–Ikot Ekpene Road
The Abia State Commissioner for Works, Barrister Bob Chiedozie Ogu, has reiterated the commitment of the State Government to reconstruct the dilapidated Aba Ikot-Ikpene road from Opopo Junction in Ogbor Hill Aba.
The Commissioner disclosed this when he visited the Ikot-Ikpene road which is under reconstruction.
He stated that after a review of the bad state of the dilapidated road, the Governor, Dr Okezie Ikpeazu directed that the road be done with rigid pavement technology to ensure durability.
Barrister Ogu pointed out the economic importance of that road which links Akwa-Ibom and Abia.
He assured that the rigid pavement and drainage system on both sides of the road which will move the storm water to Aba River will solve the problem of flooding on that road.
The Commissioner said the Governor was worried over the plights of the people and his administration can’t continue waiting for the CCGC company and the Federal Government because of the strategic nature of the road.
“Recovery of this road will revive the businesses in this area which has gone comatose and will boost economy of the state,” Ogu said.
He frowned at the neglect and abandonment of this strategic road over the years by the federal government while he expressed displeasure over the slow pace of work which the federal government has over 3yrs awarded to the Chinese company.
Recall that in February last year, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Raji Babatunde Fashola visited Ikot-Ekpene road and directed the Chinese company CCGC to carry out a palliative work from Opopo Junction while they continue with the project but the said directive by the Minister was not carried out as the Chinese company are busy with the Akwa-Ibom segment of the road, subjecting those in Abia to untold hardship.
The Commissioner, accompanied by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Engr Sunday Okpara and the Director Maintenance Engr Ememe, took the contractor to all the bad spots on the side of Abia.
GDP likely grew 2.5% in 2020 despite Covid, says Central Bank
The bank’s last forecast, in October, was for an annual contraction of 0.4 per cent. Since then data showed GDP posted annual growth of 8 per cent in the third quarter. Data for the fourth quarter has not yet been released.
“Despite the downturn in global trade, Irish exports are projected to have grown by over 4 per cent last year, with this resilience reflecting the strong growth of exports of pharmaceuticals, computer services and business services,” the Central Bank said in a quarterly economic report.
“As a result, GDP is now estimated to have grown by 2.5 per cent in 2020,” it said.
One in eight of the State’s workforce is employed by foreign multinationals, including many of the world’s largest tech and pharmaceutical companies.
The Central Bank said GDP is set to grow 3.8 per cent this year, a slight increase on October’s forecast of 3.4 per cent, in part due to the British-EU trade deal signed in December and additional spending announced in October’s budget.
If the Government is forced to prolong its Covid-19 containment measures into the second half of the year, GDP will grow by a weaker 1.5 per cent, the bank said.
Stripping out the impact of the multinational sector, underlying domestic demand likely suffered a sharp contraction of 7.1 per cent in 2020.
It is set to bounce back to grow 2.9 per cent in 2021 and 3.6 per cent in 2022, helped by a large stock of savings built up during the lockdowns, the bank said.
Ireland records largest ever quarterly GDP drop
The unemployment rate will hit an average of 9.3 per cent this year before falling to 7.8 per cent in 2022.
The Government in October forecast a 2020 GDP contraction of 3.5 per cent. Stockbrokers Davy on Thursday forecast Irish GDP growth of 3.3 per cent in 2020 and 4.8 per cent in 2021.
The Central Bank also warned that Covid could lead to house-price inflation by boosting personal savings and lowering housebuilding.
Around 23,000 fewer homes are likely to be built in 2020-2022, around a quarter of forecast supply, due to Covid-19 restrictions, the Central Bank’s director of economics Mark Cassidy told journalists.
Sonko Forces His Way Past Guards & Into Raila's Office
Sonko, on Thursday, January 21, demanded to have a meeting with Odinga who was holding discussions with representatives of Githurai traders.
He further attempted to force his way into the former Prime Minister’s office but was repulsed by guards manning the door.
It was not ascertained why Sonko wanted to meet Odinga. However, the embattled politician claimed that the African Union Representative had scheduled a meeting with him. His allegations could not be substantiated.
Nairobi County Director of Communications, Jacob Elkanah, declined to respond to questions fronted by Muhabarishaji.com and referred the publication to Sonko’s personal spokesperson Benson Mulwa.
Mulwa who spoke with the Standard, later on, also played cagey with the details claiming that he was not aware of any developments.
“I have been in court the whole day and I am not privy of any information,” he said.
Raila Odinga’s Personal Assistant, Dennis Onyango, confirmed that Sonko indeed stormed into his boss’ office and demanded to meet him face to face.
“It is true, he (Sonko) came to Capitol Hill and wanted to see Raila. The PM was not expecting him and we did and do not know his agenda,” Onyango said.
Prior to his impeachment, Sonko had attempted to meet Odinga to save his career. He, however, did not receive a response from the ODM leader’s office forcing him to reach out to President Uhuru Kenyatta through Jubilee’s Secretary-General Raphael Tuju. A move that also backfired.
He was kicked out of office in December 2020 after reportedly falling out with Kenyatta. The former governor blamed the head of state for plotting and executing his ouster.
He even went on to launch insults and campaigns against Kenyatta and also aligned himself with Deputy President William Ruto who has been harshly criticising the President and his handshake partner, Odinga.
“I am not afraid. I have been told that they plan to kill me as well as the DP. The only person who has the authority to take away human life is God,” Sonko claimed and even called for Kenyatta’s impeachment.
On Monday, January 18, Kenyatta explained his fall out with Sonko, disclosing was instigated by the fact that Sonko opposed development (and was against the Nairobi Metropolitan Services – NMS).
“I’m the one who helped him get elected, but we fell out because he was always fighting people. Chaos everywhere. You can now see what our new person (General Mohamed Badi) has done on city roads and cleaning up Nairobi,” Kenyatta said in an interview with vernacular radio stations.