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Chinese Firm, CCECC Seeks Partnership With Nasarawa Govt to Construct Apo-Keffi Rail Line

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Nathaniel Gbaoron, Lafia 
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A major Chinese construction company, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC), has sought to partner with the Nasarawa State Government towards the building of a rail line that will run from Apo in the Federal Capital Territory, to Keffi, in Nasarawa State.

Nasarawa State Governor,  Engineer Abdullahi Sule,  disclosed this while delivering his speech at a rally organised in Karu, headquarters of Karu Local Government Area,  as part of the continuation of the state-wide campaign towards his reelection in 2023, in Karu, on Wednesday.

Engineer Sule informed the mammoth crowd that turned up for the rally,  that the Managing Director of the CCECC,  Mr. David Wang,  visited him at the Governor’s Lodge in Asokoro, to approach him on the intention of the firm to partner with him towards building the Apo-Keffi rail line,  with construction work expected to commence next year.

According to the Governor,  the Apo-Keffi rail line, when constructed, will decongest the busy Karu-Keffi expressway.

“All they want is for me to speak with some of the biggest businesses that I have worked for in this country. They want me to talk to them, they have seen them in our investment forum, they believe they can come in and partner with them. By the middle of next year, the construction work will begin,” the Governor said.

This is just as he announced that work has commenced on the  N30bn Nasarawa Technology Village, located in Aso-Panda, which was flagged off early this year.

The technology village, the third of its kind in the country, when completed, will afford youths of the state opportunity to acquire knowledge on the digital economy, as well as acquire necessary skills to take advantage of opportunities in the ICT world.

Earlier, while paying homage at the palace of the Esu Karu, HRH Pharmacist Luka Panya Baba, Engineer Sule disclosed that, as part of the efforts of his administration to boost security and provide access to communities, the contract for the construction of the Masaka-Luvu road has been awarded, with the contractor already on site to begin work.

He said a contract has also been awarded for the construction of bridges across the road linking Gurku to Panda.

The Governor promised to also upgrade traditional titles in Karu Local Government Area, in order for the royal fathers to assist the government in the area of security.

He explained that, since the coming of his administration, investors have been coming to the state, particularly Karu Local Government Area, adding that two weeks ago, a former president of the country called to commend him on developments in the state and to also infirm him of his desire to invest in Karu.

Engineer Sule said a cardinal principle of his administration is to identify and bring to each local government areas of the state what is best for the area, stressing that Karu Local Government Area is the investment hub of the state.

“We identify every area and we try the best we can to bring what is best for that  area. What is best for Karu right now is future development that will hold Nasarawa State’s economy as a whole. What we have in Awe is agriculture that will hold Nasarawa State.  What we have in Keana is oil production that will hold not only Nasarawa State but the entire North. In Uke, we have the possibility of gold,” he stated.

The Governor noted that, while the government was unable to embark on these projects and more in the past was mostly due to shortages of funds but that now, through his prudence and efficient management, the state has sufficient funds to not only embark on additional infrastructural development but to be able to pay salaries even before the federation allocation is disbursed.

Engineer Sule told Esu Karu that it is not in his character to speak about the opposition in the state, because it’s the opposition that should be talking about his administration.

“As far as we are concerned, we don’t speak about the opposition,  we don’t say anything negative, we just speak about what we can do. Some of them have been in government for 16 years but it’s Governor Abdullahi Sule that constructed the road leading to their villages,” he said.

In his remarks, the Esu Karu,  HRH Pharmacist Luka Panya Baba, commended Engineer Sule on his sterling leadership qualities,  stressing that the people were gathered at the palace to bear witness to testimonies of what the Governor is doing and what he means to the State.

“At the time you were seeking election to become Governor, you told us many things, you made so many promises. You promised that you are going to see how it will improve the social and economic well being of the people. And of course, you told us that in Karu here.

“You told us how you are going to create an enabling environment for economic development and investments in Karu. You told us how you are going to work on improving the infrastructure across the state and of course in Karu. You also told us how you are going to boost agricultural production across the state. It pleased us that you have plans to improve farming activities in the state. There are many things you told us,” the royal father said.

The Esu Karu said Engineer Sule has delivered on his promises during the past three and a half years of his stewardship.

“And I stand here today, and I believe I am speaking the minds of all traditional rulers that are here, to say that, we have summed up all these promises and your sojourn in the past three years plus by saying that yours is a promise made and a promise kept,” he said.

In Keffi, headquarters of Keffi Local Government Area,  the Governor paid similar homage at the palace of the Emir of Keffi, HRH, Dr Shehu Chindo Yamusa III, before attending a rally at the newly commissioned Keffi Square.

At the rally in Keffi, National Woman Leader of the APC, Dr. Betta Edu, commended the Governor for devoting over 30 percent of the annual budget of the state for education,  which she said, is the bedrock of any society.

The national APC woman leader equally commended Engineer for his forays in the areas of health, security, for being labour friendly and for prompt payment of salaries.

She particularly appreciated the Governor for his women friendly policies in the state in terms of employment opportunities both elective and through appointment.

Dr Edu used the opportunity to call on women in Keffi and across the state, to embark on vigorous campaigns for all the candidates of the APC from top to bottom. She particularly called on the women to ensure they collect their PVCs to enable them vote for the party during the 2023 general elections.

“As we go on, women in Keffi, women in Nasarawa,  it’s door to door. Don’t sit down and wait for a performing Governor to call you, you don’t need his approval, he has granted express approval. Start going from one door to the other, in your streets, in your compound,  in your cluster, in your unit and ward and speak to people about APC.  APC is top to bottom,” she stated.

As part of activities lined up for the campaign,  medical outreach, sponsored by the Executive Director of the National Primary Health Care Development Agency (NPHDA), Dr. Faisal Shuaib,  were flagged off in both Karu and Keffi, while stakeholders from the areas held townhall sessions where they spoke to Engineer Sule directly on issues bothering their communities.

At both rallies, various ethnic nationalities resident in Karu and Keffi, turned out to declare support for the APC under the leadership of Engineer Sule, promising to vote for him in the coming election.

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