Local contractors gets N15b vote in Budget 2021

Nduka Chiejina, Abuja


SOME N15 billion has been allocated to settle local contractors’ debts in next year’s Appropriation Bill, the budget details under the Service Wide Votes (SWV), has shown.

In August, contractors under the aegis of Local Contractors of Nigeria picketed the Federal Ministry of Finance over unpaid executed contracts spanning between three to 12 years and running into billions of naira in the various government Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs).

Accommodation has also been made in the budget for N5.750 billion to pay Nigeria Airways ex-workers. The government also plans to inject N15 billion into development finance, it is unclear however whether the allocation would be for a single Development Finance Institution (DFI), or not.

There are ongoing plans to recapitalise the Development Bank of Nigeria (DBN) with 2021 set as the target year to actualise the proposal.

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The injection of additional capital into the DBN is expected to boost its capacity to fund more Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs).

Also in the coming year, the government said it would release a grant of N10 billion to the Bank of Industry (BoI) “to support low interest lending to SMEs.”

Aside from the DBN, other DFIs in Nigeria include: Bank of Agriculture (BOA); BoI, Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN); Nigeria Export Import Bank (NEXIM) and The Infrastructure Bank.

Also provisioned in the Appropriation Bill under Service Wide Vote, N25 billion has been earmarked for special intervention, while N5 billion has been set aside to settle MDAs electricity bills. In the budget also, N17.899 billion will be refunded to a  Special Account and another N16.703 billion to the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON).  A N20 billion provision has been made to address Special Intervention Programmes (SIPs) and projects

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Arizonans in nursing homes and hospitals can vote by video in some circumstances, judge rules

Election officials in Arizona can use videoconferencing to help some voters confined to hospitals, nursing homes or living with severe disabilities cast their ballots, a judge ruled Monday, rejecting calls to declare the new pandemic-era practice illegal.

a group of people standing in front of a sign: People wash their hands by the entrance to Sapphire of Tucson Nursing and Rehab on May 1, 2020.

© David Wallace/The Republic
People wash their hands by the entrance to Sapphire of Tucson Nursing and Rehab on May 1, 2020.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich asked the court to strike down plans adopted by the Maricopa County Recorder’s Office and Arizona Secretary of State’s Office for limited “virtual” voting assistance, arguing that state law does not allow anyone to cast a ballot by video.

Gov. Doug Ducey also opposed the policies, contending that state law requires officials provide such services in person.

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But in a ruling that reflected how unusual this election year is, Maricopa County Superior Court Judge Randall H. Warner found that videoconferencing may be necessary for some voters with very particular circumstances who would otherwise have to choose between protecting themselves from COVID-19 or forgoing their right to participate in the electoral process.

“Federal law does not allow Arizona to impose on a disabled voter the choice between voting and protecting their health,” he wrote.

The judge warned, however, that his ruling “does not mean the County Recorder is free to use video voting whenever he wants or for any voter who asks.”

Still, Fontes declared victory.

“This is a win for accessibility,” the county recorder said in a statement. “We will continue to provide this option to the most vulnerable population of Maricopa County voters when necessary, ensuring compliance with all applicable law.”

A longstanding practice and COVID-19

The legal battle over the practice began in earnest last week but stems from

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Budget POLL: Is Boris Johnson right with new pledge to make buying a home easier? VOTE | UK | News

During a rousing speech to the Conservative Party’s online conference, Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised to ”fix our broken housing market” and help young people onto the housing ladder. Mr Johnson said his Tory government would reduce deposit sizes to 5 percent for home buyers as part of a drive to increase the rates of home ownership, especially among the under-40s. is asking you is Boris Johnson right to make buying a home easier with this pledge?

The Prime Minister also vowed to “transform the sclerotic planning system” and make it “faster and easier to build beautiful new homes without destroying the green belt or desecrating our countryside”.

Mr Johnson said: “These reforms will take time and they are not enough on their own.

“We need now to take forward one of the key proposals of our manifesto of 2019: giving young, first-time buyers the chance to take out a long-term, fixed-rate mortgage of up to 95 percent of the value of the home – vastly reducing the size of the deposit.

“And giving the chance of home ownership, and all the joy and the pride that goes with it, to millions who currently feel excluded.

“We believe that this policy could create two million more owner-occupiers, the biggest expansion of home ownership since the 1980s.

READ MORE: Coronavirus map LIVE: COVID deaths in England and Wales spike to 215

The Prime Minister promised a revolution in green power generation, reforms to the social care system and improvements in education as he addressed the online Conservative Party conference.

But in the face of Tory unease about the state interventions imposed by the Government to stem the threat of coronavirus, Mr Johnson insisted they were the only steps he could take.

Mr Johnson said: “This Government has been forced by

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Sioux City Council to vote on contract for Riverside Pool House renovation project | Government and Politics

Riverside Pool (copy) (copy)

People swim at Riverside Pool in Sioux City in this 2017 file photo. The Sioux City Council will be asked Monday to award a $214,000 contract to W.A. Klinger for a pool house renovation project.

SIOUX CITY — The Sioux City Council will be asked Monday to award a $214,000 contract to a Sioux City contractor for the Riverside Family Aquatics Center Pool House renovation project.

The project includes the renovation of the 2,180-square-foot existing pool house facility and the construction of a 300-square-foot storage building and staff break area.

The renovation of the pool house will create two accessible shower spaces, changing areas and bathroom stalls, according to city documents.

W.A. Klinger, LLC submitted a base bid of $198,000 and a bid of $16,000 for alternate 1, an electrical upgrade, which is 6 percent above the architect’s estimate of $211,000.

Sioux City Council could consider more automated traffic cameras

W.A. Klinger’s bid was one of five bids received by the city. L&L Builders submitted a base bid that was $600 less than W.A. Klinger’s, but W.A. Klinger’s bid for the electrical upgrade was $2,200 less. 

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“We have the budget to approve both the base bid and the alternate,” Sioux City Parks and Recreation Director Matt Salvatore said.

The project, which has a completion date of April 30, will make Riverside Family Aquatics Center more accessible to the public and more functional for aquatics staff.

City could commit $1 million to Benson Building redevelopment project

New wayfinding system being implemented in downtown Sioux City

Sioux City public swimming pool attendance dropped 65 percent this summer

Photos: Sioux City swimming pools through the years

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