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President Tinubu extends free rides on Abuja light rail until year end

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President Bola Tinubu has announced the extension of free rides on the newly launched Abuja Light Rail until the end of the year.

He made this declaration on Wednesday during the re-launch of commercial operations on the Abuja Light Rail, with key political figures in attendance, including the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Nyesom Wike.

This announcement was detailed in a statement by Ajuri Ngelale, Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity.

This follows Wike’s earlier announcement that residents would enjoy a two-month free ride on the Abuja Light Rail, made during a ministerial press briefing on President Tinubu’s 12-month performance held last week.

“Our dear Landlord, the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), I have heard you say there will be free train rides for two months. I want to appeal to you to make it until the end of the year. Let us give the people reasons to celebrate,’’ President Tinubu said.

President Tinubu praised the reopening of the Abuja Metro Line as a significant milestone, commending Minister Wike for the timely delivery.

Following his remarks, President Tinubu took a 40-minute ride from the metro station to the airport station, accompanied by the FCT Minister, Vice President Kashim Shettima, Senate President Godswill Akpabio, Speaker of the House of Representatives Tajudeen Abbas, Chief Justice of Nigeria (CJN) Justice Olukayode Ariwoola, members of the Federal Executive Council, and other dignitaries.

In his address, the Minister of the FCT highlighted that President Tinubu’s directive in September 2023 spurred swift action towards the metro line from the FCT administration.

He noted that although the metro line was inaugurated in 2018, it remained non-functional due to the lack of essential access roads.

Wike disclosed that the project was completed within nine months, with the Central Bank of Nigeria, in collaboration with the Coordinating Minister of the Economy, the Minister of Finance, and the Accountant General of the Federation, facilitating the payment of $30 million to the contractors, China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC).

He also revealed that constructing the access roads cost N21.4 billion.

Providing further insight, the FCT Mandate Secretary for Transportation, Chinedu Elechi, stated that the Abuja Metro Line has 12 trains, each capable of carrying at least 700 passengers, making 14 trips per day.

He added that Lot 1 and 2 of the metro line would run two trips simultaneously every day, with a cumulative capacity of transporting 980,000 passengers monthly within the Federal Capital Territory.

Business

You’re hired! How to dress for a job interview

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As crucial as skill set and qualification for a job opening are, interview candidates should also bear in mind the importance of dressing right.

The first thing an interviewer takes note of is how a candidate is dressed.

And while the issue of dressing formally might be debatable for certain job structures, it is still important to dress smartly as no one ever goes wrong doing so.

It should, however, be noted that a candidate must understand what the hiring company requires of them in terms of dressing, taking into consideration the location, company type and the industry.

The question now becomes, how can one be best dressed for a job interview?

For women
As women are likely to have more styling complications than men, the number one rule when dressing for a job interview in any industry is minimalism. Every clothing item should be kept simple and smart with simple accessories.

Generally, the choice of a blouse should be one that is well coordinated, simple and mostly sticking to basic colours.

Matching skirts, dresses, trousers or suits should also stick to basic colours.

When accessorising, it is important to keep it simple. Opt for studded earrings, simple shoes, necklaces, and bags that are big enough to contain important documents.

Hairstyles should be kept simple and neat while makeup should be light and as natural as possible.

Nails should be well-groomed and very importantly, smell nice.

Smelling nice does not mean chocking your interviewer with heavy cologne.

For men
Some HR experts believe men should stick to suits for interviews but depending on the company and industry, wearing a shirt might be sufficient.

Try as much as possible to stick to basic solid colours like white, blue, and grey as opposed to heavily-patterned shirts.

Make sure your outfit is well-ironed and your shirt is properly tucked in. Also make sure to go for trousers in basic colours.

For men sporting elaborate hairstyles and beards, it is important to schedule a barber’s appointment before the interview to get properly groomed.

Ties and socks should also stick to solid basic colours. Make sure your nails are properly manicured and use little or no jewelry.

Carrying a briefcase, portfolio or backpack might be a plus.

Note: An advantage of dressing correctly for an interview is that it boosts your confidence and presents you as a serious candidate.

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Business

Naira depreciates marginally at parallel, official markets

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The naira depreciated to N1,495 per dollar at the parallel section of the foreign exchange (FX) market on Friday.

The current rate represents a drop of 0.33 percent from the N1,490/$ traded on June 19.

Speaking to TheCable in Lagos, currency traders, also known as bureau de change (BDC) operators, quoted the buying rate of the greenback at N1,460 and the selling price at N1,495 — leaving a profit margin of N35.

At the official window, the local currency depreciated marginally to N1,485.53/$ on Friday — from N1,485.36/$ on June 20.

According to FMDQ Exchange, a platform that oversees the official FX trading in Nigeria, the dollar exchanged for as high as N1,505 and as low as N1,401, during trading hours.

The daily FX market turnover stood at $193.50 million.

On June 14, 2023, the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) announced the unification of all segments of the FX market.

Owing to the devaluation of the naira, there have been consistent fluctuations in the FX market.

The FX situation, according to Timi Bomodi, comptroller of Seme command, Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), on June 9, has made Nigerian goods affordable for African countries.

However, Mojisola Adeyeye, director-general, National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC), on May 29, said the devaluation of the naira accounted largely for the high cost of local medicine production.

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‘To promote trade, tourism’ — Zamfara begins construction of international airport

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Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara, says the state has started constructing its international airport to promote trade and tourism.

Lawal spoke on Thursday when Festus Keyamo, minister of aviation and aerospace, officially unveiled the construction work on the Gusau International Airport, according to a statement issued by Sulaiman Bala Idris, the governor’s spokesperson.

He said the project is intended to be a smart airport designed to accommodate domestic and international flights.

The governor said the airport project would include the construction of a 3.4 kilometre primary runway suitable for large commercial aircraft, installation of runway lighting, and navigational aids.

Lawal said his administration is determined to transform the state into a compelling investment destination that would attract both local and international investors.

“Honourable minister, guests, ladies, and gentlemen, the airport will have a modern terminal building with passenger facilities, including check-in counters, automated baggage handling systems, waiting areas, and customs and immigration services buildings,” the governor said.

“This is in addition to an air traffic control tower equipped with state-of-the-art communication and surveillance systems.

“Further, it will include the construction of maintenance hangars, fire and rescue stations, fuel storage facilities, and other ancillary buildings, access roads to the airport, parking facilities for passengers and staff, water supply, sewage, electrical systems, and telecommunication infrastructure.

“There will also be a cargo wing and the landscaping of the airport surroundings to enhance the project’s aesthetic appeal.

“It will have the capacity to land most aeroplanes. It is intended to facilitate more accessible and more efficient travel to and from Zamfara state, promoting social interaction, business and tourism.”

Lawal said the project will be handled by Triacta Nigeria Limited with JBI Tech Consult serving as the consulting firm and will be completed within 30 months according to the contractual agreement.

Speaking on the project’s economic benefits, Lawal said it would provide direct air access to the state, eliminating the difficulties businessmen and women face when exporting and importing goods and services.

In his remarks, Keyamo said the state had previously been disadvantaged in terms of facilities.

He said while other parts of the north-west have good airports, Zamfara has lagged despite being an agricultural hub of the zone.

“But it is better late than never. An international journalist called me and asked whether Zamfara needed an airport. I firmly believe that having an airport in Zamfara is more than just a matter of commercial viability; it is a crucial social amenity for the people,” Keyamo said.

“Looking around today, I am convinced that the state is fully ready for this development.

“I want to come here next year to flag off the Hajj operations. Intending pilgrims from Zamfara have suffered for many years in other states to board a plane to the Holy Land. It will never happen again.”

The minister reiterated his commitment to making the airport project a reality.

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Bodex F. Hungbo, SPMIIM is a multiple award-winning Nigerian Digital Media Practitioner, Digital Strategist, PR consultant, Brand and Event Expert, Tv Presenter, Tier-A Blogger/Influencer, and a top cobbler in Nigeria.

She has widespread experiences across different professions and skills, which includes experiences in; Marketing, Media, Broadcasting, Brand and Event Management, Administration and Management with prior stints at MTN, NAPIMS-NNPC, GLOBAL FLEET OIL AND GAS, LTV, Silverbird and a host of others

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