FEC approves N99 billion contracts for Niger-Delta

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved contracts for 28 infrastructural development projects for the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) in nine oil producing states in the Niger Delta region.

The projects which will cover roads, bridges, land reclamation, erosion problems as well as power supply and education will cost about N98.589 billion and they are to be implemented between now and 2014.

Briefing State House correspondents after the meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Information; Mr Labaran Maku said that the contracts are in view of the government’s commitment and determination to create a conducive environment for sustainable development of the region.

 

NECO’s reader scanners for N1.99 billion

As part of efforts to improve the quality and efficiency in the conduct of examinations, FEC also approved 80 image mark reader scanners which will be used to mark the various examinations conducted by the National Examination Council (NECO) in the country.

The Minister of Education, Professor Ruqayyat Rufai said the scanner’s technology will improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of the examination body because it can mark 7,200 multiple choice questions scripts per hour.

The scanner machines approved for the NECO will cost N1.99 billion.

Also approved is the execution of the Zungeru Hydro Power Project in Niger state which will provide 700 MW of electricity. The project is to be funded by the China EXIM Bank to the tune of N162.9 billion.

FEC also approved that Nigeria should pay its counterpart funding of $3 million for the supply of family planning as well as infant/maternal drugs and materials from donor agencies.

The President is a co-chair of the United Nations Commission for life-saving commodities for women and children.

The road sector received approvals for the reconstruction and rehabilitation of five major road networks across the country as the dry season sets in.

The roads approved for immediate execution include the Wude-Utai-Achika-Dake-Jigawa road, Kontagora-Rijau-Tunga-Mangaja road in Niger state and the Nenwe-Uduma –Uburu road in Ebonyi/Enugu state.

Others are the Auchi-Ekperi-Afuda-Usugani road in Edo state and the Funtua-Gusua-Sokoto road.

According to the Minister of Works, the roads are of great economic importance to the country.

FEC approves report on strengthening Nigerian universities

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved the tertiary education report which is aimed at strengthening Nigerian Universities and eliminates the weaknesses that have brought down the standard of education in the country.

Briefing state house correspondents after the weekly council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said that apart from the issue of poor funding there are other systemic issues relating to the vision of the various universities, improper utilisation of resources as well as regulations that need to be tackled.

“The report which was ordered by the president following the last ASUU strike brought together stakeholders in the tertiary educational system to examine the state of development of our universities and to look at all the issues that have continued to lead to friction and also lower standards in the university system.

“So in order that we would be able to come up with a very, very comprehensive intervention policy, Mr President felt there was a need to draw in other stakeholders, particularly state governments. And after the presentation to the National Economic Council, Mr President will then proceed to agree on an intervention formula following a thorough analysis of the report that has been presented to us today,” Mr Maku said.

The Minister said the Council also recommended that it has become necessary for the National Universities Commission to begin to enforce basic minimum standards in terms of infrastructure, staff/student ratio and facilities, to ensure that the universities meet the best standards compared to any other in the world.

The Council also approved the Nigerian sugar master plan to reverse the decline in sugar production in the country.

The Minister of Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga decried the situation where over 90 percent of sugar used in the country is imported.

He said that Nigeria will benefit from the master plan which will enable the country produce 1,797 tonnes of sugar annually as well as generate 400 megawatts of power.

“Sugar is a very strategic commodity. It is strategic because it creates a lot of jobs. For you to have a sugar manufacturing firm, you have to have sugarcane farms. Sugarcanes farms create a lot of jobs,” Mr Aganga said.

“It also produces ethanol which is a source for electricity. This will help to save a lot of foreign exchange,” the Minister added.

Focus on issues biting the economy not N5000 note – Wale Oluwo

Wale Oluwo the CEO of the investment banking BGL Group and Bismarck Rewane; CEO Financial Derivatives Limited reacted to the controvery over the introduction of N5000 note.

On the part of the CEO of the BGL Group; he feels it is not an issue that is supposed to be debated now for there are other issues eating up the economy of Nigeria right now.

N5000 note Controversy: It is a non-issue – Bismark Rewane

Wale Oluwo the CEO of the investment banking BGL Group and Bismarck Rewane; CEO Financial Derivatives Limited reacted to the controvery over the introduction of N5000 note.

Bismarck said he feels there’s so much time wasting as it is a non-issue.

On the part of the CEO of the BGL Group; he feels it is not an issue that is supposed to be debated now for there are other issues eating up the economy of Nigeria right now.

FG approves N65 billion for reconstruction of Benin–Shagamu road

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N65.223 billion for the reconstruction of the Benin-Sagamu road.

The Benin-Shagamu road

Briefing journalists at the end of this week’s FEC meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku said the contract for the reconstruction of outstanding sections of Benin-Ofosu-Ore-Ajebandele-Shagamu expressway phase II was awarded to Messrs RCC Nigeria Limited with a completion period of 36 months.

Mr Maku said that the approval followed a memo brought to Council by the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen.

He said “the outstanding sections of the road are in disrepair’ there is need to reconstruct them to ease traffic flow along the road.

“The road, when rehabilitated will not only improve the socio-economic activities of the area, but will also, reduce vehicle operating costs, travel time and accidents on the road.”

The Minister said when completed, the reconstructed road will generate employment for Nigerians as well as impact positively on the informal sector of the economy.

The Council also approved the purchase of various search and rescue operation items for the National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA).

The items according to Mr Maku are: GSSI Life Locator by Messrs DAMS-A (Nig) Ltd, in the sum of N161,406,388.00; Rapid Intervention Vehicles by Messrs DAN-CLINTON (Nig) Ltd, in the sum of N400,551,272.00; Fully Equipped Emergency Rescue Vehicles by Messrs B.T.L Brothers Ltd, in the sum of N251,680,000.00; and 328 sets of Helmets, Harness, Lanyards & Absorbers, Descenders, Fall Arrestors, Ascenders, Aluminium & Steel Carabineers to Messrs DOM Communications Ltd, in the sum of N120,227,377.64.

According to him, “the rampant increase in the spate of disasters in the country has continued to stretch the resources of NEMA on terms of equipment and logistics”.

More roads in Abuja

Another contract approved by the Council was for the construction of 10 lanes Southern Parkway in the sum of N10.901 billion thereby bringing the total contract sum to N16.235 billion.

Mr Maku said the approval was part of the efforts to reduce the heavy traffic being experienced in the city, the Federal Capital Territory Authority (FCTA) had already began the construction of the Southern Parkway from the Christian Centre S8/S9 to ring road 1 to complement the existing Northern Parkway.

The Minister said when completed, the Southern Parkway would undoubtedly ease the increasing heavy traffic situation in the Southern parts of the FCT within the corridors of already developed and fast developing districts like Central Area, Garki, Gudu and Durumi.

The Council also approved the sum of N2.835 billion for phase II contract for the provision of infrastructure to Apo Estate layout. Thereby bring the total sum of phase I and II to N5.755 billion. The contract is in favour of Messrs Cat Construction Group (Nig.) Ltd.

The council also ratified the President’s anticipatory approval for the Sagbama erosion control rehabilitation works in Bayelsa State in favour of Messrs Nigerian Westminister dredging and marine limited in the sum of N1.501 billion, with completion period of 12 months.