The federal government yesterday approved over N1.7 billion for the purchase of one Cessna Citation CJ4 aircraft for the Nigeria Customs Services (NCS) to combat smuggling activities within the country's borders.
It also gave its nod to the resuscitation of the National Council on Shelterbelt Afforestation, Erosion Control and Coastal Zones Management.
The contract for the acquisition of the aircraft which is expected to be delivered within the next four months, was awarded in favour of Messrs Africair Incorporated in the sum of N1,737,503,898.90.
Information Minister, Mr. Labaran Maku who gave the hint while briefing State House Correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting alongside the minister of State for Finance, Lawal Ngama and minister of Environment, Hadiza Mailafia said the aircraft was suited for surveillance to combat smuggling effectively on land and waterways.
This, he said, was to enable the customs survey borders and communicate to one another on air, land and sea, adding that, it was in line with the vision of President Goodluck Jonathan to position the country among the 20 largest economies by 2020.
Also, the minister of Environment, Hadiza mailafia who submitted a memo on the resuscitation of the Council said the Green Wall would be implemented in eleven states, namely: Adamawa, Bauchi, Kebbi, Borno, Gombe, Jigawa, Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Yobe and Zamfara.
It is expected to run from Kebbi to Borno at a distance of 1,500km and 15km wide. She said countries that are participating in the programme are: Nigeria, Senegal, Mauritania, Mali, Burkina Faso, Niger, Chad, Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibouti.