The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved a N162.990 billion contract for the construction of 700 megawatts Zungeru hydro-electric power project in Niger State.
Minister of Information Labaran Maku disclosed this after the Council meeting presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan at the State House, Abuja.
He said the contract was awarded in favour of Messrs Sinohydro Corporation/China National Electrical Engineering Corporation with completion period of four years Maku said the project would create about 10,000 jobs.
"This project is very strategic to the country and as you do know, Mr President and this administration are desirous of stabilising power in Nigeria.
"Hydro-electric power is one of the cheapest any nation can rely on and because of these, we approved the implementation of the Zungeru power project today at the Federal Executive Council. The project is expected to be delivered in four years."
On her part, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyat Rufai, said the Council had also approved contract for the supply and installation of 80 units of PS960 Image mark reader scanner for the National Examination Council (NECO).
She said that the contract was approved by Council to improve quality and efficiency in the conduct of examinations by NECO and that the scanners had unique technological features that would improve the capacity, efficiency and effectiveness of the operations of the examination body.
The minister said the machines would be used in the marking of the multiple choice questions for the 1.3 million NECO candidates annually as they had the capacity to mark 17,200 scripts per hour thereby increasing speed and human errors.
Rufai said each machine was awarded at the cost of N24.9 million bringing the total cost for 80 units at N1.992 billion.
Also speaking, the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, said Council also approved the release of 3 million dollars each year from 2012 to 2014 to the UNFPA as counter-part funding for the procurement of contraceptives for the Ministry of Health.
He said that the approval was meant to reduce maternal mortality rate in the country.