15 November 2012

Nigeria: FG Approves N293 Billion for Projects

The sum of N293 billion will be spent by the Federal Government on various projects in the Ministries of Power, Education, Water Resources, Health and Works.

This was the outcome of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting presided over Wednesday by President Goodluck Jonathan.

A breakdown of the money shows that the ministry of works will spend over N28 billion on the construction of five roads across the country, the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC) will spend N98.589 billion on sundry projects in the region, while the power ministry's partnership with a Chinese firm on the Zungeru Hydro-electric project would gulp N162.990 billion.

The Ministry of Education will purchase 80 units of PS960 Image Mark Reader scanners at the cost of N2 billion, just as the Ministry of Health got the nod to pay a counterpart funding of $3 million for the procurement of contraceptive commodities by the United Nations Fund for population Activities (UNFPA).

The Ministry of Water Resources got approval to complete the Shagari Irrigation Project at the cost of N317,982,210.72.

The Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, who disclosed this also told journalists that the council approved the hosting of the eight edition of the Abuja Carnival.

According to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, the release of the counterpart funding covers the period of 2012 to 2014, amounting to N571 million in the parallel market.

The minister said the FEC is determined to curb the unacceptable level of child/maternal mortality in the country.

In her submission, the Minister of Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa'i, explained that the decision to buy the scanners is to improve the examination marking system by transforming it to a digital platform.

She said once the scanners, which would be able to mark 7,200 scripts per hour, are available, the delay in marking and recording results will be a thing of the past.

Although the Minister of Power was absent during the briefing, the document for the approval of the Zungeru project showed that "council gave approval for the engineering, procurement and construction of the 700 MW project in favour of Messrs Sino-Hydro Corporation/ China National Electrical Engineering Corporation." It is expected to create about 1,000 jobs when completed.

In the Niger Delta, Maku stated that the NDDC got approval to implement 28 projects across the nine states under its jurisdiction.

The list of projects to be executed include: roads, bridges, land reclamation and irrigation projects.

In her brief, the minister of water resources, Mrs Sarah Ochekpe, said the sum approved by the council is a revision of the established total cost. She stated that the project, which is currently at 80 per cent level of completion, will cover 220 hectares and create jobs for more than two thousand people who will work in rice and vegetable cultivation.

The minister of works, Arc. Mike Oziegbe Onolememen , pointed out that the roads for which council gave approval will be constructed or rehabilitated in the South-east, North-west, North-central and the South-south geo-political zones. He said the apex government intends to take advantage of the dry season to accomplish many of the projects, adding that already 14 roads that have been completed across the country.

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