The Federal Executive Council, (FEC) has approved the award of contracts to the tune of N290.34billion aimed at improving on the existing critical infrastructures including roads, Water, Agriculture, Power, Education, Health and also the hosting of the eight edition of the Abuja Carnival.
Minister of Information, Labaran Maku made the disclosure in company of his counterparts in the Works, Education, Water Resources and Culture Tourism and National Orientation ministries at a media briefing on the outcome of the weekly FEC meeting chaired by President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan at the State House, Abuja on Wednesday, November 14.
Maku stated that the contracts were aimed at improving existing infrastructure both in the nine oil producing states of the federation and other parts of the country particularly to ameliorate the challenges faced in the country by road users.
He stated further that for the Niger Delta, the NDDC got approval to spend N98.589 billion on 28 projects including roads, bridges, land reclamation and irrigation projects across the nine states under its jurisdiction.
Speaking on Power project he said Council gave approval for the engineering, procurement and construction of the 700 MW project in the sum of N162.99 billion in favour of Messrs Sino-Hydro Corporation/ China National Electrical Engineering Corporation with a completion period of four years, adding that the project is expected to create about 1,000 jobs when completed.
Maku also disclosed that the Council approved the hosting of the eight edition of the Abuja Carnival.
Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen disclosed that the roads contracts were awarded to take advantage of the onset of the dry season in order to expedite action on their construction and early completion, noting that the roads are located in the North-west, South-south, North-central and South-east zones of the country adding that already 14 roads that have been completed across the country.
The roads contracts approved by Council according to him include,
• The completion of the 24 kilometre Auchi-Ekperi-Uzea, among others, and pedestrian bridge at Auchi Polytechnic’s main gate, at the cost of N8.7billion.
• The construction of Wudil-Utai-Achika-Darki-Jigawa road in the sum of N4.393billion.
• Section 11 phase one of the Kontagora-Rijau-Tunga Magajia road for N3.698 billion bringing the total contract sum of the phases one and two of the projects to N16.768 billion.
• The rehabilitation of the Funtua-Gusua-Sokoto at the cost of N3.431 million.
• The Construction of Nnenwe-Uduma-Uburu and Ishiagu-Mile2 road at the cost of N11.603billion.
Mrs. Ochekpe, who disclosed Council’s approval of the argumentation of the Shagari Irrigation project in Sokoto State by N317.9 million (from N1.165 billion to N1.77billion) explained 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.
Professor Onyebuchi stated that the Ministry of Health got Council’s approval for the payment of a counterpart funding of $3 million for the procurement of contraceptive commodities by the United Nations Fund for population Activities (UNFPA).
He said that the release of the counterpart funding covers the period of 2012 to 2014, amounting to N571 million in the parallel market noting that the Council is determined to curb the unacceptable level of child/maternal mortality in the country.
On Education, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufa’i announced Council’s approval for the Ministry of Education to purchase 80 units of PS960 Image Mark Reader scanners at the cost of N2 billion, in a bid to improve the examination marking system by transforming it to a digital platform, noting that 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.