October 4, 2023

The Federal Executive Council, on Wednesday, approved a total sum of N15.57bn for various contracts in the Ministries of Works and Housing, Education, and Industry, Trade and Investment ministries.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, alongside his counterparts in the Ministries of Education, Adamu Adamu, and Industry, Niyi Adebayo, disclosed to State House Correspondents after this week’s Council meeting, which was chaired by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Aso Rock Villa, Abuja.

Fashola, whose ministry received N9.69bn, said the Council approved the amount for refund of monies spent on federal roads by the Plateau and Borno states governments.

According to the former Lagos State governor, the roads in question were constructed before July 2016, when the federal government halted such interventions.

He said “We presented two policy memoranda. The first was with regard to the policy of government to provide refund any form to state governments for previous interventions on federal government roads, subject to the July 26, 2016 cutoff, after which reforms would no longer be eligible.

“So the two states who had outstandings with respect to eligible roads were Plateau and Borno states and Council approved the refund of N6.60bn in favour of Plateau State, and the sum of N3.08bn for Borno State.”

He also revealed that his ministry secured the Council’s approval to enlist the services of a private sector operator, who would work with the federal government to build a central clearing house for the operations of toll plaza concessionaires under a Build-Operate-Transfer model of the Public-Private Partnership.

The private operator will fund the project, operate it, recover its investment and eventually transfer back to government, he explained.

According to him, “Two weeks ago, we also approved the full business case for the concessioning of nine federal roads, which will include the concessionaires completion of those roads and also tolling operations, ambulance services, vehicle recovery services and so on.

“Now, this process we sought and obtained approval to start is to get a private sector operator to work with us to build a central clearing house at his own expense, operate it, recover and then ultimately transfer back to government.

“What a central clearing house will do is that it will synchronise interoperability between different toll systems that will be used by different concessionaires when they commence their tolls and also provide a one-stop accounting system and a single payment recovery system where everybody is paid at the end of the operations, and also provide visibility for government to see what is going on in the operations of each concessionaire.”

In his brief, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, said Council approved N1.80bn contract for the construction of a package sewage system for the authority’s head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom State.

“My ministry brought a memo on behalf of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, which is a parastatal under our ministry, as part of its responsibility of regulating and attracting foreign direct investments into the country is supervising certain oil and gas free zones in the country and one of which is the Liberty Free Zone in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State.

“To this end, they sought Council’s approval for the award of contract for the construction of a package sewage system for the authorities head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom State, in the sum of N1.8bn inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT, with the completion period of 10 months, without variation and Council graciously approved the award of the contract”, he said.

On his part, the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, revealed that the Council approved a total sum of N4.08bn for three contracts in the Osun State University, Osogbo; the Federal University, Lokoja, and the National Commission for Nomadic Education.

He also revealed that the Council approved a memorandum seeking the federal government’s takeover of the David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi and renaming it to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences.

Adamu explained, “We presented four memos, three of them were contracts. The first is for the construction of the Senate Building in Osun State University, in Osogbo. This is at a cost of N2.13bn, with the completion period of 76 weeks and the contractor is WAZLAF Engineering Limited.

“The second one is another Senate Building. This one is at the Federal University, Lokoja and it is at the cost of N1.61bn, with the completion period of 50 weeks and the contractor for the project is Amber Bliss Nigeria Limited.

“The third one is a contract for the erection of radio antenna for the National Commission for Nomadic Education. It is 50 kilowatt AM radio and the contractor is ECALPEMOS Technologies Limited and the contract sum is N336.75m. The completion period is 14 weeks.

“The last one is a memo for the takeover of David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi, by the federal government.

“What we brought in the memo is for Council to ratify the agreement that has been entered between the Ebonyi State government and the federal government and then to approve the renaming of the university from David Umahi University of Medical Sciences to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences and to approve a draft bill, which has been written, and then to approve the transmittal of this bill to the National Assembly for enactment into an Act.”

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