N61B Approved for Roads, Seaport by Federal Executive Council

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N61.464 billion for roads, dredging of seaport and building of houses in parts of Nigeria.

Minister of Works, Power, and Housing, Babatunde Fashola and his counterparts in Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Interior, Abdulrahman Danbazzau; Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; Education, Adamu Adamu and Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity to the President Garba Shehu made this known to reporters after the FEC meeting.

The meeting was chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.

Amaechi said the council approved N13 billion for the dredging of Escravos Warri Seaport and the replacement of bad navigational aids.

Fashola said his ministry got approval for three contracts. These are: Babalampa – Sharam road in Plateau State for N19.92 billion, Lagos – Ota – Abeokuta road revised upward by N22 billion to N56.7 billion and Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway for N6.31 billion.

Fashola said: “One was for Baban Lamba-Sharam Road in Plateau state for the contraction of 44.625 kilometers for N19.392 billion. The second was for Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road 81 kilometers. That road was first awarded in year 2000 and it has since been left uncompleted because they want no budgetary provisions for it.

”The third approval was for the section four of the Enugu Port Harcourt Road, the part between Abia and Port Harcourt, particularly in Port Harcourt that has been problematic and has failed severally. We have a contractor there but we needed to change the design because of the storm water drainage needs and the high water tables there so that the road does not fail.

”So that requires a revision of the scope of work to include retaining sidelanes and also drainage facilities in the sum of N6.309 billion.” he said

Danbazzau said N234 million was approved for the construction of two buildings, cadet mess and cafeteria.

”FEC approved contract for the completion of two faculty buildings and Cadet Mess and Cafeteria for Police Academy in Kano. The reason being that there is minimum requirement to be met by the academy before accreditation of programmes.

"In May 2010, a memo was submitted for the approval of a draft bill when it was upgraded to a decree awarding institutions. So the total amount of the contract is about l N234 million. Once it is completed, we will invite the NUU to have a look at some of the programmes that are yet to be accredited.” he said

Adamu said FEC approved the establishment of a Nigeria Army University in Biu, Borno State.

Although he gave no detail about take-off time and others, Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai had in March announced that the Nigerian Army would upgrade the Institute of Technology and Environmental Studies to a full fledge University of Technology and Environmental Studies.

The Water Resources Minister said: “We highlight the fact that urbane water supply is regressing, access to improve sanitation has also decreased over time that we have not be able to meet the Millennium Development Goals and that works services in the rural areas are unsustainable, and spending on water sector has declined by .7% to .72% of the GDP in 2010.

“We submitted a memo to council to approve an action plan on how to address these issues. We had three prayers for the council to approve the action plan: to declare a state of emergency on water and sanitation sector; to approve the establishment of Water, Sanitation and Hygiene Fund for the country. This fund will be one that federal, states and international donors can put in money so that we can begin to address the crisis water and sanitation sector in the country.

”We also requested that henceforth the budget for water and sanitation in the country to be significantly increased so that we will be able to face these challenges. Council accepted our prayers and we will move on.”

According to The Nation, Mallam Garba Shehu said the Minister of Women Affairs, briefed council on women empowerment programme undertaken, capacity development for women, promotion of human rights, fighting violence against women, rehabilitation of victims of gender violence, promoting the health of women and children, and efforts on the rescue of Chibok and Dapchi girls.

He said that Council commended the Women Affairs Ministry for a job well done.