The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting Wednesday granted approval for the procurement of arms and ammunition for the armed guards of the Nigerian Prisons Service.
The meeting presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo also approved the procurement, installation and commissioning of Instrument Landing System (ILS) and Distance Measuring Equipment (DME) to guide pilots and planes to the central line of the runway in Abuja, Kaduna, Benin, Ibadan and Enugu airports
Briefings journalists after the FEC meeting, the Minister of Interior, General Abdulrahman Dambazzau (rtd), said the approval for the procurement of arms for prison guards was necessitated by the need to secure the prisons, particularly where inmates require maximum security.
Drawing inference from the Minna, Niger State prison attacked where some dangerous prisoners were set free, Dambazzau said: “We realised after investigation of that attack that one of the major shortcomings within that prison was lack of adequate arms and ammunition.
“We are procuring 400 pieces of beretta assault rifles with 20, 000 rounds. These rounds are peculiar to those weapons at the cost of N272 ,489, 280 with period of delivery of 120 days.”
The Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, noted that the contract for the procurement and installation and commissioning of ILS and DME had been awarded long before now but that due to exchange rate, it had to be brought back to council, as it suffered lack of budgetary allocations.
“So we came back to council to have it re-dominated. It was totally awarded in December 2011 but nothing happened because there was no budgetary allocation, therefore it suffered fluctuations of forex change,” Sirika said.
According to him, the contract was awarded at a time the Naira was N154 to a dollar but now it is N305 to a dollar.
“So council has approved and the user department is Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA). This is a very important instrument for us, to be able to operate in poor weather conditions and to be able to take the planes down to the central lines of the runway for safe pilotage. So this is a safety concern and gladly it has been approved,” he added.
He said the initial cost of the equipment was N1, 590, 361, 027 .20 but it has been re-dominated to the tune of N3, 149, 740, 995. 42.