Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday in Abuja approved N1.4 billion for only the design of the headquarters of the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR).
Briefing journalists at the end of the weekly FEC meeting in the State House, the Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, said the sum was meant for a contract award to Messrs Artek Practice Limited for the design of a 12-floor building on a parcel of land already allocated to DPR by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The minister who described the agency as the regulatory and supervisory arm of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources, said DPR whose head office is currently located in Lagos is instrumental to income generation, adding that the construction of its head office in Abuja would enable the agency to move to Abuja.
Asked if a whooping sum of N1.4 billion for a mere building design was not excessive, Kachikwu said the contract was awarded by DPR tenders board and the amount was the lowest bid for the project.
“The contract was awarded by DPR tenders board. Their bid was the lowest. The highest bid was about N3 billion. The total projected potential cost for the building when it is done is about N35 billion. So, if you look at that as a percentage of the work, it is absolutely insignificant, in international terms it is very justifiable, it is less than two per cent.
“The FCT did mention in our deliberation that because of the new zoning policies, the previous plan which was to build a car park of another five floors along with the 12 floors have to be changed a little bit because they are taking possession of additional green area that was assigned to DPR.
In his own briefing, the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, said the council also approved another N1.556 billion for the award of a consultancy contract to Programme Management Office Consultant and System Provider on Government Enterprises and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
Enelamah who said the contract was meant to provide services for 4.6 million people, added that the programme had so far provided credit for over 1.5million Nigerians.
He also said FEC approved the constitution of a committee with the mandate to evolve alternative ways of financing infrastructure. He said “the target is to achieve 10-20 billion per year over the next 5-10 years United States dollar range.”
According to him, it will be a ministerial committee, which will involve the services of Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Africa Finance Corporation (AFC) and some private sector players.
He listed members of the committee to be chaired by him to include the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Zainab Ahmed; Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udo Udoma; Minister Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu; and Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
The minister said the committee had one month to submit its report.
In the same vein, Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, said FEC approved three memoranda of understanding for the purchase of equipment for three media organisations.
He said such facilities would include the procurement of cameras, television packs and other broadcast equipment at the cost of N283.8 million for Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) and 15 Peugeot vehicles for News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at the cost of N151.4million.
He also said FEC ratified the anticipated approval of N873.52 million for two contracts including the procurement of 12 units of 10 kilowatts of FM transmitters from Canada at the cost of N561 million and three outside broadcast vans for Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) at the cost of N311 million.