- Says military lacks adequate manpower funding
- Ogoni clean up to produce 774,000 jobs
Omololu Ogunmade in Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) wednesday in Abuja approved N1.659,596,908.78 for consultancy services for the design of Abuja Airport second runway with a completion period of 12 months.
Making the disclosure after yesterday’s virtual FEC meeting in the State House, the Minister of Aviation, Senator Hadi Sirika, said the contract was awarded to a consortium of consultants, comprising one Nigerian and two international consultants.
Sirika said the contract sum included seven per cent value added tax (VAT) at an exchange rate N360 to $1 for the dollar component of the contract.
The minister, who said a lot of work had been done on the contract procurement, disclosed that the process would be fast-tracked, with the hope of completing the construction before the end of the year.
“What I want to assure the public is that a lot of work has been done in this procurement of consultancy services. It will be fast-tracked and it is the intention of the ministry to conclude before the end of the year, so that the balance of money that we have in the budget, we can appoint a contractor and commence the construction of the second runway.
“We hope to conclude the second runway if awarded before the end of the life of this administration,” he said.
Also briefing, the Minister of Defence, Maj-Gen. Bashir Magashi (rtd.), said the Nigerian Armed forces were currently facing the challenge of shortage personnel and inadequate funding.
Bashir, who said different operations of the military, including the situation of the Ministry of Defence were discussed at the meeting, added that discussions at FEC yesterday raised hopes of a resolution of the challenges soon.
He said: “We spoke about our shortcomings. We talked about manpower shortage, inadequate funding for the Ministry of Defence. We talked about all the operations we have been conducting, the successes and failures of each of the operations right from Operation Lafia Doyle to Operation Tawase.
“The shortcomings of each of the operations were discussed and God so kind, contributions were made by members of the council and I think in no distant time, there will be a change in the conduct of our affairs in the Ministry of Defence.”
In his own briefing, the Minister of Environment, Mr. Mohammad Abubakar, who said he presented his ministerial scorecard to the council, disclosed that there’s progress on Ogoni clean-up, with over 21 and 36 sites already impacted with hydrocarbon.
According to the minister, the project had so far created 775 jobs from the total of 774,000 approved for creation by President Muhammadu Buhari, pointing out that the Ministry of Environment as one of the implementing agencies would employ 200,000 skilled and unskilled labour as well as another 2,000 through its erosion department.
The minister also said there was yet another programme designed to train 400 women in areas of agriculture, aqua culture and poultry with the aim of improving the living standard of the people.
According to him, planting of 25 million trees is another project being pursued by the ministry in collaboration with state governments.
He also said the ministry would create jobs in the area of waste recycling to reduce refuse, repair and recover waste.
According to him, “It is no longer fashionable to just produce, use and dispose of because the planet is getting too choked up with pollutants. We are very big in recycling.
“Finally, we are big in erosion control which you all know is a big problem in the South-east. As you know, South-east is more prone to erosion because of the geological nature of the area.”
Furthermore, Mohammad said the ministry was working to reduce emission from carbon dioxide from generators and other gaseous emissions affecting climate change.
He explained that about 4,000 jobs would be created in this area with the mandate to concentrate on emissions including vehicular emissions.
He also spoke on the green bond project, which he said was designed to produce clean energy, with the proceeds channelled to generate solar energy for tertiary institutions, a situation he said had already produced 20,000 jobs.
The minister added that the ministry was also seeking to create 32 jobs from the recycling of engine oil from motorcycles and other vehicles to produce diesel that could be reused.
In his own briefing, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said FEC approved N8.14 billion for the reactivation and completion of Farim Ruwa Multipurpose Dam in Wamba Local Government Area of Nasarawa State.
According to him, the project was initiated by Nasarawa State Government in 2013 but the state government in 2018, invited the federal government to take it over.
He said the multi-purpose dam project would supply water for irrigation and serve as 20 megawatts of hydropower station.