By Adedayo Akinwale
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the award of contract for the dualisation of section-one of Kano-Maiduguri road at the cost of N63 billion.
It also approved the reconstruction of the 8.1 kilometers Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota road at the cost of N22.24 billion, bringing the total cost of the contracts to N85.24 billion.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr. Lai Mohammed, disclosed these yesterday while speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja at the end of the weekly FEC meeting.
He said the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, presented a memo to the council for the reconstruction of Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Phase Section Two, which was approved by the council.
Mohammed stated: “You will recall that in 2018, the federal government approved an award of contract to Dangote Industry for the sum of N72 billion. By the time the award was made, there was this section of the road that was in fairly good condition. But with the construction of the Oworonsoki project coming to an end; it now makes better sense to include that section which was fairly good.
“This contract was awarded today for the sum of N22,247,332,000. But you must know that this is one of the projects being awarded under Infrastructural Tax Credit Scheme. In other words, it is awarded to Dangote and Dangote will construct it and over the years, it will be deducted from the tax payable by the group. It is one of various means of Public-Private Partnership (PPP) that this administration has embraced.
“It is not only restricted to Oworonsoki-Apapa road, it is the same system that is being used in Obajana-Kaba Road. Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas (NLNG) is also using the same formula for the bridge to link Bonny and Bori in Rivers State.
“Another memo which he presented was for the award of contract for the dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri road. That is Section One. That is Kano-Wudil-Shuarin section. This is about 560 kilometres contract between Kano and Maiduguri. The section awarded today is actually more of approval for an estimated total cost. They found out that at the time of the award of the contract, certain conditions have to be known. He sought for a revision and an increment in the sum of N8 billion which will bring the total cost of the contract to N63 billion. It was approved by council today.”
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Rotimi Amaechi, presented a memo for the supply, deployment, installation, testing and commissioning of security equipment for seven railway stations at the cost of N1,208,335,464.60, to the FEC.
He said the security equipment would be installed in Idu, Rigasa, Jere, Kubwa, Kaduna and Kano train stations, adding that the contract was awarded in favour of Messrs Avonics Services Nigeria Limited, inclusive of 7.5 per cent tax with a completion period of 12 months.
The Director-General of Bureau of Public Procurement (BPP), Mr. Mamman Ahmadu, revealed that a memo on e-government procurement was also presented to FEC.
He explained that e-government procurement has the potential of improving procurement process, eliminating corruption and reducing the delays in the procurement process itself.
Ahmadu noted that there have been a lot of complaints about the long time it takes to go through the due process, adding that with the establishment of this, it would reduce the time.
“The e-government removes subjectivity from the process. There have been lots of complaints about subjectivity in the approval process that will be dealt with squarely when it is eventually launched.
“E-government procurement is a global trend and from the research carried out by the World Bank, it had been established that countries that have taken off with e-government procurement have witnessed exponential economic growth and they have stimulated ICT in those countries.
“It will reduce corruption to the barest minimum because it will reduce the human interface within the process. The overall cost is about N1.6 billion.”
Speaking, the Minister of Power, Mr. Saleh Mamman, said a memo was presented to the council seeking approval for Nigeria’s contribution to the 2020 budget of the West African Power Pool (WAPP) – a specialised agency of ECOWAS.
He said it was important to recognise that participation in this regional market would also generate immediate foreign exchange for Nigeria as the oil revenue is dying.
“The pool is about having synergy within the West African region. The decision has been taken by ECOWAS. It’s for the generation of electricity of the region, so as to have a more constant and steady power supply. It’s like the national grid in Nigeria, now we are going to have a regional grid. It means in case there is a failure in one country, another can supplement. The $2 million is a contribution.”
The minister said that WAPP is made up of all West African countries, stressing that each member-state contributes annually to the cost of power transmission across the pool.
Mamman stated: “It’s a common pool and every country has its own section and our contribution for this year is $2 million. It’s not as if we are giving $2 million to ECOWAS, we are simply paying our own contribution for the transmission from Nigeria to other African countries and viz-visa. Every country has to give its contribution. Nigeria’s contribution this time around is about $2million.”
Also, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Ali Pantami, said FEC has approved a national policy on virtual engagements in federal public institutions, adding that it was a joint memorandum between his ministry and the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
He added that due to the Covid-19 pandemic that is still ravaging the world and disrupted activities, they came up with the memo that would institutionalise virtual engagements in federal public institutions in order to make sure that even after COVID, virtual engagement is recognized by the government as a medium of communication.
Pantami said, “In the memo, many ICT institutions have a role to play like National Information Technology Development Agency has earlier been directed to come up with regulatory instruments that will set up the minimum standards and guidelines for virtual engagement. That minimum standard will accommodate hardware requirements, software requirement, the category, the cyber security and many more”.