The Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa Abuja, yesterday approved a total of N230.28 billion for road projects and mining data in the country.
Briefing the State House correspondents after the FEC, meeting, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai flanked by the Minister of State for Mines and Steel, Bawa Bwari disclosed that N206 billion was approved for linking road and associated infrastructures for the 2nd Niger Bridge.
The Minister of Information said, “Also approved today is a contract for the link road and associated infrastructures for the 2nd Niger Bridge. The link road is about 11.9 kilometers. The contract was awarded to Julius Berger at N206 billion. The bridge is linking Anambra and Delta states.
“If you remember, the contract was awarded by the last administration under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement which failed.” He further stated that N11.58 billion was approved for re-award of rehabilitation of a road in Enugu State. He further stated that there were two memos from the Minister of Power, Works and Housing which were considered and approved.
He said, “The first is the approval for the reaward of the contract for the rehabilitation of the Oji- Achi- Mmaku- Awgu- Ndeabor Road in Enugu state .The contract was approved today at the sum of N11.558,6976 billion and was awarded to Setraco Nigeria limited. Completion period is 24 months. “What happened was that the contract was awarded earlier to a company that failed and Setraco that was given other sections of the road performed and had now been awarded the contract while that of the other contractor has been rescinded .
“Also approved today is the contract for the link road and associated infrastructure for the second Niger Bridge. If you remember, this time last week I was in Onitsha and Asaba inspecting the second Niger Bridge. Today FEC has now approved the award of the link road. The bridge itself is just 1.95metres , but the link road is 11.9km and this contract was awarded to Julius Berger for the sum of N206 billion.
“It will include not just the link road but also associated infrastructure and you know this bridge is linking Anambra and Delta states .
Remember that the project was conceived by the last administration under a PPP arrangement which failed and that is why the federal government had to take over this contract.
So far about N14 billion had been paid to contractors handling the bridge and the contract today that was awarded is for the link and associated infrastructure that will link the bridge. “The memo by the minister of state for Petroleum sought the council’s approval for a revised estimate total cost for the engineering, procurement and construction of the OB3 gas pipeline project. “Again this is a project that has been awarded but there was a need for the cost of the redesigning to seek for council’s approval so that there will be enough funds to execute the project.
The project is important because it has to do with the delivery of gas from the eastern part of the country to the power turbines and to improve our power supply. “This contract is awarded to Nestor limited and Olisa limited and the total cost of the contract is $92 million and N765. 968 million.
The Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Bwari said that the FEC approved N12.7 billion for exploration and consultancy projects in the mining sector, adding that the projects will help in getting accurate mining data, which will attract local and foreign investments.
He said “Our major challenge in diversification programme of the government in the mining sector has been that of data. Today the Federal Executive Council approved the contract for exploration and consultancy on some of our targeted minerals like gold, industrial minerals, earth metals, iron ore for four companies in exploration and four companies in consultancy side of it and this contract is worth N12.7 billion.
“And with this, we will encourage both local and foreign investors to come in. Our Major challenge is the bankable data, most mining companies will not want to come into your country when they are not sure of what they are going to meet.
“Nigeria has the potential for minerals although we have not been known as a solid mineral destination, we have been known as a oil and gas destination. The perception is gradually changing and for us to really encourage this people to come in, we really need to explore because you cannot mine without information and information can only be gotten through exploration.
“The government today approved for us to start with some of our targeted minerals in line with what we have in the road map.” The Minister said that the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, presented three memos which were approved by the Council.
The three memos, he said, included Ratification of the Multilateral Competent Authority Agreement on Automatic Exchange of Financial Accounting Information, Ratification of the Africa 50th Articles of Association and the approval for the Financial Transparency Policy Guidelines.
He said, “One, she sought for the ratification of the multi-lateral competent Authority agreement on automatic exchange of financial account information. Actually this is a memo which was approved and is going to assist in curbing tax evasion and improve the revenue collection of government.
“She also presented a memo asking for the approval of ratification of the African Fifty Article Association .This particular memo is unique in the sense that both the African fifty project finance and African fifty project development association are actually two windows which have been created by the African Development Bank to allow for bankable infrastructural projects to be financed by the subsidiaries of the African Development Bank.
“There are certain projects which cannot be financed simply by the ADB so they created this two windows to allow for such projects to be financed by these two platforms and already Nigeria is one of the founding members of these two platforms and have invested heavily in them and with the ratification of this treaty and it has made it possible for Nigeria to take advantage of this.
“There is also a memo by the minister of finance seeking the council’s approval for the financial transparency policy guidelines. This memo was approved and I think the unique thing about this memo is that it is going to bring more transparency to how government revenue and account are being handled.
“As a matter of fact, with the approval of this memo it will now be possible for the public to know exactly how much revenue is collected by the government, how much is being spent just by going on the website of the various ministries, department and agencies.”