From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved the establishment of oxygen production plant in each of the 36 states of the country. The project would cost an estimated N5.6 billion.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, who briefed on behalf of Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, at the end of the FEC meeting said the approval was to cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic, which had made oxygen a very critical commodity.
“The Minister of Health presented a memo, which was approved, for the emergency supply, installation and maintenance of oxygen production plants and construction of plant houses in each of the 36 States of the federation and Abuja. The contract was approved in the sum of N5, 615, 127, 479 inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT, in favour of four different companies, with a completion period of 20 weeks.”
The Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) had on Monday announced that, in case of a third wave of COVID-19, increased oxygen reserve capacity would be one of its three areas of focus.
Mohammed said council also approved the sum of N9.2 billion as premium for insurance companies to manage group life insurance for federal civil servants, para military and intelligence community for the year 2021-2022.
“This premium is for a period of 12 months. This is part of the government’s welfare programme for our public employees so that in case of death, they are assured that there would be compensation.”
The minister said council also approved N18.1 billion for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment, for the development of infrastructure and Kano and Calabar Free Trade Zones, as well as the Textile and Garment Park in Lagos and the Special Economic Zone in Lekki, Lagos.
Mohammed said the approval was of critical importance to the infrastructure development plan of the country.
The minister added that council also approved the sum of N1. 1 billion for the procurement of aviation security uniforms and accessories for use in various airports across the country.
Mohammed also disclosed that the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs also got an approval of N864.7 million for two road contracts that were abandoned by previous administrations.
He listed the projects as Okpula-Igwartanta Phase I linking Imo and Rivers State started in 2010 which got approval for a variation of N620, 763, 000., and erosion flood control on Ndemili-Utagba-Onitsha road in Delta State started in 2014, which got approved N244 million to augment the original contract sum.
Environment Minister, Mahammad Mahmud, said council approved the revised national policy on climate change. He said “the last one was in 2012 and it became necessary for us to revise based on what has been happening in the last three years since 2012 particularly with the various agreements.
“We all know climate change is our topic of today, it has serious implications on economy, livelihoods. The environment in general and economic change affect every body but we have realised that it affects women even more and on this, we also know that we have national polIcy on gender and climate change as approved. This revised one has also put into consideration the national policy on gender and climate change to include women in almost every aspect of climate projects executions.”