From Juliana Taiwo-Obalonye, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved a total sum of N32.742 billion for various contracts award for projects under the Ministry of Works and Housing and Industry, Trade and Investments.
It also approved the sum of N1.07 billion for lie detector and night vision goggles for National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
These were disclosed at the end of the council meeting presided by President Muhammudu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.
Briefing State House Correspondents alongside his colleagues, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, revealed that the first memo approved for his ministry was for the augmentation of the contract of the Zaria-Funtua section of the Zaria-Sokoto-Birnin-Kebbi highway.
According to him, the augmentation was for N9.446 billion, an increase, which brings the contract sum to a total of N16.924 billion.
According to Fashola: “The augmentation caters for an extension of the scope of works on that section from 26 kilometers to a total of 64 kilometers. It also caters for the improvement of the pavement from a laterite-based pavement to a cement-based, concrete-mixed, stone-base pavement. It also makes provision for extensive drainage works to accommodate increasing rain flow and flooding patterns that we have observed in the last few years. Council approved that memorandum.”
He added that the second memorandum was presented by the ministry on behalf of one of her parastatals, the Federal Roads Maintenance Agency (FERMA), who are statutorily responsible for maintenance and rehabilitation of certain roads.
He said FERMA requested and council approved contracts award to rehabilitate Kwara-Peta-Milda road in Borno in favor of Messrs. CBC Global Civil Engineering and Building Construction. Value of the award is N6,271,985,441.2.
In the same vain, the council approved the rehabilitation of the Uturu-Isikwato-Akara Road in Abia State at the cost of N13.624 billion, to 18th Engineering Company for 24 months.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investments, Niyi Adebayo, who briefed on the memos he presented on behalf of his ministry, said the council
approved contracts for infrastructure in one of the six special economic zones that the Export Processing Zones Authority is creating for the special economic zones in Lekki.
The Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority is a parastatal under the ministry.
He said: “As part of that special economic zone, there is a textile and garment part that is being put up and Council approved contract for the development of an initial five megawatt power plant and electrical reticulation within the park, in favour of Messrs. Mustra Energy Limited, in the sum of N1.5 billion, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a delivery period of 52 weeks.
“Council also approved the construction of an access road, with associated drainage works from the Lekki-Epe Expressway, through the textile and garment park, in favor of Messrs. Proportion Construction Works Limited, in the sum of N1.9 billion, inclusive of 7.5 VAT, with a delivery period of 52 weeks.
“The objective of developing the Special Economic Zones is to establish an economic zone with multifunctions of industry, commerce, trade, medical tourism, recreation and residence to attract foreign investment, create employment and expedite economic growth.
“As you’re all aware, constant power supply as well as provision of other infrastructure like roads is very important for the functioning of the Special Economic Zones and as a result of that, which Council approved the contract that I had previously mentioned. We are hopeful that once the Special Economic Zone is functional, it will generate employment for about 3500 Nigerians in the short term, and in the long term, it will provide employment for about 10,000 Nigerians.”
Also speaking during the briefing, the Atorney General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed that FEC authorised the procurement of lie dictator and digital night vision goggles for the National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) to enhance their performance.
He said, “Two memos were presented this afternoon by the Federal Ministry of Justice on behalf and at the instance of national drugs, law enforcement agency.
“As you rightly know, National Drugs Law Enforcement Agency is an agency of the government saddled with the responsibility of exterminating illicit drugs trafficking, sales and consumption.
“Arising from the fact that they have been doing wonderfully well, in terms of dealing with the scourge associated with drugs, the federal government has considered the possibility of making added provisions and employing and deploying technological equipment skills and competencies that will assist them in delivery.
“So, this morning, two memos were taken. One, it was a memo seeking the approval of the council for the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector. Our technology has improved to the extent that we have in place technological equipment that have the capacity to detect whether you are indeed speaking the truth or indeed you are lying in the course of investigation.
“So, for the purpose of enhancing the capacity of the NDLEA in exterminating illicit drugs trafficking, sales and consumption, the federal government has considered the need and possibility of indeed providing this equipment to NDLEA.
“So, the memo in that respect was presented, it was taken and the contract was approved for MESSR Zettabytes Technologies Limited to procure for the agency these lie detector equipment. So eventually, on that account, the Federal Council approved the award of contract for the supply of eye-scanning lie detector by the National Drugs Law Drugs law enforcement agency in favour of my MESSR Zettabytes Technologies Limited in the sum of N498,850,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% VAT with a completion period of 90 days. That was the first memo that was taken.
“And the second memo is a memo by which the NDLEA through the Office of the Attorney General seeks approval of the council with the award for the supply of digital night vision goggle to the NDLEA, this is equally additional technological device that is intended to support the night operations of NDLEA in view of its capacity to support visibility for the NDLEA.
“So, the contract too was presented for consideration of the council and the council had graciously approved the award of the contract with the supply of digital night vision goggles by the national drug law enforcement agency in favor of MESSRS R-SET Integrated solution limited in the sum of N570,825,000 only, inclusive of 7.5% Value Added Tax with completion period of weeks. That is from the office of the attorney general at the instance of the national drug law enforcement agency.”
Meanwhile, the Council has before the commencement of the meeting, observed a minute silence in honour of the victims of Abuja-Kaduna train terror attack.
The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, had while calling for a minute silence to be observed, disclosed that the attack resulted in the death of eight persons, 46 people injured and several others kidnapped.
Others in attendance were Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo, and Chief of Staff to the President, Prof. Ibrahim Gambari, National Security Adviser, Maj Gen, Babagana Monguno (retd), and Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Dr Folashade Yemi-Esan.
Other cabinet members physically attending the meeting are Ministers of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Finance, Budget and National Planning, Dr. Zainab Ahmed, and Justice, Abubakar Malami, Health, Dr. Ehanire Osagie, Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Industry, Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, Humanitarian Affairs, Disaster Management and Social Development, Sadiya Umar-Faroq
Others are Minister of Labour and Employment Festus Keyamo, Minister of State Mines and Steel, Uche Ogar while other ministers are attending virtually from their various offices.