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FEC approves N84.6bn for road, airports’ projects

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President Muhammadu Buhari
President Muhammad Buhari
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The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved over N5 billion for various contracts in Lagos, Abuja, Kano and Katsina airports.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the meeting of the Council, which was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja on Wednesday, also approved the dualisation of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road at the cost of N79.649 billion.

Special adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Femi Adesina, and the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, revealed this while briefing State House correspondents on decisions reached by the Council at the weekly cabinet meeting.

Adesina said: “The Minister of Aviation presented a memo for the approval of the award of contracts at the Murtala Mohammed international airport Lagos, Nnnamdi Azikiwe international airport Abuja, Aminu Kano international airport Kano and Katsina airport in Katsina State.

“For Lagos, it is for the expansion of the terminal building at domestic terminal GAT for the sum of N2, 817, 579, 271.99. For the Katsina airport, it is for the expansion of the airport’s apron awarded at N527, 353, 095.12.

“There is also the expansion of Lagos cargo apron areas awarded at N1,982. 943, 242.31.

“Council also approved the expansion of Abuja domestic apron areas at N795, 976, 947.34 and also the expansion of Kano apron area at the cost of N1, 059, 120, 254.37,”

Adesina said when completed, the contracts would go a long way in improving the air transportation network in the country.

On his part, Fashola revealed that the Council approved the dualization of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road at the cost of N79.649 billion.

According to the minister, the approved contract is in relation to the section from Oku Iboku Power Plant to Abak of about 26 kilometre stretch.

“The Ministry of Works and Housing presented the memorandum for the completion of the dualization of the Odukpani-Itu-Ikot Ekpene road. And this is in relation to the section from Oku Iboku Power Plant to Abak of about 26 kilometre stretch.

“Council approved the award to Messers Sematech Nigeria Ltd for N79.649 billion to be executed over 16 months.

“So, this will help complete the dualization gaps between the one awarded to Julius Berger and the section awarded to CCECC.

“When this is done, motorists in that area will now have an option of the dual carriageway instead of the existing single carriageway.

“And this is in recognition of the heavy cargo that passes through that area from the South-South through to the North Central, Benue through Katsina Ala through to the South East to Abia. It’s very very important trade link for the country.”

Asked to give an update on the 2020 contract award for the same project, Fashola expressed regret that there had been paucity of fund to implement the project.

He said: “Okay, first of all, it’s important for us to have a common understanding of the area – that is the rain forest area of Nigeria, mangrove areas, very high water table and rains in seven, eight months of the year.

“So, when we awarded the first section, from Odukpani-Itu to Julius Berger  in 2016, they could not move to site because of the limited budgetary requisitions.

“So, that slowed down work in that area and they didn’t move to site until 2018.

“And the second section, which was from Abak to Ikot Ekpene was awarded in last year, February 2020. We have had to mobilise some Sukuk resources to the area.

“Sometime last year, you might recall that I was there visiting with the governor, I  actually went twice and we focused first on the link road from Alese Ugep area because that was a very big bad one, that one used to take like, three, four days to traverse a 70 kilometer road.

“Now, we have that under control, resolved, motorable in the first phase to Odukpani. That has reduced the journey time there to less than two hours, from days. So, again, it’s a work in progress.’’

On the recent collapsed of a section of the Lokoja-Kabba road, the minister attributed the incident to natural causes.

He said: “As we go through the rainy season, this is the context in which to locate the Lokoja-Kabba.

“It’s a failure caused by nature and aging. And, again, an opportunity to share with you what we have. We expect that these things will happen, but we don’t know where it will happen every time.”

While noting that his ministry was often unable to respond to such failures, he called for the setting up of a contingency maintenance fund, which he said should have a sizable amount.

“So, we’ve been proposing that Nigeria should have an emergency provision in the works budget, but we haven’t been successful enough.

“There must be a contingency, a sizable sum, because when we see failures, last year, we had a problem like that in Kebbi, where roads were washed away.

“We couldn’t respond because we didn’t have the resources. But we will lean on FERMA.

“Well, traditionally back in Lagos when I was governor, I think we used to provide about five per cent of our capital expenditure as a contingency fund for emergencies. Something between three and five per cent varies across the world,” he said. (NAN)

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Oyebanji Is Back From USA

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Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
Ekiti State Governor, Biodun Oyebanji
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Ekiti State Governor, Mr Biodun Oyebanji this morning returned from his working visit to the United States of America.

A statement by the Special Adviser ( Media), to the Governor, Mr Yinka Oyebode said Oyebanji arrived the Muritala Mohammed Airport, Lagos around 10am and was received by some government officials.

The Governor will attend to some scheduled meetings in Lagos later today and head to Abuja on Thursday for other scheduled assignments.

Governor Oyebanji, in the course of the working visit to America, had extensive talks with some heads of governments and institutions, business leaders and development partners, exploring investment opportunities for the state’s power infrastructure, the Special Agriculture Processing Zone and the Ekiti Knowledge Zone, among others.

“These were outside his participation in the US-Africa Business Summit and the signing of MOU with CAVISTA Holdings for a multi billion naira 100,000 hectares cassava farm in the state.” the statement said.

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Labour Rejects FG’s Fresh ₦54,000 Minimum Wage Proposal

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The Federal Government has proposed to pay N54,000 as minimum wage, as the Tripartite Committee on the New Minimum Wage returned to the negotiation table after the Organised Labour pulled out of the negotiations last week.

At the reconvened meeting this week, the Federal Government made a fresh proposal to pay N54,000 as against the initial N48,000 it proposed during the last sitting.

However, a reliable source at the meeting said that the Organised Labour refused the new proposal, as it is a far cry from the N615,000 proposed by both the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

According to the source, the meeting which held behind closed doors at the Nicon luxury hotel in Abuja on Tuesday has been adjourned to Wednesday, May 22 to continue with negotiations.

The Organised Labour comprising the NLC and the TUC had on Tuesday given the Federal Government up till the end of May to conclude negotiations for a new minimum wage.

The unions also directed their members in states that are owing the N30,000 minimum wage to gear up for industrial action.

May 31 Deadline
The Federal Government had failed to present a nationally acceptable minimum wage to Nigerians before the May 1 Labour Day.

The situation has forced labour to be at loggerheads with the government. In the wake of the tussle, NLC President Joe Ajaero insisted on the N615,000 minimum wage, arguing that the amount was arrived at after an analysis of the economic situation worsened by the hike in the cost of living and the needs of an average Nigerian family of six.

With the cost of living rising following the removal of fuel subsidy, calls for a new minimum wage have continued to make headlines in Nigeria.

Ajaero and labour leaders gave the Federal Government a May 31 deadline to meet their demands.

 

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EFCC Arrests 78 Internet Fraudsters In Enugu, Imo

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Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ola Olukoyede
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The operatives of the Enugu Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) have arrested 78 suspected internet fraudsters in Enugu and Imo States.

EFCC spokesman Dele Oyewale disclosed this in a statement issued on Monday, May 20, 2024.

Oyewale noted that 29 suspected internet fraudsters were arrested in Enugu metropolis on May 15, while 49 others were nabbed in Imo State on May 17.

He said the suspects were arrested following actionable intelligence about their suspected involvement in online criminal activities.

The EFCC spokesperson listed items recovered from the suspects to include 13 cars, mobile phones, and laptops.

Oyewale added that the suspected internet fraudsters would be charged to court upon the conclusion of investigations.

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