· Okays N121.5bn for roads, Abuja infrastructure
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the commencement of the engineering design and construction of two access roads to boost the work on the 2nd Niger Bridge.
The link roads, from Asaba, in Delta State, to Onitsha in Anambra State, are meant to facilitate the ongoing construction of the 2nd Niger Bridge.
The engineering design of the link roads will be completed within six months – after which their construction will begin in earnest.
This was one of the major outcomes of the Federal Executive Council meeting in Abuja, yesterday, chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.
The FEC also approved the construction and rehabilitation of several roads in 12 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, at the cost of N82.25 billion.
Another N19 billion contract was approved by the FEC for the provision of additional infrastructure in Jahi residential district of Abuja.
Briefing journalists on the outcome of the FEC meeting on Wednesday, the Ministers of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and his FCT counterpart, Mohammed Bello, disclosed that an approval was given for the engineering and consultancy design for access roads 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State, as part of the 2nd Niger Bridge project on which work has resumed.
Fashola said: “Subsequent to the award of further works of the Second Niger Bridge, we have started work now by this approval on the design of the link road that will connect the two states to the bridge. The design is expected to be completed in six months and we will start procurement and as the bridge advances, we can then connect the two states. The contract sum is N150,840 million.”
“The other approval is for 12 roads in various states, including Numan, Jalingo roads, connecting Adamawa and Taraba states; replacement of bridges at Mayachi, along Guza-Sokoto Road in Zamfara state and construction of roads in Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu, Kaduna and Kano States. These roads are to cost N80 billion while a vital 5km road to link Ring Road III to Wasa Junction with Karshi-Arab-Apo Road in Abuja, will gulp N2.45 billion”.
There were also approvals for power projects relating to the extension of the consultancy and project management contract for the Katsina Wind Energy Farm project. It was awarded in 2010 and should have been completed in 2013.
“The expatriate who was implementing it was kidnapped and when he was eventually rescued, he never came back and that delayed the project. But we have revived the project; a new contracting team is back on site. The contract of the consultants representing us has expired and so we are extending his contract to cover new period of completion,” the minister explained.
Fashola further revealed that a power sector recovery programme was approved by FEC, and that it comprises many policy actions, operational and financial interventions that need to be carried out by government to improve transparency, service delivery, performance of DISCOs, Transmissions companies and the entire value change in order to create more viable power sector that is private sector driven.
“Some of the highlights of the programme are how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated as a result of previous unilateral reductions of tariff by the last administration during the run-up to the elections, how to make the DISCOs viable, accountable, responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid and transparency and communication within the sector.”
“There are also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) debts and how to improve sector governance, our roles in the business, the quality of personnel on the board of the DISCOs, it addresses access to renewable energy especially in rural areas using mini-grids and stand-alone solutions and how we are going to carry out the solutions that have been developed for 37 federal universities and seven tertiary hospitals.
“And how to solve the Niger Delta problem and also how to ensure there is a stable and predictable foreign exchange policy for the sector, so that it is somewhat protected from sudden head winds of the volatility of the foreign exchange market so that they can plan and deliver. Also, how to address the issue of vandalisation at consumer and production levels of pipelines and so on as this will help bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector”, he stated.
Other approvals of FEC yesterday as announced by the FCT Minister, Mohammed Bello, are the award of a contract for Phase 2 of the Abuja Mass Transit Lot 1B (26.77km), which is from Ring Road I, passing through Area 10, beside Wuse Market, Berger Junction, Jabi Motor Park, through Life Camp to Gwagwa.
This and the remaining part of Lot 1A (5.76km) rail tracks and accompanying rolling stocks; workshop equipment and three-year management contract was awarded to Chinese firm, CCECC at a cost of $1.79 billion – to be funded by China’s EXIM Bank.