By Chesa Chesa
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved contracts worth N36 billion for power and road projects across the country.
One of the contracts id the reconstruction of 20-km Bende-Ohafia-Arochukwu Road at a cost of N5.4billion.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), who gave a breakdown of the contracts, explained that N8.9billion was approved for the construction of Ikom Bridge and road in Cross River State.
The road and bridge, which will be completed in 24 months, he said, will create better access to the sea port for heavy duty freight trailers.
The FEC meeting held on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, stood by the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, who is accused of certificate forgery.
Adeosun, who arrived for the FEC meeting a few minutes after it commenced with Buhari presiding, was unruffled by the allegations.
Last week, an online newspaper exclusively reported that Adeosun skipped the mandatory one-year service of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for under-30 tertiary schools’ graduates, and to cover that up, she allegedly forged an exemption certificate of the NYSC even though she graduated from a London polytechnic at the age of 22.
While the minister has kept mum over the allegations, the NYSC has acknowledged that she applied for an exemption certificate, but promised to investigate the source of the particular copy that she had presented to the National Assembly for ministerial screening prior to her appointment.
Asked to speak further on the issue that may put a stain on Adeosun’s membership of the cabinet, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that there was nothing more to add to what the NYSC had said.
According to him, “the government has spoken. NYSC is part of government and I have nothing to add to what the NYSC has said.”
Fashola said that a contract of N11.77 billion was approved for Nguru-Gashua Road in Yobe State. The 37-km road is to be completed in 24 months.
Also to be completed in 24 months is the Ilorin-Kishi Road project in Kwara State, which was awarded at a cost of N8.6 billion.
The last contract of N933.6 million was approved for purchase automatic meter reading equipment for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN).
The contract also covers installation and training of personnel to man the machines which are meant to ease wholesale, bulk meter reading for industrial energy users.
This will replace manual meter reading and reduce delays and disputes over reconciliation and payment of electricity bills of industrial clients, not regular domestic users, Fashola explained.