*approves N14bn for Odukpani road
*N272m assault rifles, ammunitions for Prisons
By Chesa Chesa
The Federal Government announced on Wednesday that major oil companies have contributed $180 million for the clean-up of the Ogoni oil skills and reclamation of the environment, for which 21 firms are to mobilise to site in the next two weeks.
Minister of State for Environment, Ibrahim Jibrin, disclosed this to State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by Vice-President Yemi Osinbajo at the Aso Rock Villa.
He said that because of the confidence the oil companies have in the government and governance structures that are put in place, “the opening of the Ogoni Trust Fund will be able to mobilize $180 million from the oil companies.
“Right from the Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC), Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) and the (joint) ventures companies, they have mobilized $180 million. It is in an escrow account with the Standard Chartered Bank of London and the Board of Trustees is managing that.
“So, as far as we are concerned, we can beat our chest and say that the Buhari administration has shown the way forward on this clean-up exercise and we hope and pray that the people whom we are working for will have cause to laugh and smile very soon.”
Jibrin explained that the shortlisting of qualified companies which had been ongoing for couple of weeks now, has been concluded and “I can confidently tell you that before the end of this month, in the next week’s, there will be 21 companies that will be mobilised to site to start the work.”
He revealed that the Ministerial Tender Board sat a day earlier to consider the submission of the procurement department of Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project (HYPREP) and 15 lots were up for grabs, which the governing council of the Ogoni Trust Fund will meet this Friday to ratify with the hope that the contractors will be mobilized to site next week or after.
“There are some other five lots. Because we are 21 in this first segment that are beyond the reach of the Ministerial Tender Board and the Governing Council, that one will go to the Federal Executive Council,
“We have already written to BPP for ‘no-objection’ and we hope to get the ‘no-objection’ hopefully by next week. So, the next two weeks those five lots will be presented to the Federal Executive Council for approval. So I can assure you that we are on course and there is no going back on the Ogoni clean up”, he stated.
Jibrin further revealed a FEC approval of a memo for the ratification of the Doha Amendment of the Kyoto Protocol, concerning the United Nations framework conventions on climate change.
“The Kyoto Protocol was crafted in 2004 and Nigeria is a party to that. The initial period of commitment of the protocol was from 2008-2012. The new segment now is from 2013-2020.
“The essence of this protocol is to commit advanced countries or developed countries that are mostly industrialized and are at the forefront of the production of gaseous emission which is harmful to the environment”, he said.
The FEC awarded a contract for the procurement, installation and commissioning of Instrument Landing Systems to better guide aircraft pilots in bad weather and night at Kaduna, Abuja, Benin, Ibadan and Enugu airports.
The contract was first awarded in December 2011 for N1.5bn but no financial provision was made for it. It has therefore now been re-awarded for N3.149bn, in line with new foreign exchange rate, according to the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, announced the approval of cost variation for Ilorin-Omuaran-Kabba road that was initially awarded for N13.541bn in 2013 but re-awarded now at a cost N29.95bn, thus making a cost variation of N13.54bn.
Also approved for the Ministry was a N14.01 billion contract for construction of the 73km stretch of road from Odukpani junction up Apet, in Cross River State. It is section of the expressway that extends Calabar-Itu to Ogoja and Gakem in the same State.
The Minister disclosed that there would be massive road construction across the country from now up till May next year in order to take advantage of the dry season.
Minister of the Interior, Abdurahman Danbazzau, announced the FEC’s approval of a contract of N272.4 million for the procurement of 400 pieces of Beretta assault rifles with 20,000 rounds of ammunition for Nigerian Prisons Service, towards preventing jailbreaks and strengthening maximum security prisons across the country.
“There is need to secure all our prisons particularly where we have inmates that require maximum security. If you recalled not too long a go our prison in Minna was attacked from the outside and some of the dangerous prisoners freed.
“The prison has an armed squad. But we realize after investigation of that attack that one of the major shortcomings within that prison was lack of adequate arms and ammunition”, the Minister said.