FEC approves N15.57bn for road and university infrastructure

On Wednesday, the Federal Executive Council approved a total of N15.57 billion for various contracts in the Ministries of Works and Housing, Education, and Industry, Trade, and Investment. 

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and his counterparts in the Ministries of Education, Adamu Adamu, and Industry, Niyi Adebayo, made the disclosure to State House Correspondents following this week's Council meeting, which was presided over by the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja. 

Fashola, whose ministry received N9.69 billion, said the Council approved the amount for refund of funds spent on federal roads by the governments of Plateau and Borno states. 

The roads in question, according to the former Lagos State governor, were built before July 2016, when the federal government prohibited such interventions. 

"We presented two policy memoranda," he explained. The first concerned the government's policy of providing refunds in any form to state governments for previous interventions on federal government roads, subject to a July 26, 2016 deadline after which reforms would no longer be eligible. 

"As a result, the two states with outstandings in relation to eligible roads were Plateau and Borno, and Council approved a refund of N6.60 billion in favor of Plateau State and N3.08 billion in favor of Borno State." 

He also revealed that his ministry received approval from the Council to hire a private sector operator to build a central clearing house for the operations of toll plaza concessionaires under a Build-Operate-Transfer model of the Public-Private Partnership. 

According to him, the private operator will fund the project, operate it, recoup its investment, and eventually transfer it back to the government. 

"Two weeks ago, we also approved the full business case for the concessioning of nine federal roads, which will include concessionaires completing those roads as well as tolling operations, ambulance services, vehicle recovery services, and so on," he says. 

"Now, this process we sought and obtained approval to start is to get a private sector operator to work with us to build a central clearing house at his own expense, operate it, recover and then ultimately transfer back to government. 

"What a central clearing house will do is synchronize interoperability between different toll systems that will be used by different concessionaires when they begin their tolls, and it will also provide a one-stop accounting system and a single payment recovery system where everybody is paid at the end of the operations, and it will also provide visibility for government to see what is going on in each concessionaire's operations." 

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According to Niyi Adebayo, Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment, Council approved a N1.80 billion contract for the construction of a package sewage system for the authority's head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom State. 

"My ministry brought a memo on behalf of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, which is a parastatal under our ministry, as part of its responsibility of regulating and attracting foreign direct investments into the country is supervising certain oil and gas free zones in the country, one of which is the Liberty Free Zone in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State. 

"To that end, they sought Council's approval for the award of contract for the construction of a package sewage system for the authorities head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom State, in the sum of N1.8bn inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with a completion period of 10 months, without variation, and Council graciously approved the contract award," he said. 

Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education, revealed that the Council approved a total of N4.08 billion for three contracts at Osun State University, Osogbo; the Federal University, Lokoja; and the National Commission for Nomadic Education. 

He also disclosed that the Council approved a memorandum requesting that the federal government take over and rename the David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences. 

"We presented four memos, three of which were contracts," Adamu explained. The first is for the construction of Osun State University's Senate Building in Osogbo. WAZLAF Engineering Limited is the contractor on this project, which will cost N2.13 billion and take 76 weeks to complete. 

"The second one is a Senate Building. This one is at the Federal University of Lokoja and costs N1.61 billion. It will be completed in 50 weeks by Amber Bliss Nigeria Limited, the project's contractor. 

"The third is a contract for the National Commission for Nomadic Education to erect radio antennas. The contractor is ECALPEMOS Technologies Limited, and the contract value is N336.75 million. The deadline is in 14 weeks. 

"The last one is a memo for the takeover of David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi, by the federal government. 

"What we brought in the memo is for Council to ratify the agreement that has been entered into between the Ebonyi State government and the federal government, and then to approve the renaming of the university from David Umahi University of Medical Sciences to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences, and then to approve the transmission of this bill to the National Assembly for enactment into an Act."

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