The FEC meeting, presided over by Vice-President Yemi also approved N612m as revised estimated total cost for the completion of the Cham Dam and development of 100 hectares of irrigation scheme in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State.
Osinbajo chaired the meeting in the absence of President Muhammadu Buhari, who is currently attending the 73rd United Nations General Assembly in New York, the United States of America.
Speaking with journalists on some of the outcomes of the meeting, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, said if executed, the Escravos power project would put an end to the N18m being spent monthly by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation to provide power to the area.
He gave an assurance that the project would provide electricity for the communities within four or five years and become a permanent structure.
He stated, “What we took to the council today was to seek approval for the award of a contract for the supply of power to the contiguous communities around the Escravos areas. We had approval earlier to do the Escravos to Lagos pipeline system.
“It was then stalled following protests by the community over the plan to move 50 per cent of the gas to provide power to other areas when the communities did not have power.
“Today, council approved $64.2m to fund two lots. One is to build the power plant to supply power itself and the other to distribute the power to all the affected communities.
“Council granted approval in two lots. With this, we believe power will now be provided for the communities within four or five years, and become a permanent structure.”
Kachikwu said the only way the government had been able to maintain peace in the communities “was to use generators to supply power, which had been costing the NNPC about N18m every month to manage.”
Also speaking, the Minister of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, said the Cham Dam and development of the irrigation scheme in Balanga Local Government Area of Gombe State was initially awarded in 2011.
He said the project was being executed by the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority.
“The dam was originally constructed in 1982 but after some unprecedented rainfall and probably due to inadequate provision of spill ways, the dam was breached about 10 years ago and therefore, it has to be reconstructed, and this is why we came for this augmentation of N612m,” Adamu stated.
He said government was making efforts to complete the inherited project, which started in 2011 and had suffered from inadequate supply of funds.
Adamu added, “Work stopped at about 65 per completion, but we need to complete it; so, we renegotiated the project with the contractors. We therefore brought request for augmentation for N612m.
“The project is being handled by the Upper Benue River Basin Development Authority. It was originally constructed in 1982. It had to be reconstructed. The original contract cost was N832m in 2011.”
On the flooding problem ravaging some parts of the country, Adamu said, “The water level in Lokoja has dropped by six centimetres and the water level in the Lagdo dam in Cameroon is also going down.
“So, we think that the worst is over, unless if any unforeseen incident occurs now. We should be able to see most of the flood waters go down from now on.”
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, also told journalists that FEC approved the sum of N500m for facility maintenance service for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s new 10-storey building in Abuja.
Shehu added that the sum of N459m was also approved for the anti-graft agency for procurement of 700 computers, 100 laptops and 25 laser printers.
According to him, the FEC also approved the purchase of 15 utility vehicles for the commission.
Shehu noted that EFCC was expanding and needed the vehicles for operations, which he said would be bought from local assembly plants.
The approvals were said to have followed the commission’s requests in three separate memos.