The federal government on Wednesday approved N80 billion for the construction of roads across 12 states.
The government also approved N150.8 million for consultancy and engineering design for access road 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State to Onitsha in Anambra State and the Second Niger Bridge.
These were some of the outcomes of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided by President Muhammadu Buhari for the second time since his return from his medical vacation in the UK.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, alongside the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, made the disclosures while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.
According to Mr. Fashola, the 12 states where roads will be constructed include Adamawa, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu and Kaduna.
“The approval is for 12 roads in various states including Numan, Jalingo roads connecting Adamawa and Taraba states, replacement of bridges at Mayachi along Gusau-Sokoto road in Zamfara states, construction of roads in Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano. The roads are at the cost of N80 billion,” he said.
Mr. Fashola said “another approval is for the engineering and consultancy design for access road 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to link the Second Niger Bridge project.
“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 minister also said the Council gave approval for various power projects.
“There was also approvals for power projects. It relates to the extension of the consultancy and project management contract. It is an existing 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,” he said.
Mr. Fashola said the last contract approved on power is the power sector recovery programme.
He said the programme comprises many policy actions and operational and financial interventions that need to be carried out by government to improve transparency and service delivery in the performance of distribution companies, Discos, and the Transmissions Company of Nigeria.
He said the aim is to create more viable power sector that is private sector driven.
“Some of the highlights of the programme is 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 running of 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;
“And also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) debts and how to improve sector governance, our roles in the the quality of personnel on the board of the DISCO, it addresses access to renewable energy especially in rural areas using mini-grids and standalone 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,” he said.
The minister said the new programme will look address vandalisation at consumer and production levels of pipelines so as to bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector.
“We see a lot of people who want to invest but some of them are tied to what other international financial institutions do and the institutions are also waiting to see us commit to these things”, he said.
On his part, the Minister of FCT, Mr. Bello said three key infrastructure projects were also approved by the Council.
There was “approval for the award of 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,” he said.
Mr. Bello said the project was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC, at the cost of $1.79 billion; under a funding arrangement by NEXIM Bank.