Dreging of Warri Seaport to gulp N13bn
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Federal Executive Council (FEC), Wednesday, approved contracts of N47 billion for road projects in the country, including redesign and reconstruction of the Aba/Port-Harcourt section of the Enugu/Port-Harcourt Expressway.
FEC also approved the dredging of Port Harcourt Seaport and provision of navigational aids for Escravos at the sum of N13 billion.
Briefing State House correspondents after the weekly FEC presided over by the Vice President at Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that the contract for the Aba-Port Harcourt section amwad N6.3 billion.
He explained that the section of that expressway needed such attention because it had persistently failed as a result of regular storm waters and high water-level of the area.
The other contracts were for the rehabilitation of Babanlamba-Sharam in Plateau State at a cost of N19.2billion; and the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Road for N22 bllion, bringing the total cost of this particular 81-km road to N56 billion.
He said, “The Ministry of Power Works and Housing presented three memoranda. One was for the Babbam Lamba Sharam road in Plateau State of the award of the construction of 44.265 kilometer road for N19.392 billion .
“The second was for the Lagos/Ota/Abeokuta road 81 kilometers, that road was first awarded in year 2000 and it has since been left and uncompleted because there were no budgetary positions for it.
“Trying to move the contractors back to site when this administron came necessitated the revision of the rates. So those revised rates were brought to Council today and a revision on 22 billion was approved for the 81 kilometer road bringing the total contract price to N56.701 billion.
“The third approval was for section four of Enugu Port Harcourt road. The part between Aba particularly and Port Harcourt that has been problematic and has failed severally, we have a contractor there but we needed to change the design because of the storm water drainage needs and the high water table there, so that the road does not fail.
“So that required a revision of the scope of work from retaining one, new side lanes and also drainage facilities in the sum of N6.309 billions.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi said, “I got approval for the dredging of the Warri Seaport, the Escravos and the business of bad navigational aids. The total cost of the contract was N13 billion.”
The managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Mrs Hadiza Bala Usman after presentation to FEC to journalists that she requested the approval of the FEC to approve the dredging works for escravos channel in Warri and its navigation.
She said, “It is a challenge we have had in the Nigerian ports we need to ensure that the the channels into the Warri ports are dredged. It will fundamentally change the fortunes of Warri ports, it will expand the utilization of our eastern ports.
“We believe in the need to ensure that all ports locations are given the seamless access by providing dredging works and that is what we are here to do today.
“We have been able to execute transparency and elimination of corrupt practices, we serve the need to ensure that whatever government legal with an entity there is full compliance.
“On calabar Port, we have also reached an advanced stage for the procurement of the dredging works for Calabar. We had inherited a system that did not go through the relevant processes which we terminated. We are now almost concluding Calabar and we will also come and seek Federal Executive Council’s consideration for that.”
While the Ministry of Education got FEC approval for the establishment of the Nigeria Army University in Biu, Borno State; Ministry of the Interior, secured approval for the upgrade of infrastructure at the Nigeria Police Academy, Kano at a cost of N234 million.
Minuster of the Interior, Abdurahman Danbazzau, said the new infrastructure will include faculty buildings, cafeteria, cadets’ mess, and others required to meet minimum academic requirements for relevant accreditation of degree courses in the academy as stipulated by national Universities Commission (NUC).
Water Resources Minister, Suleiman Adamu disclosed that regressing urban water supply is hampering Nigeria’s attainment of MDGs, hence the FEC approved a declaration of emergency in the water and sanitation sector as well as increased funding for the sector, following an action plan submitted for consideration by the Ministry.
Presidential spokesman, Garba Shehu, announced that the Minister of Women Affairs, Aisha Alhassan, got FEC commendation for her presentation on the activities of the Ministry since 2015.
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, also presented his Ministry’s activities in the past three years; and an inter-ministerial committee was thereafter raised to advise government on how the Ministry and its parastatals can deliver more on their mandates.
The Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu said, “The minister of women affairs briefed council on women empowerment programme undertaken, capacity development for women, promotion of human rights, fighting violence against women, rehabilitation of victims of gender violence, promoting the health of women and children, and of course the efforts on the rescue of Chibok and Dapchi girls. Council commended the women affairs ministry for a job well done.
“Ministry of Information spoke on achievements made which include bringing down the wall that screens out Nigerians in the military engagement in the northeast, the role played in the prompt release of the Dapchi girls and have instituted town hall meetings, 11 of which have been held so far across the country.
“He said the town hall meetings are ways of getting feedback from the country. He also spoke about the national sensitization campaigns on insecurity in the country.
“He spoke about the institution of regular interaction with Broadcasting Organization of Nigeria, Nigeria Union of Journalists and other relevant bodies.
“Also interaction with International Press Institute that are coming into nigeria for their World Congress in June this year. They have made progress with the digital switchover campaigns.
“At the end of the day, the council decided to Set up an inter-ministerial committee to fashion out a marshal plan for the communications for the ministry to sit down and advise government on how policies and programmers can be better disseminated. In particular to advise government on how the ministry and its agencies can deliver on its own mandate.
“The ministers on the committee are finance, agriculture, budget and national planning, power, works and housing, transportation, communications, Information and Culture, petroleum and Niger Delta.”