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Niger votes N3.7bn to renovate governor’s lodge

Niger votes N3.7bn to renovate governor’s lodge

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John Adams Minna

Niger State Government has said N3.7 billion would be aspent to renovate the governor’s official residence, abandoned by previous administration.

The amount is aside the N1.9 billion earlier spent on fencing of the official residence, including the Government House.

Commissioner for Works, Alhaji Zakari Jikantoro, made the disclosure to newsmen, after the State Executive Council meeting, held in Minna, yesterday.

The commissioner said the first phase of the project had already been completed at the cost of N2.1 billion, while the second phase of the project, for which contract had been awarded, will cost N1.6 billion.

Jikantoro said the project is being executed in phases because of the volume of work needed to be done, as well as the huge funds required.

He added that the second phase entailed the construction of three sets of three-bedroom guest houses and swimming pool, whereas the first phase was for the government house proper and the front gate.

The immediate past administration of former governor Muazu Babangida Aliyu, in 2014, commenced the renovation of the governor’s lodge at the cost of about N75 million, in preparation for the incoming government, but the job was later stalled.

Throughout the eight years of the former governor, he used his private residence as official quarters.

He was accused by the then opposition All Progressives Congress (APC) of paying himself N250 million per year, for using his private residence as official quarters.

However, due to inhabitable nature of the governor’s residence, the present governor, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bello, has also been residing at the Presidential Lodge since he was sworn in, on May 29, 2015.

In another development, the state government said it has concluded arrangements to purchase 64 buses, in other to boost intra and inter state transportation, at the cost of N1.23 billion.

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Transportation, Abdullah Imam, who stood in for the commissioner, told newsmen that government had completed arrangements for the  purchase 14 high capacity buses for intra-city shuttle, and 50 units of medium size buses for long distance journey, which would be added to the fleet of the state transport authority.

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