By DanielÂ Idonor
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) announced at the end of its meeting yesterday that it has secured a loan facility of about N32.8 billion ($225m) from the International Development Association (IDA) to assist it mitigate the spread of HIV/AIDS.
FEC also gave an approval for the Federal Ministry of Finance to secure credit facility of about N14 billion ($95milion) from the IDA on behalf of the Lagos State Government to enable the state implement the proposed Lagos Eko secondary education project.
This is in view of government’s commitment to reforming the education sector, in order to improve skills and standard, as contained in a memo by the finance ministry.
Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who addressed State House correspondents at the end of the council meeting, addedÂ Â that FEC considered a memo from the Minister of Finance and approved the second HIV/AIDS development project.
According to her, the objective of the proposed second HIV/AIDS development projects is to reduce the risk of HIV infection by scaling up prevention, intervention and to increase access to and utilization of HIV counseling, testing care and support services.
The minister added that the project will be implemented in all the 36 states of the federation and the FCT.
On the Lagos education project she explained that â€œthe objective of the proposed project is to improve the quality of education in public and senior secondary schools across Lagos State.
She stressed that it will also strengthen the federal post-basic education strategy and build monitoring and evaluation capacity of the ministry of education.
â€œThe proposed credit would support the Lagos State governmentâ€™s plan of human development by directly supporting the junior and senior secondary schools through grants, performance-based incentives, teachers training na d standardized testing of the studentsâ€, she said.
This project, she further said, will benefit over half million public schools pupils, build the capacity of over 7,000 teachers and school administrators and strengthen capacity of district institutions.
However, the minister stated that â€œcouncil approved this memo with a proviso that there should be re-negotiation of the loan terms so that more funds will be directed to screening and treatmentâ€.
Other decisions by FEC, she noted is that â€œCouncil considered and approved for final payment of the sum of N6.1 billion in favour of RCC for the construction of the Fed Ministry of Finance phase II headquarters office complex in Abujaâ€.
She said the contract was awarded in 2001 and it is at about 95 percent completion. The Ministry of Finance has already taken effective occupation of the greater part of the building.