BY Ben Agande
Abuja—The Federal Executive Council, yesterday, approved the construction of a new banquet hall in the Presidential Villa for the sum of N2.2 billion.
The approval is part of the final set of N19.4 billion contracts for this year covering road construction, rail transportation and infrastructural development in the Federal Capital Territory.
Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Dr. Reuben Abati, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting, said the new banquet hall would have a capacity of 150 seats.
He said subsequent Federal Executive Council meetings would be devoted to reviewing what had been achieved by government in the last one year.
Dr Abati, who stood in for the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku, said aside from the roads, rail and other contracts, the council also approved the award of contract for the conduct of fiscal allocation and statutory disbursement audit for 2007 to 2011 as well as oil and gas industry audit.
He said the approval was in conformity with section 2 of the NEITI Act 2007.
He said: “The objective of this initiative is to ensure transparency and accountability in the application of resources from payments received from extractive industries and to further ensure that all fiscal allocations and statutory disbursements due from the Federal Government to statutory recipients were dully made.”
Abati noted that the essence of the contract was to enable NEITI track extractive industry sector funds paid into the federation account as distributed and received by federal, state and local government areas.
He said there would also be special emphasis on the application, utilization of the funds, on beneficiaries of the 13 per cent derivation and relevant federal institutions that directly received allocations from the Federation Account.