June 10, 2009

Special FEC meeting today

By  Daniel Idonor
AS a special session of the weekly Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting is to be held today to consider what government said were crucial memos from the Ministry of Power.  FEC yesterday, after a prolonged meeting, approved various agriculture projects worth over N64 billion, the first of its kind in the last 50 years.

Investigation by Vanguard revealed that today’s FEC is coming on the heels of what government described as delayed budget approval by the National Assembly which had led to the slow pace of government business since the beginning of the year.

It was also gathered that like yesterday, the meeting that dwelled mostly on memos from the Agriculture ministry, today’s session is expected to focus on a similar large number of memos, this time from the Power ministry.

Minister of Information and Communications, Prof. Dora Akunyili, who briefed State House correspondents after the meeting which was presided by President Umaru Yar’Adua, said FEC approved a grant facility of $100 US from the International Department Association (IDA), an arm of the World Bank for the control of malaria.

“The Federal Executive Council yesterday approved a slight review of existing Nigeria national water resources policy, in which the federal government will be responsible for the construction of new dams of 20 million cubic metre capacity and above, and new irrigation schemes of 1000 hecters and above, and to handover all ongoing federal government funded water projects to the states, where they are located”, she stated.

Akunyili said “council also gave approve for the implementation of a competitive agricultural research grant scheme to be operated and supervised by the agricultural research council of Nigeria. It also approved the utilization of the allocated N6 billion of the approved special intervention fund for the implementation of the scheme.”

Another approval, she explained was “given for the implementation franmework, to enable the bank of industry commence implementation and disbursement of federal government’s 40 per cent credit facility, amounting to N9.52 billion, to the 10 selected eligible rice processing companies, for the procurement, installation and setting up of model rice processing millis in the following states: Adamawa, benue, ekiti, niger, kano, taraba, kebbi, enugu, bayelsa, ebonyi, ogun and anambra.

“Council also gave approval for the commencement of the implementation of the category ‘c’ projects on build, lease and transfer basis with 30 per cent federal government grant funding, 40  per cent concessionary credit support and 30 per cent investor funding as soon as their procurement arrangements are concluded”, she added.

Also approved was the utilization of the sum of N2,892,190,544.30 being 40 per cent federal government grant to six selected private sector organizations as investors to establish export handling, preservation and conditioning centers in six locations across the country.

This is through build, own and operate delivery model of the public private partnership with 52 weeks as completion period – the project locations are Gombe, Kebbi, Enugu, Kadnua, Cross iver and Nasarawa states.

Council also gave approval for the award of contract for consultancy services in favour of Messrs GIS Transport Ltd., to supervise phase I of the National Agricultural Land Mapping project in the sum of N301.9 with 24 months as completion period.

Agricultural cadastre is an agricultural a land register containing information on ownership, geometry, boundary coordinates, land use and conservation, soil characteristics and values of agricultural land.

The objective of this project is to give value to agricultural lands, so that the certificates of title deeds which will be produced can be used by farmers as collaterals to access credit.

Equally approved by council at its meeting today is the contract for the construction and rehabilitation of silo complexes across the nation, saying “the approval involves the utilization of the sum of  N42,024,969,941.52 the completion of two silo complexes that were abandoned, and the construction of 18 additional silo complexes at various locations across the country from the development and natural resources fund with 12 months as completion period involves completion of two units of 25,000MT capacity silo complexes at Dustin-ma in Katsina State and Gaya in Kano State”.

According to her, “category two, involves the completion of 11 units of 25,000MT capacity silo complexes at Sokoto, Damaturu, Yola, Jalingo, Bauchi, Lokoja, Lafia, Ikenne, Ilesha, Igbariam and Uyo, while category three, involves the construction of seven units of 100,,000MT Capacity silo complexes at Gusau, Birnin Kebbi, Maiduguri, Abuja, Ado Ekiti, Okigwe and Yenagoa”.

Also approved, he said, is “a N2.42 billion contract for the connection of terminal manholes, missing links and district outfalls to interceptor trunk sewer lines within Abuja as well as eth connection of septic tanks at Karmo district”.

Council also gave approval for the award of contract for the acquisition of a Dive Support Sea going vessel for the Petroleum Training Institute, Effurum in favour of Messrs Netsach Ld in the sum of N1.117 billion with six months delivery period.

This project involves the acquisition of a functional Deive Support sea going vessel equipped with complete safety complements, navigational and communications gadgets, radar, Global Positionings, FM radios and other items. The acquisition of the vessel  will enhance their training skills.

The Council also approved a memo on the installation of supplementary gas treatment plants on the Escaravos-Lagos gas pipeline system on Build, Own and \operate basis.

The contract involves the installation of supplementary gas treatment plants at  Utorou and Oben gas processing facilities in favour of Southfield Petroleum Nig Ltd at no cost to the federal government. It has 12 months completion period.

The objective of the project is to enhance power generation capacity of Nigeria. This will ensure that only bone-dry gas is supplied to power plants at Geregu, Papalanto (2), Omotosho and Egbin all of which receive feed gas from the Escravos-Lagos pipeline system.

Following a memo by the Minister of Finance, council gave approval for the International Development Association additional financing in the sum $100 million to scale up the malaria control booster project. The objectives of the project are to provide improved access to and utilisation of malaria plus package of interventions in the participating states of Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bauchi, Rivers , Gombe, Jigawa and Kano.

It would also strengthen the ability of the Federal and state governments to manage and oversee delivery of malaria plus interventions. The additional financing which will be disbursed within the three year life span of the on going project will facilitate the scaling up of activities of the project for the realisation of the millennium Development goals (MDGs) as it concerns health.