BY DANIEL IDONOR
ABUJA—THE weekly Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday, approved the purchase of textbooks in various subjects for primaries 1 and 2 pupils; and library resource materials for junior secondary schools in 34 states of the federation for N6.63 billion.
The meeting, which was presided over by President Goodluck Jonathan, with Vice- President Namadi Sambo in attendance, also approved the purchase of a helicopter for the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, for N3.3 billion.
The books supply deal is to be executed by the Universal Basic Education Commission, UBEC, while funding will be from 15 per cent of the two per cent Consolidated Revenue Fund of the Federal Government.
The primary school textbooks are English language, Mathematics, Basic Science Technology, and Social Studies, just as the books and library resource materials are for public schools in 34 states.
However, Bauchi and Lagos states are exempted from the project because they had already provided such books for their pupils, according to the Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, who briefed the newsmen in the company of Minister of Education, Professor Ruqqayatu Rufai.
Maku also announced the approval of a N5.61 billion contract for the supply and installation of new communications solutions for the eastern section of Nigerian Railway Corporation, in line with ongoing rehabilitation efforts and to conform with the latest technology and best practices in railway signalling and communications.
Maku said: ”Following a memorandum by the Minister of Transport, council approved the design, supply, installation and commissioning of new signalling and communication solutions for the Eastern line including two branch lies for the Ministry of Transport and NRC, in the sum of N5.6 billion only, inclusive of all taxes with a completion period of 14 months.”
The project, Maku added, “is aimed at addressing the challenges of the ongoing rehabilitation of the Eastern Line and to conform with the latest technology and best practices in signalling and communication of Rail lines.
”Council also approved for the procurement of 1 Bell Search and Rescue Helicopter Model 429 DFIF EMS, configured with Emergency Medical Ambulance Services for the use of National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA.
”After deliberations, council approved the procurement of 1No Bell 429 DPFR EMS Configuration with special equipment and Bell Standard installed kits, avionics, specialised equipment, accessories and spare parts and emergency medical service configuration, in the sum of $9.5 million as foreign currency component payable at the exchange rate at the time of payment and N508 million as the local currency component with a delivery period of 8 months.”
The information minister explained that the country was vulnerable to such challenges as communal conflicts, ethnic/political and inter-religious skirmishes as well as other natural disasters that
had bedevilled it recently, with attendant emergency issues requiring prompt response by the agency.
The FEC meeting also approved a memo by the Minister of Finance, for Nigeria to contribute the sum of 76.5 billion Units of Account (UA) over a period of three years (2011 to 2015) to 2nd Capital Replenishment (EBID).
According to Maku, the ECOWAS Bank for Investment and Development, EIBD, Board of Governors at the 6th Extra Ordinary session held in Accra, had approved that the authorized capital of the bank should be increased from UA603, 000,000 to UA1 billion, out of which 35 per cent will be callable to enable it achieve its mandate of funding developmental and poverty reduction programmes/projects within the ECOWAS region.
He disclosed that Nigeria was required to pay a total of UA76,538,000.00 representing 31.24 per cent over a period of three years.
FEC also approved the supply of Aluminium Conductor Composite Core Reinforced, ACCCR, for the purpose of re-conductoring of the Itu-Calabar 132kv line.
According to the minister, this is because the Itu-Calabar 132kv is currently overloaded with a maximum wheeling capacity of only 60mw.
”The contract was awarded in favour of Composite Technology Corporation in the sum of $1,627,464.00 payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payment plus N24, 853,002.74 inclusive of VAT with a delivery period of 32weeks,” he said.