By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA—The Federal Executive Council, FEC, yesterday, approved N80 billion for the construction of roads in 12 states of the federation.
It also approved N150.84 million for the consultancy and engineering design for access roads 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State, Onitsha in Anambra State and the Second Niger Bridge.
In the same vein, the council gave its nod to the construction of a 5km road to link Ring Road III to Wasa Junction with Karshi-Ara-Apo Road in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja, at the cost of N2.454 billion.
The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, alongside Minister of FCT, Bello Mohammed and Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, made the disclosures while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
According to Fashola, the 12 states include Adamawa, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu and Kaduna.
He said: “The second is approval for 12 roads in various states. The roads are at the cost of N80 billion.
“The approval is also for the engineering and consultancy design for access roads 1 and 2 to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to link the Second Niger Bridge project.
“Subsequent to the award of further works on the Second Niger Bridge, we have started work now by this approval on the design of the link road that will connect the two states to the bridge.
“The design is expected to be completed in six months and we will start procurement and as the bridge advances we can then connect the two states. The contract sum is N150.840 million.”
The minister, who noted that the Council gave approval for various power projects, said: “There was also approval for power projects. It relates to the extension of the consultancy and project management contract. It is an existing contract for the Katsina Wind Energy Farm project. It was awarded in 2010 and should have been completed in 2013.
“The expatriate who was implementing it was kidnapped and when he was eventually rescued, he never came back and that delayed the project.
“But we have revived the project. A new contracting team is back on site. The contract of the consultants representing us has expired and so we are extending his contract to cover new period of completion.
“The last contract on power approved is the power sector recovery programme which we presented to council. It is a programme that comprises many policy actions, operational and financial interventions that need to be carried out by government to improve transparency, service delivery, performance of DISCOS, transmission companies, the entire value chain in order to create more viable power sector that is private sector driven.
“Some of the highlights of the programme are how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated as a result of previous unilateral reductions of tariff by the last administration during the running of the elections, how to make the DISCOS viable, accountable, responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid and transparency and communication within the sector.’’
On his own part, the Minister of FCT, Bello Mohammed, stated that three key infrastructure projects were also approved by the council.
The projects include the Abuja Mass Transit Lot 1B (26.77km) which is from Ring Road I; the construction of remaining part of Lot 1A (5.76km); rolling stocks and workshop equipment for maintenance of trains.
The $1.79bn projects awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC, would be funded by NEXIM Bank.
Other projects for the FCT are Jahi District Infrastructure, which cost was put at N19.473bn and a 5km road to link Ring Road III to Wasa Junction with Karshi-Ara-Apo Road estimated to cost N2.454bn.’’