Abuja – The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja approved N185.2billion for the rehabilitation, repairs and reconstruction of 14 road projects across the country.
The Special Adviser to the President on Media and Publicity, Mr Femi Adesina, revealed this when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the Council’s meeting held at the Council Chamber of the Presidential Villa.
Adesina, who briefed the correspondents alongside the Ministers of Health and that of Industry, Trade and Investment, Prof. Isaac Adewole and Mr Okechukwu Enelamah respectively, said the road projects were located in Yobe, Adamawa, Benue, Kwara, Ekiti, Lagos, Ogun, Edo, Enugu, Borno, Anambra and Sokoto states.
He listed the road projects to include Gwoza – Damboa – Goniri – Ngamdu Road in Yobe/Borno States at the cost of N34.608 billion; Mayo Belwa – Jada – Ganye – Torngo Road in Adamawa at the rate of N22.699billion and Ado – Ifaki – Otun – Kwara State border in Ekiti State at the rate of N6 billion.
He said that Makurdi bridge in Benue would be repaired at the cost of N4.617 billion; Ihugi – Korinya -Wuse -Ankor in Benue at N15.641 billion and Gbagi – Apa – Owode in Badagry Lagos State at N4.366 billion.
Others are the construction of Ijebu Igbo – Ita Egba Owonowen in Ogun and Oyo States which would cost N9.833 billion while N7.506billion would be spent on dualisation of Jattu – Fugar – Agenebode in Edo Phase II by Mothercat.
He said the Makurdi – Gboko – Wannune – Yander Section 1 in Benue would be reconstructed at the cost of N18.669 billion; Old – Enugu – Port Harcourt Road at Agbogugu – Abia border Spur would cost N13.933 billion.
Adesina said that N6.249billion would be spent on rehabilitation of Umulungbe – Umoka road; Amokwu – Ikedimkpe – Egede – Opeyi Awhum Road in Enugu State at N21.729 billion and rehabilitation of Nkwu Inyi – Akpugoeze in Anambra at N2.595 billion.
He revealed that N4.354billion would be expended on reconstruction of Sabon Birnin – Tsululu – Kuya – Maradi Junction road in Sokoto state.
The presidential aide, who also reacted to a question on 2018 budget, disclosed that the budget would be signed by President Buhari next week.
The Presidency had on May 25 confirmed the receipt of the 2018 Appropriation Bill from the National Assembly more than six months after it was presented before the joint session of the legislative house.
The senate had increased the 2018 budget from N8.612 trillion as proposed by President Buhari to N9.12 trillion.
The senate also increased the crude oil benchmark price pegged for the budget from 45 dollars per barrel to 50.5 dollars per barrel.
However, Adesina said: “The position on the 2018 budget is that it will be signed next week. You will be told the specific date.
“But one thing we are sure of is that the budget will be signed next week.’’
The Minister of Health, Prof. Adewole disclosed that the Council approved the Draft on Food Safety and Quality Bill as well as the Food Safety Institutional Reform Working Document.
According to him, it is expected that with the formal approval of the two documents the nation may witness reduction in the incident of food borne illnesses through many preventive control measures that is contained in the bill.
He said it would also help to support the achievements of sustainable effective food trade that would boost the nation’s economy as well as help to strengthen institutional capacity for food safety and quality already contained in the bill.
“The relevance of the bill could actually be appreciated when one considers some happenings in the past when food export from Nigeria was banned in Europe.
“We believe that what is required is for us to strengthen institutional framework that will enable various agencies of government to work together,’’ he added.
He said part of the institutional framework in the bill was to set up Food Safety Council to be chaired by the Vice-President as well as an Inter-Ministerial Committee that would handle food management and food safety in the country.
The minister disclosed that the Council also approved a draft National Tobacco Control Regulation, which would be forwarded to the National Assembly for legislative approval.
He said that draft bill when approved by the National Assembly would enable his ministry to implement the regulation on National Tobacco Act.
“Under this administration we have recorded several successes with respect to tobacco anti-control. Precisely early last month Mr President approved increase in Tobacco taxes as well as alcohol.
“And then on the May 23, government approved the framework to control illegal trade in tobacco products in Nigeria. And today, the regulation that will really enable us implement the National Tobacco Control Act was approved.
“The framework contains some sections that has to do with general provisions of regulations like licensing, approvals, who does what, penalties and so on and so forth. And more importantly to also enable us work closely with the state.
“We believe that once this is approved by National Assembly we will start seeing a lot of changes, effective ban on smoke areas in the country and also you will notice different warning labels on tobacco product in Nigeria,’’ he said.
The Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah disclosed that the Council approved the award of contract for construction of the phase II and the completion of the Industrial Training Fund (ITF) Multi-purpose conference centre in Abuja.
According to him, the project will cost N6,540,385,908 billion inclusive of VAT.
He said: “The importance of this is that the ITF is one of the most important agencies of government when it comes to vocational training and skills acquisition and Abuja is a very important centre of training for ITF.
“It has training facility that can trained 319 people per session. With this investment in this building, it can increase that capacity to about 1,200 per session. So it is a fairly big facility.
“Some of the areas of interest we want to increase training include the automotive skills sector, ICT, Tiling, plasters of Paris (POP), plumbing, GSM wielding and fabrication, refrigeration and so on.
“All these strategies are attempt to implement the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan and to diversify the economy in a way that we can bring more and more of our people to have the skills that are needed to go to work.’’(NAN)