as FEC okays N35.613bn for roads, bridge projects
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Federal Government on Wednesday said it had nothing to say on the alleged National Youth Service Corps, NYSC, Exemption Certificate scandal hanging on the neck of the Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun, except what the management of NYSC had said.
This is as the Federal Executive Council, FEC, has approved the sum of N34.613 billion for roads and bridge projects across six geo-political zones of the country.
The Finance Minister arrived for the FEC meeting a few minutes after it commenced but she did not appear openly ruffled by the allegations.
An online newspaper had exclusively reported last week that Adeosun skipped the mandatory one-year service of the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) for under-30 university graduates, and to cover that up, she subsequently forged an exemption certificate of the NYSC even though she graduated from a London polytechnic at the age of 22.
While the presidency has kept mum over the allegations, the NYSC has acknowledged that she applied for an exemption certificate, but promised to investigate the source of the particular copy that she had presented to the National Assembly for ministerial screening prior to her appointment.
Fielding questions while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed who was asked the position of the federal government on the controversy over the alleged NYSC Exemption Certificate forgery said there was nothing more to add to what the NYSC had said.
He said, “The government has spoken. NYSC is part of government and I have nothing to add to what the NYSC has said.”
Meanwhile, the FEC approved contracts sum of about N36 billion for power and road projects across the country, including the reconstruction of 20-km Bende-Ohafia-Arochukwuroad in Abia State at a cost of N5.4bn.
According to the minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, which will be completed in 20 months was re-awarded to a new construction company because the previous company that the contract was awarded to was unable to implement the contract satisfactorily.
He also said that a contract sum of N8.9 billion was approved for construction of Ikom bridge and road in Cross River State.
The road and bridge, which he said will be completed in 24 months, would create better access to the Calabar Port which has witnessed inactivity, stressing that the bridge would open way for heavy duty freight trailers.
The Minister said a contract of N11.77 billion was approved for Nguru-Gashua road in Yobe State. The 37-km road is to be completed in 24 months.
Also to be completed in 24 months is the Ilorin-Kishi road project in Kwara State, which was awarded at a cost of N8.6 billion.
The last contract of N933.6 million was approved for purchase automatic meter reading machine for Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) which its services include installation of the equipment in 18 months time.
The contract also covers installation and training of personnel to man the machines which are meant to ease wholesale, bulk meter reading for industrial energy users.
It is expected to facilitate remote meter reading adding that it will replace manual meter reading and reduce delays and disputes over reconciliation and payment of electricity bills of industrial clients, not regular domestic users.