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We have trained artisans, but haven’t created an economy for them – Fashola

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By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Federal Executive Council, FEC, on Wednesday approved the establishment of four new private Universities.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the first FEC meeting for the year presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Council, Abuja.

Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola

According to Adamu, the new Universities are Greenfield University Kaduna, Dominion University, Ibadan Oyo state, Trinity University Ogun state and Westland University in Iwo, Osun state.

He said the approvals were given because all the four universities have met the criteria for establishing a university following a visitation by the National Universities Commission (NUC).

The latest approvals bring the total number of private universities in the country to 73.

Minister of State for Aviation, Hedi Serika, on his part said the Council approved the contract for the procurement and installation of the second phase of Controller–pilot data link communications for the Kano flight information region.

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Controller–pilot data link communications also referred to as controller pilot data link, is a method by which air traffic controllers can communicate with pilots over a datalink system.

He explained that within the Kano flight information region is Abuja and Lagos airports. The total contract sum is $5,403,271 which is equivalent to N1,652,320,271.80 exclusive of five percent VAT. The contract is to Nigeria Airspace Management Agency.

Sirika said when completed, it will improve communication by digital means between the pilot and the controller, improve efficiency, make decision making faster and make departures and arrival seamless and faster.

The Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu said that the FEC approved two memos presented by the ministry on engineering procurement construction and installation for Opoho Okoho flexible pipelines in OML 119 and Escravos to Lagos gas pipeline phase one for additional unforeseen works in engineering.

He said, “The Federal Executive Council approved two memos from the Ministry of Petroleum. One was an EPCI contract which is Engineering Procurement Construction and Installation contract for the twelve inch by six inch Opoho Okoho flexible pipelines in OML 119 which is awarded to messrs National Oil Verco completion and MELCURT Nigeria Ltd.

Between going forward and moving back

“It is a consortium of two companies. The total contract sum was $3.7 billion. The essence of this was that in 2014, the pipeline with which we were evacuating crude in that area gave way and so production became very marginal, we were operating average of about twenty thousand barrels a day as against about thirty seven, forty thousand barrels.

“This contract was therefore to replace that pipeline with a new technological flexible pipeline. The last pipeline lasted for only 50 years a lot of corrosive environment in which they operated. It is a nine month contract. When completed, we will be able to get back production to forty thousand barrels per day.

“It is very critical and will generate close to two hundred and seventy million dollars per annum. So it is very important.

“The second approval was on the Escravos to Lagos gas pipeline phase one for additional unforeseen works in engineering, contract had been given in 2008 and it was about eighty three percent complete but additional scope has been added to that pipeline and variation of about nine million dollars was approved today (yesterday) added to the previous amount which was about five billion naira and one hundred and seventy seven million dollars.

“With the nine million added today, the new contract figure comes to about five billion naira and about one hundred and eight six million dollars. That pipeline is so critical; it is what helps us move stranded gas out of the Escravos of oil region back into the Escravos Lagos pipeline. It is two months contract.”

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, who also addressed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said the Council approved a National Public Building Maintenance Policy and Framework.

He said the new policy, which institutionalized a maintenance culture in the country, saying that some of the benefits of the policy would to provide an inventory of government assets, and job opportunities for hundreds of thousands of Nigerians.

“We have trained artisans at different levels but we haven’t created an economy for them to go and express themselves – Tilers, Bricklayers, Plumbers, Landscapers, Fitters etc. When they leave training schools what do they do? They go and ride tricycles where there is no training school because there is an economy in tricycles – this is the answer.

“So, we have started with a pilot (scheme) to demonstrate to Council that this will work.

“Some of the things that this will bring include an inventory of all assets that government owns. It gives us an assessment of the conditions and value, then, it gives us a maintenance framework about what needs to be done after assessments and then a maintenance procurement manual

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Fashola also disclosed that the Council approved the first contract of over N800 million, for demarcation of specific area of land for the project, leading to enumeration and resettlement preparatory to construction of the Mambilla Hydro Power Project.

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