…impressed with economic growth of 2.01%
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
ABUJA – THE Federal Executive Council, FEC on Monday approved about N4.03 billion for infrastructural development in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Abuja.
The FEC also said that it was impressed with the 2.01 percent growth of the Gross Domestic Product, GDP, in the first quarter of 2019.
Briefing State House Correspondents after the weekly FEC presided over by the Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, Mohammed Bello said that he presented nine memoranda on infrastructure to the council that were approved.
According to him, “The first memo is for the award of contract for the rehabilitation of failed walkways within the Wuse District of the Federal Capital City and that contract was awarded at the cost of N1.9 billion with a completion period of twelve months.
“The second contract was for the preparation of the electricity master plan for Phase IV of the Federal Capital City at the cost of N189 million with a completion of ten months. As you already know, phases I and II have their own master plan.
“The third contract is the design of infrastructure for what we called institution and research district which is in phase III of the Federal Capital City at the cost of N197 million.
“The fourth is engineering design of infrastructure for sector G and H in Phase III of the Federal Capital City awarded at the cost of N118.575 million with a completion period of six months.
“The fifth is for the design of inter-sceptic sewage line for the federal capital city in the total sum of N125 million.
“The next one is the contract for the construction of the School of Science at the permanent site of the FCT College of Education Zuba at the cost of N701 million with a co pelt ion period of 42 weeks.
“The other contract is the final engineering design of infrastructure and production of tender documents for Dawaki District in the sum of N259 million with a six moth completion period.
“Also a contract for engineering and infrastructure design for a 41km Nynya-Guruku-Mpape which will burst out at the Outer Northern Express Way which is called Murtala Mohammed Expressway at the cost of N174 million with completion period of six months.
“That is the expressway from the city that goes right through to Zuba. Ultimately that road is going to give another access entry point into the city and also will open up that section of the city for development.
“The next one is for the supply and installation of a city scanner machine for the Maitama District Hospital with a delivery period of eight weeks at the cost of N190 million. While the other contract is for engineering infrastructure for Kabusa District at the total cost of N179 million.”
Also briefing, the Minister of Budget and National Planning, Senator Udoma Udoma, said the GDP numbers indicated continuing economic growth.
He said in the first quarter of 2019, the economy recorded a real GDP growth of 2.01 percent,.
He said, “This growth reflects the strongest first quarter performance in GDP since 2015. The first quarter is always the weakest in terms of growth. The federal executive council is most encouraged by the fact that growth continues to be driven by the non-oil sector which affects most of our population.
“Also agriculture grew by 3.17 percent and this represents the strongest growth in agriculture since the fourth quarter in 2017.
“The council is also pleased to note that there are improvements in other economic indicators such as the inflation rate, which tend to have high inflation during an election period, but it has been stable.
“Our external reserves and our trade balance has also remained healthy over the period which our exchange rate to the dollar has also been stable.
“So notwithstanding the elections, there has been stability. The council believes that the dividend arising from the peaceful elections and the re-elections of President Muhammadu Buhari will lead to a further boost in economic growth.
“The nation should therefore expect faster growth rate as the incoming cabinet continues to intensify work on the implementation of the economic recovery and growth plan.
“Council is pleased to note that in the next level, the President is committed to further work on initiatives to among other things protect Nigeria from vulnerability to any external shocks, reverse the contraction in the oil sector and stimulate faster growth in agriculture and manufacturing.
“In short, under the next level agenda, even more initiatives will be rolled out to ensure that growth is faster and even more inclusive as well as job creating.
“So council believes we are still on target to achieve three percent growth rate which is our target this year.”