FG Approves N30bn for roads to Niger Republic

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The Federal Executive Council FEC, on Wednesday approved the construction of two roads to Niger Republic, as part of plans to improve trade and business activities between Nigeria and Niger Republic

Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola revealed this to State House Correspondents after the weekly Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari

The two roads include Balle Kurdella road from Sokoto to Niger Republic at the cost of N9.57b and the 50 kilometers Kunya road in Jigawa State, that will also terminate at the border between Nigeria and Niger Republic at the cost of N19.763

Fashola said the justifications was made to improve infrastructure to enable business activities across borders , adding that “ It will improve trading and this will be a huge boost for businesses between the two countries”

The first contract of N9.5 billion is for the 47-kilometer road from Balle Kurdella in Sokoto State to the border with the Niger Republic.

The second contract is for the 50-kilometer road from Kunya in Jigawa State to the Niger Republic border, and it will be constructed by Mothercat civil Engineering firm at a cost of N19.76 billion.

The Minister said the contracts were approved as part of strategies to implement the administration’s Economic Recovery and Growth Plan (ERGP), to boost trade and economy, especially given the international commercial activities in those areas.

The two roads are in line with the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA) recently signed by Nigeria to promote trade among African countries.

The Council also on Wednesday approved the extension of contract services for Kontagora irrigation project in Nigeria State by three years at a cost of N734.5 million.

The project was started in 1987 but abandoned until resuscitated recently, according to the Ministry of Water Resources, Suleiman Adamu, who briefed the press on the approval.

“The Ministry presented one memo to the Council. This memo was seeking an extension to the consultancy services related to Kontagora/Auna Dam and Irrigation Project.

“This is a project that was started in 1987 and abandoned and as part of our efforts to complete ongoing and abandoned projects that we inherited, we revived it in 2017/2018 and since we have revised it and there’s going to be an extension of time, it makes sense for the consultants that have been working to the project to also have an extension of their services.

“Accordingly, Council approved the extension of the services of the consultants by three years in the total sum of N734.5 million. That was our presentation today. Kontagora/Auna is in Niger State.

Minister of Aviation, Hadi Sirika, who disclosed that his Ministry got approval for two contracts, amongst them, contract for the refurbishment of the new headquarters of the Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), located at Abuja at the cost of N591.8 million.

The second contract is for construction and equipping the AIB’s training school, also in Abuja, for N645.4 million.

Sirika disclosed that the institution which has been approved by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority, NCAA, would be certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization , ICAO.

The Minister disclosed that the AIB headquarters which hitherto had been located in Lagos has been moved to Abuja after upgrading the Abuja office to the status of the national headquarters.

“We had one memo today at the Council and it has to do with the refurbishment of the Accident Investigation Bureau’s Office, here in Abuja and the establishment of the training school for accident investigation, also here in Abuja.

“Accident Investigation, of course, they are like the pathologists of Aviation. Their job is to investigate accidents and incidents and review preventing its happening again.

“The contract sum for the construction of the school is N645, 453,627.80. For the refurbishment of the office, it is N591,857,050.39. It was taken and approved.

“The sum is inclusive of the equipment in the laboratory, it has laboratory components and these equipment are from their manufacturers, through the representatives of those manufacturers.

“They will be certified by the International Civil Aviation Organization and the NCAA, which is the regulator of the industry in Nigeria.

The Minister of Mines and Steel, Olamilekan Adegbite, presented to FEC a report card of his Ministry and parastatals for the first 100 days; while his counterpart in the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, did the same. This has been the practice for Ministries created in the second term of the Buhari presidency.

Adegbite said the Ministry’s core mandate include to drive industrialization, stop the exportation of raw iron ore, adding that “ We are trying to encourage downstream policy to create jobs by adding values to our natural resources.

The Minister who announced that the Ministry generated N5b in 2019 as against N3b in 2018, revealed that community agreement is now necessary to do mining in Nigeria.

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