Featured Politics News

FEC approves N230bn for road projects, mining

By Giwa SHILE

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday approved N230.2 billion for roads projects and mining data in the country.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Alhaji Bawa Bwari, made this known when they  briefed State House correspondents at the end of  Council’s meeting in Abuja.

The minister of Information and Culture disclosed that N206 billion of the amount was approved for linking road and associated infrastructures for the 2nd Niger Bridge linking Anambra and Delta states.

“Also approved today is a contract for the link road and associated infrastructures for the 2nd Niger Bridge. The link road is about 11.9 kilometers. The contract was awarded to Julius Berger at N206 billion. The bridge is linking Anambra and Delta states.

“If you remember, the contract was awarded by the last administration under a Public Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement which failed,’’ he added.

According to him, N11.58 billion was approved for rehabilitation of a road in Enugu State the is approval for the re-award of the contract for the rehabilitation of Oji-Achi-Maku-Agu-Ndiabi section in Enugu State.

“What happened in this road was that the contract was awarded earlier to the company that failed and Setraco has now been re-awarded that section of the road, he added.

He said another 92 million dollar was approved for engineering, procurement and construction of the OB3 gas pipeline project.

The minister explained that the project had been awarded but there was need for redesigning it.

“The project is important because of delivery of gas from the Eastern part of the country to power turbines and to improve our power supply,’’ he said.

According to him, the Minister of Finance, Kemi Adeosun, also presented three memos which were approved by the Council.

He said the memos included ratification of the multilateral competent authority agreement on automatic exchange of financial accounting information and ratification of the Africa 50th Articles of Association.

The Council also gave the approval for the financial transparency policy guidelines.

In his contribution, the Minister of State for Mines and Steel Development, Bawa Bwari, said that the Council approved N12.7 billion for exploration and consultancy projects in the mining sector.

According to him, the projects will help in getting accurate mining data, which will attract local and foreign investments.

“Our major challenge in diversification programme of the government in the mining sector has been that of data.

“Today the Federal Executive Council approved the contract for exploration and consultancy on some of our targeted minerals like gold, industrial minerals, earth metals, iron ore for four companies in exploration and four companies in consultancy side of it and this contract is worth N12.7 billion.

“And with this, we will encourage both local and foreign investors to come in. Our Major challenge is the bankable data, most mining companies will not want to come into your country when they are not sure of what they are going to meet.

“Nigeria has the potential for minerals although we have not been known as a solid mineral destination,  we have been known as oil and gas destination.

“The perception is gradually changing and for us to really encourage this people to come in, we really need to explore because you cannot mine without information and information can only be gotten through exploration.

“The government today approved for us to start with some of our targeted minerals in line with what we have in the road map.”

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