*Approves $2.25m transmission contract
13 September 2014, Abuja – The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday ratified the Abidjan-Abuja Corridor Treaty and approved over $2.25 million for the power sector.
Briefing State House correspondents in Abuja, the Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, said the council ratified Abidjan-Abuja corridor, just as Minister of State for Power, Alhaji Mohammed Wakil, disclosed that $2.25 million was approved for an electricity transmission contract.
According to the works minister, the establishment of the Abidjan-Lagos corridor among the governments of the Republics of Benin, Cote D’ivoire, Ghana, Togo and Nigeria, would facilitate safe and efficient movement of persons and goods, regional and international trade and transport by improving on the road infrastructure.
He added that it would also simplify and harmonise the requirements and controls that govern the movement of goods and persons, with a view to reducing transportation costs and transit times. “Council approved the ratification of the treaty on the establishment of Abidjan-Lagos corridor among the governments of the Republics of Benin, Cote D’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo and the Federal Republic of Nigeria and directed the Attorney-General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to prepare the instrument of ratification to the treaty.
On his part, Wakil said a memo was presented to the council by his ministry seeking approval for the award of contract for the additional construction of 1 x60 MVA, 132/33KV Transformer to Maiduguri 1x150MVA, 330/132KV substation for the Transmission Company of Nigeria (TCN) Plc.
He said after deliberation, the council approved the award of contract for the additional construction of 1x60MVA, 132/332KV transformer to the Maiduguri 1x150MVA, NK330/132 substation, in favour of Merssrs Best Crompton Engineering (Africa) Limited in the sum of $2,250,446.72
He said the contractual sum is payable at the prevailing exchange rate at the time of payments, and an additional N208,592,058.01, with a completion period of 12 months.
“The projection is one of the key projects designed by the TCN to strengthen the national grid for effective power wheeling and to enhance socio-economic development of the state.
“It is to be financed under the N800 million Eurobond loan, while the balance would be provided for in the 2015 budget,” Wakil added.
The council also approved N13 billion for the agriculture. It said the funds would be channelled towards establishing 10 rice mills and six cassava mills in the country. The Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Akinwumi Adesina, dropped the hints when he spoke to State House correspondents.
According to the minister, the 10 rice mills with the capacity of 360,000 metric tonnes, would be located in Kogi, Kaduna, Kebbi, Zamfara, Niger, Benue, Bayelsa, Bauchi, Ogun and Nasarawa States.
On the six cassava mills, Adesina noted that it has the capacity of 180,000 metric tonnes, listing the locatios as Ondo, Ogun, Abia, Delta, Cross Rivers and Nasarawa States.
“They will not be owned or run by government, they are going to be owned managed and operated by the private sector, it’s part of government’s way of making this available at a term of financing that can be afforded by the private sector. The acquisition of this will be done by the bank of industry.
“It will select the private sector people, they will have the down payment, and the plants are going to be constructed and they have a financing facility for them to own it. Government is just doing its job which is to get things to happen, but the private sector will do every single thing about it.
“There are still those who go around trying to get waivers to import rice and throw us into poverty, this will no longer be possible” he added.
*Jaiyeola Andrews – Thisday