The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday in Abuja approved N995 million for road rehabilitation and procurement of an information and communication device that would enhance highway management system for roads across the country.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, disclosed this to State House Correspondents at the end of the Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He stated that N203 million of the amount would be expended on the procurement of an information and communication device, while the remaining N792 million was meant for rehabilitation of roads in Zamfara State.
Fashola said: “The Ministry of Works and Housing presented two memoranda to the Council.
“The first was a memorandum for a contract for the design and deployment of a contract performance and compliance for highway and road access management system for N203,845,332.59.
“This is an information and communication technology device being procured by the ministry in order to improve its capacity to monitor not only contract performance, but also maintenance of these roads and to empower not only its 36 Comptrollers of the states in the federation but also the six Zonal Directors, to improve our service delivery.”
The Minister said the use of Information Communication Technology would enhance the monitoring of the many roads spread across the country, which are at various stages of construction or rehabilitation.
Fashola added: “The importance of deploying ICT now would perhaps better be appreciated when it is understood that we have over 13,000 kilometres of road network at different stages of construction or rehabilitation as at the end of December 2020.
“Those 13,000 kilometres are manifest in over 700 different contracts.
“It’s so complex that some of these roads are so long.
“So, you have five different contractors for example, we have five contractors handling the Kano-Maiduguri, same for Benin-Lokoja.
“So, we have different contracts to monitor and manage.
“We will deploy ICT there and at full deployment, citizens will also become our army of reporters providing us with information so that we can respond more quickly.
“This will be a web-based reporting and monitoring system.”
Fashola also said the council approved N792 million as ratification for the emergency roads repair done in Zamfara State in 2016, caused by a heavy rainfall.
He said: “The rain washed out Gumi bridge, washed out Daki-takwas, Kebbi to Sokoto State border, Gusau to Talatu Mafara to Sokoto border.
He said the contract was awarded under the public procurement act in emergency situations as provisional contracts.
He said: “So, we had to go through the procurement process, file reports of completion and then come to seek ratification.
“So, the work had since been completed but the paperwork has now led us here.
“And the ratification was granted today by FEC for N792,370,678.86.”
Also, Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Adeniyi Adebayo, who also spoke on the outcome of the meeting, said the Council approved the National Quality Policy.
According to Adebayo, the essence of the policy is to ensure goods exported out of Nigeria are accepted in the countries they are being exported to.
He said: “For a long time, Nigerian exporters have been suffering because of lack of quality of their goods.
“We felt that it was high time we actually have a policy which will create a situation whereby standard of the Nigerian goods that are exported would be raised such that that rejection would stop.
“This policy will create a situation whereby the government and the private sector will be able to collaborate to set up quality testing centres, testing labs which we hope will have accreditation with international centres, such that any goods that has approved to have met the standard, would be of international standard.”
Adebayo said the council also approved the Nigerian/Hungarian Trade Agreement.
He said the agreement between the two countries has been ratified.
According to the minister, the whole essence is for Nigerian businessmen to have access to exporting their goods to Hungary and to further increase trade between the two countries.
The minister said council also approved a N50 million variation of power contract in the Kano Free Trade Zone on behalf of the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority.
Adebayo explained that a contract was awarded in 2018 for underground cabling for power project within the Kano Free Trade Zone, but unfortunately it was not completed before certain specification changes were made.
He said: “So the contractor requested a variation of six percent increase of the initial contract sum, which amounted to about N50 million.
“Council has approved that variation and the job which has reached 93 percent completion will be completed within the next six months.”
Adebayo said the council also approved another contract for Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority for the purchase of a property in Lagos to be used as their Lagos zonal office.
He added: “As you are aware, Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority is responsible for all the free trade zones in the country.
“The value of the free trade zones in the Lagos area alone is valued at about $30 billion.
“So for proper collation and oversight of these free trade zones, we felt that it is only right that we have the zonal office of the Nigerian Export Processing Zone Authority in the Lagos area and that has been approved by council.”
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said council approved N1.146,659,500 billion for the installation of solar street lighting for the Kershi-Jikwoyi dual carriage road in Abuja.
Mohammed, who spoke on behalf of the Minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Mohammed Bello, said the contract would be completed within a period of six months.
He said: “This is a 20km street lighting project and the area host some very strategic institutions such as the Treasury Academy, New Correctional Centre, which is under construction, and it also houses the Federal Science College, the Armed Forces Post Service Housing Scheme in addition to Police Housing Scheme among others.
“Apart from beautifying the area it also provides better security for the area.
“It means the SDG goal number 11 will be met and at the same time the global energy policy.”