Questions as FEC approves N1.4b for design of DPR headquarters

Ibe kachikwu

The Federal Executive Council on Wednesday approved the sum of N1.4 billion for the award of contract for the design of the Department of Petroleum Resources head office  in Abuja.

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Kachikwu said the contract was awarded to Messers Arteck Practice Limited to design a 12 floor building at a plot which had already been allocated to it by the FCT.

According to the minister, DPR is currently based in Lagos and operates as the regulatory and supervisory arm of the Ministry of Petroleum Resources and is also instrumental in terms of income generation.

He said the design was to start the process of moving the agency to Abuja.

On whether the amount was not too much for the design of a building, Kachikwu said the contract sum was the lowest of the bids.

He said: “The highest bid was about N3 billion; the total projected potential cost for the building when it is done is about N35 billion.

“So if you look at that as a percentage of the work, it is absolutely insignificant.

“In international terms, it is very justifiable, it is less than two per cent.

“The FCT did mention in our deliberation that because of the new zoning policies, the previous plan, which was to build a car park of another five floors along with the 12 floors  has to be changed a little bit because they are taking possession of additional green area that were assigned to them.

“So they will build a lot of parking institute within the building.

“So, I think because of the amount of work to be done and in line with international practice, it is quite frankly very reasonable.”

Kachikwu said part of the programmes the ministry had pursued was to get a lot of out parastatals to become independent and self financially generating agency in order to get out of federal budget.

He said the Nigerian Content Development Management Board had done that while DPR would be the next to do that.

The minister said the funding for the design would come out of DPR itself, not out of federal budgeting.

He said: “The plan is that if we continue the way we are doing, a lot of federal agencies will be out of federal budgeting and be self reliant.

“Be it PPPRA, DPR, Petroleum Equalisation Fund, that is the game plan.

“So far, we have exited NCDMB and we are near exiting DPR and then PEF.”

On his part, Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said FEC approved the award of contract to engage a Programme Management Office Consultant and System Provider for the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme at the cost of N1.55 billion

He said the contract, which was for the provision of services for 4.6 million people, was a viable contract.

Enelamah said the programme had provided credit for over 1.5 million Nigerians

The minister said that FEC also approved the establishment of a committee to come up with alternative ways to add to what government was doing in financing infrastructure.

He said: “It will be a committee of ministers and Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority, Africa Finance Corporation and some private sector players to serve in the committee with Minister of Trade and investment as Chair of committee, Minister of Finance.

“Others are Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Minister of Budget and National Planning, Minister Transportation, Minister of Water Resources and Minister of State for Aviation.

“Obviously government cannot do it alone and will like to partner with others and it is expected to be done as part of the concluding work of this administration.

“The report is expected to be submitted within the next one month.”