The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved contracts worth $328.87 million in consultancy services for the supervision of the various railway projects in the country. FEC also approved N115.4 billion for the dualisation of Kano-Kazaure-Kongolam highway in Katsina State.
These were disclosed to newsmen recently in Abuja by Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Chibuike Amaechi, after the weekly virtual FEC meeting, which was presided by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House.
Giving a breakdown of his ministry’s presentations at the meeting, Amaechi said he presented two memoranda, one of which was in respect of the consultancy services, adding that the second one was for the concessioning of the Onitsha River Port.
The minister said, “Ministry of Transportation presented two memos and the first one has to do with the contract for consultancy services for the supervision of the various railway projects. Remember that we have about three railway projects that are yet to start construction and they include the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri, Kano-Maradi and then the Abuja-Warri.
“For the consultancy services, the following contractors were approved, with the total cost of $183.7 million: GIX Engineers Infrastructure Excellence/Yaroso & Partnership Ltd, Core Consulting Engineering Plc. That’s for Abuja to Warri.
“For the consultancy services for supervision of Port Harcourt-Maiduguri railway, with branch lines to Bonny Deep Seaport and Port Harcourt Industrial Park, and, then, to Owerri, we have Kyari Consults SDMBHD/Jamood Global Services Limited at $97.5 million. The first one is $38.4 million.
“The last one is consultancy services for the supervision of Kano-Katsina-Jibia-Maradi Rail-line to TEAM (Technics Engineering Architecture Marketing Nigeria Limited) and that is for $47,670,000 million. All of them are for a period of 36 months. That’s the first.
“The second one is that the cabinet approved a concession agreement for the Ministry of Transportation to concession the Onitsha River Port to a company, called Inversal Elysium Consortium. They are to manage the river port for 30 years.”
On why the federal government was abandoning the agreements signed with China on construction of railway in the country, Amaechi explained, “Actually, that is why there is a delay. We were waiting on the Chinese to give us the loans we applied for and till today they’ve not replied. They kept delaying us – will the delay extend our tenure? The answer is no.
“We’ve gone to Standard Chartered Bank and while they’ve done financial closure, they’ve approved some level of funding. We are also pursuing Port Harcourt-Maiduguri line with Standard Chartered Bank. The Lagos-Kano, part of it will come from Standard Chartered Bank, and part of it will come from some commercial banks in China.”
Speaking at the briefing, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said the council approved a contract for the dualisation of the Kano-Kazaure-Kongolam Road at the cost of N115.4 billion. Fashola explained that the project, which covers 131.4 kilometres, was expected to be completed within a period of 48 months.
Fashola said, “Ministry of Works and Housing presented one memo for the dualisation of the Kano-Kazaure-Kongoland highway, 131.4 kilometres, from a single carriage way to dual carriage way. So, council approved that proposal at a cost of N115,425, 896,907.15 kobo (in billion) over 48months.
“The instructive thing is that the financing will be done by the Tax Credit Scheme of Bua International Limited. And they will use Messrs PW Construction Nigeria limited, a company in which they have acquired some interest, to undertake the construction.”
Briefing newsmen also, Minister of State for Environment, Sharon Ikeazor, said FEC approved an Energy Transition Plan for the country.
“This memo was presented as a plan for Nigeria to achieve net zero carbon emission,” the minister said, noting, “this will clearly set out the pathway for Nigeria in achieving this.”
Ikeazor further said FEC also approved a second memo to aid the Waste Battery Management Policy for Nigeria.
This policy, according to her, “Will create a lot of jobs in the circular economy for Nigeria and at the same time protect the health of Nigerians to make sure that hazardous waste, like waste batteries, are properly disposed of with regulations, including recycling in Nigeria as well.”
She said her ministry also presented to the council a report on the last COP 26 (the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference), which Nigeria attended, and the country’s plans for COP 27 going forward.
On his part, Minister of State for Health, Dr. Olorunimbe Mamora, said council, during a closed-door session, also approved the award of contract for consultancy services to facilitate the building of the corporate headquarters of National Health Insurance Scheme in Abuja.
Mamora said, “The need has become inevitable to expand what is on ground to improve the operational efficiency of that agency, which is the National Health Insurance Scheme and happily, the council considered the memo approved same.”