Nigeria's Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved contracts worth N59.8 billion ($380 million) for various infrastructure projects around the country. After a meeting of the council, the Minister of Information, Mr Labaran Maku, spoke to state house correspondents and said that the contracts were awarded for road construction, rehabilitation of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) parliamentary building and the construction of the Mambila Hydro Electricity Dam projects
The FEC had announced last week that November 30, 2012 would be the last feasible date for the award of contracts under the 2012 budget.
The council also approved $43.9 million (N6.8 billion) and $33.8 million (N5.2 billion) in concessionary loans, from a French agency, to Cross River and Lagos states, respectively, to facilitate access to water and provide water supply to some cities and towns in the states.
A breakdown of the projects awarded under the N59.8 billion amount show that N3.555 billion ($23 million) was awarded for the construction of a 23-kilometre Sagbemi-Kiribo-Gada-Egbekigbo in Ondo State, which is to be completed in 24 months; N444 million ($2.9 million) was awarded for the completion of the Ibadan-Oyo section of the Ilorin-Ibadan expressway.
The council also approved N2.393 billion ($15.4 million) for the extension of service lanes from kilometer zero on the kilometer one on Niger bridge at Onitsha. And N3.432 billion ($22.1 million) for rehabilitation work at the ECOWAS Parliament building in Abuja which is to cover the roofing, seats, auditorium, elevators, library, and other electrical and mechanical installations.
The minister also mentioned that the FEC had signed a memorandum of understanding, in a build, operate and transfer basis, with two Chinese companies for the construction of the Mambila and Zungeru hydro electricity dams. The Federal Government is to contribute 25 per cent equity for the Zungeru dam while the Mambila dam project is to be fully funded by the companies. The FEC also directed the consortium to make the projects ready for commissioning by 2015.
The Minister of State for Power, Zainab Kuchi, who also spoke to the state house correspondents said that the directive was in fulfillment of the promise made to Nigerians by President Goodluck Jonathan's administration to deliver regular and adequate supply of electricity. He said, "If you look at the history of these two hydro-electricity power projects you will see that it started long ago and we think this is a momentous time which is good for Nigerians. If you look at it we made this promise of electricity and I am glad that we are finally on the course of making history for the Nigerian power sector.
With the addition of about 3,750 megawatts of hydro power electricity generation capacity, the nation security of supply of electricity will be significantly enhanced. We believe that the 53 consortium that signed the MoU yesterday will work very hard. “We have charged the consultant and we have charged the consortium to make sure that the two projects were completed by 2014. In fact, we insisted that we should be commissioning by the first quarter of 2015."