Tuesday, October 20, 2020

FEC approves N33.1bn for highways, railways and e-government

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… Approves the policy on virtual participation

– Abuja

The Federal Executive Council, FEC, approved on Wednesday more than 33.1 billion naira for the award of the contract for the reconstruction of section 2 of the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota phase and the dualization of the Kano-Maiduguri highway.

The money also covers the supply, deployment, installation, testing and commissioning of security equipment for seven railway stations and electronic public procurement.

Reporting to House correspondents at the end of the FEC meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari in the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that N22. 247 billion was for the reconstruction of Apapa -Oworonsoki-Ojota Phase Two, which is the Bitland Interchange, a section of 8.1 kilometers.

Alhaji Mohammed, who reported on behalf of the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that an additional 8 billion N was approved for the dualization of the Kano-Maiduguri highway, which is about 560 kilometers long.

According to him, “On behalf of the Honorable Minister of Works and Housing, I want to inform that he presented a memorandum that was approved in council today for the award of a contract for the reconstruction of the Second Phase Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota, which is Bit Land Interchange , 8.1 kilometer section.

“You will recall that in 2018, the Federal Government approved the award of a contract to Dangote Industry for the sum of 72 billion naira.

“By the time the award was awarded, there was a section of the road that was in pretty good condition. But with the construction of the Oworonsoki project coming to an end, it now makes more sense to include that section which was pretty good.

“This contract was awarded today for the sum of N22,247,332,000. But you should know that this is one of the projects that are awarded under the Infrastructure Tax Credit Program. In other words, it is awarded to Dangote and Dangote will build it and, over the years, it will be deducted from the tax to be paid by the group.

“It is one of the various means of APP that this administration has adopted. It is not only restricted to the Oworonsoki-Apapa highway, it is the same system that is being used on the Obajana-Kaba highway. Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) is also using the same formula for the Bonny and Boro bridge in Rivers State. “

He further said: “Another memorandum that he (Fashola) presented was for the award of the contract for the dualization of the Kano-Maiduguri highway. That’s Section One. That’s the Kano-Wudil-Shuarin section. It is a contract of about 560 kilometers between Kano and Maiduguri. The section awarded today is actually more approved for an estimated total cost.

“They discovered that certain conditions must be met at the time of awarding the contract. He sought a review and an increase to the sum of 8 billion naira, which will bring the total cost of the contract to 63 billion naira. It was approved by the council today. “

Also in the report, the Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Dr. Isa Patani, said that the council approved the memorandum of her ministry for national policy on virtual commitments in federal public institutions.
He said: “Mine is an approval that we have obtained from the Federal Executive Council for the national policy on virtual commitments in federal public institutions and it is a joint memorandum between the Ministry of Communications and Digital Economy and the Office of the Chief of Civil Service of the Federation .

“In January 2020, as we all know, the world was shocked with the appearance of COVID-19 in which the World Health Organization declared it a global health challenge. By March 11, 2020, WHO declared it as a pandemic and that COVID-19 has disrupted the world and the way we conduct our activities and now virtual engagements are becoming the new normal.

“This is why we came up with a memorandum that will institutionalize virtual engagements in federal public institutions to ensure that even after COVID, virtual engagement is recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a means of communication. This is why we came up with this memo.

“Secondly, in the memorandum, many ICT institutions have a role to play, as the National Information Technology Development Agency received previous instructions to develop regulatory instruments that will establish the minimum standards and guidelines for virtual participation. .

“That minimum standard will accommodate the requirements of hardware, software, category, cybersecurity and many more.

“Also, that has many benefits. First, many of us have adopted the new standard today and have found that it saves costs, saves time, and also helps improve transparency and fight corruption. Usually when there is physical contact, it is through that medium that corruption is being perpetrated, but when we minimize physical contact, we are by implication minimizing corrupt practices and many more.

“So that is why we have a document, a policy, that is why we obtained the approval of a national policy for virtual commitments in federal public institutions.

“Before that, we had some policies that were being used like our national e-government master plan, the national cloud computing policy, most of the problems that we relied on were in the policy of different documents and subsidiary legislation. , but with this policy now, have a complete document in one place that will adapt to all the policy of our virtual commitments in federal public institutions. So this is the summary of what the memo is about. “

The Minister of Transport, RT. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi said: “We submitted a memorandum for the supply, deployment, installation, testing and commissioning of safety equipment for seven railway stations, mainly Idu, Rigasa, Jere, Kubwa, Kaduna and Kano in favor of Messrs. Avonics Services Nigeria Limited, in the amount of N1,208,335,464.60, inclusive of 7.5 percent tax with a compliance period of 12 months. “

Burau Director General for Public Enterprises, BPP, Mamman Ahmadu, who participated in the briefing, said: “Today BPP presented a memorandum on electronic public procurement.

“Electronic public procurement has the potential to improve the procurement process, eliminate corruption, and reduce filtering time in the procurement process itself.

“There have been many complaints about the time it takes to go through due process. By establishing this, we will reduce that time.

“It also removes the subjectivity of the process. There have been many complaints about the subjectivity in the approval process that will be directly addressed when it is finally released.

“Electronic public procurement is a global trend and, based on research carried out by the World Bank, it has been established that the countries that have taken off with electronic public procurement have experienced exponential economic growth and have stimulated ICT in those countries .

“It will minimize corruption because it will reduce the human interface within the process. The total cost is approximately 1.6 billion naira. “

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