The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved N5.9 billion for three projects in Abuja for the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Administration.
Minister of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Mohammed Bello, told journalists after the FEC meeting in Abuja that the three memos were on the provision of infrastructure in the city as well as the purchase of needed equipment to make the nation’s capital safer.
He said: “The first was for a contract to rehabilitate the road leading to the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Estate in Apo, Abuja and that contract was approved at the sum of N2.3 billion with a completion period of 24 months.
“As you know, the Federal Integrated Staff Housing Estates are being constructed in some locations in Abuja under the office of the Head of civil Service of the Federation and these estates are intended to provide needed accommodation to federal civil servants.
“The second infrastructure project relates to the contract for the construction of an access road and car park for the Abuja light rail station at ring road II otherwise known as Kukwaba station, which you see on the airport expressway immediately after the city gate near the Kukwaba recreation park under the Ministry of Aviation. The contract was approved for N3.6 billion, with a completion period of 18 months.
“The intention is that by the opening of that road, that railway station can be made functional and then commuters can use the station either when they visit the national park there or they want to have access to the Kukwaba district.
“The third is for the purchase of two heavy duty tow vehicles with mounted crane for the Directorate of Road Traffic Services otherwise called Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIO), under the FCT and that particular contract was approved at a total sum of N3,072,466,000 with a duration period for the supply put at six weeks.”
The Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, on his part said that FEC approved the two memos, both of in favour of the National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control (NAFDAC).
According to him: “Both memos are procurement memos to upgrade and scale up the capacity of NAFDAC to be able to detect fake and substandard drugs and other materials. NAFDAC, as you know, is responsible for regulating medicines, drugs, cosmetics, and other products made in Nigeria or important.
“The first memo was about 40 through scan devices, which are mobile scan devices to be able to recognise fake and substandard drugs brought in either across the border or found within the country.
“These are like rapid diagnostic kits tests, which also relieve the laboratories because normally you have to take samples to the laboratories, it takes a long time, several days and lead to some delays. So having a through scan allows us to have faster access.
“The second memo is about laboratory strengthening, improving and upgrading all of our six laboratories for NAFDAC for for testing materials that are brought into the country.
“Both of these contribute strongly to what we call the benchmarks for NAFDAC to be able to allow the manufacture of vaccines in Nigeria. It needs what we call the maturity level 3 of the World Health Organisation, to be able to start manufacturing, we have ambitions to start manufacturing vaccines and the federal government owns 49% of shares in the company called BioVaccines that hopes to use technology imported from outside to make vaccines and getting this benchmark maturity level 3 is a condition for it.
“So both of these memos, the upscaling of laboratory capacity and the ability to speed up and make diagnostics more accurate in respective of fake and substandard drugs, will help us to push to apply for maturity level 3 for the health sector.”
Meanwhile, Nigeria’s exit from recession is a key indicator that its poised for stable and consistent growth the Federal Government, according to the Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed.
She also said it was an indication that the diversification efforts it has been pushing was actually posting results.
She added that the Federal Government had been implementing vigorously, the Economic Sustainability Plan (ESP) approved by FEC last June, with Vice-President, Yemi Osinbajo at the helms of affairs leading the implementation of the plan.