The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $1.95billion for the construction of Kano-Dutse- Katsina-Jibia–Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line project.
The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents in Abuja on the outcome of the FEC meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the council also approved N3billion for the design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning of one railway crane of 150-ton capacity for emergency and recovery of rolling stocks, and situations of accident on the track.
Amaechi explained that the cost of the Kano to Niger Republic rail line, which with a total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, is inclusive of 7.5% VAT.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who also addressed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said the FEC approved the purchase of 1,800 units of laptop computers for computer-based test examinations at three Nigeria Customs Service training schools in Gwagwalada, Lagos and Kano, at the cost of N351million.
“The major advantage of this particular contract is that it saves the department a lot of money in hiring consultants for training and other services”, he stated.
The Minister disclosed that the FEC approved another N197million for the expansion of the Nigeria Customs Service’s cash management’s software in compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).
Mohammed stated that the Council also approved an augmentation of the contract for the construction of Petroleum Technology Development Fund corporate headquarters office in Abuja, at the sum of N3,773,784,399.48, raising the initial approval for the contract to N14billion.
“The important thing about this particular contract is that the building has since been completed, it has since been in use and we inherited this augmentation from 2012.
“But since governance is a continuum, we are honouring the augmentation, but this headquarters building has been completed, the contractors have been magnanimous while all these arguments about the augmentation was going on, they were magnanimous enough to complete the project.
“Many international conferences have been held in that building”, Mohammed added.