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FG votes $2m for West African Power Pool

*Moves to institutionalise post Covid-19 virtual meetings

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved Nigeria’s contribution of $2 million to the 2020 budget of the the West African Power Pool (WAPP).

Minister of Power, Saleh Mamman, made the disclosure at the end of the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chambers of the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The West African Power Pool (WAPP) was created by a decision of the 22nd Summit of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Authority of Heads of State and Government in 1999.

The specialized pool covers 14 of the 15 countries of the regional economic community (Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Gambia, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra.

Briefing the press on the approval, Saleh said: “The pool is about having synergy within the West African region. The decision has been taken by ECOWAS, it’s for the generation of electricity in the region, so as to have more constant and steady power supply.

“It’s like the national grid in Nigeria, so we are going to have regional grid. It means in case there is a failure in one country, another can supplement. The $2 million is a contribution.”

Information Minister, Lai Mohammed, further disclosed that the FEC approved over N83 billion for roads in Kano and Lagos.

It approved the sum of N22,247,332,000 for the award of contract for the reconstruction of the Apapa-Oworonsoki-Ojota Phase Section II, an 8.1kilometer stretch road.

“This is one of the projects being awarded under Infrastructural Tax Credit Scheme. In other words, it is awarded to Dangote and Dangote will construct it and over the years, it will be deducted from the tax payable by the group. It is one of various means of PPP that this administration has embraced.

“It is not only restricted to Oworonsoki-Apapa road, it is the same system that is being used in Obajana-Kaba road. Nigeria Liquified Natural Gas (NLNG) is also using the same formula for the bridge to link Bonny and Boro in Rivers State”, he explained.

FEC also approved N8 billion augmentation for the award of contract for the dualisation of Kano-Maiduguri road (about 560 kilometers); that is Section 1 (Kano-Wudil-Shuarin).

Due to some unforseen circumstances, the Minister sought for a revision and an increment in the sum of N8 billion which will bring the total cost of the contract to N63 billion.

Mnister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said FEC approved the sum of N1,208,335,464.60, inclusive of 7.5% tax for the supply, deployment, installation, testing and commissioning of security equipment for seven railway stations.

The stations are mainly Idu, Rigasa, Jere, Kubwa, Kaduna and Kano. The contract is in favour of Messrs Avionics Services Nigeria Limited, with a completion period of 12 months.

The Director-General for Bureau for Public Procurement (BPP), Mamman Ahmadu, said FEC approved the sum of N1.6 billion for e-government procurement, with intention to “improve procurement process, eliminate corruption and reduce the leak time in the procurement process itself.

“E-government procurement is a global trend and from the research carried out by the World Bank, it had been established that countries that have taken off with e-government procurement have witnessed exponential economic growth and and they have stimulated ICT in those countries.

“It will reduce corruption to the barest minimum because it will reduce the human interface within the process”, he stated.

Minister of Communications and Digital Economy, Isa Pantami, said FEC approved the national policy on virtual engagements in federal public institutions.

Pantami explained that in view of the reality and impact of Covid-19, “we came up with a memo that will institutionalize virtual engagements in federal public institutions in order to make sure that even after Covid-19, virtual engagement is recognized by the Federal Government of Nigeria as a medium of communication.”

Written by ExpressDay

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