By Ononye VC
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved 984.7 million dollars for the procurement of maintenance equipment for the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC).
The FEC also approved ₦5 billion for the provision of accommodation to staff of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
The minister of transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, and the attorney general of the federation and minister of justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed these when they briefed State House correspondents at the end of the weekly council meeting.
The meet was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Sambo, the NRC equipment is specifically meant for the Kano–Maradi rail line connecting Nigeria and neighbouring Niger Republic.
He said: “A memorandum presented by the ministry was on behalf of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
“The memorandum sought council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the procurement of rolling stock operation and maintenance equipment for Kano–Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.
“The contract was awarded to a company that is also the contractor handling the railway project in the sum of 984,722,302.05 dollars inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with a completion period of four years.”
He also disclosed that the council approved over ₦510 million for the supply of customised fire service vehicles for the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation also presented a memo to the council on behalf of two of its agencies.
“The first agency was the Nigerian Ports Authority, which sought to provide for the award of contract for the construction.
“And supply of four customised fire service search and rescue vans for extrication of accident victims for Rivers Ports, Port Harcourt, Lagos Port Complex, Tin Can Island Port and Marina Headquarters all in Lagos.
“The council considered the memorandum and approved the award of the contract as recommended and reviewed by the Bureau of Public Procurement in the sum of ₦510,934,600 million inclusive of 7.5 per cent VAT with a completion period of nine months,” he said.
On his part, Malami said the council approved ₦5 billion for the construction of residential accommodation for officers and men of the NDLEA.
According to the minister, this has become necessary to further secure the lives and property of personnel of the agency, who have been making tremendous success in the fight against drug cartels and barons.
He said: “As you are aware, there has been renewed and sustained onslaught by the NDLEA against drug cartels and barons. Within the three quarters of 2023, about 18,940 arrests were effected by the NDLEA and indeed drugs worth an estimated value of over ₦40 billion were confiscated.
“The successes that were recorded unfortunately translated to unprecedented threats and attacks on personnel—the officers, men and other ranks of the agency.
“Thus, the need has arisen for the Nigerian government to consider the possibility of taking security measures that will now provide the desired protection to officers and men of the NDLEA.”
He further revealed that the council gave approval for the construction of two categories of barracks totalling 192 flats.
“Accordingly, two contracts were awarded to two different contractors. The first one is for the construction of barracks comprising a total 92 units of three bedroom semi-detached flats for narcotics superintendents and marcotics assistant superintendents at the cost of ₦2,267,785,450.83.
“The second contract was in the sum of ₦2,889 480,320. 55 for the construction of barracks comprising a total 100 units of two- and three-bedroom semi-detached flats for narcotics superintendents and narcotics agents,” he said.