By Patience Danjuma
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday approved 21 million Euros (N9.03 billion) for the purchase of two tug boats for use of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and another N703 million for dredging of the turning base of the Baro river port in Niger State.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced this while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Also, the Minister of Water Resources, Malam Suleiman Adamu announced that FEC approved the construction of an 80 meter, five-span bridge in Karu, Nasarawa State for N719 million with a completion period of two years.
He said it was a constituency project of the River Basin Authority since River Basins have responsibility for rural development across the country.
The Minister said the contract was awarded to Messr Biara Concept Nigeria Ltd.
Adamu also said that another contract worth N1.36 billion for the construction of a dam and irrigation project in Gwaranda, Bauchi state, to Forest Engineering Nig. Ltd., with a two-year completion period was approved by FEC.
He said it was also a constituency project in the area.
The Minister of Information, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said that a memo submitted by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs for the Oron–Calabar section of the East West Road, was approved.
He said FEC directed the Minister, Usani Uguru Usani, to speed up renegotiations with the contractor for immediate resumption of the construction of the section.
Mohammed also said that the Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, presented a memo for $60 million on behalf of Imo state for the construction of some rural roads to improve linkage between agriculture and industrialization.
He said the idea was to develop the rural roads in order to take advantage of the bumper harvest to reduce poverty and assist in bringing down the cost of food.
He explained that the rural roads construction was a World Bank initiative.
On the negotiation with Boko Haram for the release of abducted Dapchi girls,
Mohammed said that although President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the issue in Washington DC, U.S., the government had yet to resolve the issue of six girls.
According to him, 111 girls were kidnapped while 105 were returned.
“We are busy on a daily basis asking and negotiating and asking what happened to those five, officially at least, and then what is delaying the young girl Learh (Sharibu).
“Negotiation with insurgents is quite tortious and complicating but I can assure you that we are not leaving her to fate and those who should, are busy daily working on her release,” he said.
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