Buhari to dissolve FEC May 22 ― Lai Mohammed

•As Council okays N52b for e-border solution

President Muhammadu Buhari is to dissolve the Federal Executive Council (FEC) May 22 just five days to the end of his first tenure on May 29.

Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents on the outcome of FEC meeting on Wednesday.

He said the President will preside over a valedictory session with members of the council on May 22nd after which the cabinet will be dissolved ahead of his inauguration.

Mohammed said until then, FEC remains intact.

Wednesday’s meeting of the council was presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja.

The government’s spokesman said as directed by President Buhari, ministers are preparing their handover notes to be submitted to Permanent Secretaries in their respective ministries before the dissolution of the cabinet.

He said: ”We will be having a valedictory session on 22nd May. The cabinet remains intact.”

President Buhari had last week, given the ministers a week to turn in their comprehensive status report of their ministries’ policies and projects to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF).

Meanwhile, Wednesday’s FEC approved N52 billion for e-border solution to monitor the country’s porous borders.

It also approved a N202.6 million augmentation for the completion of two dams in Katsina (Ingawa Dam) and Plateau (Mangu Dam).

Similarly, the council approved N652,318,104 for the training and starter packs for 1,500 beneficiaries in N-Creative Trainees in the Northern states of Nigeria. It also approved N325,489 million for training and starter packs for 2,000 beneficiaries for the southern states.

Briefing correspondents, Interior minister, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rted), said the N52 contract will cover 86 border posts and all the 1,400 illegal routes being used for smuggling and other crimes.

According to him, the pilot system has already been installed at two border posts.

He added that information will be available real-time 24 hours a day and seven days a week.

He said: “You will be recalled that when we came, I made the observation that our borders are very porous and diverse and that it is impossible to man these borders physically. Therefore, there is a need for modern technology to be able to monitor our borders. We also thought of the capacity to respond to emergencies at the borders.

“It is on this note that I presented a memo today for this eBorder solution. This process started in 2012 but we picked it up to move forward when we came in. The project is to be completed within the next two years and it will cost about N52 billion.

“There is a pilot project already which has been very successful, it was installed to monitor two borders.

“This project is going to cover 86 border posts in the country. We will be able to also monitor 1,400 illegal routes that are used for smuggling and all kinds of cross border criminal activities.

“The Nigeria Immigration Service will work very closely with other services. When it comes to response, with the air force and the army units deployed near the borders, with the customs in terms of smuggling. The information will be available real-time 24/7. “

Minister of Water Resources Abubakar Adamu who spoke on the N202.6 million augmentation for the completion of two dams in Katsina and Plateau said, the council approved the extension of consultancy services on two priority ongoing projects including Ingawa Dam Project in Katsina State.

He explained: “Last year, we got a total reversal cost of the project and extension. Aligning everything together, the supervising and consultancy services also have to be extended to correspond with the completion period. To that effect, the Council approved augmentation of over N91 million for consultancy service supervision in favour of Messers Cosidon Consultancy Service Ltd. This now raises the consultancy fee from N125.7 million to N217.4 million.

“The second memo is in respect of Mangu Dam project which has attained about 70 per cent completion. We also had Revise Estimated Cost Approval last year which also approved an extension period for the work. In the same vein, the consultancy period has to be adjusted to correspond to the completion period. An augmentation of N111.6 million to raise the consultancy service supervision from N104 million to N215 million with an extension period of 24 months in favour of AIM Consultants Ltd.”

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On his part, Budget and National Planning, Udoma said, Council approved two memos on National Social Investment Programme.

He explained: “The first was for the award of the consultancy service contract for the provision of training services and integrated supply of starter packs for N-Creative Trainees in the Northern states of Nigeria in favour of Messers Patigon services Ltd in the sum of N652,318,104 inclusive of five per cent VAT.  The training will be held in Abuja for 1,500 beneficiaries with integrated starter packs distributed to the trainees at the end of the training.

“The four thematic creative areas and their respective beneficiaries distributions are as follows: script writing – 150, graphic illustration 375, animation – 750 and post-production -225.

“The second memo was also under the National Social Investment Programme for the award of consultants service contracts for the provision of training services and integration supply of starter packs for the N-Tech Software trainees in Southern Nigeria, in favour of UCH Ltd at the sum of N325,489 million. This same training has been provided for the northern states already, so this is for the southern states.  The training is for 2,000 beneficiaries.”

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