FEC approves $3.02bn Port Harcourt/Maiduguri railway project

• N5.1b investment in shoes, garments hubs in Aba, Kano

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has given the go-ahead for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri Eastern Narrow Gauge railway project for the cost of $3.02 billion.

This was disclosed by Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

He said the FEC also approved the construction of a deep seaport at Bonny and a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt, which will be funded through the Public/Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement.

The minister stated that the industrial park project will be executed at $241.2 million while the Bonny deep seaport will gulp $461.9 million.

Amaechi said: “The Federal Executive Council FEC has approved the award of contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Port Harcourt-Maiduguri eastern narrow-gauge railway, with new branch lines and trans-shipment facilities.

“They’ve also approved the construction of a new deep seaport in Bonny, under PPP and the construction of a railway industrial park in Port Harcourt.

“The railway line will be at the cost of $3,020,279,549. The industrial park, which is under PPP, at no cost to the Federal Government, will cost $241,154,389.31. The Bonny deep seaport will cost $461,924,369, at no cost to the Federal Government.

“The Port Harcourt to Maiduguri narrow gauge railway will have new branch lines: from Port Harcourt to Bonny and from Port Harcourt to Owerri are new lines. There’s another connecting to narrow gauge to standard gauge at Kafanchan. There is a branch line from Gombe or before Maiduguri to Damaturu and Gashau. That’s what has been approved.”

In his statement at the briefing, Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, said the Council approved the full business skills compliance certificate issued by Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) for the design, finance, upgrade, operate, and transfer of the Nigeria Correctional Service Shoe, Garment, and Leather Processing Factory located in Aba, Abia State as well as Janguza, Kano State under a Public-Private Partnership (PPP).

He informed that the full business skills certificate and the investment that will come therefrom amount to 5 billion, 100 million naira (N5,100,000,000).

He added: “Invariably when the partnership comes into effect, the benefit is enormous. About 1,330 people will have direct employment, while about 3,000 people will have indirect employment. The benefit besides the employment of Nigerians is the opportunity for training of the inmates of our correctional facilities in Janguza, Kano State and Aba in Abia State.

“The contract for full business skills compliance certificate is given to Messrs LG Investment Limited, a Nigerian company which is partnering with a Chinese company, Full Technology Incorporated from Beijing, China.”

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The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, briefed correspondents on behalf of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha; Ministers of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Works and Housing and Aviation.

He said: “I will start with the Honorable Minister of the Federal Capital Territory Administration whose memo for the award and contract of the final design of engineering infrastructure and production of tendered documents for Kabusa district phase three of the FCT, Abuja an area of about 850 hectares which will be mixed-use of both private and government, residential and offices. It was approved for the sum of N183, 709, 480, 50k to Messrs Techno Engineering and Consult Limited.

“The Minister of Aviation also presented a memo seeking approval for the rehabilitation of the various screening machines nationwide at the cost of N654 million. You would notice that with the incident of COVID-19 pandemic, a new protocol sanctioned by IATA and other Aviation authorities has now come into our airports which entails more of social distancing. So you need more points to screen passengers and their luggage. So this is what has necessitated for the rehabilitation of those screening machines that have broken down.

“Also on behalf of the Minister of Works and Housing, I want to report that his memo for the completion of the rehabilitation of the Abeokuta-Ibadan road, a distance of 72 kilometres was approved today. It was a memo asking for augmentation by N788 million to bring the project cost to N4.78 billion-plus six months extension time for construction. So we hope that by 2021, this road will be completed. You need to note also that this was a contract that was awarded in 2010 but due to paucity of funds and other constraints, we have to take it over.

“The SGF on behalf of Mr President also presented a memo which was approved seeking Council’s approval for the purchase of 21 operational vehicles for the Federal Road Safety Corps in favour of Messrs Pan Nigeria Ltd in total sum of N292, 615 million. The purpose of the memo is to enhance the operational capability and capacity of the Corps so that we can stop the carnage on our roads and also secure our roads better.

“The unique thing about this memo is that these vehicles are being sourced from one of our local assemble plants, Peugeot Nigeria Ltd in Kaduna.”

The Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, Niyi Adebayo, on his part, said FEC approved contract for the procurement and installation of automotive electronic equipment, for the automatic mechatronic centre facilities in six geo-political zones of the country and the FCT.

Also approved are three pilot workshop automotive service hubs for the National Automotive Design and Development Council (NADDC) at the cost for maintenance of vehicles. N1.8 billion.

He explained that the NADDC has recorded a lot of success in bringing back assembling and manufacturing operations in the automotive sector, saying: “As a result of this, the proposed training centres will not only train Nigerians to maintain and service vehicles but will also ensure avoidable disasters arising from lack of skills by our teaming youth will be prevented, through periodic training and empowerment at an affordable cost.

“The whole idea is that with the kind of vehicles being manufactured today, we need training institutes that will train our Mechanics and our youths how to maintain and service these vehicles.

The cost is N1.8 billion.”







FEC approves $3.02bn Port Harcourt/Maiduguri railway project

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