UPDATE: FEC approves 14-day paternity leave for civil servants

• okays N3.109bn for Education, Communication projects

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has granted male civil servants the right to enjoy a 14-day paternity leave to allow them bond with their newborn infants.

This was disclosed to correspondents on Wednesday by the Head of Service of the Federation, Dr Folasade Yemi-Esan, after the week’s virtual FEC meeting, presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

She said this is to enable for proper bonding between the father and a newborn babies, either natural-born or adopted, especially at the early stages of the child’s life.

Dr Yemi -Esan further explained that adopted babies of less than four months will also enjoy this gesture.

The council also approved a total of N3.109 billion for contracts in the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Communication and Digital Economy.

This Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed disclosed this while briefing correspondents after the council meeting presided over by the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo at the presidential villa, Abuja.

He said the Ministers of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu and that of Communication and Digital Economy, Professor Ali Pantami, presented three memoranda to the council.

According to him, the Ministry of Education’s memoranda sought approval to purchase an official residence for the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State, as well as funding to augment the execution of five projects at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.

Mohammed explained: “The Ministry of Education presented two memos today. One was for the approval for the procurement of landed property for the residence of the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa State. This is a very short memo, which actually sought the Council’s approval to provide accommodation for the Vice-Chancellor and of course, it means the university was purchasing a property in Dutse, which will serve as the official accommodation of the Vice-Chancellor.

“After the due process had been observed, including whether the seller has title and whether it was adequately covered by C-of-O, the Council approved that property be purchased for the sum of N161,250,000 million, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with the delivery period of two weeks for the official residence of the Vice-Chancellor of the Federal University of Dutse, Jigawa State.

“The second memo was actually a memo asking for augmentation on five contracts at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka in Anambra State. The significant thing about this contract is the fact that these were contracts that were awarded by the university itself, some in 2007, some in 2010, some in 2012 and some in 2015, but due to the inability of the university to execute these projects, for reasons ranging from lack of funding to other sundry reasons, they appealed to the federal government to help complete the contracts.

“The contract, which was then awarded at the sum of N2,513,991,695, due to contract variation, cost of materials etc., has now been jacked up to N4.6 billion. In other words, the federal government is making available to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University the sum of N2.1 billion to augment the contract, which they awarded between 2007 and 2015, which you were unable to complete.

“The five contracts are one, construction of students’ hostels, Type D, at Awka, which was augmented in the sum of N120 million. Construction of students’ hostel, Type A, at Nnewi, for which we have to provide an extra N385 million.

“Construction students’ hostel, Type A, Awka also, here we’ve provided an extra N104 million and then the construction of Faculty Building for Physical Science and Biosciences in the sum of N1.2 billion, raising the contract sum from the original N983 million to N2.243 billion. Finally, construction and completion of min-stadium complex in favour of another contractor, which we had to augment with the sum of N510 million.

“Like I said, it must be noted that these projects were earlier awarded by the Nnamdi Azikiwe University between 2007 and 2015 and they were unable to complete these. So, they appealed to the Federal Ministry of Education and they were accommodated under what is called Needs Assessment.

“It’s one of the intervention funds that the Federal Ministry of Education makes available to assist the educational institutions all over Nigeria, so the Council approved that the sum of N2.1 billion be given to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State, to enable them to complete five of its projects.”

Mohammed said the FEC also approved a sum of N847,502,000 for the award of a contract for digital interconnectivity among identified ministries and other agencies of government through the Local Area Network (LAN).

He further said: “The Honourable Minister of Communication presented a memo today and that memo was to seek Council’s approval for the award of contract for the provision of project management services for the implementation of the Local Area Network infrastructure, upgrade project, in identified ministries, departments and agencies, in favour of Knowledge Resources Limited in the sum of N847,502,000, inclusive of 7.5% VAT and this is to be delivered within a period of 12 months.

“Earlier before now, Council had already, through an intervention project, approved money for the upgrade of infrastructure of the Land Area Networks. The purpose of this is to improve our communication infrastructure, between ministries, departments and agencies of government.”

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