Journalism of Courage

FEC approves N4.26bn contracts 

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari has approved contracts worth N4.26 billion which cuts across petroleum, investment programme and information gadgets.

The meeting which lasted over six hours, approval of  N1.4 billion for the design of the headquarters of the Department of Petroleum Resources ( DPR) in Abuja, the sum of N1.56 billion to hire empowerment programme consultant and N1.3 billion for  broadcasts equipments, vehicles for Nigeria Television Authority (NTA), News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), and Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN).

The Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, while briefing State House Correspondents in company of his counterparts from the Ministry of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, Industry, Trade and Investment, Okechukwu Enelamah, said the award of the contract was part of efforts to relocate the headquarters of DPR from Lagos to Abuja.

Kachikwu, who said the entire building of 12 floors will cost N35 billion, also said the contract will be funded by DPR  as part of government’s game plan to ensure parastatals and agencies are self-financing and are exited from federal budgeting in the nearest future.

The minister said, “FEC approved N1. 4 billion for the design of DPR Head office in Abuja. The contract was awarded to Messers Arteck Practice Limited to design a 12 floor building at a plot which has already been allocated to them by the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

“They are currently based in Lagos and are the regulatory and supervisory arm of the ministry of petroleum, and is instrumental in terms of income generation. It will enable DPR move to Abuja.”

Asked if N1.4 billion was not too much to design a building, Kachikwu said, that was the lowest bid while the highest bid was over N3 billion.

He said, “The contract was awarded to DPR tenders board, their bid was the lowest, the highest bid  was about N3 billion. The total projected potential cost for the building when it is done is about N35 billion. So if you look at that as a percentage of the work, it is absolutely insignificant, in international terms it is very very justifiable, it is less than two per cent.

“The FCT did mention in our deliberations that because of the new zoning policies, the previous plan which was to build a car park of another five floors along with the 12 floors  have to be changed a little because they are taking possession of additional green area that were assigned to them. So they will build a lot of parking institu within the building. So I think because of the amount of work to be done and in line with international practice, it is quite frankly very reasonable.

“Let me also say that part of the programmes we have pursued in the ministry, is how to get a lot of our parastatals to become independent and self financially generating agency and so get out of federal budget. Nigeria Content Development Management Board (NCDMB) has done that, DPR is the one to do that next. So a lot of funding for this development is going to come out of DPR itself not out of federal budgeting.

The plan is that if we continue the way we are doing, a lot of federal agencies will be out of federal budgeting and be self reliant. Be it Petroleum Product Price Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), DPR, Petroleum Equalisation Fund (Management), that is the game plan. So far we have exited NCDMB and we are near existing DPR and then PEF.”

Enelamah on his part said FEC approved the sum of N1.556 billion for the appointment of a contract for consultancy job for Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP), which is part of the government social investment programme.

According to the Minister of Trade, Industry and Investment, “We got an approval from the Federal Executive Council to award a contract to engage a Program Management Office Consultant and System Provider, for the GEEP at the cost of N1.556 billion.

“The contract which is a viable one, is for providing services to 4.6 million people.”

Enelamah said, the council also approved the establishment of a Committee to come up with alternative ways to add to what government is doing in financing infrastructure.

The committee is chaired by Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment and Ministers of Finance,  Power, Works and Housing, Budget and National Planning, Transportation, Water Resources and Minister of State for Aviation as members.

Also in the committee  are: Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Nigeria Sovereign Investment Authority (NSIA), Africa Finance Corporation and some private sector players.

He explained that the target is to achieve $10-20 billion per year in infrastructure spending over the next five to 10 years.

Enelamah said, “Obviously government cannot do it alone and will like to partner others and it expected to be done as part of the concluding work of this administration.

“The report is expected to be submitted within the next one month.”

Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, said council also approved other contracts for the procurement of cameras, television packs and other broadcast equipment at a cost of N283.8 million for the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA); 15 Peugeot  vehicles for News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) at N148.7 million.

Council also ratified the anticipated approval for procurement of 12 units of 10-kilowatt FM transmitters from Canada at N561 million and three Outside Broadcast Vans  for the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria (FRCN) at the cost of N311 million.

The total for the two FRCN contracts is N872 million.

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