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COVID-19: 36 states, FCT to get new oxygen plants — FG

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To cushion the effect of COVID-19 pandemic and stave off a third wave, the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved N5.6 billion for the establishment of an oxygen production plant in each of the 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory.

On May 31, the Presidential Steering Committee (PSC) had called for an increase in the nation’s Oxygen reserve capacity in the event of a third wave of the pandemic.

Information and Culture Minister Lai Mohammed, said an emergency supply, installation and maintenance of oxygen production plants and construction of plant houses in each of the 36 states and Abuja had been approved.

“The contract was approved in the sum of N5, 615, 127, 479 inclusive of 7.5 percent VAT, in favour of four different companies, with a completion period of 20 weeks.

“COVID-19 has made oxygen a very critical commodity, and the best way to address it is to make it available to save the people of the pandemic,” Mohammed said while briefing State House correspondents on behalf of Health Minister Osagie Ehanire.

The minister said that FEC also approved N9.2 billion as premium for insurance to companies that will manage the group life insurance for federal civil servants in the country.

READ ALSO: FG launches COVID-19 vaccination for frontline health workers

“On behalf of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, I will like to report that council today approved the award of contract for the appointment of insurance companies for group life assurance for federal government employees, public servants para military and the intelligence community for the year 2021-2022 in the sum of N9, 248. 995, 907 and this premium is for a period of 12 months.

“This is part of the government’s welfare programme for our public employees so that in case of death, they are assured that there would be compensation,” Mohammed explained.

The Minister added that the council approved N18.1 billion for the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment for development of infrastructure and Kano and Calabar Free Trade Zones, as well as the Textile and Garment Park in Lagos and the Special Economic Zone, Lekki–Lagos.

Also speaking, the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Zainab Ahmed, said she briefed council on the latest National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) report of the nation’s GDP and presented the first quarter of 2021 GDP results and other performance indicators of Nigeria.

Last week, the NBS had released its first quarter result, which estimates that Nigerian GDP has grown to 0.51% year-on-year in real terms in the First Quarter of 2021.

“This first quarter performance marks the second consecutive quarter of positive real GDP growth following two previous consecutive quarters of negative growth in 2020, in Q3, and Q4, which saw our country going into recession, but you’ll recall that we very quickly exited recession in the fourth quarter of 2020.

“The improved economic condition that has been reported is indicated by the fact that 23 out of 46 activities recorded positive growth in the first quarter of 2021, compared to 17 in the previous quarter,” Ahmed told reporters.

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