* Education gets N4bn for projects in University
*Okays N1.8bn for package sewage system
By Mathew Dadiya, Abuja
The Federal Executive Council (FEC), Wednesday, approve a total of N9,686,556,583 billion to be refunded to Platuea and Borno States for the road project they executed in some federal roads some years ago, and the approval for Central Clearing House (CCH) for the operations of toll plaza concessionaires.
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fasola disclosed this while briefing State House Correspondents after the FEC meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
Fashola said that to Statfor the ministry presented two policy memoranda for the government to provide refund to state governments for previous interventions on federal government roads, subject to the July 26, 2016 cutoff, after which reforms would no longer be eligible.
He said that the two states which had outstandings with respect to eligible roads were Plateau and Borno states and Council approved the refund of N6,601,769,470. 99 billion for Plateau State, and the sum of N3,084,787,113. 34 billion for Borno State, bringing the total approval to N9,686,556,583 billion.
The second memorandum, according to the minister, was seeking to inform Council about the commencement of a procurement process for a Central Clearing House for the operations of toll plaza concessionaires.
Fashola recalled that previous administrations had canceled the operation of toll plazas on grounds of lack of transparency, amongst other reasons, adding that the present administration has resorted to the restoration of tolling.
“So we’ve approved a National Tolling Policy, about which I’ve briefed this body before.
“Two weeks ago, we also approved the full business case for the concessioning of nine federal roads, which will include the concessionaires completion of those roads and also tolling operations, ambulance services, vehicle recovery services and so on.
“Now, this process we sought and obtained approval to start is to get a private sector operator to work with us to build a central clearing house at his own expense, operate it, recover and then ultimately transfer back to government.
“What a Central Clearing House (CCH) will do is that it would synchronize interoperability between different toll systems that will be used by different concessionaires when they commence their tolls and also provide a one-stop accounting system and a single payment recovery system where everybody is paid at the end of the operations and also provide visibility for government to see what is going on in the operations of each concessionaire.
“So this process will now start by the publication of a request for qualification, followed by a request for proposals, all of which will be subsequently evaluated by the ICRC, the statutory body of government responsible for regulating concessions, after which will come back to council with a full business case and possibly thereafter, it preferred bidder after a competitive bidding process. So essentially, we got approval to commence this process,” the minister explained.
Also, the Council approved a memorandum presented by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Otunba Niyi Adebayo, on behalf of the Oil and Gas Free Zones Authority, which is a parastatal under the ministry.
FEC approved the award of contract for the construction of a Package Sewage System (PSS) for the authorities head office within the Liberty Free Zone in Akwa Ibom State, at the sum of N1,803,556,537.95 billion inclusive of 7.5% Value Added Tax (VAT) with the completion period of 10 months, without variation.
The minister said that as part of the responsibility of regulating and attracting Foreign Direct Investments (FDI) into the country, the ministry was supervising certain oil and gas free zones in the country and one of which is the Liberty Free Zone in Ikot Abasi, Akwa Ibom State.
In addition, the Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu got approval for the he presented for the construction of the Senate Building in Osun State University, in Osogbo at a cost of N2,134,686,307.88 billion with the completion period of 76 weeks awarded to WAZLAF Engineering Limited.
The second one, according to Adamu, is another Senate Building at the Federal University Lokoja at the cost of N1,607,471,754.77 billion with a completion period of 50 weeks awarded to Amber Bliss Nigeria Limited; while the third one, a contract for the erection of radio antenna for the National Commission for Nomadic Education – 50 kilowatt AM radio awarded to ECALPEMOS Technologies Limited at the cost of N336,745,631.70 million with a completion period of 14 weeks.
The last memo approve was for the takeover of David Umahi University of Medical Sciences, Ebonyi, by the Federal Government.
“What we brought in the memo is for Council to ratify the agreement that has been entered between the Ebonyi State government and the Federal Government and then to approve the renaming of the university from David Umahi University of Medical Sciences to David Umahi Federal University of Health Sciences and to approve a draft bill, which has been written, and then to approve the transmittal of this bill to the National Assembly for enactment into an Act.
This, brought the total approval for the four memoranda presented by the minister of education to the Council to N4,078,903,692 billion.