FEC okays N126b road contracts in eight states
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) yesterday approved N126 billion contracts for 12 roads across eight states.
Minister of Power, Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, unveiled this at the end of the seven- hour FEC meeting presided over by Acting President Yemi Osinbajo.
Fashola, who was with Minister of Budget and National Planning Udoma Udo Udoma and Minister of Health Isaac Adewole, said the twelve roads are in Kano, Bauchi, Adamawa, Borno, Kwara, Gombe, Enugu, and Kaduna states.
He said: “Council considered and approved the award of contracts for 12 roads, one of them is the Dukka Gulu road, in Kano, others are spread across Bauchi, Adamawa, Kwara, Gombe/Adamawa, Kano, Enugu, Kaduna, Bauchi/Gombe.
“The headline figures are in the region of N126 billion but I think that is not the story, the story really is what the award of those contracts will do to the economy.
“It will restore confidence to the construction industry. Contractors who have been owed for two, three years before Mr President was elected are back in various states, they recalled their workers and as they are purchasing gravel, cement, the economy is on its way back with a bend and this situates what the Minister of budget and planning has said.
“Every place in all of those states once we mobilise the contractors, the money is kept in those states. Most of the workers who drive the trucks, who fix the roads that you see are indigenes of those states and so they aggregate to the total output from each of those states to the national productivity and national recovery.
“What you then will see is improved journey time which was what we promised you as we cover more grounds wherever we have worked we have seen that you are travelling more efficiently, you are burning less fuel, you are reaching your destination quicker and as we complete those roads we can only have a more efficient economy.” he added.
Udoma said the Council held extensive discussion on the Economic Recovery Growth Plan.
He said: “The growth plan is still being fine-tuned. But a lot of inputs were made by Council Members and it is virtually ready for the President to launch. However, we are doing some fine- tuning and during this period, we also do some final consultation before the President launches the plan.
“The plan that is being approved is expected to drive Economic recovery and lay the foundation for longer term growth as well as improve the competitiveness of the Nigerian economy. The goal of the plan is to have an economy with low inflation, stable exchange rate and a diversified inclusive and sustaining growth.
“The Proposed initiatives outlined in the plan are designed to address the country’s poor competitiveness, improve business environment and attract investment and infrastructure especially power, roads, rails and ports. Jobs and social inclusion are also key focused areas of the plan.” said
The immediate execution priorities of the plan, he said. included agriculture and food security, energy-particularly power and petroleum product sufficiency, industrialization -focusing on small and medium size enterprising.
Others, he said are transportation, which is very important as an infrastructure requirement to get the economy moving, and stabilaition of the micro-economy environment.
“These are underpined by a focus on governance and delivery which is crucial to the successful implementation of the plan.
“We spent a lot of time looking at implementation. That’s key and one of the means of ensuring implementation is to have a delivery unit which will be in the Presidency.
According to him, the key principles of the plan are tackling constraints to growth, leveraging the power of the private sector, promoting national cohesion and social inclusion, allowing market to function and approving the core value for which the country stands.
“So, these are the principles. They are still being fine-tuned. Reviews are being incorporated and at a date to be announced soon, the president will launch the plan. Let me add that there will be additional consultations that we agreed in cabinet that we will be making and one of the people we will be consulting will be labour before the plan is finalized.” he stated
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