The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $984.7 million for the procurement of maintenance equipment for the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC). The FEC also approved N5 billion for the provision of accommodations to the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA) staff.
The Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, and the Attorney-General and Minister of Justice, Abubakar Malami, disclosed these when they briefed State House correspondents at the end of the weekly council meeting.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday in Abuja.
According to Sambo, the NRC equipment is specifically meant for the Kano-Maradi rail line connecting Nigeria and the neighbouring Niger Republic.
He said: “A memorandum presented by the ministry was on behalf of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.”
“The memorandum sought the council’s consideration and approval for the award of a contract for the procurement of rolling stock and operation and maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.”
“The contract was awarded to a company that is also the contractor handling the railway project in the sum of 984,722,302.05 dollars, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with a completion period of four years.”
He also disclosed that the council approved over N510 million for the supply of customized fire service vehicles for the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“The Federal Ministry of Transportation also presented a memo to the council on behalf of two of its agencies.”
“The first agency was the Nigerian Ports Authority, which sought to provide for the award of contracts for the construction.”
“And the supply of four customized Fire Service search and rescue vans for the extrication of accident victims at Rivers Ports, Port Harcourt, the Lagos Port Complex, Tin Can Island Port, and Marina Headquarters all in Lagos.
“The Council considered the memorandum and approved the award of the contract as recommended and reviewed by the Bureau of Public Procurement in the sum of N510, 934,600 million, inclusive of 7.5% VAT, with a completion period of nine months,” he said.
On his part, the Minister of Justice said the Council approved N5 billion for the construction of residential accommodations for officers and men of the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA).
According to the minister, this has become necessary to further secure the lives and property of personnel of the agency, who have been having tremendous success in the fight against drug cartels and barons.
He said: “As you are aware, there has been a renewed and sustained onslaught by the NDLEA against drug cartels and barons. Within the first three quarters of 2023, about 18,940 seizures were affected by the NDLEA, and indeed, drugs worth an estimated value of over N40 billion were confiscated.
“The successes that were recorded unfortunately translated to unprecedented threats and attacks on personnel, including officers, men, and other ranks of the agency.”
“Thus, the need has arisen for the Nigerian government to consider the possibility of taking security measures that will now provide the desired protection to officers and men of the NDLEA.”
He further revealed that the council gave approval for the construction of two categories of barracks totaling 192 flats.
“Accordingly, two contracts were awarded to two different contractors. The first one is for the construction of barracks comprising a total of 92 units of three-bedroom semi-detached flats for Narcotics Superintendents and Narcotics Assistant Superintendents at a cost of N2, 267,785,450.83.
“The second contract was for the sum of N2,889,480, 320. 55 for the construction of barracks comprising a total of 100 units of two- and three-bedroom semi-detached flats for Narcotics Superintendents and Narcotics Agents,” he said.