By Friday Obande
…Jacks up Abuja airport runway repair cost to N6.5bn
The Federal Government has approved over N12.66billion for infrastructural development under the Ministry of Interior.
The funds were approved at the Federal Executive Council meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday.
Bulk of the cash is expected to go into provision of additional fire fighting vehicles, including other logistics relating to fire control, construction of state of the art data capturing centre for the Nigerian Immigration Service including 116 pickup vans for conveying prisoners to court.
Minister of Interior, Abdulrahman Dambazzau who spoke to State House correspondents on the approvals, said a total of N3.952billion has been earmarked for the fire-fighting equipment while N7billion would go into the data capturing centre and about N1billion for the prisoners van.
“I presented three memos during FEC, the first had to do with procurement of fire trucks. I have informed this gathering before that when we came in in 2015, I went round the fire stations within Abuja here and what I found out was very awful because as at that time there was only one rickety fire truck on ground.
“So we embarked as part of the security sector reform efforts and also in order to reduce the loss and also curtail the incidence of fire, we embarked on the procurement of fire-fighting trucks, water tankers and so on. But the reform is not just about procurement of equipment we are also focusing our attention on the issue of training and welfare of staff within the various services.
“In 2016, we procured 21 fire fighting vehicles plus other vehicles such as water tankers in 2017 the procurement was for 22 fire-fighting trucks and of course, 2018 is a repeat procurement of what we did in 2017 and also for this year to cost N3.952 billion for those fire trucks, water tankers and other related vehicles”.
“The second memo has to do with the Nigeria Immigration Service,the rationale for building this data capturing centre is to be able to guarantee effective and efficient monitoring and management of the data and this is the focus.
“In this case, Julius Berger is going to construct this building including the furnishing. The Comptroller General has a power point presentation. That project is going to cost N7.119billion.
Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation said approval was also given for variation cost in the Abuja airport runway valued at N628million, bringing the total cost of the project to N6.5billion.
“There are two memoranda that we presented from the Ministry of Transportation. One has to do with the Abuja runway variation of cost which had earlier come this year and was stepped down for the ministry to liaise in terms of pricing with the Ministry of Works, that was done and brought back to cabinet. So, the work reviewed and the cabinet approved the increase of N628million as variation on the job which then will bring the entire contract to N6.5billion.
“What we refer as variation is more or less additional work we ran into because of the construction and repair of the runway. The next thing is we have what we call as pilot cutters, these are vessels that convey pilots, pilots are those who move the ships or vessels from point to point B and currently we have pilot cutters everywhere excluding Tincan and Apapa.
“Tin Can and Apapa constitute the Western port so we came to cabinet to request that they award the contract in purchase of two pilot cutters to serve both Tin-Can and Apapa. It was awarded at one billion two hundred and ten million three hundred and thirty five thousand two hundred and eighty five naira thirty seven kobo, that is the naira equivalent of three million nine hundred and fifty six thousand extra dollars. The naira equivalent is N1.2 billion. It was approved and awarded”