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FEC Approves $1.96bn Rail Contract From Kano-Niger Republic

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The federal executive council (FEC) has approved $1.95 billion for the construction of the 248-kilometre Kano to Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line project.

The rail line, which will start from Kano, is to pass through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi.

Speaking after a meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday, Rotimi Amaechi, minister of transportation, said the council also approved N3 billion for the design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning of one railway crane of 150 ton capacity for emergency and recovery of rolling stocks.

“The council approved two memos for the ministry of transportation. The first one is the award of contract for the design, manufacture, supply, testing and commissioning of one railway crane of 150 ton capacity for emergency and recovery of rolling stocks,” he said.

“This is to sort out situations of accident on the track. It is for a total cost of N3,049,544,000.

“The second one is the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano to Maradi rail line in Niger Republic and to Dutse, the capital of Jigawa, for a total cost of $1,959,744,723.71, inclusive of 7.5% VAT.”

He said the project would assist in the supply of crude oil from Niger Republic to the refinery being built in the border town between both countries.

Also speaking, Babatunde Fashola, minister of works and housing, said the council approved N12 billion for the construction of section two of the Ohafia to Arochukwu road in Abia.

He said the project, with a distance of 45 kilometers, will complement the section one that was awarded in 2018.

“This section comprises Umuahia/Bende/Ohafia road in Abia State and it was approved for construction at N12.088 billion comprising a distance of 45 kilometers to complement Section One which was previously awarded in 2018, that is the section from Bende/Arochukwu to Ohafia which was 19.27 kilometers,” Fashola said.

“So with this award now, the entire length of the road is now under contract with the same contractor and we hope for expeditious execution.”

On his part, Rauf Aregbesola, minister of interior, said FEC approved the purchase of 52 operational vehicles for effective operation of the Nigeria Correctional Service.

He said: “We considered in the council the award of contract for the procurement of 52 number operational Black Maria vehicle to facilitate effective operation in the correctional service as well as ease of movement of awaiting trial inmates from the custodial centres, 247 of them in all to about 5,022 courts in Nigeria.

“The objective is to ensure that the delay associated with the trial of inmate is reduced if not eliminated.”

Godswill Akpabio, minister of Niger Delta Affairs, also disclosed that N745 million was approved for the hiring of additional forensic field auditors for the audit of the Niger Delta Development Commission (NDDC).

“This brings to the total number of field forensic auditors to 16 in addition to the earlier approved Lead Forensic Auditors, messrs Olumiluwa Bashir and Co,” he said.

“These people are now going to be in charge of the nine states of the Niger Delta which has been divided into 16 lots. They will be undertaking the 19 years of audit and also bring out the organigram for the restructuring of the NDDC for better performance in the future.”

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