By Ismaila Chafe
Nigerian Government has approved N35.4 billion for the building of power stations at Calabar and Kano offices of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority.
Minister of Industry Trade and Investment, Niyi Adebayo disclosed this to State House correspondents at the end of the Wednesday’s Federal Executive Council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Council Chamber, Presidential Villa, Abuja, on Wednesday.
He said the Council approved N35.4 billion for the building of power stations at Calabar and Kano offices of the Nigerian Export Processing Zones Authority.
According to Adebayo, government’s intention of the upgrade of the two zones is to create zones with world-class standards.
“The Ministry of Industry, Trade and Investment is desirous of making Nigeria a manufacturing hub, especially now that we have signed on to the African Continental Free Trade Area Agreement.
“So, by putting 24-hour power in the two processing zones, it will make it more attractive to foreign investors to come and set up their manufacturing concerns here in Nigeria,” he said.
On funding of the contract, he said, “The terms are that the company will finance 75 per cent, which is in the sum of N26,558,339,337.10, while the Export Processing Zones Authority will pay 25 per cent, which translates to N8,852,779,792.37.
“For the 75 per cent of the contractor’s portion, Council approved a pay-back period of ten years.
“The plant will be completed after 11 months and it would be operated by the contractor for five years and during that five years, they will build local capacity so that after five years, the local capacity that had been built will take over the running of the plant.”
Minister of Mines and Steel Development, Olamilekan Adegbite, also told the correspondents that the council approved the concessioning of the Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria, Ikot-Abasi, in Akwa Ibom.
He said: “Essentially, we sought Council’s approval for the Aluminium Smelting Company of Nigeria, that is in Ikot-Abasi.
“The BPE has concessioned that company and the company sought to be categorised as a power producer and as a strategic company, which Council approved so that we can start the production of aluminium in Nigeria.”
FEC also approved about N2 billion for the procurement of surveillance equipment for some airports and inland waterways in the country.
Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed said N1.2 billion of the amount was approved for the purchase of surveillance equipment for the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja and the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos.
He said: “The Minister sought for council’s approval, which was granted for a contract for the design, supply and installation of a long-range thermal camera surveillance system at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos and Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport Abuja.
“The total sum of the contract is N1,278,594,250. And this is in order to upgrade and provide security and safety for the Nigerian Airports Authority especially to avoid incidents on the airside and runway.”
The Minister further revealed that the council also approved N783.5 million for the procurement of two hydrographic survey boats for National Inland Waterways Authority.
“The Minister of transportation sought and got council’s approval for the award of contract for the procurement of two hydrographic survey boats for National Inland Waterways Authority. In the sum of N753,521,275 inclusive of 7.5% VAT,” he said.
The Minister, who spoke on behalf of his Transportation counterpart, said the contract has a completion period of six months.