Nigeria Govt Approves $1.9Bn for Kano to Niger Republic Rail Line

*An existing rail line in Nigeria
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By Ismaila Chafe

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved $1.95billion for the construction of Kano-Dutse(Jigawa)- Katsina- Jibia – Maradi (Niger Republic) rail line project.

The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, made this known when he briefed State House correspondents on the outcome of the council meeting, presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari, at the Council Chamber, State House, Abuja.

He said the council also approved N3billion 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.

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

“That’s the first memo that was approved for the Ministry of Transportation.

“The second one is the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano- Dutsi -Katsina-Jibia 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 Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, who also addressed the correspondents on the outcome of the meeting, said the council approved the purchase of 1,800 units of laptop computers for computer-based test examinations at three Nigeria Customs Service training schools in Gwagwalada, Lagos and Kano, at the cost of N351million.

He disclosed that the council also approved N197million for the expansion of the Nigeria Customs Service’s cash management’s software in compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).

He said the software, when installed, would enhance the efficiency of the Department of Customs.

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“On behalf of the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning I want to report also that she got two of her memos approved.

“One is for the procurement of 1,800 units of laptop computers for training school and computer-based test examinations at three Nigeria Customs Service training schools in Gwagwalada, Lagos and Kano for a sum of N351,540,000, with a completion period of six weeks.

“The major advantage of this particular contract is that it saves the department a lot of money in hiring consultants for training and other services.

“The Minister also got another approval for N197,843,100 for the expansion of the Nigeria Customs Service’s cash management’s software in compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS).’’

Mohammed stated that the council also approved an augmentation of the contract for the construction of Petroleum Technology Development Fund corporate headquarters office in Abuja, at the sum of N3,773,784,399.48, raising the initial approval for the contract to N14billion.

“On behalf of the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, a memo was presented today asking for approval for the augmentation of the contract for the construction of Petroleum Technology Development Fund corporate headquarters office in Abuja, for the sum of N3,773,784,399.48, therefore raising the initial approval for the contract to about N14 billion.

“However, the important thing about this particular contract is that the building has since been completed, it has since been in use and we inherited this augmentation from 2012.

“But since governance is a continuum, we are honouring the augmentation, but this headquarters building has been completed, the contractors have been magnanimous while all these arguments about the augmentation was going on, they were magnanimous enough to complete the project.

“Many international conferences have been held in that building.’’

(NAN)

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