By Ismaila Chafe
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Wednesday in Abuja approved N11 billion for the purchase of 22 fire fighting vehicles for the Federal Fire Service and construction of technology building for the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS).
The Minister of Interior, Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, disclosed this when he briefed State House Correspondents on the outcome of the meeting of the FEC.
The meeting was presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
He said that N3.9 billion of the amount was approved for the procurement of the 22 fire fighting vehicles while the remaining N7.1 billion was for the construction of the NIS technology building.
“In 2016, we procured 21 fire fighting vehicles, in 2017 the procurement was for 22 fire fighting trucks and in 2018, it is a repeat procurement of what we did last year.
“The vehicles will cost N3, 952, 076, 338.35 for those fire trucks, water tankers and other related vehicles.
“The government is doing everything possible to ensure that fire incidents are contained and also controlled,’’ he said.
The minister said the vehicles would be distributed according to flash points, where there were frequent fire incidents.
He said: “We are just starting these, we have identified areas that have high fire hazards and we will continue to do this.’’
Dambazau also announced that the council approved N7.1 billion for the building of the communication centre for the Nigeria Immigration Service.
According to him, the centre will help harness the data of the service, which presently is domiciled with various service providers.
“The Centre, when operational, will help bring together all the data used by the Nigeria Immigration Service under one roof.
“For now we have these data domiciled with the service providers and they are in piecemeal.
“So, at the proposed centre to be sighted within the headquarters of the Service, the data will be brought together so that the Immigration can be able to interface with other institutions that have to do with internal security, border management and so on, like the Customs Service,” he said.
The minister also disclosed that another N1.5 billion was approved for the purchase of 116 special vehicles, known as Green (Black) Maria for the Nigeria Prisons Service.
He said the vehicles would be used to convey suspects awaiting trial and inmates to court, for speedy dispensation of justice.
“An approval was given for the procurement of 116 operational Green Maria vehicles, which will cost N1,584,064,560.
“This will be used to take inmates and suspects to the courts because we presently don’t have enough of such vehicles.
“There are over 5,000 courts and about 240 prisons where on daily basis, we have to convey the inmates to the courts and for speedy dispensation of justice, we need to get more vehicles, So this development is going to improve the situation tremendously,’’ he said.
Also on the outcome of the Council’s meeting, the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, revealed that the council approved a variation of N628 million for the new runway of the Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport, Abuja.
“The Ministry of Transportation had two memoranda approved at the meeting. One of them had to do with the variation of cost for the Abuja runway which came earlier in April but 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. The work was reviewed and the cabinet approved the increase of N628,123,590 as variation on the job.
“Actually what we refer to as variation is an additional work that we ran into in the cause of the construction or repair of the runway,” he said.
The minister further disclosed the Council approved N1.2 billion for the procurement of Pilot quarters for Tin Can and Apapa Ports, all in Lagos.
He said:“We have what we refer to as Pilot quarters, these are vessels that convey pilots, who move ships or vessels form point A to point B and currently we have Pilot quarters everywhere, excluding Tincan and Apapa, which constitute the Western Ports.
“So, we came to Cabinet to request that they award the contract to enable us purchase the two pilot quarters to serve both Tincan and Apapa.
“That was approved; it was awarded at N1,210,385,255. 37.’’