The Federal Government of Nigeria has approved the award of contract for the development of the proposed Kano-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.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, announced this on Wednesday after the 16th virtual Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.
The proposed rail line from Kano in Nigeria to Maradi in Niger Republic is going to cover a track length of 248 kilometres and will pass through seven senatorial districts in the North.
According to information gathered from the Federal Ministry of Transportation in Abuja, the rail line, which was budgeted for in the 2018 Appropriation Bill, will connect at least seven cities in Nigeria and one city in Niger Republic.
The rail line, which will start from Kano, is to pass through Dambatta, Kazaure, Daura, Mashi, Katsina, Jibia and terminate in Maradi, Niger Republic.
It will connect at least three states in the North, which are Jigawa, Kano and Katsina.
It was also learnt that the rail line, when completed, would assist in the supply of crude oil from Niger Republic to the refinery being built in the border town between both countries.
The border town is close to Katsina State and a mutual agreement for the construction of the refinery was reached between Nigeria and Niger Republic last week.
Amaechi, while addressing State House reporters, said another memo approved by FEC for the Ministry of Transportation was on 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.
The minister, who said the contract was meant “to sort out situations of accident on the track”, added that it was awarded for a total cost of N3,049,544,000.
While briefing, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the council also approved the contract for the construction of Umuahia/Bende/Ohafia road in Abia State at N12.088 billion.
“The memorandum presented by the Ministry of Works and Housing today is for the Section two of the Ohafia to Arochukwu road.
“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.
“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,” Fashola added.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said two memos presented by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, Hajiya Zainab Ahmed, were also approved by the council.
Mohammed said the meeting approved a sum of N351,540,000 for the procurement of 1,800 units of laptop computers for training schools and computer-based test examinations at three Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) training schools in Gwagwalada, Lagos and Kano with a completion period of six weeks.
The minister said the major advantage of the contract was to save a lot of money required in hiring consultants for training and other services.
He said the sum of N197,843,100 was also approved for the expansion of the Nigeria Customs Service’s cash management’s software in compliance with International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS), stressing that “this is also going to enhance the efficiency of the Department of Customs.”
Mohammed said the council also approved the memo presented by the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Timipre Sylva, for the augmentation of the contract for the construction of Petroleum Technology Development Fund corporate headquarters office in Abuja.
He said an addition of the sum of N3,773,784,399.48 had therefore raised 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 and many international conferences have been held in that building,” he spoke further on the reason for the approval.