…Okays N14.8b FIRS Lagos office, N1bn airport equipment, medical centres
The Federal Executive Council (FEC) Wednesday approved the setting up of a team to examine, repurpose, privatize or transfer ownership of unfinished and abandoned government structures across the country.
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr Clement Agba, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the weekly FEC meeting haired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo.
He said the system, which would be headed by the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning, will prioritize and fund selected projects on a yearly basis while also leaving open the possibility of privatizing some of the projects, repurposing some for alternative use.
He said decisions on the identified projects would be determined by the outcome of investigations.
He said the council approved a contract for the construction of a new office block and parking Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in Lagos worth over N14.8 billion.
He said when completed, the office complex, which is to be located on 17b Awolowo Road, Lagos, would save the FIRS about N4 billion usually paid on rented property.
He said that the 12-storey building would also alleviate the traffic problems that the old FIRS office causes in the area.
He said the council also approved the purchase of property at Mumbai Estate, which is on Plot 21 Cadastral Zone E 23, for the Nigeria Customs Service’s residential accommodation at the sum of N14.405 billion.
He said: “So, the service intends to purchase an asset consisting of 274 housing units, which are categorized as follows: 128 units of three bedroom flats, 96 units of two bedroom flats, and 50 units of three bedroom terrace duplexes and this is in favor of Messrs. Mobi Estate and Properties Limited, at the sum of N14.405 billion.
“This has to do with the welfare of the Customs officers. Provision of residential accommodation, like you know, is a major incentive for officers and men towards improving their efficiency and productivity. Some of these officers are currently residing in hotels, some stay back in their offices and we think that that is not too good enough.
“So, the service intends to purchase an asset consisting of 274 housing units, which are categorized as follows: 128 units of three bedroom flats, 96 units of two bedroom flats, and 50 units of three bedroom terrace duplexes and this is in favor of Messrs. Mobi Estate and Properties Limited, to the sum of N14.405 billion,” he said.
He said the council also approved the purchase of 703 laptops for training and CBT examinations for the Customs Cadets, construction of two numbers 30 rooms, male cadets hostels and one number 30 rooms, and female cadets hostel at Customs Training College in Kano.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Mr Lai Mohammed, said the council also approved the procurement of medical equipment and furniture for the ongoing construction of one of the prototype Aviation Medical Centres at the Nnamdi Azikwe International Airport in Abuja.
“ In other words, we are building Aviation Medical Centers in all the airports and this is the first prototype at Abuja and the contract was approved for the supply of medical equipment and furniture, to the tune of N1,000,684,789.32, with the delivery period of six months and the contractor is Tasodic Sodica Limited,” he said.
Also speaking, the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development said there was no food scarcity in the nation.
”I have said that time and time that currently, we do not have food shortage, there is no food shortage. High prices in some commodities, inflation, yes, is currently the same, just about everywhere around the world, for different reasons.
“Still, the after effect of COVID, where supply chains have not totally open. Climate change is an issue and the current Ukraine, Russian war, there are a number of things. Different countries are tackling it based on their own peculiarity but currently is world phenomena. What are we doing to reduce this? And that I have also mentioned, one of the things is to make sure, first of all, that there is food in the country, supply and demand. That’s why we are making sure that we’ll do the dry season farming,” he said.
He said the council approved the revised National Animal Health Policy, stressing that the revision became necessary following happenings that brought to the fore the critical importance of animal health.
“We must be very conscious of how healthy the animals are whether they are our pets, livestock that we either use for food or for whatever reasons because we realize the frequency of zoonotic diseases, that is diseases coming from animals to infect humans seem to be on the rise.
“There is also the trans boundary diseases, meaning maybe animals from another country, through going and coming, can infect animals here and then can infect humans. So the importance really is if we just focus on us humans to be healthy, and the animals around us are unhealthy, then it is grossly wrong.
“So, this is the reason for this memo. So we have increased our tracing or caring for the animals, discovering new diseases, or vaccinating these animals. For example we just flagged of the vaccination of dogs that may have rabies, because if they do, they can infect humans. And not just viruses, even bacteria can be harbored in animals and can be transmitted to humans,” he said.