By NBF News

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) presided over by Vice President Namadi Sambo yesterday revoked 60 plots meant for the Boulevard project. The former minister of the Federal Capital Territory, Dr. Aliyu Modibbo initiated the project in 2008.

It also approved the immediate reinstatement of all plots of land owned by foreign countries meant for their embassies in Abuja earlier revoked by the administration of Mallam Nasir el-Rufai in 2004. The move is to maintain cordial bilateral relations with all foreign countries.

The Boulevard project was initiated by Modibbo which he pursued vigorously, seeking to expand the major roads within the central area to create roads and markets. They were to be located along the two main corridors around the popular Eagle Square and the federal secretariat on different sites.

Addressing State House Correspondents after the meeting which lasted three hours, the FCT Minister, Senator Bala Mohammed, said it was not proper to equate the ownership status of the embassies with those of individuals who refused to develop them within the specified time limits, and that as foreign countries, they were at liberty to develop them according to their conveniences.

He argued that Nigeria was also keeping undeveloped plots of land across the many countries it has embassies 'and if those were not revoked for lack of development then it will be wrong for us to cast the first stone.'

Besides, the Minister of Information and Communications, Professor Dora Akunyili said council was briefed of the outcome of the report of the ministerial committee on the repositioning of land administration in the FCT and sought approval to reinstate allocation of diplomatic plots and Boulevard project and revoke all irregular allocations of plots in the FCT.

She said Mohammed told FEC that on assumption of office as minister, he was confronted with unprecedented volume of petitions and widespread public complaints against the recent land allocations in the FCT.

'Based on this, a 17-man committee was inaugurated on April 23, 2010 to access the problems of land administration in FCT with a view to recommending ways to reposition it.

The committee's terms of reference were: To conduct a verification exercise on all land allocations made from 2007 to date and mass housing allocations from 2004 to date; recommend ways of repositioning AGIS; investigate and reappraise the land revenue collection investigate and reappraise the land revenue collection mechanisms; recommend ways of establishing an efficient Deed Registry in lands department and any other issue related to the terms of reference.'

Akunyili said after considering the committee's findings and recommendations, 'Council approved the re-instatement of revoked diplomatic plots and re-instatement of same to the affected embassies and High Commissions; revocation of 60 plots in the Central and re-instatement of the Boulevard project'.

The diplomatic plots are located within the highbrow Area 10, directly opposite the main entrance to the Ship House, where the Ministry of Defence is sited.

Akunyili said other memos considered by FEC included that presented by Minister of Finance seeking approval of the contract for the processing and auditing of the 2007 and 2008 Export Expansion Grant (EEG) claims in the sum of N240 million.

After deliberations, council considered and approved the award of the contracts for the processing and audit re-validation of the 2007 and 2008 EEG claims in the sum of N240million.

The minister of health also presented a memo for the urgent procurement of HIV test kits to avoid running out of stock.

'Council therefore approved contracts for the supply of 545,000 Determine Test kits in the sum of N299 million, with a delivery period of 2weeks, 545,000 Double check Gold Test kits, in the sum of N299 million with a delivery period of 2weeks and 545,000 Stat pack Test kits in the sum of N299 million with a delivery period of two weeks'.

Council also considered and approved the new award of contract for the design, manufacture, supply and installation of 2x 60MVA 132/33KV substation at Lanlate and 2x 132KV line Bay at New Abeokuta, presented by the Minister of State for Power, Arc. Somo Nuhu Way in favour of Messrs Skipper Electrical Limited in the sum of $6, 049,111.65 plus N633,582,479.35. The completion period is 18 months.

The project is to be funded under 2010 Budgetary Appropriation in the sum of N1,100,000,000.'

Wya also presented a memo to council through which he sought approval for the revision of the contract sum for the provision of project consultancy service on the 3rd Benin-Onitsha 330KV double circuit transmission line project. The transmission Company of Nigeria TCN initiated the 3rd Benin-Onitsha 330KV Transmission line for the purpose of eliminating transmission bottleneck in the eastern part of the national grid.

Council had, at its EC (2008) 27th meeting approved the award of a contract for the project consultancy Service, in favour of Messrs Colenco Power Engineering Limited, in the sum of N528,491,314.98, equivalent to USD1,289,267.10 plus N106,080,480.00 at the prevailing exchange rate of N118.22/USD for the provision of project Management Consultancy Service on the 3rd Benin- Onitsha 330KV Double Circuit Transmission line project.

The project consultancy contract expired on 2nd April, 2010 with the project attaining an aggregate completion rate of only 58 per cent. Another memo presented by the Minister of State for Power was for the award of contract for the construction of one 30MVA 132/3kv sub-station at Wudil and Turn in and turn out of Kano-Dutse 132kv transmission line in the sum of $3.401,577.35 plus N691, 760,974.46 with completion period of 18months.